Good Practice

Good practice refers to what is currently accepted by the sector and regulators as meeting your legal responsibilities to manage risk. You must operate at good practice or better to meet your legal responsibilities.

Ideally, good practice is recorded. The Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs) and Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs) are the usual go-to. Other ways good practice is indicated include codes of conduct, professional association guidelines, and qualification syllabuses.

Finding reliable information

Knowing where to find and how to identify reliable good practice information is critical. It’ll often involve using a combination of technical advice and written resources.

Sometimes there aren’t reliable good-practice documents and, given technical advisors’ knowledge and skills, good practice may reside with them.

Technical advisors

Every provider must have access to sufficient technical knowledge specific to the activities they provide to make good safety decisions. People who fulfill this role are called technical advisors. They may be on staff or be contracted to give advice, particularly on policies, procedures, hazards, risks, and planning reviews.

Note: Technical advisors must have a high level of competence and will usually hold a high-level qualification in the activity. They must understand current good practice and have knowledge and skills sufficient to advise a provider.

Written resources

The sector and government develop a range of written resources to support good practice, including guidelines, codes of practice, and standards.

Download this guide to good practice sources listed by activity. The guide is developed by WorkSafe and will be updated from time to time. Contact us with suggestions for additions to the table.

When deciding how much to rely on a document, ask the following:

• Is it linked to a regulatory requirement?
• Is it informed by experts?
• Is it current?
• Do the majority of providers consider the document represents good practice?
• Does it cover all relevant topic areas? If it doesn’t, access other documents to fill the gaps.

There are many activity organisations, some of which have safety-guidance material. While the quality may vary, this information may be helpful. Consider the criteria above when considering how much to rely on the information.

Good practice information for adventure activities

The information in this document is split into two tables: Table 1 for activities with Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs) and Table 2 for activities without ASGs.

Table 1 - Activities with ASGs:

Adventure Activity Activity Safety Guideline Information from regulators
  • Abseiling
  • Bridge swinging
  • Canyon swinging
  • Via ferrata
  • Canyoning
  • Caving
  • Coasteering
  • Heli-skiing
  • High ropes course
  • High wire course
  • Zipline (flying fox)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Off-road vehicle driving
  • Quad biking
  • Trail biking
  • Scuba diving
  • Trekking (including alpine hiking & heli-hiking)

Table 2 - Activities without ASGs:

Adventure Activity Information from regulators Information that could inform good practice

Activities at height

  • Cliff rescue
  • Crate stacking
  • Rock climbing (including bouldering and artificial structures outside)
  • Tree climbing
  • Tyrolean traverse



  • Bungy jumping


Ancillary services

  • Driving


Diving activities

  • Free diving
  • Snorkelling

Mountain activities

  • Glacier hiking
  • Ice climbing 
  • Mountaineering
  • Snow-shelter building
  • Snow shoeing

Open-water activities

  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Swimming
  • Waka ama

Whitewater activities

  • Canoeing (including inflatables and waka)
  • Cliff/rock jumping
  • Kayaking (including inflatables and sit-ons)
  • Pack rafting
  • River boarding
  • River bugging
  • River rescue
  • River swimming
  • Stand-up paddle boarding 
  • Tube rafting

Wind activities

  • Kite sports (including kiteboarding and snow kiting)
  • Windsurfing


Good practice guidelines for non-adventure activities

Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs) are for organised outdoor activities that aren’t currently covered by the Adventure Activities Regulations or the associated Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs).

They are primarily designed for youth organisations, recreational clubs, schools, outdoor centres, and commercial adventure operators, and can be used by part-time and volunteer outdoor educators or instructors to help plan an activity. GPGs are particularly useful for programme managers who want to align their procedures and systems with good practice.

General guidance for organised outdoor activities

General Guidance for Organised Outdoor Activities covers all activity types and gives an overview of common safety considerations.

Overarching risk management guidance

Overarching Risk Management Guidance (v2) shows how the risk ratings for each GPG and activity planning template were created.

Use it alongside the safety management system information to guide the development of your safety system and to ensure you understand how the GPGs and activity planning templates should be used.

Driving - guidelines and checklists

Driving Good Practice Guideline (v1) provides guidance for driving to and from activities, as well as checklists for before, during, and after a trip.

Emergency communication

Emergency communication for remote activity providers


Activity Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs) and Activity Planning Templates

These documents are designed to be used together.

Activity Good Practice Guidelines give an overview of safety considerations for specific outdoor activities or sets of activities while activity planning templates are an editable document that can be used to create an activity safety plan. 

Activity good practice guidelines development

Good practice guidelines are developed and reviewed as a collaborative effort led by Recreation Aotearoa and Education Outdoors NZ with help from the following working groups:

Generic guidelines and overnight camping
David Mangnall, Fiona McDonald, Mark Smith, Rob MacLean

Overarching risk management
David Mangnall, Fiona McDonald, Mark Smith, Rob MacLean, Alex Warriner

Mark Smith (facilitator), Stu Allan, Adventure Specialties, St John of God Hauora, Outward Bound New Zealand

Mark Smith, Liz Penman

Archery and target shooting
David Mangnall (facilitator), Gus Johannes, Alex Warriner, Philip Seed, Manu Schijf, Jonathon Hall

Beach and surf activities
Mark Smith (facilitator), Ross Merrett- Surf Life Saving New Zealand

Camp fire cooking and fires
Mark Smith, Alex Warriner, Judith Bright, James Bruce

Environmental service
Jen Riley (facilitator), Matt Stanford, Lou Drage, Dave Sharp, Celia Hogan, Shannon Corkill, Rosie Joyce

David Mangnall (facilitator), Liz Thevenard, Joolz Mathews

Inland waterway swimming
David Mangnall (facilitator), Liz Thevenard, Joolz Matthews, Nathan Watson, Lynley Steward

Low ropes and confidence courses
Liz Penman, Mark Smith

Map-based activities
David Mangnall (facilitator), Jean Cory-Wright, Russell Higham

Non-technical caving
Jen Riley (facilitator), Angus Stubbs, Keiran McKay, Hillary McDonald, Keiran Chandler, Richard Kersell, Kate Parr, Steven Gread

River activity
David Mangnall (facilitator), Liz Thevenard, Joolz Mathews, Nathan Watson, Lynley Stewart

Sliding activities
David Mangnall (facilitator), Gus Johannes, Alex Warriner, Philip Seed, Debbie Wanhill, Manu Schijf, Jonathan Hall

Liz Penman (facilitator), Samara Nicholas, Manu Schijf, Tim Wills, Yuin Khai Foong

David Mangnall and Bevan Smith


Initial project funding was provided by Education Outdoors New Zealand, Recreation Aotearoa, Sport New Zealand, Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust, Girls Brigade New Zealand, Scouts New Zealand and Christian Camping New Zealand. Ongoing development is funded by Education Outdoors New Zealand and Recreation Aotearoa.