Risk Management

The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) takes its commitment to its students and instructors seriously. And, NCOAE recognizes there is always the probability of misadventure in remote and outdoor environments. In recognizing this possibility, NCOAE voluntarily adheres to an internal and external review process to examine and evaluate our programming, as part of an ongoing effort to monitor and improve safety. Additionally, we train our instructors to proactively identify and assess potential hazards, and work to educate our participants about how to understand and manage inherent risks.

Our course and training environments contain risks and rewards in urban and wilderness environments, both in the US and overseas. As defined by our mission and values, NCOAE program sites are remote and often geographically distant from outside help and a readily accessible health infrastructure. We believe that the best way to address this is to deliberately teach our participants a variety of skills, as part of the NCOAE Core Curriculum, so participants are able to effectively navigate remote and wilderness environments.

Additionally, NCOAE supports the work of the annual Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC), and strives to learn and adopt best practices from outdoor industry leaders regarding safety and risk management.

What sort of training will my instructors have?

NCOAE instructors are a key component in NCOAE’s commitment to managing and mitigating risk. Our instructors are trained and qualified outdoor professionals with specific skills tailored to complement each course. Depending on the course, our instructors are certified as Wilderness First Responders, Wilderness Advanced First Aiders, EMT’s, and/or paramedics.

As part of NCOAE’s staff orientation and training, our instructors are taught to recognize, assess and approach risk as an educational opportunity. Instructors purposefully teach students to identify and understand risks, with an awareness that certain risks can be effectively managed, but many risks are intrinsic and may not be eliminated entirely.