Qualification Overview

Qualification Title New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 6) with optional strands in Advanced Avalanche Hazard and Mitigation Planning, Advanced Avalanche Forecasting and Data Management, Advanced Avalanche Search and Rescue Planning, and Avalanche Education
Qualification Type Certificate
Level 6
Credits 70
Subject Area
  • Society and Culture » Sport and Recreation » Sport and Recreation Activities
Strategic Purpose Statement
This qualification will provide the outdoor snow sector with individuals who can evaluate and manage avalanche risk to people and infrastructure while operating in dynamic outdoor contexts.

This qualification is intended to benefit the sector by advancing avalanche risk management knowledge and practices to reduce accidents and near misses in alpine environments.

Graduates of this qualification are able to undertake supervisory roles and have responsibility for other team members within an avalanche risk management programme.

Graduates of this qualification will have met the requirements of the Avalanche Stage 2 industry award.

Graduates who hold an optional strand will be able to provide operational leadership in that specific aspect of the avalanche risk management sector.
Graduate profile
Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

- Provide operational supervision within an avalanche risk management Programme aligned with industry standards within scope of practice.
- Classify and evaluate potential avalanche hazards by analysing snowpack, weather, terrain and avalanche occurrence data to manage these hazards within specific scale applications.
- Mitigate personal and group risk through making justified risk-based decisions while operating in avalanche terrain.
- Apply advanced search and rescue skills and leadership skills to small party rescues and within large scale organised rescues in alpine environments.

Graduates of the Advanced Avalanche Hazard and Mitigation Planning strand will also be able to:
- Lead a professional avalanche risk management programme in avalanche hazard and mitigation planning.
- Plan to mitigate risk for multi scale avalanche risk management applications by evaluating hazards and determining risks.

Graduates of the Advanced Avalanche Forecasting and Data Management strand will also be able to:
- Lead a professional avalanche risk management programme in advanced avalanche forecasting and data management.
- Develop and communicate avalanche hazard forecasts for multiple scale applications.

Graduates of the Advanced Avalanche Search and Rescue Planning strand will also be able to:
- Lead a professional avalanche risk management programme in advanced avalanche search and rescue planning.
- Manage a large scale, multi-agency avalanche search and rescue operation.

Graduates of the Avalanche Education strand will also be able to:
- Lead a professional avalanche risk management programme to develop others skills and knowledge in relation to avalanche.
- Implement evidence based expertise to lead professional avalanche education and inform the evolution of avalanche risk management practice
Education pathways
This qualification builds on the New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 5) [Ref: 3490].

This qualification has no further direct educational pathways in New Zealand. However, graduates of this qualification may choose to broaden their knowledge and skills by undertaking other Outdoor Recreation or Snowsport qualifications listed on the NZQF.
Employment pathways
Graduates may be employed or work as volunteers in a range of operations actively managing avalanche hazard and risk including, but not limited to: ski areas, heliski operations, cat skiing operations, snow-mobile operations, road contractors, alpine and other outdoor guiding and instruction operations, hunting, trekking, Department of Conservation, alpine search and rescue and education providers.

This qualification may lead to employment opportunities internationally as it is recognised by the Canadian and US snowsport sector as comparable to the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) Avalanche Operations Level 2 course.

It is also recognised by the New Zealand Mountain Guides Association as a member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.

Note: Graduates working in avalanche terrain must be working under a recognised Safety Management System in accordance with industry good practice.To find out more about employment opportunities click on the CareersNZ logo, then the provider who offers this qualification.
Entry Requirements
Entry requirements:

Learners must hold the New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 5) [Ref: 3490], or a recognised equivalent.
Education Organisation 2 Organisations can assist in gaining this qualification
Developed By Skills Active Aotearoa Limited
Quality Assured By New Zealand Qualifications Authority
Number 3491
Status Current
Created November 2016
Next Review December 2020
Content View full qualification details

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Strategic Purpose Statement

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