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NZ Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills [Level 3]

Study Options

Full-time, Part-time


12 - 18 weeks


Level 3

Professional Skills for Primary Industries

When you complete this Level 3 programme, you will have the skills to safely operate vehicles in a Primary Industry context. This could include tractors, quad bikes, motorcycles, light utility vehicles and Class 2 vehicles. You will also work with different types of machinery such as Hydraladas or chainsaws.

There is also an infrastructure strand that allows students to develop skills in fencing or irrigation in relation to either  horticulture or agriculture.

Career Opportunities & Outcomes

On successful completion of this qualification you can pursue employment as a; machine/vehicle operator or general hand in a primary industry context most likely in the horticulture or agriculture sector.


  • NCEA Level 1 OR
  • A qualification at Level 1 or above, with evidence of Literacy and Numeracy abilities equivalent to NCEA (Level 1) OR
  • Evidence of relevant knowledge and experience, including Literacy and Numeracy abilities equivalent to NCEA Level 1.

In the latter two situations you may be required to participate in an enrolment interview with the purpose of verifying the evidence.


The NZ Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills [Level 3] aims to provide you with the ability to safely and effectively carry out a range of
operational activities which involve vehicles, machinery, and infrastructure.

Primary industry workplaces will benefit by having staff with the skills to safely and effectively complete operational activities relevant to vehicles, machinery and infrastructure.

As a graduate you will benefit by having a qualification within a training pathway that recognises progression through the industry and enables
improved job performance.

This qualification is for those from a wide range of primary industry workplaces who want to develop a range of competencies that contribute to
the safe and effective operation of a primary industry workplace.

Management of Workplace Risks and Personal Wellbeing – 15 credits
Mechanised Equipment – Vehicles – 15 credits
Mechanised Equipment – Machinery – 10 credits

Optional Strands

Specialist Equipment

  • One 10 credit course: Operate specialist equipment for primary industry operational activities.


  • One 10 credit course: Carry out activities related to the maintenance of workplace infrastructure.

Graduates will be capable of working under limited supervision.


Various start dates throughout the year

Study Pathways

On successful completion of this qualification you can pursue employment as:

  • A general hand, junior shepherd, farm assistant, seasonal worker, pack house worker, orchard harvester, machinery operator, heavy transport
    operator or in other similar roles in rural based workplaces.

On successful completion of the NZ Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills[Level 3] you may choose to continue with your studies by
enrolling in the following:

  • NZ Certificate in Agriculture (Farming Systems) [Level 3], NZ Certificate in Horticulture (Fruit Production) [Level 3], NZ Certificate in Land Based
    Sustainable Practices [Level 3], NZ Certificate in Horticulture (General) [Level 3] or NZ Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle
    Operator) [Level 3].

Academic Learning Services

Academic Learning Services is here to assist you on your journey towards the successful completion of your studies at EIT. Our aim is for you to become confident, competent and independent learners.

We have dedicated advisors who can assist with your learning.

Find out more:

Hawke’s Bay Campus


EIT offers a variety of scholarships across various subjects and programme levels.  Some scholarships are based on your age, some are specific to the subject you want to study.  Not all scholarships are based on your academic ability and anyone wanting to study should investigate what scholarships are available to them.  

You can find a list of EIT scholarships here however there are many more scholarships offered nationally.  Information about these is on an database called “givME”. givME is accessible at EIT or at some public libraries. If you would like to come to EIT to look through the giveME database don’t hesitate to contact scholarships@eit.ac.nz or call in for a chat.