New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Level 3)*

Gain work-ready skills with this pre-apprenticeship qualification. As part of your apprenticeship, you will learn to perform basic tasks under supervision through our on-the-job simulations. In addition, you’ll also learn how to follow industry health and safety protocols and get trained and certified in first aid.

About the programme

With the need for housing, new builds and commercial or community projects increasing, the demand for workers within the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying trades will remain strong for years to come. 

Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers assemble, install and repair pipes, drains and fixtures that supply water and gas or remove waste.

Career options include a Plumber, Drainlayer, GasfitterRooferHeating and Ventilation Installer and Heat Pump Installer.

This hands-on, pre-apprenticeship programme will give you the work-ready skills you need to enter an apprenticeship - your first step on the path to becoming fully qualified. 

You'll train in our workshops and learn through on-the-job simulations. Work-site style activities will teach you how to work as part of a team, follow instructions, understand regulatory roles and health and safety protocols, and to practise the language and culture of the trade. 

Courses include Water Supply Systems, Building Envelope, Drainlaying, Plumbing Maintenance & Foulwater, and Introduction to Gasfitting. You'll also get trained and certified in first aid.  

*Please note: This programme is subject to final approval and availability.

Programme fees 

As this programme is new, our programme fees are still being developed. As a rough guide, pre-apprenticeship certificates are often around $3,000-$4,000 for domestic students.  

Studying part-time 

We know full-time study isn't always possible. We also offer this programme part-time over two years. 


You need to complete five compulsory 15-credit courses to finish this programme. In addition to learning the basic methods for performing entry-level plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying tasks under supervision, you’ll also learn how to follow industry health and safety protocols and get trained and certified in first aid.


Course name What you'll learn
Essential Safety Skills for PGD
  • Manage first aid in an emergency situation
  • Provide first aid
  • Provide basic life support
  • Hazards associated with confined spaces
  • Plan a confined space entry
  • Your obligations as an employee
  • Asbestos and safety measures for asbestos-related work
Patterns, Tools, Regulatory and Ethical Considerations
  • Ethical and legal considerations for plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying services
  • The regulatory framework for plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying
  • Select, describe, use, and maintain tools for plumbing and drainlaying projects
  • Draw and form simple patterns for plumbing and gasfitting sheet metal components
Introduction to Drainlaying
  • Perform basic calculations used in a given trade situation
  • Excavating and trenching for plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying
  • Position, excavate, and backfill excavations and trenches for plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying
Introduction to Plumbing
  • Water, material properties, and less frequently used materials in plumbing and drainlaying
Introduction to Gasfitting
  • Working in gas contaminated environments in plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying

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.