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

Kaikohe, Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Whangarei
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The Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF; also known as free trades training) supports learners to undertake vocational education and training without fees. The TTAF covers fees until 31 December 2022.

Note: Fees may apply for training continuing after 1 January 2023 on this programme.

Turn the wheels

If you like the sound of being in charge of large vehicles, start the wheels turning with NorthTec’s commercial transport training. Commercial transport covers all sorts of vehicles from light and heavy trucks to buses and forklifts.

Upskill beyond those required to be a licence holder. This programme supports the efficient, effective and safe operation of transporting goods and services by heavy road vehicle. You’ll learn about heavy vehicle driving skills, dynamics, risk reduction techniques and safe driving strategies as well as a range safe driving practices.

This qualification does not permit the holder to drive a motor vehicle on New Zealand roads without a current relevant driver licence issued by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

What you will learn

Graduates 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; (30 credits)

  • demonstrate safe and fuel-efficient driving skills and expertise, and perform driving manoeuvres and tasks for a heavy rigid vehicle or heavy vehicle combination; (35 credits)

  • complete comprehensive route planning as a heavy vehicle operator using appropriate navigation technology, ensuring regulatory obligations are met and public safety is protected; (2 credits)

  • communicate effectively with customers, clients, and colleagues as a heavy vehicle operator; (3 credits)

  • 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. (10 credits)

  • understand and apply loading, restraint, and unloading principles and procedures as a heavy vehicle operator. (10 credits)

Courses in this programme

Courses Level Credits
3001 - Introductory Skills 3 20
3002 - Industry Skills 3 20
3003 - Vehicle Technology 3 15
3004 - Professional Operator Skills 3 15
3005 - Specialist Driving Skills 3 20

Students must achieve 90 credits to be awarded this qualification.

Entry requirements

To gain admission to the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) (Level 3) applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must hold the appropriate Full New Zealand Driver Licence for the mandatory NZTA period (3 or 6 months);

  • NCEA Level 1 in English and Mathematics, or equivalent skill.

Due to NZTA licensing requirements, no international students will be enrolled.

Applicants whose English is not their first language must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5; or an accepted international equivalence.

Qualification gained

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

Courses and programmes may be cancelled, postponed or have their content or configuration changed from time to time (including during the academic year) at the discretion of NorthTec. Fees are an indication, include GST and apply to domestic students only. View terms and conditions

From 1 January 2023, all NorthTec learners will be part of Te Pūkenga. Please note that these programmes of study are currently under review as part of the reform of vocational education training and may be subject to change.

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Full time


21 weeks

Start Dates

Kaikohe: February

Kaitaia: February

Kerikeri: February

Whangarei: February

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

Domestic: Fees Free

International: Programme not open to international students

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
Enquire about this programme