Adventure Activities

If operators offer adventure activities that come within the scope of the Adventure Activities Regulations, they must pass a safety audit to be registered. OutdoorsMark Adventure Activities certification enables an operation to be registered, and thus conform to the regulations. This category only covers the activities listed in the Adventure Activity Regulations. Any other activities offered by the operator, that are not covered by the regulations, will not be audited.


Adventure Activities Premium

Operators who offer regulated adventure activities, as well as other activities, may want to have their whole operation included in the OutdoorsMark audit.

SMS Document Review

If operators offer activities on public conservation land, they need to obtain a concession from the Department of Conservation. OutdoorsMark Document Review certification is proof of an independently audited safety plan and meets the requirements of the Department of Conservation's concession process.

Education Outside the Classroom

This audit category is based on the requirements for schools contained in the HSWA and the recently revised EOTC Guidelines, Bringing the Curriculum Alive 2016. To determine if the safety management system for your EOTC programme meets these obligations, the OutdoorsMark EOTC audit can provide confirmation of compliance, and/or specific feedback on areas needing further attention.

All Categories of the OutdoorsMark audit are rigorous

For AA and Premium audits, operators must undertake a self-assessment and provide audit evidence for a document review, followed by an onsite evaluation. The document review assesses the operator’s safety management system; the onsite evaluation assesses the implementation of the safety management system in the field. An activity systems check and implementation evaluation also needs to be undertaken by a technical expert/s (for AA audits) and auditor (for Premium audits). 

For SMS DR audits, operators must undertake a self-assessment and provide audit evidence for a document review only (offsite). 

All categories satisfy Department of Conservation concession requirements.

Certification and registration

This is a reasonably straightforward procedure.

  • Follow the link and get in touch. We need to be sure you have the right product for your operation. We would advise you check with WorkSafe as the regulator, to confirm whether your activities are in or out of scope, and to register for your AAO number.

The beginning

  • Complete our Operator profile – we will generate your estimate, agree the audit pathway, exchange contracts. The audit process starts with the auditor being engaged and reviewing your documents.

The middle

  • For AA regulated audits and our Premium audit, the auditor will come to your site to make the correlation of theory into practice. This process will be assisted by a technical expert(s) if appropriate. A comprehensive summary will be provided prior to the auditor's departure, so you know exactly where you are at and what, if anything, needs to be done, and by when.

The end

  • Your report and audit log are moderated here at OutdoorsMark and your audit certified. It is then forwarded to the regulator to be registered. Any conditions or surveillance requirements identified will all be explained to you by your auditor at your final debrief.

The in-between years

  • The certification scheme requires us to keep in contact with you on a yearly basis on the audit anniversary. This can be onsite, but is predominantly an off–site declaration of conformity, which we assign to your original auditor.

Changing your scope

  • If you choose to add a new activity to your scope that falls under the AA regulations, this is called a scope extension and is a simple affair. If you wish to add a new venue for an existing activity already in your scope, this is a location extension and again is a simple process.

Customer commitment

  • OutdoorsMark strives to maintain and develop a strong connection with the outdoor sector. Its staffing profile draws from leading practitioners from across the sector. These are either previous or current operators, who have a passion for promoting good practice in New Zealand’s outdoor sector.

Complaints and appeals

  • Your relationship with the auditor and with Outdoorsmark in designed to enable dialogue to take place to defuse such an occasion; however there is a mechanism for you to disagree or make a formal complaint. This is done via the Outdoorsmark complaint form and follows a structured complaints process.

Tips for a successful recertification

When recertification is looming, here are some tips from the auditors that will assist you to be as prepared as possible. Being prepared will help keep time and costs down.

  1. Start planning now! Read through your original audit report and check you have the evidence required. Take note of any suggestions included in the report from your auditor as these may be helpful in preparing.
  2. Make sure you and your staff are familiar with your SMS and are implementing it correctly. It’s important that staff know the timeframes and processes included in the SMS.
  3. There have been changes to the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016. Your SMS will need to reflect these changes, and you will also need to show implementation. The sooner you have updated your SMS, the more evidence you will have of “implementation”.
  4. Check your budget. We know this is a large expense, so make sure you have allocated funding. If you are concerned about the cost let us know; we are able to make arrangements for staggered payments if necessary.
  5. Be realistic about the time this will take to prepare. This is no small undertaking and it will take time to get everything ready. Start by allocating time in your staff meetings or office time to review the SMS, and preparing the evidence that demonstrates your safety systems.
  6. If your operation has changed over the 3 years since your initial audit, check to see if your activities are now covered under the regulations. Calling WorkSafe (0800 030 040) can help clarify what is covered.
  7. Schedule in any technical advisor sessions, both internally with reviews, and externally with staff training, competency and scenario training.
  8. Schedule any external maintenance checks. This could be engineer’s reports for instance, or an arborist for tree-based activities.
  9. You will be contacted by OutdoorsMark during the development of the estimates for your audit. Take the time to talk us through your operation and ask any questions you have. This is when we determine the most compatible audit staff for your operation, so it’s important we know as much as possible about you.