E.4.1 – FEDERAL RULES AND NORMS – 2018-2021

FISSS – International Survival Federation &
F.I.S.S.S. – Federazione Italiana Survival Sportivo e Sperimentale


The International Survival Federation (from 1986 to 2017 only in Italy as F.I.S.S.S.) is today active according to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). The FISSS deals with the education, training, updating and promotion of its Consociates and members; it certifies their activities, competence, professional and cultural levels; it keeps a Category Register for Survival Associations, Institutions, Instructors and Operators.
Survival & Outdoor, also defined Surviving in our sports meaning, is a set of meta-disciplinary formation practices intended to survival training and operations in any environmental context. The FISSS considers 20 disciplines, sub-divided in three sets:

01. Foot trek and race or transfer in autonomy (by any mean of non-motorised transport and with reduced equipment)
02. Forced stay in uncomfortable situations (in any environment and with limited resources)
03. Coping with phobias; analysis, control and management of emotional responses, stress and frustration (in all contexts)

04. Survival Techniques: making of utensils, shelters, weapons, watercrafts and primitive structures; skills in utilization and manufacture using natural materials; raw material treatment; tools for fire making and primitive cooking; knot-tying craft; rope handling; assembly of bridges and drop-cables; safety systems; harnesses and rescue in heights; water boiling, purification and distilling methods; food- and resource-acquiring skills; relative comfort organisation and hygiene; paleo-working, bushcraft and tracking.
05. First Aid: emergency reactivity and wounded/injured retrieval; theory and practice tests, protocols and simulated exercises.
06. Theory: equipment and survival kit; emergency signals; cartography and orienteering (with and without compass); GPS use; principles of Botany, Zoology, Meteorology, Geology, Natural Sciences, Pharmacology, Hygiene & Prophylaxis, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Anthropology, human-plant-animal Ecology, Ethology, Mechanics, Computer Science, current Legislation.
07. Tactics: self-preservation, equipment, logistics, defence, attack, camouflage, evasion & escape.
08. Psychology, Sociology, Behaviour Economy: problem solving; adaptation, ex-aptation and resilience; group dynamics; leadership & cooperation; mission planning; crisis prevention and management; Prepping (preventive strategy of catastrophes).

09. Orienteering: with and without compass and map
10. Mountaineering & Climbing: on any kind of cliff and in all contexts; tree-climbing
11. Rope techniques: single, top, rappelling, horizontal, vertical
12. Archery: basic style
13. Javelin: with and without a spear-thrower (atlatl)
14. Simple Throwing tools: propelled by rotation, elastic bands and blowing
15. Swimming, Aquatics & Diving
16. Use of floats & watercrafts: rowing and sailing
17. Off-road course: with motor vehicles and other
18. Use of snow & gliding gear
19. Self-defence & personal protection: weapons and unarmed techniques, within the law legal
20. Mobility & Motor skills: dexterity on natural and artificial obstacles and courses, brachiating, balance control, tool making, rope bridging


Every year, the FISSS calls for some formative seminars cum examinations (defined with the neologism Testage) reserved, with upgrading goals, for federal Operators and Instructors, dealing each time with different themes (organised in disciplinary protocols); such testages are meant to verify the aspirants to upgrading from Basic to Expert to Master grades.
The meetings might be organised as seminars, restricted to Federation’s members or as ‘open meetings’ with the scope to involve other interested subjects in research and training outputs. They consider the presence of at least two members from the Executive Board and two Master Instructors, plus the candidates’ tutors.
All operative Federal Instructors, qualified to training with a EU patent are requested to participate at least one testage per year. The others at least one in two years.
Testages might also include the meetings by the FISSS Board and/or the FISSS national Assemblies (ordinary and extraordinary)

They are issued and approved by the FISSS Board, under the direct supervision of at least two of its members and at least three Instructors, at Master or Expert grade. They are SURVIVAL SIMULATIONS & TESTS (individual or group’s) in extreme safety, have an experimental or training logic and be anyhow not agonistic sensu stricto.
Contests must be aimed to results and not to mere competition. They must deploy at least 10 of the disciplines considered in this regulations and reward the appropriate behaviour and group dynamics more than the single participant’s physical performance.
Before anything else, contests must value group ranking more than individual’s. They must be organised in equipotent mixed teams, in free numbers, being selected with the criterion Leader-Mediator-Auxiliary (i.e. with the presence of experts, experienced non-professionals and beginners).
These activities may be defined COMPETITIONS in agonistic and multi-sports sense (Survival Decathlon or Race or Raid) only when all participants have a medical fitness certificate for sports activities, issued by an authorised institution.
The definition of Survival Games is instead endorsed for amateur competitions, where a medical fitness or non-agonistic sports activity certificate is required.
The CONTEST is therefore a way to practice an experimental confirmation of abilities (individual and group’s), where the participants to an internship, a course or a sports event, compete and are evaluated in a final event, or demonstration, testing their own abilities and learnt knowledge.


