Core Training Competency Standards

SARVAC is pleased to present CSA Z1620, Core competency standards for ground search and rescue operations: Searcher, team leader, and SAR manager for Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) in Canada.

In presenting these core competency standards, it is critical to understand that they have been developed in response to a clarion call from across the spectrum of stakeholders in the GSAR community. In response to that call, these standards have been developed through the rigorous framework of CSA Group, and through the dedicated and highly collaborative work of a panel of SAR experts from federal, provincial/ territorial, local, and volunteer search and/or rescue agencies and organizations representing all GSAR stakeholders in Canada, and CSA Group.

It is also important to note that these voluntary standards are but the starting point. It is up to the authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) for GSAR to entrench these standards in their own policies, for the SAR practitioners to entrench these standards in their own policies and training, and for SAR training providers to entrench these standards in their training delivery. SARVAC will continue to develop a training curriculum, registry of training and the accompanying accreditation to match the competencies put forward in these standards.

These core competency standards will continue to improve and evolve. The formal review process imbedded in the CSA Group standards process guarantees a 5-year review cycle. The cycle can start earlier if needed. SARVAC further encourages users of these standards to forward all suggestions for improvement and revision to SARVAC ( and CSA Group ( as they emerge.

This CSA Group Standard could only be created by the vision and drive of many organizations and agencies. SARVAC would particularly like to highlight the leadership, direction, and support of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat and the Ground Search and Rescue Council of Canada without whose vision, resources, and persistence, these core competency standards would not have been possible.

GSAR Core Competency Standards Document

GSAR Core Competency Standards Presentation