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Adventure Activities Regulations

Responsibilities for Schools

The Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016 articulate requirements for the commercial adventure operators for which they are intended. However, the regulations, previously referred to as the Adventure Activities Regulations (2011) have implications for schools.

6 Key Messages for Schools  




Schools should know whether the activities they undertake are likely to be classified as an adventure activity under the regulations. This is regardless of whether external providers or contractors are involved.
Schools MUST only use registered adventure activity operators if utilising the contracted expertise of a provider delivering those activities. 

⟹   What is an Adventure Activity?


Schools are exempt from the regulations unless providing activities to non-students.
⟹   Information for schools (Worksafe NZ) 


The Ministry of Education EOTC Guidelines, Bringing the Curriculum Alive sets the framework for safe operating procedures for all school programmes.

Activities that are also covered by the regulations are likely to be held up against an auditable standard that will quickly define "best practice" and "practicable steps". See Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs)


Schools should be using registered providers to deliver on activities beyond the scope of the school if the activity is an adventure activity defined by the legislation.
⟹   Check the Register of activity operators.


If a school is offering an adventure activity a contractor can provide services to that school without being registered as long as that contractor is not providing the activity himself or herself.  If a contractor provides the school with an activity (as opposed to just expertise), they need to be a registered provider.
⟹   Information for contractors and organisations using contractors  (Worksafe NZ) 

See examples of when and when not a contractor should be registered when providing activities to a school at Worksafe NZ. Go to example D and E at bottom of the page. 


In contracting or hiring instructors to support delivery of a programme or activity, schools should follow best practice, such as hiring to match the scope of the activity and ensuring the instructor holds a recognised New Zealand qualification that is current.
⟹   To find an instructor go to:

The New Zealand Register of Recreation Providers (NZRRP), or

The New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association NZOIA)

Other links  A dedicated website for operators of adventure activities providing information and updates for operators of adventure activities.

 Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs) Voluntary guidelines that reflect industry good practice for managing safety and are considered a reliable source of good practice information.

Abseiling          All Terrain Vehicles          Alpine Hiking

Canyoning       Caving          Climbing on Artificial Structures

Coasteering          Heli-Skiing          High Wire and Swing        Dive  

Note: The Adventure Activity regulations came into effect before the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Worksafe NZ is currently updating its documentation to reflect positioning in the new act.

Documents will come on stream and any changes will be notified.
The current Guidance for Operators is such an example. 

Findings of the WorkSafe independent performance review of the Adventure Activity Certification Scheme (December 2016).  Click here



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