They are managed by Federal Consociates and/or qualified and operative FISSS Instructors who regularly hold itinerant or stationary courses in appropriate bases and locations. They may be Basic Schools (managed by Basic Instructors for preparatory courses only), Expert Schools (i.e. managed by Expert Instructors for Basic & Advanced qualifying courses) and Master schools, managed by Master Instructors in professional qualifying courses.CAMPUSES
They are stationary FISSS centres, managed by Consociates or qualified Instructors, equipped and organised for accommodation and outfitted with fixed or mobile structures (compliant to legal standards)


The Federal Courses have 5 training course typologies: 1) Preliminary 2) Basic 3) Advanced 4) Professional 5) Upgraded Specialisation Clinics.
The first-training Preliminary courses for Outdoor enthusiasts or youth (Supporters) may be organized only by the FISSS partner Associations having at least one Basic Federal Instructor in their staff, who might be operative in other venues and hired for the specific occasion. The courses shall be held in an outfitted base camp or apt location.
The training & rating Basic courses, meant for aspiring Survival & Outdoor Federal Operators shall be held by at least one Expert Instructor, qualified, operational or hired by an outfitted Federal venue. These courses might be partially itinerant in private or public zones wherever excursions and free camping be consented.
The in-depth Advanced courses, meant to qualify aspiring Federal Basic Instructors, may only be held by Federal Schools having in their venues Master or Advanced Expert Instructors, being outfitted with a School Field or an apt-to-training location; the training might be itinerant, including also outdoor overnights (if the case) wherever legally free or allowed by land-owners or local institutions.
The Professional courses and the Upgraded Specialisation Clinics for aspiring Federal Expert Instructors, or relevant public/private institutions personnel (Outdoor training &Team building), may be held only by Master or Advanced Expert (or Honoris causa) Instructors, with the possible contribution by consultants and technical experts (even external) in the suitable venues.
In all courses there is no exclusive territorial obligation: people interested in training, qualification or level upgrading may join any federal School or Campus according to their needs, schedule or programmes offered by the various FISSS centres.
All federal Basic or Advanced courses must deal with at least the majority of the disciplines above mentioned in this document; and must touch at least all points written below. They may be held for members of FISSS Consociates, provided with insurance, or to alien participants with appropriate self-insurance; the participants must be provided with hosting, food, outfitting, materials and booklets, all adequate to field experiences.
In the courses, the minimum of hours for study and training that are written below may be increased according to the predisposition and abilities of participants and/or according the Instructors’ evaluation, but not done as a pretext for gaining fame or money.
Individual course fees are at the discretion of each school, but considering the minimum FISSS tariffs (see relative document).
This course is meant to initiate beginners, amateurs, youth or aspirants to be FISSS Supporters and/or athletes.Duration: a minimum of 20 hours to obtain the Supporter certificate (even in more than one session, with facultative overnight stay); for ‘amateurs’ the duration is left to the School’s and Instructors’ discretion.
Participants: a maximum of 10 per each qualified Instructor (helped by other Instructors and Operators in case of extra numbers).
Location: outfitted grounds or appropriate environment, apt to perform the expected activities, also in itinerant mode.
a) Theory: introducing the course and info briefing about the principles of Survival, Surviving, Human Ecology; self- and group- preservation; fears & phobias; survival kit analysis; manuals or booklets distribution.
b) Motor Skills & Control: eco-dynamic course; crossing by ropes and tree bridges; zip line; bouldering and tree climbing.
c) Dexterity: main knots and their use.
d) Fire & Water: fire making; water boiling & purifying; ecosystems & food resources; primitive cooking.
e) Nutrition: raw food ingredients; treatment and cooking without tools.
f) Hunting and Defence: throwing tool exercises; use of bow, javelin, throwing sticks etcetera.
g) Orienteering: basics and techniques with or without compass (cartography kept to a minimum).
h) Shelters & Bivouacs: individual and/or group building techniques; latrines.
i) Autonomy: managing of an emergency bivouac (in the grounds or nearby zone) in self-built shelters; hygiene & sanitation; overnight comfort, safety and security.
j) Exploration & Research: excursion or trekking and basics about environmental data.
k) Contest: by all participants, followed by evaluation.
l) Debriefing: certificate delivery and discharge.

