“Reasonable measures, reasonably applied.”

A RISK is the chance, high or low, that any hazard will actually cause somebody harm. CDUK do not encourage extreme sports of any kind.

If you are planning an event, you must carry out a formal risk assessment and record your duty of care.

What is the process for assessing and managing risk? The risk assessment process involves working systematically through four key steps: 

  1. Identifying the risks faced 
  2. Categorising the seriousness of these risks according to likelihood and impact 
  3. Identifying and implementing measures for managing the risks
  4. Regularly reviewing your risk assessment to factor in change.  

 1a.  Identifying  risks  The first step is to start to list the risks that exist within your volunteer event.     Go through the event/venue with your team and consider the worst that might happen. For example, if there were a fire, where are the exits and fire extingishers, are trailing wires from electrical equipement covered so that visitors do not trip?

2a.  Categorising  risks  you need to be able to identify which risks are the most serious and which are fairly minor.  By systematically categorising the risks identified, you are able to identify which warrant the most attention. Seperate them into high, medium or low risk and focus on them accordingly.

3a.  Manage the risk The next step is to look at what can be done to reduce the likelihood and lessen the impact of the identified risks.  Risks can be managed in a number of ways.


  • Avoid the risk
  • Control the risk
  • Finance the risk
  • Transfer the risk

The first aim should be to remove the risk completely. This may involve ceasing the activity or parts of the activity.  If this is not possible steps should be taken to reduce the risk. . •Avoid the risk – If the activity is not core and if the level of risk cannot be satisfactorily reduced through other means, you may decide not to engage in this activity or provide this service. 

Control the risk:

This is the most common approach.  If an activity is core for your event then you will need to identify what good practice policies must be adhered to, what team training is needed to ensure these are implemented and how this is to be recorded and monitored.  Controlling risk involves implementing measures to both reduce the likelihood of a negative outcome and to reduce the impact of such an outcome.  

Finance the risk:

You may alternatively decide to provide resources to meet the liabilities caused by the risks when they happen. for example, hire St John’s Ambulance to deal with injuries that might arise unless you have someone with an up to date First Aid Certificate?

Transfer the risk:

It may be possible to transfer the consequences of the risk to another person or organisation.  This can be through insurance, indemnity, exemption from liability or through transferring the activity to another organisation. 

CDUK third party insurance will cover your volunteers at an event as long as it was previously agreed and discussed with us in writing in advance of major planning.  You may need to consider a different form of the event if it is dangerous.  CDUK do not encourage extreem sports of any kind.

 What are you doing already to reduce the level of risk?  •    Is there anything more that you could or should do? When this is done you need to decide when these further measures should be taken or implemented and who will be responsible.   

4a.  Review the risks  Risk management is a continuous process and should be regularly reviewed.  It is not enough to complete and document these steps and to feel that in itself that is enough.  Having agreed your action plan, you need to schedule in a review to check that things have been done and if appropriate review the risk rating as a result of the action you have taken. Risks should be kept under review and any new practices evaluated to ascertain if they had the desired effect of reducing risk and creating a safer environment for all.  Any new volunteer roles or activities and new individuals recruited for these roles should be subject to a risk assessment