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New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) (Level 4)

CertificateFull-time, 1 year | Part-time up to 3 years

Annual Fees(indicative 2019)

Programme code



$6,100 - $6,500


February, July




Course related costs



Domestic Applications due

Received all year

International Applications due

Please enquire


Christchurch - Madras Street, Timaru


Learn how to lead others confidently in outdoor pursuits.

Taught by some of the most qualified educators and instructors in the country, this programme will give you skills across a range of outdoor activities and enable you to lead others in some of those activities, under supervision in low-risk outdoor environments. It covers adventure leadership, performance and health, kaitiakitanga and environmental education, sea kayaking, rock climbing, bush walking and leadership in mountain biking and bush walking.

You'll learn about equipment, weather, local conditions, logistics and safety management, leadership theories, sustainability, performance, cultural and environmental respect. Work-integrated learning plays a big part, with interactive activities simulating real-world work situations as much as possible.

In addition to gaining this qualification, you'll also acquire the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association Bush Leader award as part of your studies.

Career opportunities

As tourism grows, employment opportunities are strong, particularly for those with national recognised qualifications. Upon completion of this qualification your options include employment at entry level as an instructor or guide.

Study pathways

Ara offers a range of study options to follow this qualification. They include the New Zealand Diploma in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) Level 5 (scheduled to be available from 202) and the Bachelor of Sustainability and Outdoor Education.

Programme structure

To complete this Certificate you are required to complete 120 credits. Please browse the guide below to view the course options currently available within this qualification.

Core courses
Elective Courses

To be a full time student you need to maintain a workload of 120 credits per year. We recommend you talk with us to ensure you choose electives to benefit your future career.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
  • NCEA Level 1 (80 credits at level 1, including 10 literacy credits and 10 numeracy credits).

    If you have undertaken examinations other than NCEA (e.g. International Baccalaureate, Cambridge Examination), Ara will assess your qualification for academic entry equivalency.

Alternative requirements
  • Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

    If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

    Note: The number of courses you have to complete for this qualification may be reduced where you have relevant credits from previous study, or evidence of similar learning or experience in the workplace. Contact Ara for advice.

Additional requirements
  • In addition you need to:

    • Declare any convictions against the law prior to starting the programmes and complete sections 2 and 3 of the New Zealand Police Vetting Service Request and Consent Form. Please return the completed form to Ara.
    • Hold a current First Aid Certificate at the time the programme starts. First Aid training can be completed through St John or Red Cross.
    • Be capable of swimming a minimum of 50 metres, be able to carry a full overnight tramping pack on multi day trips and ride a bicycle.

    Information for Students

    You will need access to all personal equipment and clothing for activities (recommended list provided to applicants).

English requirements
  • What if English is not my first language?

    If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study.

    Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.


    • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
    • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.

    IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

    What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?

    You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.










Acceptable Alternatives Chart

Selection criteria

Applicants who meet the requirements for admission are accepted into the programme in the order their applications are received.

Next steps

To apply for this programme please complete an Admission and Enrolment form or an International Application form.

Alternatively, if you feel you have gained your learning through on the job experience talk to us about recognition or assessment of prior learning .

Please note: Programme delivery is conditional on enrolments reaching a minimum requirement.

Application documents

Credit recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.