This course is meant for FISSS Operators and candidates to next Assistant Instructor GradeDuration: a minimum of 40 hour training in two consecutive days and at least one night for any level to be upgraded (a further 80 hours of training in other courses for candidates to Assistant Grade)
Participants: a maximum of 8 per each Master or Expert Instructor, assisted by Basic or Assistants Instructors in case of extra participants.
Location: outfitted grounds, or in non-anthropic environment if itinerant.
a) Theory and principles of Survival; federal manuals, booklets and protocols distribution.
b) Check of personal survival kits, food-supplies and necessary gear.
c) Basics in cliff climbing, with norm-compliant harness and gear.
d) Dexterity course on cables or ropes, with norm-compliant harness.
e) Shelter or watercraft assembling.
f) Orienteering: cartography and compass use.
g) First aid in emergencies and distress signals.
h) Fitting of crossing and climbing ropes.
i) Overnight stay: shelter building and bivouac in autonomy in two different situations.
j) Techniques for wood and rope fibre processing; tool sharpening; fire making with primitive tools; water retrieval, transport and purification; food processing and cooking; identification and use of wild plants.
k) Exploration: trekking with orienteering test, in autonomy.
l) Self-protection: individual and group’s.
m) Contest, evaluation and certificate delivery.

This course is meant as a formation training for Basic Instructors, former FISSS Assistants.Duration: a minimum of 40 hours, even in more than one session and in various federal schools, plus a traineeship of 80 hours in other courses.
Participants: a maximum of 8; the course may be held by a Master or Advanced Instructor (6th level) as a tutor for candidates (helped by other instructors in case of extra participants).
Location: itinerant, in total autonomy and/or in outfitted grounds.
a) Theory: Human Ecology, Physiology, autonomy principles, behaviour Psychology and Economy, Federal Regulations.
b) Outfitting of a base camp and exploration planning.
c) Construction of rope crossings and bridges; specific criteria for safety and rescue.
d) Fire making: food preservation and treatment, with resources retrieved on territory or self-provided.
e) Topographic map reading: GPS use and hiking practises.
f) Contest in disorientation and reorientation, in autonomy.
g) Safety criteria: rescue, assistance and clearance practises on structures and in water.
h) Legal aspects for Survival and management of an Outdoor Campus.
i) Object and tool making with local materials, to be retrieved on site.
j) First Aid: procedures and protocols; personal and group protection; tactics and strategies for emergency intervention and signalling.

This course is meant for aspiring Expert Instructors.Duration & Location: according to programme and typology of the various steps and training to be delivered.
Participants: a maximum of 6 per each Master Instructor (tutor to candidates) and/or external consultants.
a) Qualifying course for work in heights and/or emergency attendant in Adventure Parks and Outdoor Campuses.
b) Course in Training, Communication and Management of groups.
c) Course in Experimental Archaeology (stone chipping & flaking, bone & antler processing, wood and fibre processing for tools and shelters).
d) Course in Firs Aid.
e) Traineeship activities.
f) In-depth elaboration of at least one of the specific sections considered by these regulations.

This course is meant for aspiring Master Instructors and Federal Managers.

Training and/or upgrading in special sectors dealing with sports or scientific specific techniques. The training programme is left to the organisation by the course managers (teachers or FISSS specialists and external consultants).

A Patent (beige) Instructors A1 (Operator) and A2 (Assistant)
B Patent (green) Basic Instructor
C Patent (orange) Instructors C1 (Expert) and C2 (Advanced Expert)
D Patent (black) Instructors D1 (Master) and D2 (Advanced Master)

A Grade E Patent (yellow) is issued to Emeritus instructors, those who, for age limits or other disabilities, are not operationally fit.
The F Patent (blue) is for Honoris causa instructors that the FISSS President or Executive Board may issue to persons, renown at least at national level, who distinguished themselves in activities or feats of relevance in the field of Survival, and who are able to provide technical-scientific contributions or bring credits to the Federation.

Grade E and F Patent holders, without any level or specific discipline, are exempt from federal fees, but have no faculty in autonomously keeping or managing federal Survival courses for FISSS or third parties, if not by extraordinary appointment by the Federation’s President (limited to consultancy, representation or occasional replacement of other instructors).
The FISSS considers the delivering of certificates to the Supporter category (supporting Amateurs and/or Athletes); these certificates are not federal qualifying patents.
The Federation has also the faculty to deliver European certificates and patents at Eurethics-ETSIA standards, comprehensive of international insurance, to all holders of FISSS certificates and patents, following the 8 European Qualifications Framework (EQF) levels that are recorded below.
N.B. Only the operative Instructors with B-C-D patents (from 4th to 8th UE professional Level) and those with E-F patents may be FISSS members and partners with voting rights, whenever accepted in the Executive Board and after an active presence of at least three years inside the Federation.

