Information provided in this handbook is a guide only. We encourage you to seek further information and to seek advice for the best way forward for your Club

What is risk & risk management?

In a general sense, risk is anything that might have a negative impact. Risk management is therefore the process of systematically thinking through possible risks (even if they’re unlikely) and ensuring that these risks are minimised (avoided, if possible) and that there are strategies to deal with them if they occur

Why is it important to my Club? What is the potential impact on Club Executives?

The Club Executive are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of those at Club events. This includes the wellbeing of members and other Club Executives that are involved in running the event (e.g. making sure everyone is aware of safety precautions, providing appropriate breaks and ensuring that tasks are allocated appropriately), as well as the event attendees (e.g. ensuring that food is being prepared and stored safely, letting attendees know about any risks of participating in an activity beforehand).

Effective risk management minimises negative impacts for your Club as well as for you as an individual. This includes the health and safety of Club Executive and members and will help protect against legal action against individuals (particularly Club Executives) or the Club as a whole (if the Club is incorporated) should any incidents occur.

Clubs must do a risk assessment before every event or activity. This is a procedure that requires you consider all the possible risks and take the necessary steps to reduce or avoid them altogether. You can reuse existing risk assessment documents, but make sure that the person looking after the event (and others in the team, if relevant) have read the documents and have taken all the precautions specified within it. Make sure to keep an ongoing record of risk assessment documents and the events they have been used for, in case they are needed by your Club, Arc or UNSW.

Arc also requires all Club Executives and members to be aware of Workplace Health and Safety policy and to follow the guidelines that keep people from getting hurt. See Clubs Handbook Section 14 for details about WHS.

Risk Assessments

To start a risk assessment, identify the specific risks associated with the event, use the template below to record the risk and use the risk matrix below to assess the possibility and consequence of the risks involved.

When completing the risk assessment of an event or activity, consider:

  • The nature of the activity. Is it a recreational activity where members could get hurt? If yes, make sure you use a waiver!
  • The venue. Is it indoor/outdoor? Is it accessible to all Club members?
  • What facilities are available? Do you need to have St Johns Ambulance on site and/or hire professional equipment that complies with safety standards?
  • Are members going to be separated from their personal belongings? Are there lockers or storage facilities available?
  • Do you need security guards (to protect belongings as well as people)?
  • How are members getting to and from the venue?
  • Is alcohol involved? If yes, make sure that you comply with the Arc Clubs Alcohol Policy where the event is not held in a licensed venue.
  • Is everyone attending of legal age?
  • Is it in a remote location (e.g. a camp)? What risks are associated with overnight accommodation?
  • If personal injury is likely, what facilities are available for first aid? Always make sure there is access to a phone in case emergency services need to be called.
  • How are you going to promote your event?

Off campus events are unlikely to be covered under UNSW’s Personal Accident policy so Club Executives need to make sure that they assess all the risks before planning an off-campus event and use a waiver.

If Club business requires use of a vehicle, take public transport rather than using your personal vehicle or hiring from a rental agency. This avoids problems with finding appropriate insurance cover.

You should also think about the financial consequences of planning events.

  • Is the Club entering a contract e.g. for hiring the venue, or a third-party providing services? If so, ensure that you have comprehensively read over this contract and understand that such contracts are legally-binding. If you have any doubts, please contact the Arc Clubs team for advice before signing anything!
  • Do you need sponsorship for your Club to help cover the cost of the event, or does your Club have existing sponsors that need to be included in this event (what is have you agreed to)?
  • Do members have to purchase tickets in advance? What is the refund policy? 
  • Will there be out of pocket expenses if, for example, ticket sales don’t cover the costs of the event

Based on the possibility and consequences, it is recommended that Clubs establish contingency plans for when the specific risk occurs and will help the Executives to use the best course of action. It will also help the Club to identify activities or part of the activity that may lead to severe consequences and the Club can look at substituting that activity or part of the activity with a different one.

Clubs will have events that are run on a regular basis or that are run every Term, so once the Risk Assessment is created the first time around, Clubs will only need to go back and review the assessment done previously and make an addition/alteration based on the changes made. The Risk Assessment should be shared will all relevant parties involved in the activity.

If Clubs Executives are not sure about a certain element or the complete Risk Assessment itself, feel free to get in touch with us at

What if something happens?

Follow the procedures that you have prepared in your risk assessment in case of an incident. After the fact, if it is a reportable incident, report it to Arc through the Arc Club Incident Report (see Section 21 (Incident Reporting) for more further details)

Clubs Templates:

  • Club Event Waivers Template - Use this waiver template where there is no online registration for this event. If you do have online registration, use our template Club Events Terms & Conditions instead.
  • Club Event Terms and Conditions Template - Use these Terms & Conditions on the online registration system for your event. If your event doesn’t have one, use the waiver form template instead.

Where can I find out more information?

An Introduction to Risk Management

Safe Work Australia – Identify, assess and control hazards

Risk Management Help for Not for Profits

NSW Office of Sport - Risk Management

Not-for-profit Law: Risk and Insurance

Arc Clubs Office

P:02 9065 0930

H:10am to 5pm

A:Level 2 Basser Steps, Gate 5 on High St, UNSW