Otago Polytechnic

 Adventure & Snowsports



Get paid for doing a career you love! Taught by some of the most qualified instructors in New Zealand, our programmes have a strong focus on practical learning, self-evaluation, goal setting and industry experience. Improve your ability to gain employment in a range of guiding/instructing positions, both nationally and internationally – or go on to further study.


Please note: As long as you meet the specific entry requirements for that programme, you can enter all programmes directly, without having to follow a pathway. Successful completion of one programme does not necessarily guarantee you entry to a higher level qualification. Please check all entry requirements carefully on the programme information sheet.

  • Community and private outdoor leader
  • Adventure education/recreation/tourism provider
  • Leadership development programmes
  • Self-employment
  • Sports administration & coordination
  • Positions within gyms & leisure centres
  • Exercise Consultant
  • Personal training and workplace wellness facilitation
  • Strength conditioning
  • Snowsport tourism industry
  • Performance analysis
  • Workplace wellness
  • Skiing operations
  • Event management 




New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 5)

  • Wanaka or Methven
  • 12 weeks (10 weeks online, 1 week practical and 1 week reflection/re-assessment if required)
  • Level 5
  • Starts 29 April 2019 (Wanaka option 1); 8 July 2019 (Wanaka option 2); 10 June 2019 (Methven option)
  • Apply until start date

If you love being in the mountains during winter and have a strong sense of responsibility, become a qualified snow safety professional through this programme.

New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 6)*

  • Online with training and assessment in Wanaka
  • 18 weeks (minimum)
  • Level 6
  • Starts July 2019
  • Apply anytime

This programme is replacing the Diploma in Avalanche Studies from 2019. Providing the highest level of professional training available in New Zealand, enjoy the chance to be taught by pros and graduate with the ability to assume supervisory roles in all sectors of the industry.

New Zealand Certificate in Introductory Snowschool Instruction (Applied) (Level 4) (Ski) or (Snowboard)

  • Wanaka
  • 17 weeks
  • Level 4
  • Starts May
  • Apply until start date

Train in the dry snow of the spectacular Southern Alps and develop skills which could lead to a job teaching skiing or snowboarding in New Zealand or overseas. All classes are taken at the Cardrona Alpine Resort in Wanaka.

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

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 4
  • Starts February 2019
  • Apply now

New for 2019, this programme replaces our Certificate in Outdoor Pursuits (Level 4). This redesigned and redeveloped qualification will give you the core skills and knowledge you need to work in the Outdoor and Adventure Education industry. Upon successful completion, you will be eligible to enter our New Zealand Diploma in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Level 5)* which is being offered from 2020.

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

  • Central Otago
  • 1 year full-time
  • Level 5
  • Starts February 2020
  • Apply anytime

This programme is replacing our Diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management Offered for the first time in 2020, embark on this action-packed programme to strengthen and develop your skills to safely instruct or guide a range of outdoor activities. Graduates will be eligible to apply for full registration on the New Zealand Register of Recreation Professionals (NZRRP).