NZOIA qualifications are recognised throughout NZ as the industry standard.

    We are the qualification body for ten outdoor activities or disciplines with three levels of qualification.

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    Regarded by employers throughout NZ
    as the benchmark of professionalism.

    NZOIA is the professional body for outdoor instructors, leaders and
    guides and has promoted excellence in outdoor instruction for 30+ years.

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    Excellence in Outdoor Leadership

    Providing qualifications and training for New Zealand’s outdoor leaders
    through an internationally recognised assessment and registration body since 1987.

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    Excellence in Outdoor Leadership!

    NZOIA is the qualification body for 10 outdoor disciplines. There are 3 levels to each qualification, which are recognised nationally as the industry standard. 

    NZOIA has developed outdoor instructing and guiding in New Zealand into a profession, through a commitment to training, standards, currency, and a code of ethical practice. Assessment, through formal peer review of instruction and guiding practices, has improved our way of working. We are responsible for promoting the highest standards of outdoor instruction and guiding, and striving to ensure that outdoor activity participants enjoy quality experiences.


    NZOIA Prerequisite Exemption Process

    Prerequisite: NZOIA 1 qualifications are a prerequisite for the NZOIA 2 assessments


    • NZOIA 1 assessment tasks may not be repeated in the NZOIA 2 assessment so we need to know the candidate has prior competence.  E.g. Commercial Abseil set-up in Rock 1 is not specifically identified in the Rock 2 syllabus.
    • Assessors reported that a high percentage of candidates who went directly to a NZOIA 2 assessment were finding the assessment challenging, resulting in deferments and re-sits.

    Exemption process:

    If you want to advance directly to a NZOIA 2 assessment you can apply to the NZOIA Technical Sub Committee for an exemption to this prerequisite.  You will need to provide the following evidence:

    • Instructional and personal days above the minimum the NZOIA 2 assessment requires
    • An attestation from an NZOIA 1 Assessor

    The NZOIA 1 Assessor must attest that you are competent in all aspects of the NZOIA 1 syllabus, including working with students/clients.   To reliably do this, the Assessor would need to see you working over an extended period of time.  This does not give you the NZOIA 1 qualification, it simply assures NZOIA that you are ready for a NZOIA 2 assessment and have been working at NZOIA 1 level competently and repetitively.


    Prerequisite:  Minimum Age

    NZOIA has minimum age requirements for assessments:

    Leader and Climbing Wall:  Age 18

    NZOIA 1 and 2:  Age 20


    The minimum age is in place to assist the candidate to be ready to take on the high level of responsibility required to instruct, guide and manage groups in the outdoors.  It begins at 18 as this is the age you legally do not need to be looked after by a parent or guardian and instead will be looking after others.

    Exemption process:

    On occasions an experienced and mature young person may be ready to sit an assessment and hold a qualification earlier than the prerequisite age.  In this case they can apply to the NZOIA Technical Sub Committee for an exemption to the prerequisite age.  Application to include:

    • A letter from the applicant outlining why they want to hold the qualification and what experience and attributes do they have that would support holding the qualification at a younger age than required.
    • Two references from people of standing in the community (e.g. Principle, Teacher, Coach, climbing supervisor) outlining the person’s ability, maturity and any leadership roles they have been in.

    Send applications to:  NZOIA Technical Sub Committee: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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