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Artificial Whitewater Vector Wero Kayak 13 Resized

The Artificial Whitewater qualification is only available under the Free Range Assessment model.

Artificial Whitewater Course Instructor

The NZOIA Artificial Whitewater Course Instructor can organise, instruct and lead kayaking activity on constructed artifical whitewater courses such as the Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Auckland. Natural whitewater and rivers are outside the scope of this qualification. 

Artificial Whitewater Course Instructor - Scope and Syllabus

Artificial Whitewater Course Instructor - Assessment GuideVector Wero Kayak 10 Resized







Photos thanks to the wonderful clients at Vector Wero

NZOIA logo Revise Final 2010 colour WEB_TINY            Skills Active Logo


NZQA Pathways - Get qualified with NZOIA and Skills Active

NZOIA Leader and Instructor candidates can now earn a New Zealand National Qualification, concurrently with their NZOIA qualification for FREE! This can also be done retrospectively, however you will need to cover your NZQA registration fee of $200 + GST.


Which qualifications can be cross credited? 

nzqf pathway

Note: Skills Active and NZOIA are working towards aligning all qualifications, so if your qualification is not listed here, watch this space!


How to apply?

1. Complete the Training Agreement - Download here 

2. Complete the 'Assessment Process' booklet applicable to your qualification:  

Abseil Leader       Bush Leader    Kayak Leader       Rock Leader

Sea Kayak Leader   

   Bush 1          Kayak 1       Rock 1

Yet to sit your assessment? Print off the Attestation, Credit Reporting & Logbook Verification forms and take along to your assessment for the assessor to sign off. 

Applying retrospectively? NZOIA will arrange for these forms to to be completed by a NZOIA/Skills Active assessor but you will need to submit a current logbook.

3. Submit all completed documents and tasks to NZOIA via email along with a copy of ID ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


New Zealand Apprenticeship


Have you considered doing a New Zealand Apprenticeship in Outdoor Recreation? Eligible apprentices may be able to access a subsidy of up to $1,000, reimbursing you for professional development costs, such as your NZOIA assessment fees!! Contact your local Skills Active learning support advisor to find out more.


Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at all about this process. 

Ph: 03 5390509 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Skills Active nzoia download logo

Pre-requisite Exemption Policy

Download the Exemption Policy Here

NZOIA’s Level 1 qualifications are a pre-requisite for their Level 2 assessments for two key reasons:

-Level 1 assessment tasks will/may not be repeated in the Level 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 Level 2 assessment were finding the assessment challenging resulting in deferments and re-sits.

If you want to advance directly to a Level 2 assessment you can apply for an exemption to this pre-requisite.  You will need to provide the following evidence:

- Instructional and personal days above the minimum the Level  2 assessment requires

- An attestation from an Level 1 assessor

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

If you are in this situation please apply to the Technical Sub Committee outlining your instructional and personal experience along with your attestation from a current NZOIA Level 1 assessor in the discipline you are applying for.

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis in light of current industry regulation.  It is likely that direct entry to Level 2 qualifications will no longer be possible in the near future.

River Rescue

NZOIA and WhiteWater NZ have defined syllabi for River Rescue Courses designed for whitewater kayaks and open canoes.    These training courses are for recreational and professional paddlers to better enable them to safely paddle with their peers, when leading a group, or when providing an instructional or guided experience. 

River Rescue 1

This course must be directed by a current NZOIA Kayak II instructor.  NZOIA and Whitewater NZ recommends that a ratio limit of 1:6 be applied with a Level 2 instructor and if numbers exceed this then an experienced Level 1 instructor be used to assist on the course with up to 10 participants.

River Rescue Level 1 is a pre-requisite for participation in the NZOIA Kayak Instructor Level 1 and NZOIA Canoe Instructor Level 1 assessments.

River Rescue 1 - Scope and Syllabus

River Rescue 1 - Trainer and Participant Guide - Canoe Version

River Rescue 1 - Trainer and Participant Guide - Kayak Version


River Rescue 2

This course must be conducted by a current NZOIA Kayak II instructor. NZOIA and Whitewater NZ recommend that a ratio limit of 1:6 be applied.  River Rescue 1 is a pre-requisite to attending River Rescue 2.

River Rescue 2 - Scope and Syllabus

River Rescue 2 - Trainer and Participant Guide

oliver weber photography 2

Photo: Photo Courtesy of Oliver Weber Photography and Canoe Journeys.

Leader Qualifications - Workbooks & Answers


Click on the links below to download Leader Workbooks for candidates and Example Answers for Assessors to assist marking.

Important notes:

You will need to save the download to your computer before sending to candidates. Make sure you don't send them the answers by mistake!

Workbooks can now be filled in on the computer. Important - candidates must fill it in using Adobe PDF Reader, which most computers have. It is free to download on all computers via the Adobe website.

Workbooks can still be printed out and filled in manually by candidates if wished.

Marking: You can now mark workbooks online via Adobe Reader, or you can print off to mark manually. There is a section at the end of the workbook for assessor comments, however you can also make comments through out the text by using the comment/sticky note symbol located at the top of the screen (see below image). Place this comment symbol where you wish to make a comment.

comment button pdf   


Workbook Downloads: 

Core Knowledge cover NZOIA Bush Walking LeaderPIC

    - Core Knowledge Workbook
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Core Knowledge Workbook

Abseil Leader

    - Abseil Workbook         
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Abseil Workbook

Canoe Leader

    - Canoe Workbook         
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Canoe Workbook

Cave Leader

    - Cave Workbook         
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Cave Workbook

Rock Climbing Leader

    - Rock Climbing Workbook                   
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Rock Climbing Workbook

Bush Walking Leader

    - Bush Walking Workbook         
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Bush Walking Workbook

Kayak Leader

    - Kayak Workbook         
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Kayak Workbook

Sea Kayaking Leader

    - Sea Kayak Workbook         
    - ANSWERS for Assessors: Sea Kayak Workbook


NZOIA acknowledges the funding provided to it by:

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