COVID-19 EVENT PLANNING GUIDE, INFORMED CONSENT AND WAIVER
When planning an activity or event during the pandemic, this event planning guide will assist organizers in keeping everyone safe. All participants should read and sign this COVID-19 specific informed consent. If the activity is of higher risk and a waiver is required, participants should also read and sign this COVID-19 specific waiver, in addition to the regular waiver and in place of the informed consent.
- Enterprise Risk Management
- Student Organized Event
- Staff/Faculty Organized Event
- Informed Consents/Waivers
Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): is the process of identifying, assessing and managing risks that can either positively or negatively affect an organization’s ability to achieve its strategic goals.
Why is ERM necessary?
The ERM process is a strategic planning and decision making tool that provides the empirical data necessary for senior management to set strategic goals and ensure those goals are achieved.
Who is responsible for ERM?
All employees are responsible to advise their supervisors of risks that they do not have the authority or resources to effectively manage. This includes leveraging opportunities, not just avoiding loss.
Risk Leads are typically department heads who identify, assess, manage and report risk exposures to PVP.
PVP is responsible to monitor the risk management activities of their department heads, provide direction to risk leads and prioritize enterprise risks. The President reports the Top 10 enterprise risks annually to the Board of Governors.
Board of Governors ensures that the ERM process is effectively addressing strategic risk.
The Risk Management Department manages the ERM Program,assists risk leads by providing tools and analysis, manages the University insurance program and advises PVP if changes to either program are required.
Risk Management Process
Enterprise risks are managed by using the same five step process as operational, or activity risks. More detailed instructions can be found in the ERM Policy.
1. Identify risk exposures
2. Quantitatively assess exposures
3. Qualitatively prioritize risks and select appropriate risk controls
4. Implement selected risk controls
5. Monitor results
Trent University is committed to conducting all Trent sanctioned activities, both on and off campus, as safely as possible recognizing that there is inherent risk in some activities that cannot be completely prevented. Trent therefore requires students and external groups who wish to conduct activities that are not for academic credit to complete informed consent forms that explain the risks that they are voluntarily undertaking. The forms include a waiver provision. In exchange for being allowed to participate in the activity, and in full knowledge of the potential risks, the participants agree not to initiate civil action against Trent for injuries or losses sustained during that activity.
In addition, waivers for external groups indemnify Trent, meaning that they cannot access our insurance coverage. Accordingly, external groups are required to show proof that they have sufficient liability insurance coverage in place that names Trent University as an additional insured for the duration of the on campus activity.
When a Trent sanctioned club, group or student association is hosting an event, the Primary Event Organizer must complete a Student Event Risk Assessment Form and submit it to the Office of Student Affairs 14 days prior to the event.
The Purpose of the Risk Assessment Form:
- Identify hazards and associated risks
- Select appropriate risk controls that
- either prevent losses from happening; or
- reduce the frequency or severity of losses to levels acceptable to the University
- Explain how the selected controls will be implemented
- Protect both the participants and the organizers
Visit the Student Affairs website for more information.
Many university activities are considered low risk because they either:
a. Do not entail risks that are any greater than the participants would face in their normal working and studying environment, such as classroom lectures, or
b. Have established risk control measures already in place and appropriately documented, such as Laboratory Safety Procedures, that reduce the inherent risk levels acceptable to Trent.
However, activities that entail risks greater or different than those encountered in the regular working and studying environment and for which there are insufficient risk controls in place to reduce the risk to a tolerable level are considered high risk. A risk assessment must be carried out for existing high risk and all new activities so that the foreseeable risks are appropriately managed. The Activity Risk Management Policy and associated procedure and guidelines are provided for this purpose.
An informed consent/waiver is a legal contract between two parties: the activity participant and Trent University
The participant's signature creates a binding contract indicating that the participant fully understands the risks inherent in the activity and, in exchange for being allowed to participate in the activity, will not hold the University, or any person associated with the University who is named in the waiver, responsible for any injuries or losses incurred by the participant.
Informed consents/waivers should not be used when participation is mandatory for academic credit.
Guidelines for Administration of Informed Consents/Waivers
The organizers of the activity or event are responsible for:
- Selecting the appropriate informed consent and waiver form (external group, student group, minors, volunteers).*
- Customizing the informed consent portion to accurately and thoroughly reflect the risks that participants will face.
- Requiring each participant to read and sign the waiver before the activity commences
- Ensuring participants have the opportunity to ask questions about the risks and the legal consequences of signing the waiver.
- Witnessing the signature and sign accordingly.
- Retaining the forms for at least three years (preferably five years). We recommend advising Risk Management about the activity and providing contact information for the organizers. Risk Management staff are available to provide assistance and support throughout the activity planning process.
*Please contact the Risk Management Department by email or by telephone at extension 7372, or in person at the Risk Management Office, Blackburn Hall, Room 108, to determine the Informed Consent Waiver appropriate to your event.