Case Study: Outdoor Education Fife

The team at Outdoor Education Fife are based at Lochore Meadows Country Park, and offer a wide variety of outdoor activities, both land, and water based.  They also provide off site trips and activities, so have a very large range of environments in which they operate.

Like Aberdeen Snowsports Centre, OEF run a partnership arrangement where they can make first aid courses available to their clients in the knowledge that we will take care of the actual course training and certification.

As an organisation with a reasonably large team, operating in a range of challenging environments, they also opt to run an in-house course for their full time staff every 2 years, instead of 3 as required by law.  On top of this, we provide an annual 'scenario day' during their staff-training week at the start of each summer season.

This involves us setting up an emergency incident scenario, on both water and land, and putting the centre's emergency action plan to the test.  Running the scenario day is valuable staff training for the new or seasonal staff, as well as acting as a refresher for full time staff.  It involves as many different departments as possible, and seeks to test the 'worst case scenario' situation for all of them.

As a part of the day, we debrief the staff on each scenario, and ask for their reflection on how it went.  Crucially, we are not assessing individual staff member's performance, but the Centre's procedures and emergency protocols, identifying whether they are fit for purpose.  This has proved to be very valuable for the management team, and following each day we provide a written report with any recommendations we feel are appropriate.

Ali Dreyer, Outdoor Education Manager for Fife Council, had the following to say:

"As a centre we feel it is important to do more than the basic requirement for first aid training, and the bi-annual staff courses have been really beneficial. The scenario days are also a really good opportunity to put us to the test.  Watching how the staff react to emergency situations has influenced our emergency action plans, and also acts as a useful training day for the new seasonal team."

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