These levels refer to knowledge, abilities, competence, education and training necessary to obtain FISSS qualifications and patents according to the EU norm (ISO/IEC17024-2012).LEVEL GRADE COLOUR OF BADGE
1. Supporter FISSS logo
2. Operator A1 Light grey
3, Assistant A2 Brown
4. Basic B Green
5. Expert C1 Orange
6. Advanced Expert C2 Red
7. Master D1 Dark grey
8. Advanced Master D2 Black

Supporters (1st Level) have no Grade, but a generic FISSS Badge with Logo.

LEVEL 1 – Supporter
Knowledge: Survival general basics and experiences in an Outdoor Campus.
Abilities: base techniques necessary to fulfil simple tasks in Surviving-Outdoor activities.
Competence: abilities to study, learn and execute under direct supervision and in a structured and outfitted context.
Education & Training: General certificate of Secondary Education; FISSS preliminary course (a minimum of 20 hours).
Qualifications: specific FISSS badge and certificate as a practitioner amateur or athlete supporting the Federation; no Federal patent is required, but the Supporter may ask for the Eurethics card and certificate.LEVEL 2 – Operator
Knowledge: general basics and practices in work or study settings concerning Surviving-Outdoor activities.
Abilities: practical and cognitive about basics and tactics, necessary in utilising relevant information in order to fulfil tasks and solve problems (routine) with simple Survival rules and tools.
Competence: abilities to study, learn and execute under direct supervision in a structured and outfitted context.
Education & Training: General certificate of Secondary Education (A-Level); FISSS Basic course of at least 40 consecutive hours, with a minimum of one Outdoor overnight stay in autonomy.
Qualifications: FISSS Grade A1 Patent, with light grey Operator badge, qualifying to cooperate and animate federal Preliminary Courses and to participate in Basic Courses for upgrading levels.


LEVEL 3 – Assistant Instructor
Knowledge: about facts, principles, processes and general concepts in work or study settings concerning Surviving-Outdoor activities.
Abilities: practical and cognitive, necessary to fulfil tasks and solve problems by selecting and implementing basic methodologies, tools, materials and information.
Competence: to be able to take responsibilities in accomplishing work-and-study activities; to adequate behaviour to circumstances while solving problems.
Education & Training: General certificate of Secondary Education (A-Level); Patent of Operator and certificate of a FISSS Basic Course of at least 40 hours (even in more than one session), plus at least 80 hours of training in Federal centres and Preliminary and Basic Courses.
Qualifications: FISSS Grade A2 Patent with brown federal badge as Assistant Instructor, qualifying to help and support the Instructors involved in Federal Courses (even Basic) and to the free attendance in Advanced Courses for level upgrading.
LEVEL 4 – Basic Instructor
Knowledge: theory and practice about the FISSS disciplines (various contexts) and Federal rules & norms, developed in work or study settings or in the Survival operational and experiential field.
Abilities: practical and cognitive, necessary to solve specific problems in work or study settings.
Competence: to be able in self-management along guidelines in work or study settings, predictable but change prone; to be able in supervising the routine work of others, taking the responsibility of evaluation and optimisation of their actions.
Education & Training: General certificate of Secondary Education (A-Level), and/or technical and professional diploma; FISSS Advanced course of at least 40 hours, plus training stages in federal schools of at least 80 hours as an Assistant in Basic courses or as a participant in other Advanced courses.
Qualifications: FISSS Grade B Patent with Basic Instructor’s green federal badge, qualifying to hold Preliminary courses and to issue certificates only for the 1st Level Supporter.LEVEL 5 – Expert Instructor
Knowledge: theory and practice, full comprehensive and developed in FISSS work and study settings; awareness of the limits of this knowledge, both in Survival & Outdoor and Urban contexts; main Survival bibliography, official texts for training, FISSS and EU rules and protocols.
Abilities: a full range of practical and cognitive abilities, necessary to develop creative solutions to abstract and socially complex problems; easy communication and knowledge-transfer in clear, correct and engaging mode; to read and speak English, at least at basic or Survival level.
Competence: to be able to manage and control activities in work and study settings, liable to unpredictable change; to be able to develop and control self’s and others’ performances.
Education & Training: General certificate of Secondary Education (A-Level); technical/professional diploma; professional first aid and rescue (altitudes) courses; an experience of at least 2 years in FISSS courses as an Assistant and Basic Instructor; FISSS-EU-ETSIA European patent with international insurance; training in extreme environments (European at least).
Qualifications: FISSS Grade C1 Patent with Expert Instructor orange federal badge, qualifying to hold FISSS Basic courses and to deliver certificates and patents up to 3rd Level in a Federal School.
LEVEL 6 – Advanced Expert Instructor
Knowledge: advanced in FISSS work, training and education settings; a critic comprehension of Survival theories, principles and literature as required, besides various experiences in natural and anthropic environments (even extreme and not civilised) in extra-European countries.
Abilities: advanced, demonstrating the mastery and innovation necessary in complex and unpredictable problem solving in a specialised training and formative setting; communication and teaching skills in other languages than Italian, English primarily.
Competence: complex professional or technical management and project planning; taking full responsibility in decision-making in work and training settings; professional development and management of individuals and groups.
Education & Training: bachelor’s degree or equivalent academic diploma (1st level) or ascertained professional experience in the FISSS area of competence, or specialised qualifications in the Survival field of operation; FISSS professional upgrading course; work and rescue (in altitude) course; a minimum of 4 year experience as a Manager of FISSS Basic and Advanced courses in Federal schools; training in extreme extra-European environments.
Qualifications: FISSS Grade C2 Patent with Advanced Expert Instructor’s red badge, qualifying to hold advanced courses and autonomously deliver patents up to Basic Instructor (4th Level) in a Federal school; tutoring of candidates to 5th Level upgrading and/or examining-board-member in Testages.

