New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Pre-apprenticeship) (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 and Foulwater; and Introduction to Gasfitting. You'll also get trained and certified in first aid.  

*Please note: This programme is subject to 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 $5,000-$8,000 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 Description Credits
Water Supply Systems

Gain the foundation knowledge and practical skills to help with the installation of hot and cold water plumbing installations. Learn how to:  

  • Help with installing hot and cold water reticulation systems
  • Help with installing and commissioning a low pressure, tank-fed, hot water cylinder
  • Work safely with electricity
  • Provide first aid and demonstrate site safe principles
  • Be work ready
Building Envelope

Learn about the principles related to weather tightness in plumbing and gasfitting. Learn how to:  

  • Describe the main principles of weather tightness in plumbing and gasfitting
  • Describe methods of preserving the structural integrity and prevention of damage to property
  • Install water-tight roof and well-pipe penetration systems
  • Install basic roof cladding and flashings (e.g. corrugated steel systems)
  • Work safely at heights
  • Be work ready 

Build basic knowledge and practical skills to help with drainage system installation. Learn how to:

  • Excavate, shore and backfill a trench
  • Identify and help with installing drainage pipework and components
  • Plan a confined space entry
  • Be work ready 
Plumbing maintenance and foul water

Discover how to help with the installation of foul water plumbing systems and, under supervision, perform basic plumbing maintenance. Learn how to:

  • Identify and help with installing basic foul water plumbing systems
  • Help with installing basic plumbing fixtures
  • Maintain taps and help with maintaining valves
  • Describe biohazards in relation to plumbing and drainlaying work
  • Be work ready
Introduction to gasfitting

Build foundation knowledge and skills of flueing and ventilation, consumer gas pipework, gas appliances and their applications. Learn how to:

  • Identify and help with installing appropriate gas pipework and components
  • Identify and help with installing a flue system
  • Describe basic gas appliance controls and their operation
  • Demonstrate knowledge of hazards and precautions for working with gas in plumbing, and gasfitting, including combustion principles 

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.