Learning to survive, thrive and save lives

Safety Management System

YSAR Safety Management

This section gives an overview of YSAR Trust and the YSAR Safety Management commitment

YSAR Trust

Youth Search and Rescue New Zealand (YSAR Trust) is a National Search and Rescue and Emergency Management training provider commonly referred to as YSAR. YSAR is are a curriculum-based teaching and learning organisation that provides activities that go beyond the walls of the classroom, including exercises in remote locations.

The Youth Search and Rescue Tauranga programme (established in 2009) was developed to provide youth with safe and enjoyable training over a period of three years. The programme was initially started to address the ageing population of the community volunteers aligned to the Search and Rescue (SAR) and Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) sectors. In 2009/2010 New Zealand SAR secretariat released research suggesting that 67% of all Search and Rescue volunteers were male and over the age of 40. It was clear that the emergency response sectors were entering a period where there was an increase in the number of volunteers unsuitable for field deployment and that this would continue to a point of crisis from 2020 and beyond unless this was addressed at a strategic level. Since its inception, YSAR has gained significant interest and community support by providing SAR and CDEM training to youth. In 2018 YSAR was started in Auckland and plans are to scale the organisation into 22 branches across NZ by 2028.

YSAR Safety Management System – Our commitment to safety

The YSAR Safety Management System (SMS) is designed to support the safe operation of activities within YSAR. The structure of the SMS is based on the “Safety Audit Standard for Adventure Activities” developed by Worksafe in March 2017. The YSAR Safety Management System is the property of YSAR New Zealand. YSAR are committed to providing a safe learning environment for students and a safe work environment for volunteers and staff. YSAR Trust recognises the organisation’s responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 as a PCBU. Although YSAR does not fit into the Adventure Activities Framework “deliberately exposed to dangerous terrain or dangerous waters” under Worksafe NZ, we do take SMS seriously and therefore are measuring against the Adventure Activities Safety Audit Standard. P

SMS Scope

In scope

A YSAR activity is deemed to be a formal activity run by YSAR at all Levels. An exercise is a weekend or multiday event. 

YSAR events include all:

  • Classroom activities
  • Field trips
  • YSAR day exercises
  • YSAR overnight and multiday exercises
  • STEM Conferences
  • Partner Conferences and Projects
  • Overseas travel representing YSAR

The SMS also covers the following ancillary services:

  • Transport of students, volunteers, and staff to and from exercises and activities

Out of scope

Private events run by students, parents or outside agencies that are not official YSAR activities. 


Experiences outside the classroom reinforce learning by enabling students to make connections between what they have learnt in the classroom and the world beyond the classroom.  YSAR experiences give students opportunities to demonstrate the essential knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and key competencies identified in the YSAR and National education curriculum.

The YSAR programme trains youth to participate in SAR operations and respond to emergency events, and aims to provide:

  • opportunities beyond the classroom to support learning in all areas of the curriculum
  • opportunities for students to discover, enjoy, learn and develop in outdoor, leisure and recreational contexts
  • safe learning experiences across a variety of contexts and environments

YSAR recognises the potential benefits to staff and students through experiencing acceptable risks. The YSAR programme aims to strike the right balance, so real risks are constantly and consistently managed and learning opportunities are experienced to the full.


Within YSAR we promote a culture where all members are responsible for identifying risk and managing a safe working and adventure environment. As officers of the YSAR Trust, the Board and senior management take steps to:

  • gain an understanding of the activities
  • gain a general understanding of the hazards and risks associated with the activities
  • ensure that the operation has available the appropriate resources to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve the SMS, and verify the provision and use of those resources
  • approve the operator’s safety management policy

YSAR leadership are committed to:

  • the compliance of the YSAR safety management policies
  • ensure that the importance of effective safety management, and of conforming to the SMS, is communicated to volunteers, staff, participants, contractors and relevant other parties
  • require and review regular reports on safety performance to the Board
  • ensure that operations comply with health and safety legislation and that the SMS achieves its intended goals and objectives
  • Maintain an audit calendar aligned to the Adventure Activities framework. 


The key components of the Safety Management System are:

Controlled and Published Document Libraries

Printable copies of relevant information are kept in TEAMS environment backed up in SharePoint folders All Organisation Business Unity and are available during YSAR activities and events. Confidential information is kept in secure SharePoint folders of the SMS  Legal Risk Business Unity that are available during YSAR activities and events.

Sections of the SMS can be accessed from this YSAR Hub SMS home page.

SMS documents are created and maintained in the Controlled Documents Library. This library controls, versioning, review, and approval of documents. Once Approved, documents are published as PDF documents (or usable templates for Forms) into the Published Documents Library.

The documents that make up the YSAR Safety Management System can be found in the Published Documents Library.

YSAR HUB – Safety Management System SharePoint 

The SMS lives inside the YSAR Hub SharePoint site. This is a format that can be consumed by users of the SMS on a number of different devices, making it accessible to all members of the organisation. Hyperlinks to the documents held in the Published Documents Library are provided in the context in which they are consumed, keeping access easy and simple for users. Transparent feedback is available at all levels through SMS reporting mechanisms on the YSAR website forms page SAFETY MANAGEMENT FORMS

The SMS SharePoint site is organised according to the sections of the Safety Audit Standard, with links to relevant information contained on dedicated pages for each area.

Other SharePoint sites and pages, and other systems used by members of the organisation (for example Canvas LMS), have hyperlinks to relevant content inside the YSAR SMS. Some links in the SMS refer to information on our website www.ysar.orgUB

negative behaviour incident

Follow this link to report a negative behavioural incident which has happened to you or that you have witnessed happening to someone else. Your report will remain confidential.


YSAR promotes a transparent and safe operational environment. It is important to report all incidents and near  misses. Follow this link to report an incident or near miss incident which has occurred on a YSAR activity. Your report will be followed up by a YSAR instructor.

Thank you for choosing to donate to YSAR

YSAR is classified as a Donor Organisation and your donations are tax deductible – please make contact for further information