We provide this information to help businesses involved with adventure activities understand and meet their duties relating to the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016 (the Regulations).

This guidance has been developed to ensure that PCBUs fully understand the regulations and how they apply to activities they are involved with.

Guidance for PCBUs involved with adventure activities

The topics below provide clarification around WorkSafe New Zealand interpretations of the regulations, to help PCBUs that are associated with an adventure activity (but not necessarily a provider or operator) to understand their duties relating to the regulations.

Operator responsibility

It is the responsibility of operators to correctly identify whether they are subject to the regulations and, if so, to ensure they are audited and registered.

If you are unsure whether your operation is subject to the regulations you can:

  • Have a look at our operator decision tree
Adventure Activities decision tree (PDF 42 KB)

What are the key steps for an operator to become registered?

The process includes preparing paperwork that details their safety management system and operating procedures, then working with a recognised auditor who checks that paperwork and follows it up with an onsite field-audit.

The audits can take at least eight weeks to go through all the stages and they do come at a cost to operators, but the costs being quoted by auditors are typical for businesses in high risk industries that need regulatory safety audits, and where audit providers take on a high level of liability in making their decisions about safety.

Once an operator passes this audit, they are considered by the WorkSafe Registrar before becoming registered.

In short, the key steps are:

  1. Operator implements and documents their safety management system
  2. Operator engages an audit provider
  3. Operator passes a safety audit and obtains a safety audit certificate
  4. Audit body provides the certificate to WorkSafe 
  5. Registrar makes a decision based on the criteria in Regulation 7
  6. Registrar registers operator and updates the public register
    Registrar declines to register operator after providing operator with an opportunity to be heard.

Preparing your safety management plan

A template Safety Management Plan has been developed to help operators prepare for audit.

The template provides guidance on the level of documentation needed to pass a safety audit and is designed to help operators put together an appropriate Safety Management Plan.

Operators are welcome to use the template and tailor it to their business. You may use some elements of the template, or choose not to use it at all.

The template and guidance are available on the SupportAdventure website(external link)

Guidance is also available on the SupportAdventure website(external link) on how to meet the requirements of the Audit Standard about managing drug- and alcohol-related risks. 

Contacting an audit provider

Operators are free to choose their audit provider from the range of recognised providers listed below.

Qualworx(external link)

Dave Watkinson
P: 021 599 740
E: dave@qualworx.nz

AdventureMark(external link)

Mike Pennefather
P: +64 21 2929 090
E: mike@adventuremark.co.nz

Further information for operators

Operators are invited to email us on aao@worksafe.govt.nz with any questions.

  • Subscribe to adventure activities updates

Other WorkSafe resources 

Other websites:
SupportAdventure(external link) 
(Adventure tourism and outdoor commercial sector website)