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Waiver Administration Policy
Alpine Club of Canada’s Policy Regarding Waiver Administration, Incident Management & Reporting
Policy as it applies to Trip Leaders
These instructions are to be given to all trip leaders along with blank waivers for all activities.
A. Waiver Administration
As trip leaders, you are required to have participants in all activities sponsored by The Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) sign the official Release, Waiver and Assumption of Risk (hereinafter referred to as the Release) before the activity begins. The importance of this document to The Alpine Club of Canada cannot be over-emphasized. The way you conduct yourself in dealing with participants signing the Release is of great importance to whether the document "will stand up in court" later on. As a result, the following steps should be followed when having participants execute the Release:
How to get waivers signed properly
Instructions you may need to give to Participants:
- Read and understand the Release before signing and dating it. This Release is easy to read and is in plain English. If you do not sign and submit the Release, you will not be able to participate in your chosen activity.
- The Release is available in English & French.
- If you have any questions about the meaning of the Release, ask for assistance from the national office of The Alpine Club of Canada and they will be able to explain the document in detail.
- You cannot change any terms of the Release prior to signing it.
- The witness to your signature must be a non-family member. It is preferred that the witness is an Alpine Club of Canada member, volunteer or employee. Each witness should confirm that you have read and understood the Release.
- Do not rush through reading the Release - leave yourself ample opportunity to read and understand its terms in advance of your chosen activity.
- If you refuse to sign the Release, you will not be able to participate in the chosen activity.
Instructions for Trip Leaders:
- You must ensure that the participant has had time to read the Release before signing and dating it. Make sure they are not rushed during this important part. If you are able, it is often advisable to have participants read and sign the waiver well in advance of the activity e.g. days or weeks before the activity. The waiver is available for viewing on the Alpine Club of Canada’s website and trip leaders should encourage participants to read this and understand its contents prior to any trip. Be sure that participants are aware that if they do not sign the Release they will not be able to participate in the Activity.
- You must ask each participant whether they have any questions about the meaning of the Release and, if they do have any questions, you should do your best to answer them. If you can't, questions should be referred to the Executive Director of The Alpine Club of Canada who will be able to explain the document in detail.
- Nothing in this Release can be changed in any way and it must be signed "as is" as a condition of participating in the proposed activity.
- You must understand the Release yourself. Read it very carefully and make sure that you understand its terms. If you do not understand any of its terms, or don't feel that you are capable of explaining it to someone else, please contact the Executive Director of The Alpine Club of Canada, who will provide you with an explanation to address your concerns.
- Should participants ask you to tell them what the document says, be sure to emphasize that they are required to read it and understand it before signing, and before they will be able to participate in the activity. You can tell them that it is a document which protects The Alpine Club of Canada from lawsuits in the event that a participant is injured or killed or has any of his property or personal belongings damaged or lost. The Release also protects The Alpine Club of Canada from liability for not only natural hazards but for the negligence of any of the other ACC member participants. You should also tell them that the document includes a clause where each participant agrees that, should evacuation or rescue become necessary, each participant agrees to pay the cost of that evacuation or rescue.
- The witness to the participants' signature must be a non-family member. You can witness the person's signature or one of the other participants can witness the signature. The preferred approach, if possible, is to have the participant's signature witnessed by an Alpine Club of Canada member, volunteer or employee. Each witness should ask the participant if he/she has read and understood the release, which is critical to its legal validity. Minors must have their parent/guardian sign the Release and trip leaders must be satisfied that the minor is able to and does participate in the activity safely.
- If an individual refuses to sign the Release, you must advise them that he or she will not be able to participate in the activity.
- The Release is available in the following languages: English and French. The person should be provided with a Release that is written in the language that he or she is most comfortable with.
- For "repeat" and virtually " identical" activities (e.g. weekly or monthly sessions at the same climbing wall), participants need only sign the Release once per year. For all other activities, including all outdoor activities, a separate Release must be signed prior to each activity.
What to do with the Release(s) after signing
10. Assuming that an incident does not occur during a given activity, signed Releases must be retained by the Section for a period of six years, after which time they can be destroyed. Please return all signed Releases as soon as possible following an activity to the person in your Section who has been given the duty of looking after these documents.
B. Incident Management
If an incident results in injury, property damage or loss (or if the trip leader feels that an injury or property damage/loss situation could possibly be claimed at some later time), the following process should be followed:
Administer appropriate incident management procedures
Trip leaders will have the responsibility of carrying out or delegating whatever actions are necessary to manage the situation until the victim has been turned over to the appropriate rescue, health care or other authorities. Your incident report will deal with the events up to that point.
Complete an incident report
The trip leader or other designated individual must contact the Executive Director at the Alpine Club of Canada’s National Office as soon as possible regarding the incident. One scenario would be for the trip leader to contact the Section Chair and that person would contact the Executive Director. This must be done as soon as possible after the incident occurs.
In addition, a complete, written incident report must be prepared as soon as possible after the incident occurs, sent to the Section Executive who will send it on via the Section Chair to the Executive Director. The original, signed Releases(s) of all persons who suffered (or might later claimed to have suffered) personal injury or property damage/loss as a result of the incident must accompany this report. In this report, it is important to record all relevant information about the incident: times, location, activity being undertaken at the time of the incident, etc. Opinions or speculations as to how the incident could have been avoided should not be included. It is the Section Executive’s duty to ensure that the report is complete before submitting it to the Executive Director.
Under normal circumstances, it is expected that an incident report will be in the Executive Director’s hands no later than a maximum of 3 weeks after the incident.
Do NOT talk to the media about the incident. Any questions from the media are to be referred to the Executive Director of the Alpine Club of Canada. No copies of any Releases or incident reports are to be provided to the victim or any other person.