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



17 weeks full-time; part-time not available

Classroom, online and practical field study

23 May
Until start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Central Otago
    24 May 2021
  • Central Otago
    31 May 2021
  • Central Otago
    23 May 2022

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.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements 

  • There are no academic entry criteria for this programme. 

Other requirements 

  • 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. Download the Excel version or PDF version.
  • You'll need to complete a conviction declaration, and 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).
  • You'll also need to have an interview.

English Language requirements

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

Selection procedure

After the entry level requirements have been met, selection is based on a first-come, first-served basis until the maximum course numbers have been met.

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. 

Additional information and costs

A jacket and pant uniform* is generally provided while training or working. Students need to provide their own personal outdoor wear at other times and a means of mountain locomotion suitable to a winter alpine environment. This may include adequate footwear, skis, snowboard and poles. The use of helmets and wrist guards are recommended and may be required by your employer.

You are responsible for providing your own accommodation arrangements in Wanaka. Prices can vary greatly depending on the accommodation type but, as a guideline, you can expect to pay $150-$250 per week for a room.

Additional NZSIA awards such as the Children’s Teaching Certification and Instructors Level 2 may be earned at an additional exam cost.

*Please note: You will be supplied with a Cardrona uniform for the duration of the programme for working in the ski school. This uniform will have to be returned at the end of the programme. 

Programme specific risks

You must be aware that the practice and teaching of snowsports can be physically and mentally demanding and require a good level of health and fitness. Risks will be outlined in more depth during the programme.

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. 

You will study

The programme will consist of classroom, and self-directed, online learning followed by the practical application of those skills.

The 17-week programme of study consists of three courses:

1. Snowsport Instruction & Snowsport Industry Induction (10 credits)

  • Primarily classroom-based with some time spent at Cardrona Alpine Resort. 
  • Introduces you to the fundamentals of teaching and the snowsports environment and the concepts you will practice within the snowschool. 

2. Instructor Beginner Snowsport - Ski OR Instructor Beginner Snowsport - Snowboard (25 credits)

  • Shadow ski or snowboard lessons and develop your skills on-snow through work-based learning at Cardron Alpine Resort.
  • You will also be assessed for the NZSIA (Ski) or SBINZ (Snowboard) Level 1 Industry award during this course. 

3. Snowsort Instructing within a Professional Snowsport School (25 credits)

  • Further develop your skills to enable you to teach a range of beginner students independently.
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. 

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you have extensive knowledge and skills due to practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification.


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