Pest Operations Courses (Level 3)

Pest Operations Courses (Level 3)2023-10-24T09:19:32+12:00

Vocational Training

Carve out a career pathway for yourself with this vocational programme at Land Based Training. This course is a great certification move for those already in the industry, those who want to enter it, and those looking to start their own business.

Proactive pest operations ensure a safer environment, and pest management and control in rural areas are designed to protect crops, livestock and the wider environment. Gaining a pest control certification will help make Aotearoa a better place for everyone.

What Will I Learn?

Upon completing this programme, you will understand how best to approach pest control and pest monitoring in both urban and rural environments. The skills you will gain will include identifying and controlling hazards and pest identification. You will also learn how to use poisons and traps safely and how to use a vehicle securely when on the job.

There are sections around the biology of pests and professional communication processes in the industry, and you will also learn some basic survival skills. This programme covers animal and plant pests in rural environments.

Pests in New Zealand

If you are looking at engaging with this course, it may help to understand what constitutes a pest here – read on to discover some information about common pests in New Zealand.


Possums have been seriously affecting the ecosystems in Aoteroa for decades. These animals are opportunistic omnivores, which means they can completely strip a native tree of leaves, fruit, buds and flowers. This negatively impacts the growth of the tree and the animals, birds and insects that rely on it for sustenance.

Possums also eat native insects like weta, land snails, and they push native birds out of the area by nesting in trees. Possums have also been filmed eating the chicks and the eggs of endangered native birds – and they spread bovine tuberculosis.

Keeping possum levels down is essential to the ongoing health of our natural ecosystems.


Gorse is widespread throughout the country, affecting pasture, roadside verges, scrubland, forest margins and coastal habitats, reducing the area available for grazing by livestock on pasture and invading natural open spaces. With foliage that is prone to becoming very dry and susceptible to fire, it also fixes nitrogen in the soil and can lead to adverse effects on water quality.

Choose Land Based Training

This Land Based Training Course mixes theory and practice to provide an excellent foundation for a career in this industry.

Click on the various sections here to discover the course requirements, possible outcomes and more.

This programme is designed to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge required to carry out pest control or pest monitoring in a rural or urban environment. Learners will gain skills which include identifying and controlling hazards, basic survival skills, communication skills, biodiversity, safe vehicle use during pest operations, pest identification, biology, control and monitoring skills, safe firearm, traps and poisons use to control animal, plant and insect pests.

This programme is targeted at individuals who have recently begun working in the pest operations industry or who wish to enter the pest operations industry. The programme has strands in either rural, or in and/or around built urban environments and students can choose the strand option they wish to study upon enrolment.

Compulsory across all Strands

Course CodeCourse Name
NZPO1.001Safety in the Workplace
NZPO1.002Workplace Communication
NZPO1.003Pest Control Impacts

Rural Pest Control Strand

Course CodeCourse Name
NZPO1.004Operate Vehicles for Pest Control
NZPO1.005Rural Pest Identification – Control (Animal and Plant)
NZPO1.006Control Rural Pests (Animal)
NZPO1.007Control Rural Pests (Plants)
NZPO1.008Capstone – Control Rural Pests

Rural Pest Monitoring Strand

Course CodeCourse Name
NZPO1.009Operate Vehicles for Pest Monitoring
NZPO1.010Rural Pest Identification – Monitoring (Animal and Plant)
NZPO1.011Monitor Rural Pests (Animal)
NZPO1.012Monitor Rural Pests (Plants)
NZPO1.013Capstone – Monitor Rural Pests

Outcome Statement

Graduates of this programme will be able to:

  • Maintain health and safety in a range of conditions
  • Communicate, report and record information for workplace requirements.
  • Identify the purpose and impacts of pest operations.

Graduates of the Rural Pest Control strand will also be able to:

  • Operate vehicles in a rural environment
  • Identify and control a pest type in a rural environment

Graduates of the Rural Pest Monitoring strand will also be able to:

  • Operate vehicles in a rural environment
  • Monitor a pest type in a rural environment

Graduates of the Urban Pest Control strand will also be able to:

  • Identify, control and monitor pests commonly found in an urban environment

Education Pathways

On completion of this programme, students may progress on to the New Zealand Certificate in Pest Management (Level 4) with strands in Pest Animal and Pest Plant.

Employment Pathways

Graduates of this qualification may be employed in a range of roles in Pest Control enterprises requiring limited supervision to identify pests and control methods, operate vehicles and monitor operations.


