COC Coordinator Manual

Please see the Andwa Website User Guide for website How-To information.

Safety Policy

Important Notice:

  1. Coordinators must lead by example and follow ALL items in the Safety Policy.
  2. Any violation of Safety Policy, e.g.:
    1. Extending trips into avalanche terrain
    2. Not wearing helmets on bike trips or scrambles
    3. Not wearing PFDs
    4. Allowing others to participate without required equipment
    will result in a written warning. A second violation of the Safety Policy will result in a probationary period wherein the Event Coordinator cannot coordinate all/certain types of events. The probationary term and conditions will determined by the President on a case-by-case basis.

Baseline and Elevated Risk Management:
  1. All COC events are subject to our "Baseline" Risk Management policies and procedures.
  2. Some COC events are subject to Elevated Risk Management (additional measures above and beyond the Baseline). More information at:
    1. Our Difficulty Ratings page.
    2. The complete list of Risk Strategies by Event Type.
Coordinator Qualities:
  1. To coordinate a trip, the coordinator must be recently experienced in that type of trip.
  2. To coordinate a trip which requires Elevated Risk Management, the coordinator must be vetted/approved for that Event+Difficulty. See the Risk Managment plan for each Event Type on our Difficulty Ratings page for more information. If you leave as a volunteer and then come back, any Elevated Risk event approvals that you have will have been deleted and you will have to work with the Volunteer Coordinator to get re-approved for the Event+Difficulty.
  1. A member (ie. non-volunteer) interested in coordinating a trip must contact Julie at
  2. Events that are technical or extreme in nature will be reviewed by the President for approval on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Events currently not accepted by COC unless run through an external organization are described in our FAQ on Scope.
  4. Coordinators must do a reasonable amount of research regarding the conditions and safety of the event they're planning. Some good resources can be found on our Links page.
  1. Members are required to provide the appropriate equipment for each trip.
  2. Bicycle safety: According to the City of Calgary Parks and Pathways Bylaw 20M2003, a horn, bell or other signaling device is required on bicycles using City of Calgary parks and pathways. More info at:
  3. First Aid Kit should be included as "recommended to bring" for any event that involves physical activity. This makes it clear to attendees that safety and first aid are EVERYONE's responsibility (not just the coordinator)
Hypothermia Avoidance and Management:
  1. It is recommended that coordinators doing events in the mountains and/or on the water have Wilderness First Aid
  2. It is recommended that coordinators doing an event in the mountains and/or on the water carry supplies related to hypothermia (per Wilderness First Aid training)
  3. It is recommended that coordinators doing an event in the mountains and/or on the water include under "recommended supplies":
    • Change of clothing in waterproof bag
    • High-energy snacks
    • Hot beverage
    • Hand and foot warmers
Water Safety:
  1. All attendees MUST wear PFDs on any/all water trips (ie. river floats).
  2. In the shoulder seasons there is an increased risk of hypothermia and/or death should your vessel capsize. Read info on hypothermia at
Winter/Avalanche Safety

COC has comprehensive winter safety considerations for all back country winter events.
You can find the policy here: Winter Safety Policy

Minimum Group Sizes

The minimum group size for any out-of-town event is 3, except for where Parks rules or other laws require more, in which case COC policy is to follow the legislated minimum. Maximum group size is not covered in this safety policy, but COC does have maximum group size policies in place for other reasons. This is covered in the Coordinator Commandments.

Group Management:

All events will strive to achieve good group management. This means that the coordinator will ensure the group does not become stretched too far apart such that group communication is lost. A couple of suggestions as to how to achieve good group management are:
  1. Stop and collect at every junction
  2. Stop and collect every 15 minutes
  3. Don't make assumptions about members' abilities, paces or whereabouts
  4. Confirm through fact
If a participant does not listen to the coordinator (e.g., charges ahead of the group and does not wait), the coordinator is encouraged to:
  1. Log a notation for the member through the Member Notations screen AND
  2. Report the behaviour so the participant can be dealt with by the President.
Turning Back:
  1. When a situation requires an attendee to turn back mid way through the trip, the attendee should not go back alone. The coordinator or any of the other attendee may volunteer for the return trip.
  2. The coordinator will try to get an experienced attendee to volunteer to go back with the person. Barring that, the coordinator will go back with them if it does not put the rest of the group in jeopardy.
In a situation involving conflict, the top priority must be the safety of all parties, including any offending members. Do whatever you can to minimize conflict (ie. rearrange carpools to separate the parties in conflict) but make the safety of all persons the number one consideration.

For more information, please contact our Safety/Equipment Coordinator,