Skip to main content

Risk Management Steps for Faculty

Faculty need to think through risk, then take measures to keep everyone safe. SL staff can help faculty navigate these topics and the steps below.

1. Include risk management language in your syllabus

The Boise State Office of Risk Management recommends faculty include the following text on their syllabi, especially if faculty are asking students to participate in SL experiences off-campus.

Risk and safety

“Service-learning involves risk. However, participants can work together to manage risk and promote safe, minimal risk environments. Please review the safety tips at this link:”

“In case of injury, students are covered under worker’s compensation, which is subject to a favorable review from the insurance agency. If they deviate from the scope of the work listed here, they will not be covered by worker’s compensation. If students drive their own motor vehicle for transportation to, during, or from the program site, they are responsible for their own acts and for the safety and security of their own vehicle, and the liability of themselves and their passengers. Students’ personal automobile insurance coverage is the primary coverage on their personal vehicle, and the University’s automobile insurance does not provide coverage of personal automobiles.”

2. Discuss safety and risk with community partners (CPs):

  • Will students ever work unsupervised with clients? If so, what safety measures are (or could be) in place to protect clients and students?
  • Outline the specific risks involved in this placement.  Are there any risks to the students, clients, community partners, or others?  Are there ways to minimize those risks
  • What role will each person (CP/faculty) play in providing safety information, e.g., discuss in class and/or at CP orientation?
  • Note: If students are doing direct service (direct client contact, physical labor, or onsite administrative work), the faculty member should ask if the CP has “liability and worker’s compensation insurance covering volunteers” (verbal is good enough)

3. Provide guidance if students are designing their own project:

  • Set clear project parameters
  • Review and approve projects, considering potential risks (see above); you should always know what students are doing
  • Communicate with the CP where students are serving to clarify project scope and risk.
    Note: If students are doing direct service (direct client contact, physical labor, or onsite administrative work), faculty member should ask if the CP has “liability and worker’s compensation insurance covering volunteers” (verbal is good enough)
  • Follow-up with students, especially as they begin
  • Check-in with students at regular intervals
  • Be actively involved in helping students resolve any concerns

4. Discuss safety and risk with students:

  • Discuss safety tips. Add specifics based on the specific partnership and project (see below).
  • Take time to explain potential risks to students, including telling them about liability while driving or if injured at the site and whether insurance covers/does not cover them (see language far above).
  • Clarify how students should report problems or injuries (see Risk Management FAQs)


Faculty can contact the Office of Risk Management with any questions or to report an incident. Please contact Risk Manager, Kip McBean, at 208-426-3636 or Assistant Risk Manager, Kristi Murphy, at 208-426-5955.

(Content on this page was reviewed and approved by Kip McBean, Boise State Office of Risk Management & Insurance, Oct. 2019)