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NZQA pathways  


NZOIA offers holders of some non-NZOIA qualifications the opportunity to have their competency recognised as equivalent to NZOIA qualifications. These may be qualifications gained overseas or in New Zealand.

Recognition of current competency (RCC)

NZOIA recognises the following Associations Qualifications and Assessments for Recognition of Current Competency (RCC). 

-      British Canoe Union

-      Mountain Leader Training UK Qualifications

-      IMGA/NZMGA Qualifications and Assessments

-      Switzerland Outdoor Association Canyon Qualification

If successful, the candidate is awarded the closest equivalent NZOIA qualification. A Matrix of common qualifications from the above professional bodies have been evaluated against the NZOIA standards to make this process easier for holders of these qualifications.

Accepted applicants will have 12 months to successfully complete a Refresher Workshop and any additional requirements specific to each qualification as outlined on the Matrix.  There are two possible results from the Refresher Workshop:

  1. Pass = you will be awarded the equivalent NZOIA qualification
  2. Re-sit = you will need to successfully complete a full NZOIA assessment to gain the qualification

If you hold a qualification from an association that is not on the matrix please contact the Operations Manager by email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  outlining the association and qualification.  If we receive a number of requests for the same RCC then we will investigate the possibility of putting them on the Matrix in the future.

Migrant Instructors

Migrant instructors and guides who have been in New Zealand less than three years and want to enter the RCC process must complete a learning module. This ensures familiarity with the New Zealand work environment, and is called the He Pīkau Mātauranga (HPM) Workbook.

NZQA Pathways - Get qualifed with NZOIA and Skills Active

NZOIA is pleased to announce that under a new agreement with industry training organisation Skills Active, NZOIA Leader and Instructor candidates can now earn a New Zealand National Qualification, concurrently with their NZOIA qualification. 

By completing a few extra tasks, you will be able to achieve an equivalent, nationally-recognised Skills Active qualification on your NZQA Record of Achievement, alongside your industry recognised NZOIA qualification. You can also complete the process retrospectively, if you already hold an eligible, current NZOIA qualification.

The fee for a Skills Active qualification is usually $200 + GST, but in recognition that each NZOIA candidate already pays a significant cash contribution by way of assessment fees to NZOIA, Skills Active will waiver the enrolment fee for any candidate concurrently enrolling in a NZQA and NZOIA assessment.

For more information and to download the Trainee Agreement package click here.


NZOIA acknowledges the funding provided to it by:

  • logo NZCT
  • logo Water Safety
  • logo Sparc

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