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New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills (Level 3)



Book Price (Per Person): POA
Company Booking: Please contact your Vertical Horizonz representative on 0800 72 33 848


This programme is to provide primary industry workplaces with individuals who can safely and effectively carry out operational activities which involve vehicles, specialist equipment, and infrastructure.

Graduates will be capable of working under limited supervision.


On completion of the programme, graduates can:

  • Complete a risk assessment and develop a recording system for primary industry machinery use
  • In a primary industry operation demonstrate and apply knowledge of sustainable environmental practices
  • Manage personal wellbeing during primary industry operational activities
  • Use mechanised equipment

and either:

  • Operate specialist equipment, or
  • Establish infrastructure.

Entry criteria

Applicants must be:

  • Aged 16 years or over
  • Physically fit
  • Working in a relevant primary sector environment (if not VHNZ will arrange suitable work experience and access to required vehicles and equipment), and
  • Have access to required equipment to complete selected unit standards
  • Have the relevant driver licence and/or endorsement where needed.
  • Applicants and employers may be required to attend an interview to establish that the above criteria have been met.


There may be specific requirements for some unit standards as follows:

Set 2 - Tractors Must hold a full or restricted class 1 light motor vehicle driver licence (if vehicle is to be
driven on a road).
Set 5 - 4WD Must hold a full or restricted class 1 light motor vehicle driver licence.
Sets 7 & 10
Unit Standard 29845
Must complete Set Two "tractors" for entry into either set.
Set 9, 10, 13 & 14 Class full or restricted of driver licence and any driver licence endorsement appropriate
for the vehicle being driven, if vehicle is to be driven on a road e.g. class 2 truck.

These requirements will be discussed during the enrollment process.

Work Based Learning

Learners will be required to complete up to 452 relevant work experience hours recorded in a logbook and validated by the employer or supervisor. Applicants, employers, and VHNZ will agree on the learning content to be delivered and sign a training agreement specifying:
• Employer obligations
• Trainee obligations
• VHNZ obligations

This will be discussed with each party prior to enrolment.

Course Investment

The programme investment will vary depending on specific course requirements such as customisation of training location and number of Learners.
Funding/subsidies may be available for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents or Australian citizens and permanent residents living in New Zealand.

Education and Employment Pathway

Graduates of this qualification are likely to be employed as a general hand, junior shepherd, farm assistant, harvester, assistant beekeeper, stable assistant, nursery worker, viticulture worker, or in similar roles in primary industry workplaces.

This qualification may lead to other Primary Industry qualifications at level 3 and 4.

pROGRAMME Structure

Learners are required to complete all compulsory unit standards listed in Module One (see table below).

Learners must also complete Module Two by selecting one or more sets of unit standards from set one to six and/or elective unit standards from set seven to obtain at least 23 credits.

Learners who complete a further 10 credits from Module Three or Four will have completed the New Zealand. Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills (Level 3) with strand in Specialist Equipment or Infrastructure depending on the module selected.

Learners who do not wish to complete the full programme will not require Module Three or Four and may. Exit the course on completion of Modules One and Two (40 Credits) and may be awarded the New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills (Level 3).



14 Weeks

Middle Content


Delivered over 14 weeks (35 hours per week) by a combination of face-to-face training, extensive work experience, and some self-directed study.

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