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Instructor Program

Outdoor Instructor Training Course & Industry Experience


28 Weeks


New Zealand


This is an accelerated, practical immersion course, which offers a unique pathway from training to employment in the outdoor industry. It offers an unparalleled combination of training, qualifications and mentored transition from practitioner, to leader, and then to instructor, with quality outdoor industry experience.


11 Sep 2024 - 9 Apr 2025


If you are a goal oriented, hard working and driven individual who is eager to kick-start their career in the outdoor industry this is the course for you!


A certain amount of prior experience is necessary as course prerequisites. It is important for us to be sure that you are truly passionate about the outdoors and ready to undertake all of the challenges that come with training to be an outdoor instructor.



The Outdoor Instructor Program is not for the faint-hearted. It is the only fast-track outdoor instructor training program in the Southern Hemisphere. No other course offers as many hard skills, qualifications, and experience working in the field!


The course takes place across two twelve-week semesters. During your first semester your main focus will be on gaining all of the technical skills required to be a confident instructor. Your second semester will be about putting your skills into practice and learning by doing!


The Outdoor Instructor Training Course gains the following qualifications:

  • NZOIA Bush Instructor (Level 1)
  • NZOIA Rock Climbing Instructor (Level 1) 



  • TRAIN: You will train with our highly qualified and experienced technical instructors. Our small group sizes make our training course a personal experience, allowing you time to ask questions, develop your skills and work on areas you find challenging.
  • SHADOW INSTRUCTING: Shadow instructing gives you the time to get comfortable working in front of a group. You will assist our instructors on an Adventure Guide Program having the opportunity to grasp their methods, watch their teaching styles and learn the trade, all in a pressure free environment.
  • WORK PLACEMENT: During your second semester you will get the chance to join our Adventure Guide Program as a trainee instructor. You will gain real world work experience as an instructor, teach our students how to climb, rig anchors and navigate. You will take the lead on sections of the program and showcase the skills you have learned.


  • Personal Technical Skills & Leadership Training
  • Quality Industry Work Experience
  • NZOIA Rock Level 1
  • NZOIA Bush Level 1
  • Qualified & Experienced Instructors
  • Technical Equipment, Program Related Transport & Travel
  • Employer Networking Opportunities



  • Age 20+

  • Drivers licence (held for a minimum of 2 years)
  • First Aid Certification (current)
  • Able to swim 100m
  • Provide a medical certificate
  • Provide a personal reference



  • At least 20 days climbing experience at a minimum of three different outdoor venues
  • Have logged at least 20 top rope climbs at grade 14 or higher
  • At least five instructing days


  • At least 10 personal hiking days
  • At least five instructing days
  • Be a competent map reader
  • Confident leading day hikes on formed tracks



If you have any questions, fill in this form and one of our program advisors will be in touch.


Katherine's reflection of the Adventure Guide Program

Katherine, Colorado USA

"I walked away with some really good friends, and some great skills that I anticipated learning, and some that I didn't anticipate learning!"

Curtis summarises his Adventure Guide Program experience


I found Pure Ex through a facebook ad. I took a shot at signing up and 100% do not regret. I was part of the Sept 2018 Adventure Guide Program, where I met 12 new friends and explored the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. I totally recommend Pure Ex to anyone whose looking for something new and exciting. If you're a nature lover, Pure Ex is calling your name!

Michel's update 2 years after AGP!

Michel, from Germany

I had no idea what I want to do in my life, but I wanted to get more into Rock Climbing & Outdoor Sports. NZ was on my bucket list, so I cancelled the job I had lined up at a husky farm in Norway and booked my place at Pure Ex. And man, I can tell it was a good decision. I would recommend this program to anybody who is interested in rock climbing, hiking, or generally the outdoors. No matter if it is to enhance your personal skills or learn, how to deal with clients, groups and instruct other people.


A diverse and exciting Outdoor Instructor Program. An intensive but rewarding 28 weeks of challenging physical, mental, and leadership experiences. This program is largely field based, however is designed around adventure travel, outdoor adventure, peer community and diverse experiences, that fit with our international adventure brand. Your 24 week program will be split into two 12 week semesters with a 4 week break in between semesters.

Semester 1

Your first semester will be about turning your personal skills into instructor skills. There will be four main elements, instructor training one, outdoor industry skills, self-directed learning, and shadow instructing.



  • During your first semester, you will spend a minimum of four weeks training directly with one of our highly qualified technical instructors. They will spend time covering all of the hard skills that you will need in order to obtain your Rock 1 & Bush 1 qualifications. Although instructor training will include time working on personal skills, the main focus will be on the technical skills required to lead a group. You can expect to spend more time learning about rigging, anchor building, and managing a group on tricky terrain than on personal climbing and hiking.


  • The additional skills required to be successful in the outdoor industry are often forgotten - but not on the OIP! We will spend some time teaching you about important topics such as coaching styles, learning styles, and conflict resolution. We will even teach you how to create an outstanding resume that will stand out from the competition when you move into the world of employment.


  • Building a strong and varied logbook is essential to passing your Rock 1 & Bush 1 assessments. Self-directed learning will allow you to spend time working on the skills learned during instructor training while building the additional skills required to lead groups. You will liaise with the technical instructor about which venues to visit and which skills you should be working on. You will submit trip plans and communicate with head office just the same as you would if you were leading a group! This is your opportunity to visit some epic locations, consolidate your new skills, build your logbook, and practice all the additional responsibilities that come with being an instructor working in the field!


  • This will be your first proper taste of instructing! You will join one of our AGP programs on the ground and start to learn the ropes! You will start out just by shadowing the group, having the invaluable opportunity to watch how our instructors conduct themselves. You will get familiar with being in front of a group, giving briefings, and managing group dynamics. As you become more comfortable you will ease into leading short sections as an assistant instructor. You'll start assisting the instructors with hard skills, helping teach our students to lead climb, rig top anchors, and navigate.

Semester 2

Semester 2 is all about instructing. You will undertake instructor training 2, work placement as a trainee instructor and undertake your NZOIA assessments for Bush Instructor Level 1 & Rock Instructor 1.



  • The second part of your instructor training will be split into two parts, the first week will take place before the beginning of your work placement. This portion of training will be to brush up on all the skills learned during your first semester preparing you to jump right into your work placement as a trainee instructor. The final week of instructor training will run the week before your NZOIA Bush 1 & Rock 1 assessments giving you time to perfect your skills. You will run through all of the elements that will be covered during assessments and make sure you are feeling prepared and confident for assessment day!


  • You will join one of our Adventure Guide Programs as a trainee instructor. You will assist our instructors in all aspects of running an Adventure Guide Program, helping with everything from teaching lead climbing to budgeting, and from trip planning to group management. If the lead instructor feels you are ready, you will have the opportunity to plan trips and lead sessions under their supervision. The more you put into this program, the more you will get out of it. If you show us that you are an amazing instructor then the chance of a career with Pure Exploration is pretty high!


  • At the end of your final semester you will have the opportunity to sit your NZOIA Bush 1 & Rock 1 assessments, becoming a fully qualified and experienced outdoor instructor.