Code of Ethics
Outdoor Education Australia recognises that the professionals working in this field are entrusted with a significant responsibility to nurture the wellbeing of the students and other participants in their care.
The following Code of Ethics articulates the guidelines that the state and territory associations, which make up Outdoor Education Australia, encourage their members to adhere to:
The outdoor educator will fulfil his/her duty of care
OEA recognises that the professionals working in this field are entrusted with a significant responsibility to nurture the wellbeing of the students and other participants in their care. They are expected to fulfil that duty of care in all that they do.
The outdoor educator will provide a supportive and appropriate learning environment
An outdoor educator is committed to providing learning experiences for his or her participants. A learning environment must be planned with clear learning goals in mind. The programme then needs to be developed and implemented with the participants’ physical, social, mental and emotional maturity in mind to safely achieve these learning goals. Flexibility within the learning environment allows for responsiveness to the situation, or participants. In providing a supportive and appropriate learning environment, the outdoor educator will:
- Ensure that the learning environment is appropriate to their level of expertise.
- Ensure that the learning environment is appropriate to the participants’ maturity, experience, and developmental stage.
- Understand and apply a variety of leadership and learning models to suit the learning environment.
- Employ inclusive and equitable practices for participants.
- Contribute to a just and humane society through the facilitation of participants’ understanding of themselves and their relationships with the diverse biophysical, social and cultural environments.
The outdoor educator will develop his/her professionalism
An outdoor educator is committed to providing a high standard of professional service and contributing to the profession. In developing his/her professionalism, the outdoor educator will:
- Demonstrate passion and commitment to the ideals of the outdoor educator profession.
- Provide services in accordance with his/her education, training and experience.
- Demonstrate commitment to maintaining professional development.
- Contribute to the outdoor education body of knowledge and practice.
- Demonstrate mutual respect for colleagues and celebrate the diversity of practice within outdoor education professional practise.
- Engage in professional reflection and critique on a regular basis.
- Encourage and support the development of other outdoor educators.
- Promote public awareness and understanding of the outdoor education profession.
The outdoor educator will ensure his /her practice is culturally and environmentally sensitive
An outdoor educator is committed to caring for the earth and its inhabitants. In practising cultural and environmental sensitivity the Outdoor Educator will:
- Promote critical reflection on the ecological consequences of both local and global behaviours.
- Personally model culturally and environmentally sensitive behaviours.
- Encourage a greater understanding of the natural and constructed environments through quality interpretation.
- Maintain a positive balance between the learning goals of the programme and the environmental impact. This could be achieved through:
- Using the most appropriate environment that allows the programme goals to be achieved.
- Maintaining group size to a level appropriate to the environment.
- Educating participants in the use of environmentally sound practices.
- Caring for the local environment through action projects.
- Encouraging respect for the diverse cultural beliefs and practices.