Resources SAREX
NZSAR Support for Search and Rescue Exercises


The New Zealand Search and Rescue (NZSAR) Council provides limited financial support for Search and Rescue Exercises (SAREX). The SAREX is an important inter-agency training activity and is one of the most productive forms of experiential training. SAREXs enable SAR people to meet, plan, practice, review, and evaluate in an environment where time and stress can be controlled. NZSAR SAREX funding is primarily intended to enhance the planning, monitoring, evaluation and debriefing of major marine and/or land SAREXs organised by the NZ Police. The Council also requires the NZSAR SAREX guidelines (available at to be utilised for the analysis, design, conduct and debrief of the SAREX.

NZSAR SAREX Funding Support 2019-2020

Exercise Evaluation Report Template

NZSAR Evaluators and SAREX Support

Planning and Conduct

The NZSAR Council funding is intended to support implementation of the SAREX planning guide and specifically:

  • Planning SAREXs. This may include activities such as conducting an analysis of SAREX need to identify the SAREX purpose and objectives, SAREX design, support for an exercise writer, pre-SAREX reconnaissance and the conduct of SAREX planning meetings. 
  • SAREX Monitoring and Evaluation. This is intended to provide support for the monitoring and evaluation of SAREX. Evaluators should be from a different District in order to bring impartiality and a fresh perspective to the monitoring and evaluation function. It is expected that the individual or team with this task will formally report, confirm good practice and identify improvements that may be made to future planning and training activities. 
  • SAREX Debriefing. This includes not only the debrief process but the capture of issues and lessons, making or recommending alterations to processes, procedures, training, SOPs etc. Debriefing should also incorporate the monitoring and evaluation report. 
  • General Support. Remaining funds may be applied to general SAREX support provided the issues described in the 3 sub paragraphs above are addressed fully. 


The SAREX is vital for the ongoing development, improvement of skills and knowledge of SAR personnel. 

A standard template for SAREX reporting (Exercise Evaluation Report Template) is available here, and can be downloaded for use.

To enable SAR coordinators to receive the maximum benefit, SAREX reports will be placed on the site. Reports can be sent to Alita Bigwood, NZSAR Training Coordinator, NZSAR Secretariat on completion of the SAREX at 

This site will enable SAR coordinators to access reports for SAREX’s from around the country that will allow for an instant flow of information. This will support the exchange of idea’s, scenario’s, experience and knowledge; and enable the collaborative development of SAREX planning, conduct and debriefing/evaluation for all. SAREX pre-plans, plans, debriefs, monitors reports, evaluation reports and final reports have been placed on this site for all to read and gain from the experiences of colleagues around the country.

Copyright 2020 by NZSAR
Friday, May 29, 2020