National Certificate in Outdoor Recreation (River Guide) (Level 4)

Available Up To Dec2020

River Guide L4

Who is this qualification for?  

This qualification is for people working in the outdoor recreation industry who wish to guide commercial raft or craft trips on New Zealand whitewater rivers.

River guides are strong, fit, quick-thinking and unflappable. Highly energetic by nature, they know how to get people revved up for a trip down the rapids, while making sure the expedition is safe, fun and positive for one and all. Their training and know-how enables them to respond calmly and competently when things get tricky or the weather turns bad. 

This qualification is designed to be delivered on-the-job in the great outdoors.

Graduates of this qualification will be able to plan and prepare for commercial river trips, guide clients through trips of less than one day, and apply river rescue skills on Grade III or above whitewater rivers.

To commercially guide within New Zealand, you need to hold the appropriate level of Raft Guide or River Boarding qualification. The New Zealand Rivers Association and Skills Active have worked hard to create and maintain a qualification system that reflects the high quality of guiding required in New Zealand.

For more information, please read the Worksafe Guidance for Commercial Whitewater Rafting OperatorsGrade II Checklist, Assessment Process, and Qualification Pathways.

What's involved?

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This 40- to 57-credit qualification covers the following areas:

Guiding clients on whitewater rivers at a range of grades, under the direct supervision of a Senior National Whitewater Boarding Guide Grade III/IV.

Guiding clients on whitewater rivers unsupervised

Supervising other guides on whitewater rivers, as a trip leader.

This qualification is designed for graduates to meet Maritime New Zealand qualification and licensing requirements (awards). 

This qualification takes up to 11 months to complete.

What are the costs?

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On-job training costs workplaces both time and resources. It can mean covering registration fees, learning and assessment resources, allocating time for training, and having an appropriate assessment pathway available.  

Total costs for trainees will vary depending on how the qualification is delivered, how it is assessed and how much support the workplace can provide.   

To check out our fees list, click here. 

For more detailed information about the cost of doing an on-job qualification, get in touch.

Where to from here?

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So, you want to become a qualified senior river guide? Think this might be the right qualification for your staff?  

To find out more, or to sign up to this qualification, contact your regional Skills Active learning support advisor.   

Remember, to do this qualification on the job, a Skills Active trainee needs to be working as a volunteer or paid employee in the outdoor recreation industry.  

If you are interested in guiding people as they ride the rapids, but you're not currently employed in the industry, contact a Skills Active learning support advisor to talk about how you can get involved.

Want to see where this qualification can take you next?

Check out our range of other outdoor recreation qualifications

Discover your own career path on Tōu Aratika  - our careers website. 

Enrol now!


Contact your regional advisor or

P   0508 4 SKILLS (0508 475 4557)