External providers may be engaged to deliver specific activities (such as adventure activities) or a whole program. They may provide expertise in a certain activity and can form a valuable addition to a program.
Clear and open communication that occurs well in advance of the planned program is the key to an effective and well-informed relationship between a school and an external provider.
Schools must be aware that even when they are using external providers, school staff still have duty of care for the students.
Before an external provider is selected to assist with the delivery of a program, a thorough check should be completed by the school to ensure that they are appropriate for the program and have experience working with groups of children and young people.
Prior to commencement of a program the school should ensure that the external provider has:
- a current public liability insurance certificate (minimum $10 million) provided by an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) approved insurer
- demonstrated that staff have the correct qualifications and/or experience for their specific role/s. For information on required qualifications please refer to the specific
- ensured that students are supervised by either a registered teacher or an approved staff member with a current
- agreed with the school who has responsibilities for first aid, emergency communications and other specialist equipment
- agreed with the school who will be responsible for emergency procedures, and that these are well understood prior to the excursion taking place
- read the relevant sections of the Department's adventure activity guidelines (if relevant) and understood their obligations under these guidelines.
With respect to arrangements between the school and third parties, principals should:
- carefully negotiate terms and conditions with third parties (for example, camp providers, specialist instructors, expedition providers) prior to accepting arrangements
- ensure school staff know who to report any concerns to
- provide relevant information about students to the external providers that they need to know in order to look after the students and reduce risk.
Reviewed 25 November 2021