Guidelines and Standards

Links on this page provide access to reference material that is relevant to CAA members who provide avalanche risk assessment and management services to the public as well as to those who seek those services.
Most of the documents listed below were developed by the CAA with the purpose of ensuring consistent approaches are applied to assessing and mitigating avalanche problems in Canada. Development included consideration of material developed by the international avalanche risk management community. In turn, some of the CAA guidance material has been adopted internationally. 
Individuals and organizations that engage CAA members to provide risk assessment and management services can expect that guidance from this resource material will be applied, in a manner appropriate to the situation and conditions, in the work CAA members undertake on their behalf.
At times situations will arise that are not fully addressed by the guidance currently available; CAA members will ensure that all stakeholders are advised of the conditions and reasoning that necessitate use of methods that fall outside of current guidelines.

Snow Profile Procedures
In the video below, the CAA's Industry Training Program has compiled basic information about snow profile procedures based on the Observation Guidelines & Recording Standards for Weather, Snowpack and Avalanches - 2016 Edition. These procedures have been developed over several decades applying research of many of the world's leading snow scientists. The CAA offers this informational video to help practitioners complete profiles more efficiently and with fewer errors.

Technical Aspects of Snow Avalanche Risk Management (TASARM): Resources and Guidelines for Avalanche Practitioners in Canada

This document describes all aspects of avalanche planning and operations with the goal of greater industry-wide consistency in decision making and higher levels of safety. This comprehensive resource allows avalanche practitioners, stakeholders and members of the public to understand the broad scope of work related to avalanche safety that takes place in Canada.

- English Version (6.8MB)
- French Version (6.7MB)

This document was made possible through generous finding by the National Search and Rescue Secretariat's New Initiatives Fund.


Observation Guidelines & Recording Standards for Weather, Snowpack and Avalanches (OGRS) – 2016 Edition
A reference manual for Canadian avalanche workers, providing a consistent use of terminology, techniques and data codes for taking and recording observations of avalanches, snowpack, snowpack tests, and mountain weather.

Canadian Avalanche Association Mark-up Language (CAAML)
CAAML (Canadian Avalanche Association Markup Language) is a standard for the electronic representation of information pertinent to avalanche safety operations. By building on existing Internet standards, CAAML expresses avalanche related information in a manner that can easily be shared over the World Wide Web. Additional information and Technical Specifications can be found at


Other CAA Resource Documents

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