The Certificate programme combines the best of the outdoor opportunities that the West Coast and beyond can provide.

Whether you’re a keen beginner with general outdoor experience or already have considerable technical experience under your belt, the Certificate in Outdoor Education will increase your skills and challenge you. Our low student to tutor ratios and teaching experience mean we can help you progress at your level, pushing you further for more challenge or breaking it down if it’s all new to you.

To augment the practical subjects and round out your skill set we’ll spend some time in the classroom studying risk assessment and management, meteorology, environmental science, digital media, communication skills, tikanga Maori, leadership and facilitation, outdoor first aid, pursuit theory, trip planning, exercise science, work and study skills.

  • Level:
  • Credit Value:
  • Awards:
    Tai Poutini Polytechnic Certificate
  • Location:
  • Method of Study:
    Full time
  • Holiday Duration:
    2 weeks
  • Teaching Duration:
    34 weeks
  • Total Duration:
    36 weeks
  • Start Date:
    12 February 2018
  • End Date:
    19 October 2018
  • $7,334

  • Domestic Breakdown
  •   Tuition Fee:
  •   Course Cost:
  •   Student Service Fee:
  •   NZQA Fee:
  • International Fee (2018):

    Full fee breakdown click here

Core Course Components

  • COE400 Kayaking Applied Practice

    Develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to become an independent kayaker on Grade 2 whitewater with peer groups, and execute multiday seakayak trips on sheltered coastal waters.
  • COE401 Rafting Applied Practice

    Develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to guide a raft and perform appropriate rescues on Grade 2 whitewater.
  • COE402 Rock Climbing Applied Practice

    Develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to top rope and abseil independently with peers at adventure crags, and lead climb on indoor walls.
  • COE403 Mountain Applied Practice

    Develop the skills, knowledge and attitude to become an independent mountaineer on Grade 1 snow terrain with peers. Other Subjects Other practical subjects include: tramping, ice-climbing, navigation, survival, river-crossing and outdoor catering.

Further Study Options

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Certificate in Outdoor Education are capable of moving into the tourism or education sectors in a variety of entry level roles. Examples of such roles include adventure and ecotourism guiding, education outside the classroom, community health and recreation programming and youth development programmes. There is a global market for this skill set and graduates of this programme are well placed to take advantage of this.

These skills enable graduates to be self-sufficient technically in a range of outdoor settings. The level is commensurate with that of a trainee instructor or guide in adventure tourism or outdoor education settings where the clients are beginners or closely supervised with established safety systems in place. These graduates would be working with experienced practitioners under direct supervision.

Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to facilitate low risk outdoor experiences for clients or students within a range of outdoor settings. Knowledge of physical health, education and a specialist First Aid qualification adds to their ability to observe and manage client/student safety.

Basic facilitation and presentation skills will enable graduates to manage a non complex client or student experience in line with the expected outcomes of the organisation they are representing.

Entry Criteria

  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must meet IELTS (or equivalent) Level 5.5 with no band lower than 5.0
  • Applicants must have attended a minimum of four years secondary schooling
  • Applicants must have successfully completed NCEA Level One (or equivalent), including a minimum of 12 credits in English, 12 credits in Maths and 12 credits in Science
  • Applicants must hold a current (completed within six months of programme start) First Aid Certificate, which includes NZQA units 6400, 6401, 6402 or equivalent
  • Applicants must have a reasonable level of fitness and be able to swim

Special notes

  • Fitness is a Health and Safety requirement of this programme and potential students will be required to pass a fitness test at the start of the programme
  • It is preferable students are at least 18 years of age. Mature students who do not meet entry criteria, but demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study and are able to meet and provide documented evidence of outdoor experience requirements will be considered
  • Special Entry may be granted where evidence exists that the applicant can successfully complete the programme


This is a Safety Sensitive Programme