Know Your Safety IQ Quiz

In youth-serving organizations, there are many opportunities to improve vulnerabilities to get ahead of security threats that affect children. Decades of research in the area of safety and security confirms that is small incidents go unchecked, they are likely to recur until they become a serious, perhaps life-ending, threat.

The questions in this ‘Know Your Safety IQ’ quiz by R. L. Nichols & Associates provide a sense of where your organization stands in protecting the safety and security of children.

Composite Scoring and Tracking over Time

The questions can be answered with four possible answers, valued as follows:

3 points for each “Yes” answer
2 points for each “Somewhat” answer
1 point for each “No” answer
0 points for each “Don’t Know” answer

Prioritizing Individual Answers

By examining each individual answer, we can identify individual risks. Each type of answer suggests something about your organization’s state of mind, for example:

  • “Yes” answers suggest that an organization has safe practices and is fully aware of the risks they face—even if they have never directly encountered the risks.
  • “Somewhat” answers suggest that the organization may be carrying out safe practices, but the organization is not certain how effective they are, or how well the practices are aligned to risks.
  • “No” answers suggest that the organization may not be aware of the risks, and may not even be aware of the weakness of their own practices.
  • “Don’t know” answers suggest that the organization is neither aware of the risks nor their practices.


  1. Do you review 100% of your organization’s safety policies annually, with the advice of legal counsel, verifying that your facilities, activities and practices comply with applicable laws, codes, regulations and established best practices?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. When your property is used by others, or when you use other’s property, does your organization use written agreements, defining each party’s responsibility to maintain a safe and secure setting?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Do you have a Safety Committee that meets at least twice a year to inspect facilities, evaluate activities and practices, and review accident and incident reports?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Our organization regularly and publicly recognizes and rewards staff and volunteers who provide new, innovative and practical ways to keep youth safe.
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Do you have a multi-year, “Safety Improvement Plan,” reviewed with your Board, to prioritize safety improvements?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. At each site can your staff maintain control and visibility of entries, exits and occupied rooms during the hours of operation?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Are your emergency response plans up to date, coordinated with local first responders, and adapted to the requirements of each site?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Do you have an “Organizational Crisis Communications Plan” that defines roles and responsibilities to lead and communicate in the event of a major crisis?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Does each site document guests entering and leaving, and if children are picked-up by an approved adult?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Does your organization perform background checks on 100% of staff and volunteers who are in direct and repetitive contact with children?
    1. Yes ____ Some____ c. No ____   d. Don’t Know____
  1. Do your background checks include, at a minimum: (a) a national criminal record search, (b) a national sex offender registry search and (c) a Social Security Name Verification?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Does your organization conduct annual motor vehicle record checks and drug tests on 100% of its drivers?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Do your drivers receive safety training, specific the type of vehicle they drive?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Our organization requires all drivers to complete a written safety checklist before beginning any trip and maintain an onboarding and off-boarding log of all children who are transported.
    1. Yes (3)___ b. Some (2)_____ c. No (1) _____ d. Don’t know (0) _______
  1. Are 100% of your staff, volunteers and youth instructed to follow a written code of conduct defining acceptable, unacceptable and prohibited behaviors?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Does your organization have policies addressing sexual abuse and bullying?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Do you orient 100% of your staff and volunteers trained to recognize, respond and report specific red flags for sexual abuse and bullying, prior to beginning employment or volunteer service?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Do you have a confidential means for anyone to report complaints, concerns about questionable behaviors or suspicions of child abuse, harm or endangerment?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Does your organization require 100% of staff and volunteers to complete an annual training on sexual abuse prevention, as required by your state?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____
  1. Does your organization have a policy that defines the appropriate and inappropriate uses of the organization’s technology, personal technology or the internet by staff, volunteers, youth or guests?
    1. Yes (3) ____ b. Some (2) ____ c. No (1) ____d. Don’t Know (0) ____

Scoring Total
Question 1                             ____

Question 2                             ____

Question 3                             ____

Question 4                             ____

Question 5                             ____

Question 6                             ____

Question 7                             ____

Question 8                             ____

Question 9                             ____

Question 10                          ____

Question 11                          ____

Question 12                          ____

Question 13                          ____

Question 14                          ____

Question 15                          ____

Question 16                          ____

Question 17                          ____

Question 18                        ____

Question 19                       ____

Question 20                       ____

TOTAL SCORE:               ______

What Your Safety IQ Scoring Suggests

60+               Your organization is already thinking strategically and probably gained some from this quiz.  Congratulations!

40 to 60          Your organization should be thinking more strategically and less tactically and reactively. You would benefit from a thorough Safety and Security  Document audit and analysis.

10 to 40          Your organization and its people are almost certainly at risk, depending on your mission and the number of youth in your programs and the number of staff and volunteers.  You would benefit from a comprehensive safety and security assessment.

R. L. Nichols & Associates uses these and other questions to gauge an organization’s awareness of key risks and threats and strategies used to reduce risk and increase safety. If you would like to talk directly with Les Nichols, President of R. L. Nichols & Associates, {click here] to request a free, 20-minute consultation.

Please print out this page to discover your safety IQ.

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