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University of Brighton: Increasing risk assessment quality through training

Universities often ask faculty and staff leading offsite activities and travel to conduct risk assessments. But how competent are the faculty and staff to do so? What assurance does the university have that their fieldwork leaders can accurately assess the context, identify the threats and then assess the risk to the trip? Then, are they able to minimise the risk to the people on the trip, as well as to the university’s reputation, should something go wrong?

The University of Brighton takes these questions seriously. At any one time, the University can have hundreds of people travelling offsite. Its university policy requires all leaders of offsite fieldwork and activities to complete a risk assessment and wanted to make sure that as many people as possible knew how to do so competently. The diversity of trip types taken by the university is astounding. Staff need to conduct risk assessments for everything from day trips to London, to medical research trips in East Africa, to low-level space flights.

Working with the University of Brighton’s Health and Safety Office, Safer Edge developed a one-day training for university staff who complete risk assessments as part of their work. Advertised openly, staff were fr