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New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Level 3)

With Optional Strand in Plant Operations

Duration 12 weeks full time
Price Funded
Unit Standards See unit standards below



This programme is designed for people working in the civil infrastructure industry, and who want to take their introductory knowledge to an intermediate level.

Graduates will be able to carry out infrastructure works operations and use specialised plant safely to required quality standards. Graduates of the optional strand in Plant Operation can safely and effectively operate plant for infrastructure works.

Programme Overview

On completion of the programme Graduates can:

  • Use safe work practices, processes, and procedures in compliance with environmental requirements on an infrastructure works site.
  • Apply health and safety requirements on an infrastructure worksite.
  • Apply knowledge of quality assurance practices on a civil infrastructure worksite.
  • Keep records on a civil infrastructure worksite.
  • Locate and identify features and services on infrastructure worksites.
  • Carry out operational requirements on a civil works site.
  • Identify and describe the materials used for infrastructure works.
  • Describe soils and aggregate compaction for infrastructure works.
  • Prepare and load a vehicle and safely secure and transport a load for infrastructure works activities.
  • Inspect, maintain, and operate small plant and machinery.
  • Inspect, maintain, and operate a selected infrastructure plant.

Programme Structure

Learners are required to complete all compulsory unit standards listed in Modules 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7.

Learners must also complete the following modules by selecting unit standards to meet the required total credits for each module:

  • Module Two 7 Credits.
  • Module Five 17 Credits.
  • Module Eight 20 Credits.

Learners who complete all eight modules (97 Credits) may be awarded the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Level 3) with optional strand in Plant Operations.

Learners who do not wish to complete the full programme will not require Module Eight and may exit the course on completion of Modules One to Seven (77 Credits). They may be awarded the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Level 3).


Module Unit Standard Title Credits Level Version
Module One:

Safety Risks and environmental

20869 Demonstrate knowledge of notifiable works and work permits typical of infrastructure works sites 3 3 3
27201 Mitigate environmental damage caused by a containment incident 3 3 3
30265 Apply health and safety assessments in a job role 8 3 2
Module Two:

Health and Safety requirements

27501 Demonstrate knowledge of protection and support systems for excavation on an infrastructure works site 2 3 2
20866 Work safely on an infrastructure works site 7 3 2
31945 Conduct safety checks before and after plant and equipment use at an infrastructure worksite 5 3 1
31457 Work around existing services for infrastructure 5 3 1
Module Three:

Quality assurance and Records

27329 Demonstrate knowledge of and apply quality assurance practices to own work area in a civil infrastructure operation 5 3 3
26784 Maintain daily records for an infrastructure works site 5 3 2
Module Four:

Plans, Features and Services

6476 Interpret and use plans to locate features on infrastructure works sites 3 3 6
6479 Locate and identify services for infrastructure works 5 3 7
Module Five:

Operations and teamwork

31447 Demonstrate knowledge of and carry out civil works site operations 14 3 1
26782 Use measurements for infrastructure works purposes 6 3 1
11304 Maintain road by repairing chip sealed surfaces 3 3 3
6483 Install pipe culverts and structures on road construction works  15 3 5
9681 Contribute within and team or group which has an objective 3 3 7
31245 Plan for and lift, move, and place loads using mobile plant, in infrastructure works environments 5 3 2
Module Six:

Soils, Aggregates, Materials
and Transport

31446 Demonstrate knowledge of materials used for infrastructure works 3 3 1
31445 Demonstrate knowledge of soils, and aggregates, and compaction, for infrastructure works 6 3 1
28715 Load, secure, and transport infrastructure works materials, small plant, and equipment 2 3 2
Module Seven:

Small Plant and Machinery

31448 Operate and maintain small plant for infrastructure works 10 3 1
Module Eight:

Infrastructure Plant      

Operate a wheeled loader on infrastructure works sites 20 3 4
Operate a hydraulic excavator on infrastructure works sites 20 3 4
Operate a motor scraper on infrastructure works sites 20 3 4
Operate a self-propelled roller on infrastructure works sites 20 3 4
Operate a bulldozer on infrastructure works sites 20 3 4
Operate an articulated dump truck on infrastructure works sites 20 3 4
Operate a drill rig for horizontal directional drilling 20 3 4
Operate a motor grader on infrastructure works sites 20 3 1
Operate a road mill or reclaimer stabilizer on infrastructure works sites 20 3 1

Entry Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Be physically fit.
  • Work in an infrastructure works environment.
  • Have access to relevant infrastructure plant.
  • Hold a full Category 1 drivers’ licence.


This programme is delivered over 12 weeks (35 hours per week) by a combination of face-to-face training, extensive work experience, and some self-directed study.

Education and Employment Pathway

On completion of this qualification trainees may be employed as operators in a broad range of sectors within the infrastructure works industry in the following contexts:

  • Civil works.
  • Bitumen surfacing.
  • Pipeline construction and maintenance.
  • Water reticulation.
  • Forestry earthworks.
  • Piling and foundation.
  • Rural contracting.
  • Surfacing operations.
  • Underground utilities.

This qualification builds on the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure (Level 2) offered by VHNZ, and can lead to Level 4 qualifications in the infrastructure industry, such as:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Civil) (Level 4) with strands in Earthworks, Road Construction, and Road Maintenance.
  • New Zealand Certificate in Bituminous Product Manufacturing (Level 4) with strands in Biner Manufacturing Operation, Bituminous Mixes Operation, and Bitumen Spraying Operation.
  • New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure (Forestry Earthworks) (Level 4).
  • New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Pipeline Construction Maintenance) (Level 4) with strands in Drinking-Water, Wastewater and Stormwater, and Trenchless Technologies.


This programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under section 439 of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Vertical Horizonz New Zealand Limited is accredited to provide it under section 441 of the Act.

Course Investment

The course investment will vary depending on specific course requirements such as customisation of training location, student status, and number of trainees.

A student fee of $600.00 is charged for this programme. This fee may be funded by the Government under the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund also known as Free Trades Training (TTAF) until December 2022.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact a representative of Vertical Horizonz New Zealand.

Work-Based Learning

This programme requires evidence of 300 hours work-based learning. Learners, employers and VHNZ will be required to agree on the learning content to be delivered and sign a training agreement specifying:

  • Employer obligations.
  • Trainee obligations.
  • VHNZ obligations.

These will be discussed in full prior to enrolment.

Attendance Numbers

Minimum: 8

Maximum: 15

For more information visit our FAQs and Important Information.

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