Assistant Heliski Guide Prerequisites


The NZMGA Assistant heliski guide qualification has been introduced as a default end qualification for those in the NZMGA Ski Guide Pathway who have no desire to lead guide in the heliski industry, nor to undertake ski touring guiding.
The NZMGA, in conjunction with NZHOG, have agreed to this qualification to bridge the special needs of the heliski industry.  ie the opportunity of lead guide positions is small, and the need is high for Assistant Heliski Guides who can work under direct supervision (by  an IFMGA, NZMGA Ski or grandfathered HOG lead heliski guide) via radio and meetings.
The NZMGA still encourages guides to complete to level II NZMGA ski guide status as a primary objective.


To apply for this qualification, you must meet the following criteria:


1.     Have NZMGA Assistant Ski Guide status. (or overseas equivalent)
2.     Current financial membership of NZMGA or other IFMGA membership country.
3.     New Zealand citizen, resident, or have a current work permit.
4.     Current PHEC qualification (or refresher).
5.     At least two seasons of ski guiding work since Assistant Ski Guide status has been granted
6.      No more than 5 years has elapsed since the first training or examination course in your Pathway.


1.     Minimum 20 signed off quality heliski days under direct supervision.
Signed off by the IFMGA, NZMGA SKI or HOG grandfathered lead heliski guide who was your supervising guide on the day. Both  Assistant Guide Personal Obs Form and Assistant Ski Guide Supervision Log must be submitted for each day.
2.     Minimum 10 of the quality heliski supervised days must have taken place in New Zealand.
A written record or logbook on the prescribed forms must be presented on application as proof that experience and supervision requirements have been met.
3.     Written recommendation from two IFMGA Guides or 1 IFMGA and 1 NZMGA Ski Guide.
At least one of these guides must confirm in their letter of recommendation that they have worked with, and been an active supervising guide for, the candidate in the previous 12 months.
4.     Avalanche Course Level 2 Pass OR Avalanche Stage 1 Pass AND Terrain & Snowpack module of Avalanche Stage 2 successfully completed.
5.     Paid a $100 administration fee to the NZMGA.


 Applications for Assistant Heliski Guide are forwarded to the Administrative Officer in the first instance. The NZMGA Technical Sub-Committee is the determining body.

Click here for Application Information and Procedure and to download the Application Form

 Terrain and Supervision Guidelines Additions for Assistant Heliski Guide: 

·   Ski Touring is NOT permitted
·   NO lead guiding.
·   Must be directly supervised* at ALL times.
*Directly supervised in the heliski context:
·            In radio contact with the lead guide or the helicopter that is with that lead guide that can relay messages between lead guide and Assistant Heliski guide.
·            Skiing terrain that has been approved by the lead guide.
·            Attends all meetings run by lead guide eg. Morning meeting, lunch time meeting and end of day meeting. 

Professional Guidelines

Continuing Professional Development: The same CPD expectations as for an NZMGA level II qualification apply. ie A minimum 1 day per year (to be recorded and logged by the guide and this information able to be produced if requested).