Possum Monitoring Courses

There are two main courses related to possum monitoring. The field operative course and monitoring design course.

A further option for existing operatives to update their accreditation to include waxtag and chewcard techniques is also available. This is delivered as part of field courses.

Both courses are further described below, including registration and contact information.

Field operative course

This course trains participants to carry out field monitoring of possum populations to the standards of the national trap catch protocol. Field operative monitoring certificates are recognised by the OSPRI, Regional Councils, the Department of Conservation, and contractor organisations.

The field course extends over two days commencing at 8.30am on the first day.

Pre-course study materials and exercises are sent out before the course covering the use map and compass, and the field monitoring aspects of the monitoring protocol.

The courses include classroom and practical outdoor work. We will provide more detail on what you need to bring along prior to the course.

Candidates must achieve a pass in each of the assessments to gain full accreditation. The assessments cover:

  • Separate written tests on knowledge of the protocol and map work.
  • Practical tests covering trap setting, navigation, orienteering, and recording trap catch results (day 2).

Participants who meet the course assessment requirements will be accredited and registered as a Field Operative. An accreditation is current for a period of two years and is renewed on meeting the minimum requirements of two operations in the two years.

Registrations of interest to biodiverse.nz@gmail.com, or phone 027 945 1719 for further information.

Monitoring design courses

This one day course is recognised by the AHB, Regional Councils, DoC and Contractors. It is subject to a similar accreditation system as the field operative qualification.

The training teaches participants to design monitoring operations to the standards of the national monitoring protocol, analyse and interpret data, and deal with potential issues arising from the monitoring data. Appropriate stratification is a particular focus, to ensure designs are efficient and fit for the range of purposes to which monitoring can apply.

Ideally participants will have attended a field operative course before they attend a designer course, though this is not critical. However, participants are expected to be able to work confidently with both Microsoft Word and Excel, and will need to bring their own laptop running Microsoft Office. It is important that participants have a reasonable maths ability, and are 'numerically agile'.

Participants must complete the course and achieve an 80% pass in the final course assessment (multiple choice test) to be accredited and registered as a Designer.

Registrations of interest to biodiverse.nz@gmail.com, or phone 027 945 1719 for further information.

2018 course programme

A number of courses are scheduled subject to minimum numbers.

However, additional courses, and at alternative venues, are regularly provided on an “as needed” basis. Any one, or group, wanting to attend a course outside the scheduled courses, please contact 027 945 1719 for availability.

Course ID

Course Name





Field Operative

April 10 & 11

Palmerston North



Field Operative

May 15 & 16

Invermay Research Centre



Field Operative

June 12 & 13

Palmerston North




July 3




Field Operative

October 16 & 17

Invermay Research Centre



Field Operative


Palmerston North




Registrations of interest to biodiverse.nz@gmail.com, or phone 027 945 1719 for further information.