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:
    Certificate in Outdoor Education
  • Location:
  • Method of Study:
    Full time
  • Holiday Duration:
    2 weeks
  • Teaching Duration:
    34 weeks
  • Total Duration:
    36 weeks
  • Start Date:
    February 2020
  • End Date:
    October 2020
  • $7,379

  • Domestic Breakdown
  •   Tuition Fee:
  •   Course Cost:
  •   NZQA Fee:

Core Elements

Courses include:

  • Kayaking applied practice
  • Rafting applied practice
  • Rock climbing applied practice
  • Mountain applied practice
  • Meteorology and applied outdoor skills
  • Foundational geography of New Zealand
  • Health, physical education and social skills
  • Ecological science and systems

Gear List

TPP will supply all non-personal technical equipment such as kayaks, lifejackets, paddles, climbing hardwear (including helmets), tents, and stoves. Students must provide their own personal equipment including:

  • Wet weather equipment
  • Boots and climbing shoes
  • Thermal clothing
  • Backpack/drybag
  • Sleeping bag/mat
  • Wetsuit

A comprehensive list is available on application to the programme.

Graduate Profile

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.

Further Training

Having successfully completed the Outdoor Education programme, you can go on to the Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding or Certificate in Ski Patrol to further develop yourself and your career. We offer well-rounded programmes that reflect current industry standards.

Entry Criteria

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Completed NCEA Level 1 (or equivalent), with 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
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must meet IELTS (or equivalent) Level 5.5 with no band lower than 5.0

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