Ambulance services quality and safety

NASO supports quality and safety management of New Zealand’s ambulance services to ensure services are consistently delivered to an agreed standard, with appropriate accountability.

The following mechanisms are part of that quality and safety management system. For further information on any of these aspects, please email us.

Clinical governance

This function oversees the quality of care provided by paramedics that work in ambulances and in the communications centres. Read more about Clinical Governance.

Clinical practice guidelines 

Guidelines are regularly reviewed and updated, providing consistent advice for paramedics across New Zealand to follow. 

Standards and accreditation

Ambulance service providers are required to meet certain standards and receive appropriate accreditation. These include:

  • NZS 8156: 2019 Ambulance, paramedicine and patient transfer services
  • ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management Systems
  • The New Zealand Aeromedical and Air Rescue Standard V3.0 2018 (for air providers)
  • Relevant regulations and certification of the Civil Aviation Authority (for air providers).

For further information about standards, please email us.

Paramedic registration

Te Kaunihera Manapou Paramedic Council is the regulatory authority responsible for the registration of paramedics. Its job is to protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring that paramedics are competent and fit to practise.

Performance reporting

Providers are required to report to NASO against key performance indicators. This means we can track performance and make informed decisions about how to improve the service. Read more about ambulance service performance

Adverse events reporting 

Most callers and patients receive an excellent service from ambulance service providers but occasionally an event occurs that could have been avoided. These are called ‘adverse events’. Providers report adverse events to NASO, following the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s national adverse events reporting policy. This reporting contributes to a culture of safety, transparency and continuous improvement. Read more about adverse events, including quarterly summary reports.

Quality assurance

Providers are regularly audited externally and have their own internal audit processes. This ensures compliance with all requirements, legislation and regulations. 

Policies and procedural guidelines

Providers develop and review their own policies and procedural guidelines. This ensures they are current and foster a culture of safety and quality within provider organisations.

Risk management

Risks and issues are identified, collated and monitored by management. 

Compliments and complaints

Providers log and manage any complaints or compliments they receive. A response is provided for complaints and actions are taken to fix any problems. 

Occupational health and safety

Providers have policies and guidelines to provide a safe workplace for staff. Each organisation must meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.


Providers ensure paramedics are kept up to date with training requirements. On-the-job support is provided so paramedics can develop their skills.

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