Q & A with Louis Hamilton – Operations manager
Please tell us a bit about the Tuned Rotorua business.
Tuned Rotorua is a mountain bike skills coaching business, which was formed from our true passion for the sport of mountain biking. Putting all of our ideas to paper, the team brainstormed how and what we could provide from our knowledge, through effective mountain bike skills clinics. Wey believe in following your passion and taking opportunities to make your experiences that much better. The small things make the big differences!
What do you love about what you do?
The part I love most about my job as a mountain bike skills coach is passing on knowledge and personal benefits to others, and having a positive impact on the experiences that people have whilst out riding their mountain bikes. Mountain biking has taken me to some of the most amazing places around the globe and is a huge part of my life, so working with other riders who have a similar sporting interest as I do is awesome!
Which Qualworx safety certification does Tuned Rotorua hold?
As mountain biking falls into an adventure activity category, Tuned Rotorua has been certified as an Adventure Activity Operator. This certification is a requirement in order to have commercial access to the Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, and it gives Tuned Rotorua a license to operate in the forest with a Rotorua Lakes Council Concession.
What was involved in getting your AAO safety certification?
The main requirements for our Rotorua Lakes Council Concession were an Adventure Activity Operation Certificate, health and safety management documents, insurance documents, and waste management documents.
We had a lot of discussions about what we needed to put into place, to make our Adventure Activity safer and more manageable. This included creating a Safety Management System document and a Standard Operating Procedures document. Drafting those two documents, and ensuring all our policies were set to a safe and manageable degree, was what we devoted the most time to.
All our documentation was sent to Greg McIntyre, our Mountain Biking Auditor and Technical Expert, for assessment. Then Greg completed a theory and practical audit with us, to assure our understanding and knowledge of all our policies in place for safe operation.
For the practical audit, Greg tagged along on a Tuned Rotorua coaching clinic with two clients, in order to observe and ensure that our practical operation was in line with our safety documents.
How did Qualworx support you through the audit process?
Throughout the process, the email correspondence with Qualworx and Skills Active staff was incredibly helpful. As you can imagine, throughout an audit process there is a lot to consider and understand, so the support we received from start to finish was much appreciated.
What advice would you give to other adventure tourism companies that are embarking on a safety audit process?
You can never “overthink” too much throughout the audit process - in fact overthinking is useful in this situation! Stick at it, and remember the drive and the passion that made you pursue your certification in the first place!