Benchmarking Standards of Incident Reporting in College and University Outdoor Programs


  • Christopher J. Bartram University of Maine
  • Erik Rabinowitz Appalachian State University



incidents, accidents, reporting, database, benchmarking


Literature on best practices for reporting incidents in college and university outdoor programming is limited. This study explored benchmarking standards for incident reporting in college outdoor programs. The researchers accomplished this by examining how outdoor program directors record incidents and near misses, constraints to recording, overall performance perceptions, and their recording preferences. The researchers found that programs that use database reporting systems are less constrained and have a higher perception of success than those without such systems. They also found that 26% of programs do not record near misses at all. Further findings and recommendations for recording incidents and near misses are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Christopher J. Bartram, University of Maine

Chris Bartram is the Coordinator of Maine Bound at the University of Maine, Adjunct Faculty for a variety of Universities, as well as a Climbing and Mountaineering Instructor for Acadia Mountain Guides. Chris has been working in the field of outdoor education for the past 8 years and holds a B.S. in Adventure Education as well as a M.A. in College Student Development.

Erik Rabinowitz, Appalachian State University

Dr. Erik Rabinowitz is an Associate Professor of the Recreation Management in the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education at Appalachian State University. He is UNC Board of Governor's award-winning recipient for excellence in teaching, has published over 20 articles in the profession, 3 book chapters, and received grants to support his research.


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Research Note