SIS50421 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership

Course CodeSIS50421
CRICOS Code108945J
Course duration12 months
Study modeFace to face (or via virtual classroom, if necessary)
LocationLake Macquarie Campus
Fees and Financial AssistanceThis is a full fee-paying qualification - Fees
VET Student Loans available for this course
There are a number of financial assistance options available; for more information click here

RTO 91191

For more information contact:
[email protected]
Tel: +61 2 4980 2159


The SIS50421 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership provides professional training in an exciting array of challenging adventure activities. This course equips you for employment in the outdoor recreational area, tourism, and education sectors.

This course enables senior leaders to lead and supervise participants in recreational activities. It provides skills in managing recreational planning, implementation and evaluation, and facility and equipment management.

A Diploma of Outdoor Leadership is an excellent option if you are looking to enhance your outdoor recreation expertise to move into leadership roles, take on operational management of a department or small business with an outdoors focus.

Avondale's Outdoor Leadership courses are practical, with most of the instruction taking place in the field, allowing students to travel and experience parts of Australia.

Career Opportunities

Outdoor Leadership graduates leave with the skills that support a range of careers, including:
  • The retail camping sector
  • Sport and recreation centres - such as rock-climbing gyms
  • Camping and outdoor recreation centres
  • Wilderness adventure and camping tourism
  • Outdoor Education as part of a teaching career
  • Adventure therapy programs
  • Youth at risk programs
  • Vocational training
  • Guiding and instructing

The leadership and personal skills taught in the course are diverse and graduates find them useful in any career they choose.

Education Pathways

A SIS50421 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership can also be used as a steppingstone to further education. This could include:
  • Possible university entrance into undergraduate courses
  • A SIS50421 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership qualification from Avondale or another Registered Training Organisation will provide students with Advanced Standing at Avondale for the Outdoor Education Minor elective under the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary)

Entry Requirements

Avondale’s Diploma in Outdoor Leadership is designed for those that have previously completed SIS30619 Certificate III or SIS40621 / SIS40619 Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership and/or have demonstrated significant experience in leading outdoor activities through organizations such as Pathfinders, Scout, and Girl Guides. This qualification is physically demanding and students need to demonstrate they have an interest in outdoor pursuits, are physically fit, and academically suited to the course.

Entry requirements for SIS50421 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership:

  • Be aged 18 years or over or
  • Hold a minimum of a Higher School Certificate (HSC) or hold an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) at a level 4 or above or
  • Have suitable language, literacy and numeracy skills* to perform workplace tasks such as measuring, weighing and comprehending written work instructions and the following:

  • Have completed the SIS40619 or SIS40621 Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership or completed the Avondale Outdoors Bridging course**
  • Provide an activity log
  • Able to obtain a Working With Children Check
  • Able to commit to the course attendance requirements
  • Be able to meet the physical requirements of activities included in the course

*Avondale will assess competence in literacy, language and numeracy using the Basic Key Skill Builder (BKSB) test. An exit Level of 4 or 5 will be needed for entry into a Diploma.

**If you are unable to complete all components of the bridging course, we may advise you to withdraw from the bridging course and enrol in the SIS40621 Certificate IV in Outdoor Leadership.

All applicants are required to participate in a enrolment interview as part of the application process and will be asked to provide a completed medical record on offer of a place in the course.

Physical Requirements

Students will be participating in trips that include hiking, camping and sleeping outdoors with limited assistance. Students should be able to carry their own pack, be comfortable with being away from home, able to camp in remote locations and be able to undertake physically demanding activities working in small groups.

Requirements For International Applicants

In addition to the course entry requirements above, overseas applicants are required to satisfy Australian Government visa requirements.

Applicants from a country where English is not the first language must demonstrate proficiency in English in one of the following ways:
  • Provide documentary evidence that secondary schooling was conducted in an English medium, and evidence of a satisfactory pass in English in a British O-level examination or local equivalent.
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency by providing evidence of satisfactory performance in the International Language Testing System (IELTS) or equivalent approved test (eg TOEFL, PBT, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English). Applicants who take IELTS must sit either the General module and attain a minimum score of 6.0 or the Academic module and attain a minimum score of 5.5, with consistent results across the bands.

    Applicants from other countries will have their qualifications assessed by the Admissions Office.

Credit Transfer and Recognised Prior Learning

Credit Transfer (CT):

If you have previously completed any of the units as listed in the course structure below at Avondale or with any other registered training organisation, you may request Credit Transfer for unit(s).

