Rural Operational Skills (Level 3)

Rural Operational Skills (Level 3)2023-07-04T15:28:28+12:00

This programme is designed to develop the knowledge and skills of graduates to the level where they can assist, under minimal supervision, with the implementation of aspects of primary industry operations involving use of machinery, specialist equipment and infrastructure maintenance within a rural context. Learners will gain skills which include the safe use of varied agricultural machinery, implements, technology, how to diagnose and complete maintenance on various agricultural infrastructure such as water supply, drains, tracks and fencing.

Students have a choice of elective combinations when enrolling on the programme which will be discussed with the tutor during the initial conversation.


Course CodeCourse Name
NZAGOS3.0001Workplace Risks
NZAGOS3.0003Vehicle and Mechanised Equipment
NZAGOS3.0002Personal Wellbeing

Elective A

Choose four

Course CodeCourse Name
NZAGOS3.0004Hay Baler
NZAGOS3.0005Feeder Wagon
NZAGOS3.0006Front Mounted Implement
NZAGOS3.0008Post Driver
NZAGOS3.0009Tractor Carriage
NZAGOS3.0012Two Wheelers
NZAGOS3.0014Weed Eater
NZAGOS3.0015Hedge Trimmer
NZAGOS3.0016Post Hole Borer
NZAGOS3.0039Nutrient Spreader

Elective B


Course CodeCourse Name
NZAGOS3.0017Hand-held Cultivator
NZAGOS3.0018Tractor Cultivator
NZAGOS3.0019Mechanised Conveyer
NZAGOS3.0020Mechanised Sprayer
NZAGOS3.0021Seed Planter
NZAGOS3.0022Produce Harvester
NZAGOS3.0023Earth Excavator
NZAGOS3.0024Cherry Picker
NZAGOS3.0026Livestock Equipment
NZAGOS3.0027Use Technology in Primary Operations
NZAGOS3.0038Operate Milking Plant
NZAGOS3.0040Shearing Plant and Equipment

Elective C

Choose two

Course CodeCourse Name
NZAGOS3.0028Supply water
NZAGOS3.0031Fencing Wire
NZAGOS3.0032Install Battens
NZAGOS3.0033Install Posts
NZAGOS3.0034Electric Fence Repairs
NZAGOS3.0035Fence Anchor Assemblies

Outcome Statement and Pathways

Graduates of the Rural Operational Skills programme will be able to:

  • Identify and assist with the management of workplace risks
  • Plan and carry out operational activities using mechanised equipment with consideration for the environment
  • Manage personal wellbeing when carrying out primary industry operational activities
  • Operate specialist equipment for primary industry operational activities
  • Carry out activities related to the maintenance of workplace infrastructure

Education Pathways:

On completion of this programme, students may progress on to the New Zealand Certificate in Farm Systems, (Level 3), New Zealand Certificate in Pastoral Livestock Production  (Level 3) or the New Zealand Certificate in Agriculture (Level 4) with options in Arable Farming, Dairy Farming, and Livestock Farming, New Zealand certificate in Horticulture L3 and L4

Employment Pathways:

Graduates of this programme may be employed in a range of roles in primary industry enterprises requiring limited supervision, for example milk harvester, shepherd, dairy farm assistant or general farm hand, assistant in horticulture or viticulture operations.

Duration of Study

13 – 20 weeks full time or 22 – 34 weeks part time depending on the strand

Entry Criteria

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:

National Certificate in Agriculture or Horticulture Level 2 and / or equivalent qualification or experience in the industry.

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 farming knowledge and skills; and/or
  • Previous and relevant life skills or work experience; and/or
  • Other formal or informal study such as to suggest likelihood of successful course completion.

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.

Rural Operational Skills (Level 3) FAQs

What is this course about?2023-07-04T09:59:56+12:00
  • This is a 40-60 credit NZQA course which will teach you how to use vehicles and equipment used on farm. 
  • You will gain your NCEA Level 3 in Primary Industry Operational Skills. On completion of this course, you will be able to competently use and maintain small motors, vehicles and specialised equipment used in rural operations. 
  • There are plenty of options within the elective modules to design a programme that fits with what you are currently doing or what you want to learn. 
Who can do this course?2023-07-04T10:02:03+12:00
  • You will need NCEA level 2 or above, or equivalent.  
  • You must be 16 years of age or older 
  • 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?2023-07-04T10:03:11+12:00
  • By the end of this course, you will have completed the National Certificate in Primary Industry Operational Skills (Level 3) which is an NZQA recognised qualification. Knowing how to use the equipment in rural operations is essential to the running of any rural industry.  
  • Having this qualification will show that you are capable to use the necessary equipment in a rural based industry. 
How is this course structured?2023-07-04T10:05:36+12:00
  • This course is available either part-time or full-time, depending on the study location. 
  • This course is mainly based around practical work. You will have around 70% practical work, with 30% paper-based theory work. You will be completing record book assessments throughout the duration of the course. 
How much does this course cost?2023-07-04T10:04:03+12:00
  • This course has fees of $520.00 – 780.00 – the cost depends on which modules you choose to take and the length of the course. 
  • This course is eligible for Studylink to cover the fees. 
  • You will have access to LBT equipment, gear and resources during this course. This includes a loan laptop, if needed, for online work. 
I don’t work on a farm; can I still apply?2023-07-04T10:08:50+12:00

This will depend on where you are planning on studying from. Please fill in an enquiry form or call us on ‘0508 TRAIN ME’ for more details.  

Which modules can I take?2023-07-04T10:07:59+12:00
  • We have a range of modules available you can choose from to build your programme. The equipment needed for these modules is required for you to be able to choose them as an option – for example, you can only take the Quad course, if you have access to a quad bike. 
  • Land Based Training is able to provide some, but not all, the equipment needed for this course. Some modules may require you, or your farm to provide the equipment. A discussion with our tutors, prior to enrolment, can be had around the modules we are able to provide equipment for and what is most relevant for your workplace. 
Where is this course run?2023-07-04T10:09:50+12:00

This course is run in Palmerston North, Taranaki and Whangarei – With more 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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