ASPA Strategic Plan


The Australian Ski Patrol Association (ASPA) is the Australian ski safety body made up of some 15 Ski Patrols representing a total membership of 650 patrollers.  ASPA is the peak industry body for alpine safety.  Member patrols are situated at all major resorts within the three States having alpine areas, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

Ski patrolling had developed and been in existence for over 20 years when the ASPA was formed in 1972 to co-ordinate rescue activities and represent ski patrols .  The inaugural President, George Freuden helped to develop ASPA as a federal forum for sharing information and setting the standards for Ski Patrolling including first aid theory and practice and acceptable practical procedures.

Patrols are made up of full-time and volunteer patrollers and include both alpine and cross country disciplines.  They are led by independent patrol presidents and patrol directors and managed by either their local resort area management, independent committee or State government department.

ASPA’s funding sources are member patrol subscriptions, Commonwealth Government grants, revenue from its Registered Training Organisation (RTO).


ASPA aims to:

  • Provide uniform training across Australia to meet the needs of all Patrollers.
  • Be the sole provider of training for Ski Patrollers across Australia.
  • Support volunteers
  • Support public safety education.


  • Accountability – We are accountable for our decisions and our performance
  • Community service – Our people have a strong commitment to the communities we service and alpine safety
  • Diversity – We recognise the value and the inclusion of people from a wide variety of backgrounds in everything we do and foster an environment where people feel safe from harassment and discrimination
  • Integrity – We act ethically, honesty, impartially and in the best interest of our members and the community
  • Learning – We value creativity, innovation, flexibility and continual improvement in the pursuit of excellence
  • Safety – We encourage a workplace culture that has safety as an absolute priority
  • Sustainability – We are efficient in our use of resources and encourage others to use our natural resources with a view to maintaining them for future generations
  • Teamwork – We encourage a work environment based responsible leadership, teamwork, mutual support, common purpose, trust, and respect for the history and cultures of community safety and volunteer services


To promote safety and injury prevention and provide the highest possible standards of education, certification and delivery in first aid and rescue services.

Mission Statement Expansion

  • To be an independent and representative body for ski patrols, willing to provide advice and assistance to all patrollers.
  • To provide a robust training system to support quality alpine rescue services and Ski Patrols.
  • To promote public alpine awareness training.
  • To promote the sharing of knowledge and information amongst the member patrols and ski patrollers in Australia and internationally.
  • To provide an effective voice for member patrols and ski patrollers in Australia and to do so effectively by liaising with the resort management, government departments and industry in identifying and developing strategic directions for the provision of emergency alpine rescue services in Australia.

Strategic Areas of Focus

  • Stability and Sustainability – Promote sustainability and growth potential for the ASPA through maintaining a solid financial position.
  • Volunteerism – Encourage maintenance and expansion of a strong volunteer base committed to excellence.
  • Industry Leader – Continue to be the recognised certification body for the training of Ski Patrollers in Australia.
  • Public Alpine Safety – Expand our public safety message using Snowsafe and other trademarks to the larger outdoor sport and recreation industry.
  • Influence and Advocacy – Become a recognized resource for information in the creation of public safety and first aid as they relate to the alpine sport and recreation industry.


The Australian Ski Patrol Association Inc (ASPA) is a voluntary organisation with the following objectives:-

  • To serve the public without fee or charge in the rescue and first aid treatment of injured skiers / boarders and other visitors to alpine areas;
  • To serve the public by promoting awareness of the need for high standards of safety in Australian alpine areas including production and distribution of safety literature and media;
  • To serve the public by establishing and promoting alpine management and recreational safety standards in Australian alpine areas;
  • To serve the public by establishing and maintaining uniform first aid training and assessment courses for and on behalf of its members;


The membership of ASPA is a collection of the fourteen Ski patrol organisations across three states within Australia.

We are at all times looking to recognise additional affiliate members, other organisations with whom we have regular operational contact or similar objectives.

The member patrols represent over 650 individual ski patrollers.   In recent years up to 12,000 incidents have been attended annually by ski patrollers.

Strategic Plan Premise / Resourcing Constraints

ASPA is currently administered by volunteers with the exception of a part-time book-keeper/accountant who has been engaged to assist with the management of the finances of the organisation.  Accordingly, the strategic plan and subordinate business plans have been constructed to reflect the objectives of the organisation under its constitution, keeping in mind that it is a not-for-profit organisation.

The objectives of the Association could be realised more quickly with increased resources.  This would require either corporate sponsorship or some other revenue funding methods to allow the development of these objectives.

The strategic objectives will generally be delivered by the use of volunteers with the support, as needed, of part-time paid support services.

Five Year Theme

To effectively make a difference, ASPA will proactively and assertively market the professional, high quality standards and service quality delivered by ASPA.


The principal source of funding is by way of an agreement between the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Association.  That funding primarily supports rescue equipment for volunteers, contractor expenses, Registered Training Organisation compliance costs, committee expenses, insurance, communication costs (including phone cost reimbursement), internet and website, safety advertising and brochure printing, and travel to represent volunteers.


The Australian Ski Patrol Association is managed by an Executive with a voting committee and non-voting sub-committees.  No elected positions are paid. All executive positions are volunteers.

Objective 1: To serve the public without fee or charge in the rescue and first-aid treatment of injured skiers and other visitors to alpine areas:


Assist member patrols to equip themselves with state-of-the-art specialised trauma/alpine rescue equipment to provide the highest standard of care to injured skiers and other visitors to alpine areas and/or to modernise existing inventory of specialised rescue equipment.

