Risk Assessing Your Event

Not sure how to risk assess your event? We've got you covered!

Not sure how to risk assess your event? We've got you covered!

*Risk assessment templates can be found here*

Everyone performs risk assessments daily without even thinking about it. When you cross the road, you look both ways before you cross the street to prevent you from being hit by a car, thereby assessing the risks involved. This is the same with your events. Identify what could cause harm, identify how to prevent this from happening and then act upon it. We have to do risk assessments for events by law. Completing, reading and adhering to a risk assessment is what covers your student group on insurance and proves that you have shown due diligence in protecting the attendees at your event. 

Difference between Hazard and Risk

  • A hazard is something that can cause harm
  •  A risk is the chance, high or low, that any hazard will cause somebody harm

So, when completing your risk assessment you are looking to identify the hazards and assess the risks posed. If this risk is not acceptable, then you need to identify ways to manage this risk to reduce it to a level which can be considered acceptable i.e. low.

Writing your Risk Assessment

We provide you with a basic template to help you assess the risk of the hazards your events pose. If you would like help writing your risk assessment drop an email to the Activities Team.

All events must be covered by a risk assessment unless your event falls under one of the following:

  • Students using their own cars 
  • Meetings on campus (without food or drink) 
  • Forum stalls (without food or drink) 
  • Social events entirely in the Ram, Lemon Grove or Grove Diner, where the venue provides food and drink 
  • Social events taking place in one venue only, where the venue provides the food and drink and closes by 10:30pm 


What should I include?

Whilst in the planning stages of your event it is important to think about what you need to do to keep your event safe. This is especially important if those safety precautions will impact upon your budget. 

As a starting point you may want to consider: 

  • Will the event involve large amounts of alcohol? (Security and First Aid) 
  • Will the event take place in a licensed premise where security is a condition of the license? 
  • Does the event have the public present, including children? (First Aid) 
  • Is the event featuring any contentious speakers? (Security) 
  • Are you expecting lots of people at an event with multiple areas? (Marshals) 

Other core elements to consider are: 

  • Will the event involve alcohol? 
  • Will my society be providing or selling food? 
  • Will it involve walking between venues? 
  • Will there be a risk of trips and falls? 
  • Will it involve some form of transport? 
  • Will it involve overnight accommodation? 
  • Will there be any external speakers? 
  • Have you considered the venue? What fire precautions do they have in place? 
  • Will there be manual handling? 
  • Will a power source be used? 
  • Will there be a theme? 
  • Is there a financial risk? 

It is important to answer these questions before completing your risk assessment so that you have identified the elements required which pose a risk that needs to be mitigated.


University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