School operations


including camps and adventure activities

For policy and advice on managing the risk of COVID-19 when planning for and undertaking excursions, schools must refer to the Department's School Operations Guide (staff login required).


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.
  • It is also mandatory for schools to follow the requirements set out in the Excursion Guidelines, on the Guidance tab.
  • Further specific activity guidelines have been developed for adventure activities. These specific activity guidelines are also mandatory for schools to follow and 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 educational purpose of the excursion and its 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 and staff medical information
  • adequate student preparation and clear behaviour expectations
  • the 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
  • 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 Locator (staff login required) at least 3 weeks prior to the excursion date.

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 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 VCE students. There is a focus on study skills, team building, communication, time management and wellbeing.

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 23 December 2021

Policy last updated

23 December 2021


  • Schools
  • School councils


School Operations and Governance Unit

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