Assist member patrols in ensuring adequate recruiting and training of new ski patrollers commensurate with the demand for patrolling services.

Assist member patrols in developing training programs to bring other patrolling rescue techniques to at least an equivalent standard as that currently provided by downhill patrollers.


Subsidise member patrols based on need to purchase rescue equipment.

Assist Tasmanian patrols to become more self-sufficient by equipping them with required training equipment rather than having to utilise equipment from Victoria & New South Wales

Make information on applying to become a ski patroller available through the ASPA website and encourage the provision of detailed recruitment information on all member patrols websites.

Encourage all member patrols to share Alpine Rescue techniques.

Objective 2: To serve the public by promoting awareness of the need for high standards of safety in Australian alpine areas including production and distribution of safety literature and media:


Educate the general public about alpine safety.

Educate children concerning the alpine safety/skiers responsibility code and snow safety in general.

Increase community and political awareness of ASPA initiatives and purposes.

Reduce or prevent the incidence of common injuries.


Continue to develop and regularly update the ASPA internet home page to enable ready access for the general public so that they can obtain alpine safety information.

Create hyperlinks on the ASPA webpages to link to relevant associated pages to broaden potential distribution of alpine safety multimedia education.

Widen the distribution of the Snowsafe messages and programs; or similar programs through national advertising and ASPA’s association with the ski resorts.

Initiate public relations campaigns to educate participants of alpine sports about the personal and public service value of becoming a ski patroller.

Ensure Snowsafe material is updated and integrated into a nationally focused alpine safety program.

Produce brochures and posters for distribution within ski resorts and alpine areas

Develop and maintain audio-visual promotional materials for radio and television community inserts.

Seek media sponsorship to support the alpine safety message.

Develop web resources for use with children in schools and ski schools.

Liaise regularly with the International Society for Skiing Safety.

Create children’s marketing materials to promote safer alpine activities.

Gather and collate incident data and disseminate it to medical research committees and government review panels.

Gather and collate incident data regarding injuries to patrollers in carrying out their duties.

Develop closer interfaces with the various Australian Ski Industry Associations to reinforce the requirements for increased recreational safety.

Objective 3: To serve the public by establishing and promoting alpine management and recreational safety standards within ski patrols in Australian alpine areas:


Monitor national and international trends in ski area risk management and provide a forum for sharing and discussion to promote uniformity of practice in Australian ski areas.

Gathering nationwide statistical information of incidents to provide informed safety management and risk minimisation for alpine areas.

Represent nationally and internationally Australian Ski Patrol organisations

Encourage ski area managers to promote the Alpine Responsibility Code as frequently as possible.


Contribute to the development of a National Alpine Safety Plan.

Communicate and share information by having an ASPA representative to regularly contact patrol directors, resort management and others stakeholders.

Communicate and share information by having an ASPA representative attend international congresses.

Liaise with the Australian Ski Areas association to develop a Code of Practice for ski area safety and seek Standards Australia approval for the code.

Evaluate rescue equipment and emerging first aid and legal trends domestically by attending relevant medical/first aid conferences.

Maintain effective representation at relevant conferences and alpine safety events nationally and internationally.

Encourage all members to adopt a graphical incident reporting database to assist in identification of risk areas in both geographic and demographic terms.

Encourage all members to adopt a uniform standard in the gathering of incident information .

Encourage ski area managers to display the Alpine Responsibility Code on trail-maps and in high traffic areas.

Objective 4: To serve the public by equipping individual patrollers with a standard training and examination platform to maintain and continually update first-aid and rescue techniques:


Attain world’s best practice first responder protocols in the context of an alpine safety environment.

Attain world’s best practice first aid training courses in the context of an alpine environment.

Develop sled handling evacuation techniques for snowboard and telemark patrollers (drawing on international and local data and experience to date).

Develop evacuation and remote rescue & first aid techniques to meet the needs of remote area ski patrols (drawing on international and local data and experience including that pertaining to recent missing person search and rescue incidents).

Develop a remote area first aid program.

Patrollers to possess high CPR and defibrillation retention skills.

Improve instructor quality and an expanded (qualified) base of instructors.


Revise & update the ASPA Advanced Emergency Care Manual of First Aid to reflect latest medical trends and techniques in first aid and trauma management in the context of an alpine environment.

Revise & update ASPA Advanced Emergency Care Course to disseminate the protocols developed in the updated manual.

Resource courses with state-of-the-art rescue and training equipment to deliver high calibre candidate outcomes.

Enable E-Learning by developing web-based training materials, multimedia courses to enable patrollers to refresh their skills on a self-study basis and provide ready access for remote area patrollers .

Develop training standards including all discipline (skiing, telemarking, snowboarding and cross country) in alpine rescue techniques.

Review current remote area emergency care courses that may be suitable for implementation by ASPA for Ski Patrols in Australia.

Maintain RTO compliance through the purchase of AVETMISS Compliant Software

Evaluate the need for ownership of a Registered Training Organisation to be able maintain the high standards and skills currently in place with patrol training by the end of 2014.

Certify the ASPA Advanced Emergency Care Course as a vocational outcome for ski patrollers.

Conduct annual CPR/Defibrillation/Airway and pain relief drug recertification courses for all patrollers (and other Alpine workers) in accordance with Australian Resuscitation Council Guidelines.

Revise and upgrade the instructor development program to allow TAE40110certification of all instructors.