Like most work systems, the domain of adventure activities has seen a series of serious incidents and subsequent calls to improve regulation. Safety regulation systems aim to promote safety and reduce accidents. However, there is scant evidence they have led to improved safety outcomes. In fact there is some evidence that the poor integration of regulatory system components has led to adverse safety outcomes in some contexts. Despite this, there is an absence of methods for evaluating regulatory and compliance systems. This article argues that sociotechnical systems theory and methods provide a suitable framework for evaluating regulatory systems. This is demonstrated through an analysis of a recently introduced set of adventure activity regulations. Work Domain Analysis (WDA) was used to describe the regulatory system in terms of its functional purposes, values and priority measures, purpose-related functions, object-related processes and cognitive objects. This allowed judgement to be made on the nature of the new regulatory system and on the constraints that may impact its efficacy following implementation. Importantly, the analysis suggests that the new system's functional purpose of ensuring safe activities is not fully supported in terms of the functions and objects available to fulfil them. Potential improvements to the design of the system are discussed along with the implications for regulatory system design and evaluation across the safety critical domains generally.