Meet the Auditor: David Mangnall

David is one of OutdoorsMark’s auditors with scope to audit all activities covered by the Adventure Activities Regulations. He is also a technical expert in sea kayaking, ropes courses and zip lines, and he does some roving assessment and staff training as well. David has always been drawn to working in the outdoors but it was during his early career in education that he saw the immense potential of the outdoors as a space for learning. After getting his degree in recreation management from Lincoln University, he became an outdoor education teacher.

This led to a varied career with a range of outdoor organisations including OPC and Outward Bound, the latter of which he worked at for a total of about 13 years, in a few stints.

These days, David lives in Nelson with his wife and 12-year-old daughter. They make the most of the famously sunny weather and get out mountain biking and orienteering together, and in the winter they go skiing.

“Those are quite good activities to do as a family,” says David. “You are doing your own thing to an extent, but you’re together.”

After many years spent working with young people in the outdoors, David saw auditing as a natural progression.

“It’s a privilege to get a real inside look at people’s businesses. I always feel you’re not there to be a policeman, you’re there to help people with their business. So I’m always looking for ways I can bring in something new, a different perspective on things.

“Prior to this auditing role, I was the operations manager at an outdoor organisation, and there I was responsible for getting the organisation through two OutdoorsMark audits – one under the old ONZ umbrella, and the other when it changed hands to Skills Active.”

Having been in the “hot-seat” himself, David says he has a lot of empathy for operators.

“With all of this compliance stuff, of course we need to make sure they are doing things right. But rather than putting barriers in their way we are there to help them get it right.”

Matt Phillips