New qualification framework to step up New Zealand’s professional mountain bike workforce

November 8, 2018

Skills Active Aotearoa, the industry training organisation for outdoor recreation, has launched a new suite of on-job training programmes for New Zealand’s highly-skilled mountain bike guides and instructors.

The New Zealand Certificates in Outdoor Leadership with Mountain Bike strand progress from Level 4 through to Level 6. Developed jointly with industry partners the New Zealand Professional Mountain Bike Association and the New Zealand Outdoor Instructors' Association (NZOIA), they are completed on-the-job in real-life, real-time environments.

The trainee uses Skills Active’s online learning platform to complete the theory components of their programme, and is assessed either by a registered Skills Active assessor within their workplace, or at an assessment event hosted by NZOIA.

The Level 4 Certificate prepares the trainee to lead mountain bike trips in “front country” terrain on trails up to Grade 2. The Level 5 (Guiding) Certificate progresses to guiding trips on trails up to Grade 4, including “back country” terrain.

The Level 5 (Instruction) Certificate prepares the trainee to instruct participants in mountain biking skills on trails up to Grade 4. And at Level 6, the trainee is equipped to instruct and guide on trails up to Grade 5, including in remote locations, and to teach other mountain bike professionals how to instruct and guide.

All of the programmes also cover a range of generalist outdoor recreation skills including planning and preparing, working with groups, trip evaluations, and principles of kaitiakitanga (guardianship).

Skills Active chief executive Dr Grant Davidson says the new qualifications develop and recognise the complex skills involved in being great mountain bike guides and instructors.

“Taking groups out into challenging environments requires expertise, readiness and spirit. This is what we mean when we talk about ‘outdoor leaders’.

“Mountain bike instructors and guides help participants to explore, learn, push themselves, and enjoy our spectacular wild places. We are thrilled to be part of the team that has developed the new, gold-standard training framework for this workforce in New Zealand.”

NZOIA Operations Manager Penny Holland says that with the support of Skills Active, NZOIA has hosted the first Level 5 (Instruction) Certificate in Nelson last weekend, and the second one is about to commence in Rotorua this weekend.  “It is exciting to see all this work come to fruition,” Ms Holland says.


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, funded by government to promote careers and workforce development in our industries, work with those industries to create world-class qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.