  • Full-Time 26 Weeks
  • Part-Time 52 Weeks

Entry Criteria

Academic Achievement

Academic Achievement

Applicants should demonstrate an ability to succeed in tertiary study, shown by the completion of any of the following qualifications or courses of study:

  • Level 2 Pest Control industry qualification or experience in the industry.
  • Any qualification specified by the ITO or equivalent standards setting body
  • A minimum of three years of secondary education;


  • 48 or more credits at NCEA Level 1, with no fewer than 12 credits in each of four subjects;


  • Step 3 Reading and Step 4 Numeracy on the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT)

The below are a pre-requisite to the course however we will support you in getting these during your time studying with us where necessary.

  • Hold a current Firearms Licence
  • Hold a controlled substances handling licence
  • Hold a current A class driver licence
  • Hold unit 24557 Demonstrate knowledge of the safe operation of a quad bike

English Second Language Students

Applicants whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools or other teaching institutions is not English, require an ELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 5.5 or above (or equivalent) for enrolment.

Life Skills/Work Experience

Applicants who do not meet the academic entry criteria above may be admitted to the programme/course of study if they are able to demonstrate:

  • Equivalent pest control knowledge and skills (minimum two years in the industry)

Selection Criteria

All applicants will be required to meet with the tutor or field officer of the programme they are applying for prior to starting – this will be an informal conversation which will include covering the programme expectations and getting a better understanding of suitability for the programme.  Where there are more applicants than places available or the programme is not the best fit, a waiting list will be kept or our team will work with you to provide a suitable alternative. On completion of this conversation the tutor will assist with filling in the full application form to move into the next part of the enrolment process.

Pest Operations (Level 3) FAQs

What is this course about?2023-07-04T11:08:19+12:00
  • This is an 80 credit NCEA course, that teaches you how to carry out pest control or monitoring in a rural and/or urban environment. 
  • You will achieve your NZQA Level 3 in Pest Operations. Graduates of this course will have the skills and knowledge to be a capable and confident worker within many of the jobs in the pest control sector. 
  • Our full course covers both Operations and Monitoring for pest control. 
Who can do this course?2023-07-04T11:09:04+12:00
  • Level 2 Pest Control industry qualification or experience in the industry or any qualification specified by the ITO or equivalent standards setting body or 48 or more credits at NCEA Level 1, with no fewer than 12 credits in each of four subjects. 
  • You must be a NZ or Australian citizen or have NZ residency. You cannot do this course if you are here on a work visa. 
  • Call us on ‘0508 TRAIN ME’ if you have any other questions about enrolments and eligibility. 
How will this course benefit me in the workforce?2023-07-04T11:12:45+12:00

By the end of this course, you will have completed the National Certificate in Pest Operations (Level 3) which is an NZQA recognised qualification. This is sought after in the Pest Operations industry. After doing this course, you will have a higher chance of being employed in a Pest Operations role.  

How long does this course run for?2023-07-04T11:09:46+12:00

This course runs for 26 weeks full-time or 52 weeks part-time. 

How is this course structured?2023-07-04T11:11:12+12:00
  • This course is made up of practical work and online theory work.  
  • Practical work is made up of completing tasks which your tutor will then observe as well as collecting evidence of you completing the tasks. There will also be a final project at the end of the course which you will complete and incorporates everything you have learnt throughout the course. 
  • Theory work is done on our online learning platform – Canvas 
How much does this course cost?2023-07-04T11:12:03+12:00
  • This course has fees of $1,619 – this course is eligible for Studylink to cover the fees 
  • You will have access to LBT equipment, gear and resources needed for this course. This includes a loan laptop, if needed, for online work. 
I don’t work in Pest Operations; can I still apply?2023-07-04T11:14:10+12:00

Yes! Working in the Pest Operations industry is not a requirement for this course. 

Where is this course run?2023-07-04T11:15:28+12:00

Pest Operations is currently available in Marton and Taihape, with more courses to come. Call us on ‘0508 TRAIN ME’ to register your interest or find the closest course to you. 

Learn more by enquiring today…

I got my level 3 Dairy Farming through Land Based Training. It was so cool. I met nice people and the tutor is awesome. I class them all as the naki whanau

Pip Davis

Yeah the best course around to be honest. Learnt so much!

Brandon Te Kahu

I’m a level 2 Horticulture student and the tutors are so awesome and supportive. The other students are cool, we are a fun bunch. I have learnt so much in a short amount of time.

Kelly Wheatley

Awesome course, learning heaps & loving it! Free knowledge, a priceless gift I will always be grateful for.

Meredith Everett

Contact Info

191 St Hill Street Whanganui, 4500

Phone: 0508 TRAIN ME

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