Revalidation and Registration

    Qualification Revalidation Form  |  Revalidation Process  |  Free Range Refresher Model | Putting Qualifications on Hold  |  Why Revalidate  |    

    Revalidation & Registration Brochure   |   Refresher Workshop Calendar   |   Fees Policies       

    Outdoor leaders, instructors and guides who hold NZOIA qualifications are required to follow NZOIA’s revalidation and registration process to keep their qualifications valid and skills and knowledge up to date.

    Revalidation is the process by which qualification holders are evaluated by NZOIA assessors on a three-yearly basis to see whether they are up to date and able to lead, guide or instruct at the current standard of accepted good practice.

    Registration is recognition of individuals’ valid qualifications by listing them and the expiry date on the NZOIA Registration Database and issuing a registration card. This is a publicly accessible database that lists outdoor leaders, instructors and guides and their current qualifications. Registration is completed as part of the annual membership renewal process.

    A shared responsibility

    Qualification holders must keep themselves up to date and able to work safely with ease and confidence. They also need to adhere to NZOIA’s Membership and Registration Terms and Conditions and NZOIA’s Code of Ethical Practice.
    NZOIA will ensure that any leader, instructor or guide working on the basis of an NZOIA qualification is currently competent and working to standards of accepted good practice. We also ensure our qualifications remain relevant and current by evaluating and updating our qualifications scope and syllabus through regular qualification review cycles.
    Employers need to support the system of qualifications by encouraging and assisting their employees to become qualified, and by making opportunities available for continuing professional development.


    The revalidation process

    All NZOIA qualifications expire annually on 30 June and need to be registered annually to remain valid.

    Chris A1 Turoa Mt Ruapehu 2016

    Every third year, qualification holders must attend a practical revalidation event. Options for this include:

    1. Refresher Workshop

    The most common way to revalidate is facilitated by NZOIA Assessors. You can find scheduled courses on our online Course Calendar, request a Custom Refresher Workshop or utilise the Free Range Refresher Model. The workshop involves a number of tasks that allow candidates to demonstrate they are up to the current standard of good practice. The primary purpose of a refresher workshop is to:

    • exchange knowledge and ideas
    • learn new skills and techniques
    • receive updates on current best practice

    2. Attend a NZOIA Training Workshop for a higher qualification 

    NZOIA encourages leaders to work towards higher qualifications as they progress in their career in the outdoors. Attending an NZOIA training course towards a higher qualification satisfies the revalidation requirement if:

    • the trainer (an NZOIA Assessor) observes the trainee’s practice as being at the competency requirement for the qualification held
    • the assessor signs the Qualification Revalidation Form

    3. Assessor Sign-Off 

    For those who work regularly with an NZOIA Assessor, or if an employer contracts an Assessor to revalidate their staff, the Assessor may be able to recommend sign-off for revalidation. The Assessor needs to sign the Qualification Revalidation Form

    4. Attend an approved course 

    NZOIA/WWNZ River Rescue 1 and 2 courses and Back Country Avalanche Risk Management can be used as revalidation events. The certificate needs to be sent to NZOIA as proof.

    5. For Permanent overseas qualification holders only 

    Members who are permanently overseas can revalidate by submitting the following to the Technical Sub-Committee every second cycle only:

    • logbook of personal and instructional experience over the last three years
    • two letters (one from an employer and one from a qualified practitioner) endorsing the revalidation and stating that they have observed safe practice
    • current first aid certificate uploaded to membership profile
    • processing fee of $100.00 (Rock Climbing Leader and Abseil Leader can be combined under the $100 processing fee.

      Please note: Option 2, 3, 4 & 5 can only occur every SECOND three year revalidation cycle. 


    NZOIA Assessors who have maintained the Assessor revalidation requirements (these are not detailed in this document), will automatically meet revalidation requirements for the qualifications they assess.

    Putting Qualifications on Hold

    If you no longer instruct in a particular discipline, or are temporarily out of the workforce (such as for child care or an overseas trip), then you may put your qualifications ‘on hold’ until you require them in future. Qualifications can be put on hold for a maximum of five years from the date you sat your assessment or last revalidated your qualification. It’s your responsibility to apply to NZOIA requesting that your qualification be put on hold. Please fill in the Qualification Revalidation Form and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the dates you would like your qualification on hold from/to. This must be done in advance and won’t be granted retrospectively. 

    Full or Associate membership of NZOIA must be maintained while a qualification is on hold.

    After three years...If three years has elapsed since your assessment or last revalidation, you will have to demonstrate your currency by successfully attending a Refresher Workshop prior to your qualifications being reactivated.

    After five years...If a qualification has been on hold for more than five years, you will be required to re-sit the assessment. If you get offered work for a particular qualification that is on hold, contact NZOIA to reactivate your qualification.

    Why Revalidate?

    Currency and good practiceCredit P1070298

    The revalidation and registration process was introduced in 2007 to ensure New Zealand has a professional outdoor community, with up to date skills and knowledge.
    Many of the techniques used by outdoor leaders require a high degree of skill. Some of these skills are critical to personal and client safety. Revalidation evaluates professional development to assess whether a qualification holders’ skills and knowledge still match currently accepted standards of good practice.
    Changes in good practice may bring changes to our qualification assessments. For example changes in technique or technology, e.g. use of GPS and phones in addition to map and compass in the bush, or use of assisted belay devices when climbing. Sometimes it’s a syllabus change to plug perceived gaps, e.g. rescuing a climber from a ledge in the Rock 1 syllabus. The result is that old qualifications are historical measures – they may be different from new qualifications.

    Employer reassurance

    Employers can better rely on a qualification to be a measure of current skill and knowledge if it has been revalidated. Maintaining currency of qualifications is becoming more important as our world becomes more regulated. NZOIA qualifications provide evidence of the ‘necessary training’ required by the Health and Safety at Work Act and are a measure of competence for auditors when they are auditing outdoor activities.

    NZOIA Trademark

    Current NZOIA members with valid (registered and revalidated) qualifications are entitled to describe themselves as NZOIA qualified and to use the NZOIA logo as per the guidelines outlined on our website. It is fraudulent to promote or advertise yourself as NZOIA qualified if your qualification is not current. 

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