Since the foundation of Outward Bound Croatia, we have been aware of the fact that safety in the field is the priority and prerequisite of implementing any outdoor experiential learning course. To ensure the highest possible safety of participants, staff and accompanying persons on our courses, at the founding of our organization in 2005 we also first established our still active Safety Board.
Since then the Board continuously works on establishing, documenting and regularly reviewing our standardized safety procedures.
The Safety Board
Our Safety Board consists of members of the organization and external experts who have been chosen based on their advanced level of experience in outdoor disciplines: alpinism, hiking, speleology and kayaking on the sea and sweet water.
We’re proud to call Vladimir Dado Mesarić, one of the founders of our organization and one of Croatia’s most experienced alpinists with about half a century of experience in leading expeditions in high mountains across the whole world, the president of our Safety Board.
The permanent members of the Board are additionally supported by external experts from the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and medical emergency doctors to foresee potential risks that can occur in the field.
Safety on the course – a team-work mission
When it comes to the efficiency of the safety procedures in minimizing risks in the field, it is our staff who delivers the courses in the field, Outward Bound instructors, instructors-specialists, and logistics, who play a crucial role.
When applying to become an instructor, candidates are being selected based on their previous experience in outdoor activities and their youth-work and teaching competence. After passing the selection process, future instructors take part in a training course developed by OBC. While working as an instructor they have the opportunity and obligation to continuously take part in further training and professional education on all aspects of outdoor experiential learning delivered within or outside our organization.
It is for that purpose that we organize occasional study visits to experienced Outward Bound centers all over the world, such as Outward Bound Singapore, The Outward Bound Trust (UK) and Outward Bound South Africa. We also take part in international symposiums and conferences on safety and risk-management in outdoor activities.
Minimizing risks with the right equipment and regular control
Besides sticking to standard operative procedures in the field, another way of minimizing the risk of accidents during activities is the use of the right equipment and regular inspection of the same.
Outward Bound International, the network association of Outward Bound schools around the world that is responsible for licensing organizations, regularly pays us visits to examine our safety-procedures on courses and consults us about best practices from other centers. That is how, apart from our internal control mechanisms, we also ensure the external examination of the safety of our courses and the equipment we use.
So, how safe are Outward Bound courses?
Safety in the field for everyone included – participants, staff and accompanying teachers -is Outward Bound Croatia’s priority. We know that without safety there’s no learning.
Although we’re aware that activities in nature always involve a certain amount of risk that we cannot exclude completely, we have minimized that risk as far as possible – with the help of established standard operative procedures that are regularly reviewed by experts, high-quality equipment that is regularly examined, the supervision of Outward Bound International, and the professional training of our staff.
So – are you ready now to accept the challenge and apply for an Outward Bound program?
Liked it? Share it!