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

Depending on your experience and previous work in Outdoor Recreation, you may request RPL. To support your RPL request you will be asked to demonstrate and provide evidence of learning related to the unit or units you are seeking RPL for.

For more information regarding CT or RPL, call +61 2 4980 2159, or email [email protected]

Course Structure

This qualification is taught for a total of 30 weeks over 3 trimesters; students are required to attend theory and practical sessions. Students typically attend class 3 days a week with time outside of class to do self-study, assignments, and practice. Practical’s can be done during the week or over weekends and can be weather dependent. Changes can occur in the planned activities of the week to ensure student safety.

To successfully gain SIS50421 Diploma of Outdoor Leadership there are 28 units (13 core and 15 elective units) that students must successfully demonstrate competency in.

Electives offered at Avondale include learning in:
  • Bushwalking, Extremely Difficult Tracked and Untracked
  • Climbing, Natural Surfaces, Lead, Single Pitch
  • Kayaking, Moving Water
  • Sea Kayaking, Exposed Waters

Core Units
HLTWHS004Manage work health and safety
SISOPLN002Plan outdoor activity sessions
SISOPLN004Identify hazards, assess and control risks for outdoor recreation activities
SISOPLN006Plan for minimal environmental impact
SISXCAI006Facilitate groups
SISXEMR002Coordinate emergency responses
SISXIND008Manage legal compliance in sport and recreation
PUAOPE013Operate communications systems and equipment
SISOPLN003Develop outdoor recreation programs
SISOPLN005Interpret weather and environmental conditions for outdoor recreation activities
SISOPLN007Manage risk for outdoor programs
SISXCCS002Coordinate client service activities
SISXIND005Coordinate work teams or groups
Elective Units
SISOBWG003Bushwalk in extremely difficult tracked and untracked environments
SISOBWG007Lead bushwalks in extremely difficult tracked and untracked environments
SISOFLD008Navigate in extremely difficult tracked and untracked environments
SISOCLM003Lead climb single pitches, natural surfaces
SISOCLM006Establish belays for single pitch climbing on natural surfaces
SISOCLM010Lead single pitch climbing activities on natural surfaces, lead climbing
SISOFLD006Navigate in tracked environments
SISORSC002Perform vertical rescues
SISOKYK001Paddle a kayak on inland flatwater
SISOKYK002Paddle a kayak on moving water up to grade 1 rivers
SISOKYK005Lead kayaking activities on inland flatwater
SISOKYK006Lead kayaking activities on moving water up to grade 1 rivers
SISOFLD005Navigate waterway courses
SISOKYS003Paddle a sea kayak in exposed coastal waters
SISOKYS006Lead sea kayaking activities in exposed coastal waters

Note: Not all elective units may be available to study, please enquire for more information

Additional Information

Equipment and additional costs

To ensure that students are able to successfully participate in all aspects of Outdoor Leadership studies - theory and practical, students must provide the following:
  • Computer / laptop
  • Suitable clothing for outdoor activity – hiking, bushwalking, climbing, abseiling, canoeing and kayaking
  • Toiletries
  • Sleeping bag (and pillow)
  • Suitable footwear for hiking/bushwalking and water activities
  • Sunscreen & sun hat
  • Insect repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Food for offsite activities where these may be overnight or consecutive days and nights away

Avondale provides equipment for specialised activities including personal flotation devices, canoes/ kayaks, helmets, harnesses, ropes, backpacks and tents.

Field Trips

Much of the instruction for outdoor leadership takes place in the field. Trips can range from excursions of a few hours such as trips to local abseiling sites to extended expeditions such as trips in the high country of the Snowy Mountains. Avondale provide transportation for all field trips. Students will be required to provide their own transportation where they are not able to meet the planned departure and return times.

Simulations and/or Work Placement

Students will need to participate in practicals where they are required to plan programs, lead others in activities and evaluate. These practicals can be simulated or organised through work placement by the course convenor.

Where students are undertaking work placement, there may be additional requirements to be met as determined by the work placement provider.

These may include:
  • Working with Children Check
  • National Police Clearance
  • Evidence of current immunisations

Students are responsible for meeting work placement requirements and any associated costs.

Avondale Policies

Avondale is committed to an environment of learning that supports the fullest possible human development. To support this Avondale provides an environment that is alcohol-free, tobacco-free and drug free on all campuses.

Avondale has a number of policies to support a positive learning experience and environment for all students studying at Avondale.

For further information see policies