New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor Experiences (Level 3)

If you like being outdoors and can see yourself in a job on the land or water, then this entry level short course is for you.

You'll enjoy a range of outdoor experiences on land where you'll learn about your own safety and apply relevant tikanga and kawa to the land used. 

You'll complete the course with increased self-esteem and academic confidence so you can go on to further study, or to apply for jobs in a range of outdoor industries.

Content Details

During the course you'll cover the following topics:

1. Prepare for your own outdoor experience, taking into account equipment, weather, terrain, and logistic requirements. Topics include:

  • Individual Planning
  • Communication
  • Intentions
  • Risk management strategies
  • Equipment
  • Food
  • Emergencies
  • Weather

2. Operate under a framework of tiakitanga that includes respect for the tikanga and kawa of local iwi or hapū, sustainability and the environment while undertaking an outdoor recreation activity. Topics include:

  • 'Leave No Trace' principles
  • Sustainability and the environment
  • Respect and understanding of the tikanga and kawa of local iwi or hapū

3. Manage yourself safely while undertaking an outdoor experience in low-risk environments. Topics include managing yourself under the following topics:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Clothing / equipment
  • Weather
  • Personal wellbeing and physical capability
  • Personal safety
  • Knowing personal limits

Optional Course: Demonstrate personal competency to participate in specific outdoor recreation activities in the outdoor environment. Programmes may include demonstrating competency for activities from the following contexts:

  • Non-technical caving
  • Wind sports
  • Waka ama
  • Tramping
  • Kayaking
  • Sea-kayaking
  • High and/or low ropes
  • Mountain biking
  • Abseiling
  • Rockclimbing


Planned intakes*: February, July
Delivery modes: Full-time/part-time
Locations*: Opotiki, Rotorua (Mokoia Campus), Rotorua (Waipa Campus), Tauranga (Windermere Campus), Whakatane
Duration: 12 weeks

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

The Rotorua offering is run from Harvest Church (see map).

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students fees-free

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of the programme you will receive:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor Experiences (Level 3)

Career Opportunities

Achievement of this qualification may lead to entry-level employment (paid or volunteer) in the Outdoor Recreation or Outdoor Adventure Guiding sectors. This qualification prepares individuals to operate safely and competently in low-risk, low-technical outdoor environments while undertaking roles such as:

  • Pest Control
  • Track Maintenance
  • Defence Force Field Personnel
  • New Zealand Land Search and Rescue Personnel
  • Rangers

Study Pathways

  • Certificate in Adventure Tourism
  • Diploma in Adventure Tourism

Entry Criteria

  • Open entry


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 3 certificate IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic, or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.