School operations


Including camps and adventure activities


This policy sets out requirements for schools to plan for and safely undertake excursions, including camps and adventure activities.


  • All excursions must be planned in accordance with the requirements outlined in this policy.
  • Schools must also comply with the Excursion guidelines, on the Guidance tab.
  • Specific activity guidelines have been developed for adventure activities. Schools must follow these specific activity guidelines, which require additional approval and risk management procedures.


Excursions are an important part of the learning experiences of all students from Foundation to Year 12. Excursions can support quality curriculum delivery and can provide important social and emotional development opportunities for students that is often not available in the classroom. These might include teamwork, resilience and confidence-building through challenge, problem-solving, connecting with nature, creative and imaginative play and coordination and strength.

While the degree of planning involved will depend on the nature and likelihood of the risks involved, the conduct of any excursion or activity must take into account the following:

  • the excursion’s educational purpose and contribution to the curriculum or other educational value
  • department approval requirements for excursions and staff travel
  • suitability of the venue and/or environment for the excursion
  • informed consent from parents or carers
  • adequate student information
  • adequate student preparation and clear behaviour expectations
  • importance of providing an inclusive excursion experience for all students, including students with disabilities and additional needs
  • how school staff will meet their responsibilities under the Child Safe Standards
  • requirements for any adventure activities
  • assessment of excursion risks and appropriate risk minimisation strategies, including appropriate supervision arrangements
  • maintenance of excursion records, including clear documentation of the planning process, in accordance with the department’s policy on management of school records – refer to Records Management — School Records.

Staff must enter the excursion details into the Student Activity LocatorExternal Link (staff login required) at least 3 weeks prior to the excursion date.

When planning an excursion, staff must consider emergency warnings provided through VicEmergency and weather conditions including fire danger ratings.

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend camps and excursions. Schools must advise eligible parents of this funding.

When planning and conducting excursions, schools must follow the mandatory Excursion Guidelines, on the Guidance tab.

Excursions e-learning module

From 15 December 2022 onwards, school staff with primary responsibility for organising a school camp and/or water-based excursion activity must have completed the mandatory excursions e-learning module. These staff are encouraged to complete the module annually.

Staff responsible for organising excursions of any other type are also encouraged to complete the module.

The module is located in eduPayExternal Link .

The module aims to:

  • increase awareness and understanding of the excursions policy and guidelines to ensure safety of students
  • set out obligations for schools in managing excursions to ensure that they are aware of what steps they need to take
  • establish awareness and understanding of the mandatory requirements for school excursions, including how to carry out risk assessments.


Excursions are activities organised by the school where the students:

  • are taken out of the school grounds (for example, a camp, day excursion or school sports)
  • undertake adventure activities, regardless of whether or not they occur outside the school grounds.

Camps are excursions involving at least 1 night's accommodation (including school sleep-overs on school grounds). There are 2 different classifications of camps:

  • Base camps are camps that are undertaken at accredited residential camp sites or camping under shelters such as tents. Camping as an adventure activity has its own specific guidelines.
  • Study camps are camps that often involve senior secondary students. There is a focus on study skills, team building, communication, time management and wellbeing.

Victorian government residential schools
Victorian government residential schools are government schools that deliver residential outdoor education for government primary and secondary school students state-wide. These schools are made up of the Residential Outdoor Schools Association (ROSA) network (commonly known as the ROSA schools) and the Alpine School (also known as the Victorian School for Student Leadership). Victorian government residential schools engage students to develop positive relationships with self, others and with outdoor environments through interaction with the natural world.

Adventure activities
Adventure activities are activities that involve greater than normal risk – there are additional mandatory guidelines associated with these activities.

Local excursions
Local excursions are excursions to locations within walking distance of the school and do not involve adventure activities.

Note: workplace learning and intercampus travel are not considered school excursions.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on planning for and conducting school excursions, including camps and adventure activities

Reviewed 22 April 2024

Policy last updated

22 April 2024


  • Schools
  • School councils


School Operations and Governance Unit Operations and Governance Division

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