Outdoor Recreation Levels 1–3 unit standard review – Nov 2021 update

The Outdoor Recreation unit standards at Levels 1–3 have been reviewed and new versions of these unit standards will be listed on NZQA's website in November 2021.

This review was a big undertaking and Toi Mai would like to acknowledge and thank Skills Active Aotearoa, Education Outdoors NZ and the many subject matter experts that contributed to this review during 2020 and 2021.

Sixty unit standards were reviewed, and many were found to be no longer fit for purpose or aligned with contemporary outdoor recreation. Changes were made to all standards and in some cases new standards were developed to meet industry and stakeholder needs. To view the full review report please click here.

Summary of main changes:

  • New unit standards have been developed that cover ‘core knowledge and skills’ (eg planning) and this content has been removed from the activity specific standards.
  • Credit reductions and adjustments have been made to many standards to more accurately reflect the time taken to learn and demonstrate these outcomes and given the removal of the ‘core’ content.
  • Level decreases were made to some standards to align with other standards across the subfield.
  • 29 unit standards were designated as expiring.
  • 31 unit standards have changes in title, credits, level, outcomes or performance criteria.
  • 16 new unit standards have been developed.
  • Three domains (Outdoor Navigation, Cycle Touring, and Mountain Craft) will be expired as all their standards have been moved to different domains.

Impact on consent to assess (CTA):

Toi Mai and NZQA have agreed that the outdoor management domain from Levels 1–2 will be included in the Base Scope of Assessment for Schools (BSAS). This automatically gives all schools in New Zealand consent to assess for the six new ‘core’ unit standards at levels 1 and 2.

If a standard has been reviewed and retains the same unit standard number then your consent to assess remains in place (even if the standard has increased or decreased in level or credit).

Other automatic consent to assess extensions are detailed in the table below:

Impact on organisations with consent to assess

The following unit standards are expiring, with last date of assessment of 31 December 2023.

  • 430, 431, 432, 439, 444, 459, 467, 468, 471, 480, 489, 13376, 20122, 20125, 20128, 20129, 20135, 20141, 20151, 20161, 20819, 20821, 20837, 21929, 21930, 21933, 24663, 26237, 26246.

The following unit standards have changed level or credit value. Existing CTA for any of the following unit standards is still valid and will be transferred to the new unit standard version. If a provider or school has developed their own assessment material, this material for the old version is still valid until 31 December 2023. After that date people must update to the new unit standard version.

  • 425, 426, 427, 438, 448, 457, 470, 473, 476, 4573, 5479, 5482, 18132, 19428, 20121, 20133, 20137, 20138, 20149, 20150, 20152, 20157, 20159, 20160, 20210, 20817, 20818, 21931, 21932, 22015, 26243, 26249.

The following unit standards are new. Consent to Assess applications must be completed for any new unit standards (not automatically extended). 
Note: Any assessment material schools or providers develop for the new unit standards must be pre-moderated and approved for use by Toi Mai.

  • 32834–37, 32840–45, 32847–50, 32852–53.

How do I check my organisation’s consent to assess?

Go to NZQA and search for your organisation name, then view details.

How do we extend our consent to assess scope with Toi Mai?

If you need to extend your current consent to assess scope to include new standards then please click here to find the Toi Mai consent to assess process and application form.

If you have any queries please contact [email protected]

Are there new assessment resources?

New pre-assessment moderated assessment resources are being developed by Education Outdoors New Zealand and Skills Active and will be available from late 2021. For more information, please go to or

You can continue to use any existing assessment materials until 31 December 2023, but we recommend that you transition to the new standards and resources as soon as possible.

How do we get our own assessment material pre-assessment moderated?

If you wish to develop your own assessment materials these will need to be moderated by Toi Mai before you use them. For more information on the process and to download the coversheet click here.

For any further queries please contact [email protected]