New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3)
Gain your heavy vehicle license and develop skills beyond the required standard for a heavy vehicle license holder. Study either full-time on campus over a period of 28 weeks or part-time alongside employment over a period of 48 weeks.
About the programme
Become a fully-competent and highly capable heavy vehicle licence holder.
This hands-on programme will ensure you gain the practical skills and theoretical knowledge beyond the required standard for those of a heavy vehicle licence holder. Graduate with the ability to join the road transport industry in a range of employment contexts as a heavy rigid vehicle or heavy combination vehicle operator.
There are two different study options for this programme. You can either study full-time over a period of 28 weeks or study part-time alongside employment over a period of 48 weeks.
For the part-time option, learners will be required to attend the block courses throughout the delivery period. After each block course, you will then carry out the practical application of the theory in your workplace (under the supervision of your employer/manager) and will build a record over time of your workplace activities.
Otago Polytechnic teachers will support your workplace learning through workplace visits and supervising assessments, as well as maintaining regular communication with you.
What You Study
The programme consists of five compulsory courses all at Level 3.
|Professional Operator Skills||
|Specialist Driving Skills||
When you successfully complete it, you'll be able to:
- Comply with the commercial road transport regulatory environment and health and safety obligations as a heavy vehicle operator to ensure the safety of themselves, their vehicle, other road users, and the public.
- Demonstrate safe and fuel efficient driving skills and expertise, and perform driving manoeuvres and tasks for a heavy rigid vehicle or heavy vehicle combination.
- Complete comprehensive route planning as a heavy vehicle operator using appropriate navigation technology, ensuring regulatory obligations are met and public safety is protected.
- Communicate effectively with customers, clients, and colleagues as a heavy vehicle operator.
- Apply knowledge of heavy vehicle mechanical and electronic principles and systems, such as vehicle technology, types, and combinations, to transport freight and safely carry out essential checks.
- Apply knowledge of loading, restraint, and unloading principles and procedures to work as a heavy vehicle operator.
When in the workplace, you'll carry out tasks and activities related to customer service and communication, load and unload, preparing transport documentation, heavy vehicle technology, and safe and fuel-efficient driving.
Further study options
Due to NZTA licencing requirements, this programme is not available to international students.
- NCEA Level 1 in English and Maths, or equivalent skills and knowledge.
- If you are a domestic student whose first language is not English, you may be required to provide evidence of your English language competency.
- You must hold the appropriate full New Zealand Drivers Licence for the mandatory NZQA period (three or six months).
- Medical Certificate (valid at the time of Class 2)
- Due to NZTA licencing requirements, no international students can be enrolled into this programme.
- You must also:
- present evidence of your identity
- prove your eyesight meets the required standard
- present a medical certificate (if required)
- let the agent take your photo and signature.
Please note: Due to class 2, 4 or 5 licencing rules, there is a mandatory stand down period. Six months for learners under 25 years and three months for learners 25 years and older. Once this period ends, you may return and complete the necessary licencing requirements. Please see the NZTA guidelines table below.
|Under 25||25 and over|
|Class 2L||You must hold a current class 1 full licence for six months first||You must hold a current
class 1 full licence for six
|Class 3L||You must hold a current class 2 full licence for six months first||You must hold a current class 2 full licence for three months first|
|Class 4L||You must hold a current class 2 full licence for six months first||You must hold a current class 2 full licence for three months first|
|Class 5L||You must hold a current class 4 full licence for six months first||You must hold a current class 4 full licence for three months first|
- You will be required to undertake drug and alcohol testing (via The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA – https://www.tdda.com) throughout the duration of the programme. This is to ensure you are drug and alcohol free to meet industry requirements and to ensure health and safety laws and regulations are met. TDDA testing costs $79 per person (+GST) and is covered by Otago Polytechnic.
- The use of any prescription or non-prescription medications that may impact the safe use of any machinery or vehicles must be brought to the attention of the Programme Manager, to ensure that safe practices are adhered to at all times.
- This regulation aligns with Otago Polytechnic’s Alcohol and Drug Policy.
Prior learning, cross-credit and credit transfer
|Type of credit recognition||From other qualifications/experiences||To other qualifications from this one|
|Cross credit (similar outcome)||Where possible, applicants will be advised prior to enrolment of their eligibility for cross-credit for particular courses||Dependent on regulations and policies of the particular institution (Otago Polytechnic's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy)|
|Credit transfer (identical outcome)||Where possible, applicants will be advised prior to enrolment of their eligibility for credit transfer for particular units/courses||Unit standards/Assessment standards are recorded on the NZ Qualifications Framework (Otago Polytechnic's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy)|
|Recognition of, or Assessment of, Prior Learning (equivalent outcome and commonly achieved outside formal education)||
Assessment against an individual course
Prior Learning will be considered against learning outcomes for a course and may include a combination of attestation, portfolio, professional conversation, challenge test, academic transcript
|Dependent on regulations and policies of the particular institution (Otago Polytechnic's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy)|
|Assessment of Prior Learning against the graduate profile||
Assessment against the graduate profile
Prior Learning will be considered against the graduate profile and may include a combination of attestation, portfolio, professional conversation, challenge test, academic transcript
Dependent on regulations and policies of the particular institution (Otago Polytechnic's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy)
The tuition fees shown above are approximate only. There may be a slight fee increase per year once Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) rules and guidelines are applied. These fees also don’t include additional costs or living costs.
Student Services Fee
For most students, your tuition fee shown above includes a Student Services Fee – also known as the Student Levy. This compulsory fee covers your access to the student services we offer. This cost is tailored depending on how you're studying.
- You will need to have safety boots, rigger gloves, suitable sturdy work wear and safety glasses. A hard hat is optional.
- Licensing Fees: www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/licensing-fees/licence-fees/
Domestic full-time students can apply for a student loan through Studylink. Some support may be available for domestic part-time students. Apply at the same time as you apply for your course (you can withdraw your application anytime).
A change for 2023 enrolments
When you apply to study with Otago Polytechnic in 2023, you will be enrolled with Te Pūkenga, the new national network of vocational and applied education in Aotearoa New Zealand. You will learn in the same way, in the same place, and with the same people. The great news is that this enables us to share skills and knowledge across a network of passionate education providers, to better help you succeed. Enrolling in programmes that start in 2023, means that you will graduate with a Te Pūkenga qualification.
While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.