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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Otago Polytechnic
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New Zealand Certificate in Introductory Snowschool Instruction (Applied) (Level 4) (Ski) or (Snowboard)

This course is available


Level of Study



17 weeks

Next start date



Practice your skiing and snowboarding skills in the heart of the Southern Alps and gain an entry level professional snowsport teaching qualification, while actually working in a snowschool environment.

Undertake ski instructor training or snowboard instructor training and supply the increasing demand for qualified snowsport instructors in a growing adventure tourism industry. With your love for the outdoors and good communication skills, exciting snowsports employment opportunities may arise in outdoor adventure companies, tourism ventures or ski-fields. Hard work and experience could result in you achieving higher level positions in the same areas.

This is New Zealand’s only opportunity to gain work experience while earning your qualifications from Cardrona’s top trainers, many of whom also actively examine for the NZSIA and SBINZ. The programme cost includes mountain transportation 5 days per week, a staff season pass and the NZSIA/SBINZ Level 1 exam fees.

You can also earn additional NZSIA awards, such as the Children’s Teaching Certification and the Instructors Level 2. While you’re at it, gain invaluable guest service industry attributes that can propel your career into the snow service sector or easily transfer over to any number of customer oriented businesses.

Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to work teaching or assisting beginner skiers, telemark skiers or snowboarders within a snowschool environment as an entry level instructor or teaching assistant. Graduates of this qualification can also work in a variety of roles across departments within an alpine resort such as: lift operations; snow-grooming and snowmaking; snowsport equipment and guest activities.
Pathways to this programme:

If you don’t meet the entry requirements, there are a number of snowsport instructional programmes available worldwide that will provide the base and intermediate level riding/skiing skills required to gain the level of experience necessary to teach others.
Your workload:

Depending on the level of experience you bring to the programme, you can expect to spend approximately 40-80 hrs of self-directed study prior to the practical sessions and then 36-40 hrs per week of training or work for up to 17 weeks in duration.
Further study options:

Graduates may pathway to the New Zealand Certificate in Advanced Snowschool Instruction (Applied) (Level 5) with strands in Ski, Snowboard, and Telemark, and optional strand in Business Development. This qualification also provides a pathway to more specialised qualifications in the field of alpine operations.

Entry criteria

There are no academic entry criteria for this programme.

To be able to successfully engage in the learning for this qualification, a candidate must be able to demonstrate personal competence on skis or board and be able to confidently and safely ski or ride a snowboard on groomed blue terrain.
You must submit a logbook detailing your outdoor experience, particularly snowsport riding/skiing experience, and any formal instruction.

All applicants are required to complete a Ministry of Justice Criminal Conviction History.
All applicants are required to provide two references who are able to provide evidence of your good character, your personal attributes, and your appropriateness to undertake the programme for snowsport instruction.

IELTS test: General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5; TOEFL paper based test (PBT): Score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE); TOEFL internet based test (IBT): Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14); Cambridge english examinations: B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill; Pearson test of english (ACADEMIC): PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36; Language Certificate: B2 Communicator IESOL (LRWS) with PASS and no less than Pass in each skill.

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