We pride ourselves on our commitment to safety.

In fact, it's the number one focus of our team every day to ensure to the best of our ability the safety of our guests while travelling with us.

Franz Josef Glacier and the surrounding Waiho Valley are absolutely stunning places to visit, however, these can be inherently dangerous places as well. For this reason, safety on all our tours is paramount. We are very proud of our Safety Management Systems that we employ and continue to improve.

Our Safety Management Systems are externally and internally audited onsite several times a year, and we choose to use industry leaders to conduct these including:


Qualmark is New Zealand tourism's official quality control agency. It licenses professional and trustworthy New Zealand tourism businesses to use 'the Qualmark' - tourism's official 'quality mark', only when the highest standards of operational excellence are met.

Telarc New Zealand

Telarc provides an independent process for assessing the robustness of operational safety policies, procedures and practices for alignment with currently accepted outdoors community standards. Telarc New Zealand has certified Franz Josef Glacier Guides to the following standards:

  • ISO 45001:2018 standard


AdventureMark™ is a JAS-ANZ accredited and WorkSafe NZ approved Certification Body for its Blue AdventureMark™ Certification under the New Zealand Adventure Activities Certification Scheme. AdventureMark New Zealand has certified Franz Josef Glacier Guides to the following standards:

If you require copies of our Health and Safety certifications these can be found here:

Certificate of Insurance 2020 /2021

Qualmark Gold Certification

AdventureMark Adventure Regulations audit

Telarc Certificate ASNZ4801

Telarc Certificate OHSAS18001

 ISO 45001:2018 standard


We also conduct ongoing self-assessments of our systems and guiding team to ensure not just a safe experience but a quality one.




Staff training

A great safety culture is one of the most important aspects of Franz Glacier Guides staff and training.

New employees go through a rigorous set of training and assessments, this takes several weeks before they start a guiding apprenticeship with senior staff.

Training, reviews and assessments are on-going for all staff no matter how long they have been in the business. Our guides are all fully trained in First Aid and carry a First Aid kit with them on every tour.

Our guides either hold the Hard Ice Guide (HIG) certification or are working towards it, this certification is conducted through the internationally recognised New Zealand Mountain Guides Association (NZMGA).

Our business along with other New Zealand glacier guiding companies were key drivers in developing the glacier guiding qualifications pathway, in collaboration with the NZMGA


What is the Risk?

As with all Adventure Activities there is an element of risk.

Approximately 0.01% of our customers are involved in an incident. This includes minor incidents where no harm occurs.

Rock fall and debris avalanche risk have been calculated by independent experts. The risk has been calculated as being between 0.00015% and 0.00058%. This risk is similar to all risks encountered during walking the Tongariro Alpine crossing in New Zealand or climbing Mt Snowdon in the UK. Franz Josef Glacier Guides continue to monitor this risk.

20% of customer incidents are a direct result of pre-existing medical conditions. Factors, such as heart conditions, abnormal blood pressure and joint conditions and a lack of physical fitness can affect capacity to safely take part in a glacier trip and in turn increase the possibility of sustaining an injury while participating in a trip.