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Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership


Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership SIS40621

Course Overview

This qualification reflects the role of highly skilled outdoor recreation leaders who lead and supervise participants in planned recreational activities.

These leaders are proficient in recreational activity techniques and have well-developed leadership skills to manage group participation, cohesion, operational logistics, risk, and significant problems as they arise. While actions are limited by the parameters of plans, policies, and procedures, they work with a considerable amount of autonomy.

Students do not need any formal previous experience, however, they should have at least an appreciation of outdoor environments and some of the challenges they may present. It is recommended students have had some camping experience, outdoor education programs, or time pursuing an adventure activity.

This course is currently available as part of the Free TAFE scheme but is subject to eligibility requirements and may change in the future.

Please note: the information on this page is relevant for 2023 enrolments.

Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions

During COVID‐19 lockdown periods, this course will have the majority of the training delivered using online methods of teaching and communication while students engage from home with their trainers. Any required practical components of the course will be moved to a more appropriate time later in the year.

Career Pathways

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation prepares you to work in the following roles:

  • Outdoor guide (uncontrolled environment)
  • Outdoor instructor
  • Basic adventure activity programmer

Further Study

On successful completion of SIS40619 Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership qualification, students can undertake further study in SIS50619 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership.

Pathway to the Bachelor of Outdoor Education at La Trobe University and Victoria University is considered a possibility - Please note each university has specific entry requirements that students must meet.

Course Dates & Times

Benalla - Samaria Road

Public - FT - OnCampus - Start 20th Feb - Varied day/nights - 9am - 4pm / 2023

Traineeship - Open from 20th Feb - Varied day/nights / 2023

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Standard (Concession)
3. Subsidised Trainee
4. Subsidised Trainee (Concession)
5. Full Fee
Course Materials
Student Services Fee (per year)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.

Please note that the fees on this webpage, for this particular course:

  • are correct at the time of publishing for those enrolling in 2023 and may change without notice.
  • will be discussed with applications as part of the application process to ensure it is understood what is being paid for and which fee rates they may be eligible for.

Course Fees consist of three different components:

  1. Student Tuition Fee - cover the costs of training and assessment. These fees vary across courses and are calculated based on a rate per nominal hour enrolled in. The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Circumstances may include:
    a) an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    b) an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    c) ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs
  2. Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions
  3. Student Services Fee (SSF) – contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF is a non-refundable annual fee that does not apply to short course participants.

Additionally, some courses require students to purchase or supply textbooks, kits, tools, uniforms and personal protection equipment. Some specific materials may be purchased through the GOTAFE Bookshop. A full list with associated costs will be provided to you at your course information session, induction session, or during the pre-training review Interview.

GOTAFE offers a range of payment options to help you pay your fees.
Learn more about fees, charges, refunds and payment options

Training package entry requirements

There are no training package requirements for this qualification.

GOTAFE preferred entry requirements

Before being accepted into the course applicants must:

  • Complete a Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online test to ensure the required literacy and numeracy levels for the course are met.
  • Undertake a Pre-training Review by interview to ensure the course suits their needs and aspirations, and that they are likely to complete the course successfully.
  • Psychological and physical stamina to carry out physical outdoor tasks in sometimes poor weather conditions.
  • Wilderness First Aid (must have before the first camp).
  • Police Check with no disclosable outcomes.
  • Working with Children Check (WWCC) However these are not required for a place to be offered in the course.
  • 80% camp attendance, however skills missed from absence on camps will only be repeated the following calendar year.
  • Psychological and Physical stamina to carry out physical outdoor tasks in sometimes poor weather conditions.

It is desirable that applicants have:

  • Outdoor experience which may include previous experience participating in an outdoor education program, pursuit of outdoor activities, scouts, cadets, or previous work in an outdoor adventure context, essentially some exposure to natural environments in an adventure activity context.

