Instructor - Basic Training

Welcome to Branch Out.  

You have been selected based on your great experience, skills and potential.  The following course is not designed to teach you what you already know, rather to ensure that you have everything you need to be a successful member of the Branch Out community.  

Our course assumes that you have completed your First Aid training and will take no more than 1 hour to complete.  Let's get started!

Instructors Code

Re-order the following based on importance

Instructors are decision makers that guide and coach our customers through their outdoor experience.  You will have been selected based on your ‘can do’ attitude, approach to working and ability to make autonomous decisions.  The following guide has been developed to prepare you for the many activities that you will face at Branch Out and hopefully offer you some great skills that you can use in everyday life.    

Branch Out Instructors Code S.H.I.N.E.  

  • Safety 

  • Happiness

  • Inclusion

  • No problem is too great

  • Explore

  • Safety
  • Happiness
  • Inclusion
  • No Problem is Too Great
  • Explore

Safety & Risk

You have arrived on location with your colleague and kids, what is your first step?

What are the risks? (tick as many as you like)

  • Water hazards - oceans, rips, rocks, wildlife
  • Wildlife hazards -snake bites, insect bites
  • Losing a child
  • Slips and falls
  • Weather
  • Bush fire

How do you work with so many risks? (tick as many as you like)

  • Develop an awareness of the risks affecting you and your environment
  • Discuss ideas to overcome or avoid these risks with your colleagues
  • You can't - you have to do something else.
  • Raise awareness with the group about the risks
  • Develop a plan that mitigates these risks

Working with Children

Duty of care


It is a condition of employment that you pass and receive a Working with Children card.  As Instructors, we are also bound to a ‘duty of care’ for any customer engaged with Branch Out during an experience.  

Children are our most vulnerable customers and careful planning, decision making and ‘on the job’ actions must be taken to ensure that you remain true to your duty of care which is defined as “a moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety and well being of others.”

Our role in managing a “Duty of Care”

Our Duty of Care is to you and our Customers.  Branch Out will provide you with training, guidance, coaching and policy & procedure to help you make appropriate decisions.  We will also ensure a safe working environment and provide all necessary health and safety measures to assist you in your work.     

Your role in managing a “Duty of Care”

Your Duty of Care is to yourself, your colleagues and our customers.  You are acknowledging that you have received training and are accepting full responsibility for your actions placing direct accountability for a “duty of care” for customers associated with you.  Failure to abide by your ‘duty of care’ may result in immediate dismissal on the grounds of Gross Misconduct and any further legal repercussions should you fail your duty in the eyes of the law.  

What is your approach to managing poor behaviour? (tick as many as you like)

  • Shouting
  • Intervention
  • Seek to understand
  • Ignore it
  • Communicating your view on acceptable behaviour

A child seems uncomfortable and anxious, what is your approach? (tick as many as you like)

  • They need to toughen up
  • Ask their friends to help
  • Make time available to chat to the child and put them at ease
  • Find out the cause of their anxiety or discomfort
  • Ignore it, they will be fine

Working with Customers

We meet parents at the start and end of each day - how should you handle these conversations? (tick as many as you like)

  • Leave it to the Program Manager
  • Be polite, professional and proud
  • Provide some information about the day, what you did/ about to do, some funny stories
  • Be yourself

What would you do if a customer complains? (tick as many as you like)

  • Fetch or call the Program Manager
  • Listen to the complaint objectively without getting emotional
  • Argue with the customer if they are wrong
  • Inform the customer that you will make note of the complaint and that someone will be in touch within the next day
  • Take a deep breath and be proud of the work you have done.

Food Hygiene

Food Handling


There will be occasions when you are required to prepare, cook or serve food. Instructors are expected to comply with our Food Hygiene and Handling policy.  By signing your instructor guide, you are acknowledging that you have received, read and understood this policy.  When required, Branch Out will provide training in accordance with Australian standards and this policy to maintain high standards of food hygiene and safety.  

Personal hygiene

Good personal hygiene is essential to ensure that:

  • Food is not contaminated with food-poisoning bacteria or other matter such as foreign objects or chemicals

hands and other parts of the body do not transfer food-poisoning bacteria to food.

Personal hygiene practices include:

  • Hand washing - always wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water:

    • before handling food and after visiting the toilet

    • coughing or sneezing

    • handling garbage

    • touching hair or other body parts or any other activity that may carry bacteria to food

  • Personal cleanliness - when handling food:

  • tie long hair back or cover it with a cap or other approved headwear

  • wear limited jewellery

  • wear clean protective clothing over normal clothing

  • store personal items and spare clothes away from any areas involving food handling

Personal behaviour - do not smoke, chew gum or undertake any other unhygienic practice in food handling areas

Illness and injuries - all wounds or cuts on hands or arms are to be completely covered with brightly coloured wound strip or bandage. If the wound is on the hands, disposable gloves must be worn over the top of the wound strip. Both the wound strip and gloves must be changed at least hourly or sooner if there is a change in tasks. Individuals suffering from diseases that can be transmitted through food must not handle food.


What factors are harmful to the environment? (tick as many as you like)

  • Car emissions
  • People
  • Chemicals
  • Rubbish & trash
  • Noise

How can you influence our impact on the environment? (tick as many as you like)

  • Becoming aware of our impacts
  • Educating our customers
  • Assisting with the removal of rubbish and trash wherever we visit
  • Educating kids that it is important to keep noise to a minimum
  • Refrain from walking off track
  • Making yourself aware of the local flora and fauna in the area

First People Culture

Update 2017

First People

We are about to develop a learning pathway for our instructors and customers into understanding the cultural values and beliefs of the first people of Australia.  Please be aware that this is happening and if you have any questions, please email [email protected]