The purpose of this course is to train participants to carry out the design component of monitoring operations to the standards of the national trap catch and waxtag protocols and to certify people who meet the course assessment requirement as approved designers.

Information for participants

The Course is recognised by the AHB, Regional Councils, DoC and Contractors.

  • A requirement for people wishing to undertake the design of monitoring work.
  • Part of an approved operator accreditation system administered by the NPCA
  • Available as a refresher course (at a reduced fee) for existing accredited designers.

The Course covers:

  • Design specifications of monitoring operations to get valid results
  • Planning tasks required up to the implementation of the field work
  • The analysis and interpretation of the field data
  • Calculation of RTC’s, BMI’s, and estimates of kill
  • Reporting and data management
  • Use of computers to help designers


  • Participants should have attended a field operative course before they attend a designer course.
  • Participants are expected to be able to work confidently with both Microsoft Word and Excel. It is important that participants have a sound understanding of mathematics and are 'numerically agile'.

A designer must be able to:

  • Identify and quantify possum habitat
  • Delineate strata
  • Collate and analyse field data
  • Derive RTCI’s, BMI’s and proportionate kills
  • Construct a monitoring operation containing the minimum number of lines that are necessary for the area in question, properly allocated between different strata (where applicable)
  • Randomly or systematically select coordinates for start points of lines and determine paths for laying lines in an unbiased manner.

Course Assessment

Candidates must complete the course and achieve an 80% pass in the final course assessment (multiple choice test). Candidates who meet the course assessment requirements will receive a certificate and will be accredited and registered as a Designer.

Please note a process is in place to suspend or remove accreditations in cases of dishonesty and/or failure to meet the standards or if, for any other reason, NPCA reasonably believes the designer is no longer suitable to retain accreditation.

Course Programme and Enrolment

Check the two-day course Timetable and the course times and locations in the course programme

For enrolment information see Course Registration.

If you require any further information please call the helpline on 027 945 1719