Otago Polytechnic

New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3)

Location

Dunedin 

Duration
Six months full-time; one year part-time alongside employment
Delivery

Dunedin Campus and 10 Donald Street automotive facility with online learning and work experience   

Credits
90
Level
3
Start
December 2019
Apply
Anytime

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. 

Graduate outcomes

Graduates of this qualification will 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. 
Entry requirements 

Academic requirements

  • 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. 

Other requirements

  • You must hold the appropriate full New Zealand Drivers Licence for the mandatory NZQA period (three or six months).
  • 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
months first
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

Additional information

  • 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). 
  • 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.

If you want more information around the process and management of test results, please email hamish.miller@op.ac.nz or ECLadmin@op.ac.nz 

Programme content

The programme consists of five compulsory courses all at Level 3. 

Introductory Skills (20 credits)

  • Ensure you can comply with commercial road transport rules and regulations and manage their driving performance to ensure the safety of self and others.
  • Apply risk reduction techniques and strategies while day and night driving.
  • Explain the symptoms and management of health factors relating to driving performance.
  • Operate a heavy vehicle in a safe and legal manner.
  • Manage and perform driver responsibilities and obligations for work time, driver fatigue and logbook requirements. 

Industry skills (20 credits)

  • Apply basic industry skills as they navigate their legal responsibilities as heavy vehicle operators.
  • Complete the documentation required to comply with the legal requirements for transporting goods by road.
  • Conduct risk assessment and apply hazard identification procedures in relation to industry requirements.
  • Identify and document the legal and safety requirements for the operation of a heavy motor vehicle for the transportation of goods by road.
  • Perform driving manoeuvres in a safe manner.
  • Explain the effects of dynamics on a heavy vehicle. 

Vehicle Technology (15 credits)

  • Gain an understanding of the range of technological innovations and how these are used on a heavy combination or rigid vehicle.
  • Describe a range of innovations and technologies that apply to heavy vehicles.
  • Demonstrate the use of a range of technology systems used on heavy vehicles.
  • Apply knowledge of heavy vehicle mechanical and electrical principles and systems to safely carry out essential checks. 

Professional Operator Skills (15 credits)

  • Demonstrate professional behaviour and skills and apply these in work placement contexts.
  • Describe and apply principles, regulations and industry standards for loading and unloading heavy vehicles.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills for commercial road transport drivers.
  • Apply the professional skills as a heavy vehicle operator in a range of industry contexts. 

Specialist Driving Skills (20 credits)

  • Learn how to carry out appropriate safety checks and safely operate a heavy vehicle.
  • Meet the specialist standards required in the road transport industry.
  • Safely carry out essential checks on heavy vehicles.
  • Explain and demonstrate safe and fuel efficient driving skills required for a heavy vehicle.
  • Operate a heavy vehicle over 18,000kgs in a safe and legal manner. 

Work experience

When in the workplace, learners will 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. 

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)  

Additional costs 

You will need to have safety boots, suitable sturdy work wear and safety glasses. A hard hat is optional. 

Further study options 
Student loans and allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Disclaimer

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.

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