New Zealand Diploma in Outdoor Instruction & Guiding (Level 5)

Advance your skills and competency as an outdoor instructor. This programme is delivered in conjunction with TOPEC.

This programme is a practical training opportunity delivered in conjunction with TOPEC that allows you to work with a wide variety of real clients in organised and supervised instruction and guiding opportunities. You will receive regular feedback and mentoring to improve your practice and prepare you for leading others in the outdoor industry.

The programme makes use of the unique landscape of Taranaki and surrounding areas, providing you with valuable hands-on experience. You will work with a variety of clients on the job at TOPEC, receiving mentoring from their experienced Outdoor Instructors as you improve your skills and prepare to lead others into the outdoor world.

In addition to gaining practical experience, you can also obtain the nationally recognised NZ Outdoor Instructors Association (NZOIA) Leader qualifications through this programme, further connecting you with the wider instruction and guiding community. This qualification opens up exciting opportunities to work in the outdoor and tourism industry or pursue further study.

What you will learn:

Graduates of the NZ Diploma in Outdoor and Adventure Education Level 5 are able to:

  • lead groups and manage clients safely in a range of outdoor settings in the education or tourism sectors.
  • operate in moderate-to-high-risk outdoor settings.
  • apply outdoor practitioner technical skills to a consistent high standard
  • recreate safely and effectively in risk settings which are higher than those in which they may be expected to manage client safety.
  • specialise in technical pursuit instruction, education or tourism experience management.
  • understand knowledge and skills in safety management and group leadership
  • guide and instruct clients, unsupervised, in a variety of outdoor settings of low to moderate risk.
  • facilitate groups, presentations and teaching sessions.
  • discuss Aotearoa New Zealand’s special flora and fauna, its geophysical and socio-cultural make-up.
  • describe contemporary global and local environmental issues.
  • encourage and role model principles of sustainability, Kaitiakitanga and tikanga when engaged in outdoor activities.
Emma Titchener TOPEC

Titch migrated south from Auckland and has a passion for rock climbing and tramping the tracks of Aotearoa. Completing a Level 3 outdoor leadership programme at high school sparked her into pursuing outdoor instructing as a career pathway. She is a graduate of the TOPEC Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor Leadership and a qualified raft guide.

An avid photographer and snapchatter, Titch also enjoys creating adventurous videos when being active in the outdoors. She recently discovered mountain biking, and has been eyeing up the Taranaki surf, so watch out!

Emma Titchener

TOPEC Instructor

Other information

Entry requirements

  • New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor & Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) (Level 4); or
  • Equivalent knowledge, skills, experience or study.

Completion of the Level 4 qualification is generally required to gain entry into this programme. However, if you believe you have the pre-requisite skills for direct entry, you can call the programme coordinators to discuss your options.

Career options 

Graduates of the NZ Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Education are capable of leading groups and managing clients or students safely in a range of moderate-to-high risk outdoor settings in the education or tourism sectors.

Graduates will specialise in technical pursuit instruction and gain knowledge and skills in safety management and group leadership and facilitation. Presentation and teaching skills will allow graduates to effectively deliver the desired outcomes of the organisation they will represent when employed. These could include technical skill delivery, instruction, personal development and resilience training, environmental and health education, and tourism experiences.

Knowledge of Matauranga Maori, Aotearoa New Zealand flora and fauna, its geographical make-up, along with local and global environmental and sustainability issues, will allow graduates to the ‘show the narrative’ of New Zealand while enlightening and entertaining their clients or students.

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Situated in a natural bush setting adjacent to the Waiwhakaiho River, TOPEC has accommodation, a large commercial kitchen in the main lodge and separate staff quarters. The off-the-grid EcoLodge conference and accommodation centre symbolises our environmental sustainability commitment.

As a registered Private Training Establishment (PTE), TOPEC employs qualified teachers, alongside highly-qualified, passionate instructors. This combination provides the best learning programmes for the needs of students. Students participate in life-affirming experiences and realise they can influence their life in a positive way.

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WITT and this programme are part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology 

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