Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Diploma in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) (Level 5)*


Central Otago

One year full-time

On campus with overnight or weekend field trips throughout the year

to be confirmed

We're redeveloping this programme and aim to offer it in 2020 to replace our Diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management (*subject to final approval).

Embark on this action-packed programme to strengthen and develop your skills to safely instruct or guide a range of outdoor activities. 

This qualification can lead to a role as an instructor or guide within the community and private outdoor or adventure education/recreation/tourism providers, schools, leadership development programmes or self-employment. 

Graduates will be eligible to apply for full registration on the New Zealand Register of Recreation Professionals (NZRRP). 

Coming soon!

Watch this space for more details including entry requirements and course content or contact the Programme Manager, Pete Eley (peter.eley@op.ac.nz) to discuss the programme.  


Skills required
  • A love of the outdoors
  • An excellent level of health and fitness
  • Good communication and people skills
  • The ability to motivate people
  • A mature approach and good decision-making skills.
Graduate profile

Graduates of this programme will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate technical competency and judgment across a range of outdoor activities while operating in familiar and unfamiliar outdoor environments.
  2. Integrate principles of health, physical and psychological performance to enhance competent and safe participation for self and others in a range of outdoor activities. 
  3. Role model and integrate the principles of kaitiakitanga, sustainability and environmental action while operating in a range of outdoor contexts.
  4. Role model respect for the tikanga and kawa of local iwi and/or hapū and other cultural groups while operating in a range of outdoor contexts. 
  5. Apply teaching, learning and leadership theories and practices to programmes of learning and skill development that meet the needs of participants in outdoor activities. 
  6. Plan, prepare and instruct or guide participants in a range of outdoor activities while maintaining safe, ethical and professional practice in familiar and unfamiliar outdoor environments.  
  7. Instruct or guide a range of outdoor activities that are consistent with the safety management system of an organisation, including being able to assess and manage an emergency care situation in an isolated location.
Further study options

Opportunities exist for you to bridge across into other Institute of Sport and Adventure qualifications. Increase your career prospects with the Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Activity, Health and Wellness) degree at Otago Polytechnic or the Bachelor of Physical Education degree at the University of Otago. Special conditions apply and in some cases you will receive advanced standing for these qualifications.

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in outdoor education and activities instruction, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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