LEVEL 7 – Master Instructor
Knowledge: highly specialised in order to take the lead in FISSS work and training settings, providing a base for original thinking and/or research; critic awareness of issues and problems in the danger and surviving sciences and of their interface with various sports and scientific fields.
Abilities: in general and specialised problem solving, necessary to research and/or innovation, with the goal to develop new knowledge and protocols, besides integrating information from different sources.
Competence: managing and transforming complex work or study contexts that require innovative strategic approaches; taking responsibilities in contributing to professional knowledge and practices and in verifying the performance or special qualities of individuals and the strategic ones in groups.
Education & Training: master degree or equivalent academic diploma (2nd level), or University post-graduation (1st level), or doctorate diploma (I) or University master (I) or ascertained professional experience in the FISSS area of competence, or specialised qualifications in the Survival field of operation; European FISSS-Eu-ETSIA Patent, with international insurance; minimum age of 33 years and 6 years of experience as a Manager of FISSS courses (even Advanced); active presence in the Professional courses by federal schools and participation in formal FISSS commissions, plus managing roles.
Qualifications: FISSS Grade D1 Patent with Master Instructor’s dark grey badge, qualifying to hold FISSS courses (even Professional); officio member of the examining and training Board in Federal testages and/or tutor for candidates to 6th level Advanced Expert upgrading; endorsement to represent the federation even in national external meetings and lectures (only in the fields of maximum competence and on the FISSS President’s appointment).LEVEL 8 – Advanced Master Instructor
Knowledge: most advanced cognitive levels in management, work and study settings; extending the field of surviving to any scientific, sports or experimental realities.
Abilities: most advanced and specialised techniques; high capacity in synthesis and evaluation to solve complex research-and-innovation problems, extending and redefining existent knowledge or professional practices, highlighting individual talents, excellences in groups and external resources to be co-opted for the Federal scopes and activities.
Competence: showing effective authority, spirit of innovation, autonomy and integrity, typical of the scholar and the professional; continuous effort in the development of new ideas or avant-garde methods and processes in work and research settings.
Education & Training: Ph.D., or post-graduate doctorate (II), or equivalent academic diploma (formation to research), or academic specialisation diploma (II), or University master (2nd level) or ascertained professional experience in the FISSS area of competence, or specialised qualifications in the Survival field of operation; European FISSS-Eu-ETSIA Patent, with international insurance; a minimum of 8 years of experience in the FISSS with managing and/or technical roles, as a Manager of professional courses and with active presence in the federal Clinics, in the “Outdoor training” and corporate “Team building”; 7th level Master Instructor for 2 years before upgrading to 8th level.
Qualifications: FISSS Grade D2 patent with Master Advanced Instructor’s black badge, qualifying to hold any type of course, even Professional and Clinic; officio member of the examining and training Board in Federal testages and/or tutoring candidates to 7th level Master upgrading; faculty to represent the Federation even in national and international meetings and lectures (only in the fields of maximum competence and by the FISSS President’s appointment).

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