Risk Management Advisories
TRIPS, TEAM SPORTS & TOURNAMENTS are all activities that require organization and planning. Proper planning and organization ensures that school activities such as trips, participation of teams, and traveling to tournaments result in safe and enjoyable activities for students. One very important part of effective planning requires that parents be informed and give permission for their child to participate in the activity. OSBIE receives many phone calls each year requesting information on permission forms and asking for feedback on existing forms.
With this bulletin we would like to share with all boards the type of Permission/Acknowledgment Form that we feel is most effective. You will note that, this form is designed as a guide and can be amended and used for all types of activities.
The "Elements of Risk" section is especially important. Parents should be aware of the risks of a particular activity. The more specific and extensive, the better. You will note an example of this in Appendix 1b of the OSBIE Ski Package. Under the heading of "Inherent Risks" the form states:
"Skiing is a sport with physical demands and inherent risks which are
beyond the control of(name of school board) . Falls, collisions and other incidents
may occur and cause injury. Skiers must assume the risks and dangers".
This type of "inherent risk" statement can be incorporated into forms designed for participation in specific sports, such as football, hockey, etc. We believe this type of form eliminates the probable contention by parents of an injured child that the child would not have been allowed to participate in the sport/activity, if the parent had known about the dangers and risks associated with it.
There is also a sample of a Release and Indemnification Form that may be used for students 18 and over. These students are considered adults, and can sign binding release forms.
To make the form truly effective, it is extremely important that the parties signing the form fully understand the contents of the form. The form must be carefully reviewed by the students and/or parents before it is signed. Simply asking for a signature without an explanation will undermine the value of the form thereby bringing legal responsibility back to the teacher or supervisor. School boards should also recognize that English or French are not always spoken in all households, and that parents in these households may need special notification that these documents are very important and may require them to get an explanation in their own language.
Student Accident Insurance
You will notice that the forms contain a statement that the board does not provide any accidental death, disability dismemberment or medical expenses insurance for students participating in these activities. This is a statement that we have recommended boards incorporate with materials that are sent home to parents promoting the purchase of Student Accident Insurance at the beginning of each school year. Student Accident Insurance is valuable coverage, especially for payment of dental injuries sustained at school. Some boards make Student Accident Insurance mandatory for students participating in extra-curricular sports. Parents have to purchase the coverage or sign a statement that they have private coverage and understand that the board does not provide Accident Insurance coverage. This is an excellent practice. It is important for parents to understand that the board does not provide accident insurance to cover dental and other injuries that occur as a result of accidents during school activities.
We hope you are able to incorporate some of these ideas in your board’s forms. If you have any questions about the forms you are using and would like our comments, please contact the OSBIE Risk Management department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sample Informed Consent/Permission Form for Education Trips (Students under 18 Years):
Sample Release and Indemnification Form for Education Trips (Students/Participants over 18 Years):
(REVISED 2015) E&OE
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