Diploma of Outdoor Leadership

National Code: SIS50421
TAFE SA Code: TP01349


This course aims to provide you with in-depth knowledge and skills to work in a wide variety of roles across Outdoor Recreation industries. Plan and lead outdoor activities for school outdoor recreation programs, lead adventure tourism trips in some of SA’s heritage sites and learn to lead bushwalks and field trips to remote locations.

In addition to skillsets in Bushwalking and Flatwater Kayaking, students will specialise in either Sea kayak & Canoeing or Rock Climbing & Abseiling, with links to industry bodies such as Paddle Australia and SAREA.

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12 months 

Full Time

Locations & Applications

Campus / Location
Study Mode
Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

  • No course admission requirements
If there are more applications for this course than places available, applicants will be ranked by date of application to this course.

Please Read Before Applying

Entry Recommendations
This course is for those wanting to work in the outdoor recreation industry. We recommend that you have a passion for the outdoors and a good level of physical fitness as this course includes bushwalking, kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling and sea kayaking.

Attendance Requirements (subject to change)
This course is delivered through a combination of on-campus and field trips. You will need to attend all classes for successful completion. Full time students will have classes on campus 4-5 days a week with classes usually from 9.00 to 3.30pm. Full time students can complete this course in 12 months. Off campus classes might start from 7.00am for physical activities, some practical assessments will be outdoors overnight or for several days. There will be some weekend activities.

Industry Conditions and Skills
You will need good communication and interpersonal skills, strong leadership and problem solving skills and be able to engage with people from all backgrounds. This course focuses on practical skills and the industry knowledge needed to become managers in recreational program planning and implementation. A good knowledge of Office 365 and high level computing skills are needed.

Additional Uniforms, Equipment and Costs

  • Incidental fees are $500.00 (approximately) and include: - a TAFE SA long sleeve synthetic shirt - a set of kayaking clothing (Long thermal top and pants) - a compass and textbook - some additional field trip costs
  • Note: For practical activities you will need to have appropriate outdoor items such as; sleeping bag, hiking boots, broad brim hat and sunglasses, thermals and synthetic material clothing for outdoor activities.
  • You will be required to purchase own food for expedition field trips.
  • The following equipment is available to borrow from TAFE SA: -Tents, trangia (cooking stove), foam sleeping mat, rain jacket and pants, back packs, kayaks and equipment.

Average cost per semester
Total Fees for the 12 month course
You may be eligible for government subsidised training.
Subsidised training may require applicants to complete a Core Skills Profile Assessment (CSPA).
Full Fee

Fees vary depending on subjects you enrol into. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary. Fee updates will be available prior to offers being made.

  • Upfront Payment

    Each semester, fees can be paid online with VISA or Mastercard or at an Australia Post outlet.

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    VET Student Loan

    This is an interest-free personal loan from the Australian Government that provides eligible students access to capped funding to help pay for their studies.

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    Payment Plan

    If you have difficulty paying your fees upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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  • Employment Outcomes

    Career opportunities include:
    • Outdoor Recreation Coordinator
    (eg: commercial outdoor recreation companies, schools, aquatic centres, government agencies)
    • Outdoor recreation project officer
    • Advanced bush walking guide
    • Climbing instructor
    • Sea/flat water Kayak instructor
    • Outdoor activity instructor
    • Outdoor recreation leader

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Diploma of Outdoor Leadership (SIS50421)
    This qualification provides an in-depth level of knowledge and skills that can be applied in a wide variety of occupations across the outdoor recreation industries. Plan and lead outdoor activities for outdoor recreation programs, guide clients on adventure tours around SA and lead bushwalks and field trips to remote locations. To complete these qualifications you are required to complete all 13 core units plus 15 electives.

    Note: Students who successfully complete only one or more units of competency but not the full qualification are eligible to receive a Statement of Attainment.

    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.
    of TAFE SA graduates would recommend their training.

    * 2023 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Below is a list of all units that TAFE SA can offer in this qualification. The selection of elective units you will be enrolled into depends on the campus you attend, and the qualification packaging rules described on www.training.gov.au.

    Not all elective units listed below must necessarily be completed to achieve your qualification.


    Name Nominal Hours
    Coordinate client service activities 40
    Coordinate emergency responses 20
    Coordinate work teams or groups 35
    Develop outdoor recreation programs 60
    Facilitate groups 25
    Identify hazards, assess and control risks for outdoor recreation activities 50
    Interpret weather and environmental conditions for outdoor recreation activities 45
    Manage legal compliance in sport and recreation 40
    Manage risk for outdoor programs 65
    Manage work health and safety 40
    Operate communications systems and equipment 15
    Plan for minimal environmental impact 35
    Plan outdoor activity sessions 50


    Name Nominal Hours
    Bushwalk in extremely difficult tracked and untracked environments 70
    Cross rivers during bushwalks 20
    Establish belays for single pitch climbing on natural surfaces 45
    Lead adventure-based learning activities 50
    Lead bushwalks in extremely difficult tracked and untracked environments 80
    Lead challenge course sessions, high elements 50
    Lead kayaking activities on inland flatwater 60
    Lead kayaking activities on moving water up to grade 1 rivers 70
    Navigate in extremely difficult tracked and untracked environments 50
    Navigate in tracked environments 30
    Paddle a kayak on inland flatwater 45
    Paddle a kayak on moving water up to grade 1 rivers 40
    Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety 25
    Provide First Aid 18
    Top rope climb single pitches, natural surfaces 40
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