Certificate in Avalanche Safety and Snowsport Instructing (Ski) or (Snowboard) - Central Otago Campus

Otago Polytechnic
Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Study mode
20 weeks
Total tuition fee (local)
USD 4,818
Total tuition fee (foreign)
USD 13,270

Entry Requirements

  • You must be a reasonably confident intermediate skier/boarder on a variety of terrain and snow conditions.
  • You must submit a detailed log book of your riding experience over at least a two-year period.
  • You must submit a health & safety declaration.
  • You must submit a referee's report.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they have an acceptable level of secondary school achievement.

English Language Requirement

  • IELTS: overall band score of 5.5, with no less than 6.0 in writing, and no less than 5.5 in all other bands.



  • Assess and manage an emergency care situation during an outdoor recreation activity
  • Navigate in good visibility on land
  • Navigate in poor visibility on land
  • Manage risk for an outdoor activity
  • Communicate in the outdoors using  a two-way radio
  • Instruct beginner Snowsport
  • Manage first aid in emergency situations
  • Record and communicate avalanche and weather observations
  • Contribute to the avalanche stability assessment for a snow safety programme
  • Demonstrate knowledge of snow formation, snowpack structure and snow metamorphism
  • Demonstrate basic maintenance of Snowsport equipment
  • Demonstrate basic movement skills and the use of ice axe and crampons
  • Demonstrate knowledge of avalanche phenomena
  • Assist on an avalanche response
  • Demonstrate own party avalanche rescue
  • Apply knowledge of weather to analyse and forecast conditions for an outdoor recreation activity
  • Demonstrate use of avalanche transceivers, shovels and probes
  • Identify strategies to minimise risk to self and others when planning a backcountry mountain trip
  • Provide first aid for life threatening condition
  • Demonstrate knowledge of common first aid conditions and how to respond to them
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safety and accident procedures relevant for teaching in a Snowsport school
  • Demonstrate understanding of communication and customer service skills for Snowsport instruction
  • Reflecting on managing risk
  • Decision making for backcountry travel


  • Alpine ski downhill on intermediate terrain
  • Alpine ski downhill on advanced terrain
  • Alpine ski downhill off-piste


  • Snowboard on intermediate terrain
  • Snowboard off-piste at a Snowsport area
  • Snowboard on advanced terrain at a Snowsport area

Optional Courses:

  • Exam - MSC Avalanche Safety Stage 1
  • Exam Fee - Alpine Level One Certification
  • Exam Fee - Snowboard Level One Certification
  • Exam Fee - Snowboard Level Two Certification
  • Exam Fee - Alpine Level Two Certification
  • Exam Fee - Children's Teaching Certification

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