Applicants need to be aware that:

  • During the course, they will be required to spend extended time away from home sleeping in tents
  • This program runs in any and all environmental conditions. They will be required to have sufficient equipment to keep themselves safe and comfortable
  • Applicants are advised that studying and working in the outdoor industry requires physical stamina
  • Trips run over school holiday periods and some weekends

"Students are advised at the application stage the industry requirements for this course are:

Core Units
Maintain work health and safety
Operate communications systems and equipment
Minimise environmental impact
Finalise operation of outdoor recreation activities
Plan outdoor activity sessions
Identify hazards, assess and control risks for outdoor recreation activities
Interpret weather and environmental conditions for outdoor recreation activities
Conduct search and rescue
Facilitate groups
Address client needs
Coordinate emergency responses
Maintain equipment for activities
Elective Units
Facilitate adventure-based learning activities
Bushwalk in difficult tracked environments
Cross rivers during bushwalks
Lead bushwalks in difficult tracked environments
Top rope climb single pitches, natural surfaces
Establish belays for single pitch climbing on natural surfaces
Lead single pitch climbing activities on natural surfaces, top rope climbing
Navigate in tracked environments
Navigate in difficult tracked environments
Guide a raft on grade 3 rivers
Lead rafting activities on grade 3 rivers
Perform vertical rescues
Self rescue in white water
Rescue others in white water
Lead and participate in complex white water rescues

Assessment methods may include:

  • Knowledge questions
  • Simulated role play

Cassy Campbell

It is important that students commit to all course requirements, including study and assessments the student may need to complete outside their normal training sessions.

Resources to be provided by students:

  • Appropriate outdoor recreation clothing suitable for activities and time of year
  • Jacket
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Wet weather clothing
  • Tent - preferred
  • Sleeping bag
  • Provisions for camps including food, cooking equipment, personal hygiene products

Training facilities:

  • State and National Parks
  • Campgrounds
  • Rockfaces/climbing walls
  • Camping fees and permits organised by GOTAFE


There is no mandatory placement for this qualification however the student is required to commit to face-to-face practical camps.

Blended delivery students:

  • The course duration is one year full-time.
  • Students attend classes at the GOTAFE campus for eight sessions for 6.5 hours per class.
  • Students will work through their learning materials between classes, for around eight hours per week.
  • Students attend 14 outdoor field trips during their course, varying between three to eight day camps (total number of days in the field = 73 days).
  • In addition, students are expected to complete some research and self-directed learning. Students in this cohort will complete their skills assessments during field excursions and complete their knowledge assessments outside of their scheduled classes.


  • The course duration can be either full-time (one year) or part-time (two years).
  • This course is delivered to adult trainees via a blend of workplace delivery and online learning and assessment.
  • Trainees are required to undertake structured online learning through goLearn where they read learning materials, watch videos on YouTube, and complete interactive learning activities related to the unit of study.
  • Trainees are required to spend time researching and undertaking assessment tasks in their own time. Trainees consolidate their knowledge and skills by undertaking practical tasks in the workplace.
  • GOTAFE trainers visit trainees in the workplace four times per year over the duration of their course.
  • Weekly MS teams or telephone support with trainers is available to all trainees over the duration of their training, and trainees can schedule a one-on-one phone call outside of working hours if required.

As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you may access a wide range of academic support services to assist you to meet the academic challenges of your course from our Learning Support Unit.

Learning support

A free and confidential service to help you build the foundation skills you need to be successful at TAFE. Improve your english language, maths and/or writing skills; enhance your computer, exam and study skills.

Learn more about our learning support services


Our library team are passionate about supporting students to achieve their study goals. They have subject guides, referencing help, and online resources to assist you with you assessments.

Find how to reach out to our library in Shepparton

Jobs and study options

Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.

Reach out to our Skills and Jobs Centres

Whether you need support with time management, your mental health, grief and loss, a diagnosed disability, financial hardship, or any other challenge life through your way, we are here to help.

Support for personal issues

We have a dedicated team to ensure students have the help they need with personal issues impacting studies such as homelessness, family problems & setting up payment plans.

Find out how the Student Experience Team can help you

Disability support

Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.

Seek support from our Equitable Learning Advisors

Counselling services

We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.

Learn about our Student Wellbeing Advisors

Refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding Learner’s Rights Student Handbook.

Further information is provided at course induction.

Please note: Eligible individuals who wish to access a government subsidised place, must participate in a Pre-training Review. This will consider your:

  • Aspirations/career goals
  • Educational attainment and capability
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Suitability for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer

Enrolment in general public entry courses will require a selection interview. Please call 1300 468 233 to enquire further.

Skills Recognition is an assessment only process that may result in credits towards a part or full qualification. There is no formal training involved, although you may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.

You can apply for Skills Recognition before you enrol in the qualification you are seeking. You can apply for Skills Recognition through one or both of the following processes:

  • Credit Transfer for formal training that might be equivalent to a new qualification or partial qualification.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for people who have relevant and current skills and knowledge that they have gained through non-formal or informal learning i.e. work or life experience.

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