Working in Harvesting Operations (Level 3)

On Job Training
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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.

About this programme

This training scheme is tailored for forestry harvesting employees who are already employed and require training and assessment to take place in the workplace.  The Training Schemes are made up of a suite of NZQA approved unit standards and students can choose to enrol in unit standards as per their requirements in blocks of 20-39 credits at one time.

Completion of the training scheme will also give students credit recognition towards the New Zealand Certificate in Forest Harvesting Operations (Level 3).

Who is this for?

Each individual unit standard delivered as a course of training ensures flexible access and enrolment to meet individual student needs providing a training scheme with a strong practical and applied focus. These forestry crews include:

  • workers in the forestry industry working in a variety of different harvesting operations depending on the season/time of the year, who need applied knowledge and skills relating to the specific operation they are involved with in the harvesting operations area, or

  • forest industry workers who have some level of training in harvesting operations who intend to continue with their full time employment and require acknowledgement and verification of their current knowledge and skills to continue working safely and productively in harvesting operations.

What you will learn

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Develop specific harvesting knowledge to work as a professional within the forestry industry.

  • Apply their knowledge and skills relating to one or a range of the Harvesting operations that they are professionally engaged with (specifically: core skills, basic machine operation, tree felling, breaking out – cable, breaking out - ground based, cross cutting, log scaling, poleman, production thinning, and quality control).

Education & Employment Pathways

The Working in Harvesting Operations Training Scheme provides a pathway for students to the New Zealand Certificate in Forest Harvesting Operations (Level 3), or the New Zealand Certificate in Forest Operations (Level 3).

Students who successfully complete the Working in Harvesting Operations Training Scheme will be able to pursue new, or further their employment opportunities in the harvesting-based forestry industry.


Tests and or practical demonstrations as per the Competenz unit standard assessment pack for each unit standard.

Unit Standards in this programme

A total of 30 credits is required for completion of this training scheme.

Unit Standards Level Credits
43 - Maintain a chainsaw 3 10
1230 - Trim felled trees for extraction in a commercial forest operation 3 5
1231 - Prepare wire ropes for forest harvesting operations 5 3
1252 - Demonstrate knowledge of log making 3 5
1256 - Demonstrate knowledge of ground based log extraction 3 5
3285 - Demonstrate knowledge of protection of personal safety at vegetation fires 3 3
6916 - Demonstrate knowledge of the Approved Code of Practice relating to chainsaw use 2 5
6917 - Demonstrate basic chainsaw operation 2 8
6920 - Demonstrate knowledge of cable harvesting operations 3 10
6924 - Process tree stems on a landing 3 10
6939 - Break out for ground based forest harvesting operations 3 10
6957 - Scale logs using a domestic scaling method 4 10
6958 - Scale export logs using an export scaling method 4 10
17763 - Demonstrate knowledge of tree felling 3 5
17766 - Fell trees safely using a chainsaw 3 10
17769 - Demonstrate knowledge of general health, safety, and environmental requirements in forestry 2 5
17770 - Demonstrate knowledge of log grades and log scaling methods 3 5
17772 - Demonstrate knowledge of environmental requirements in forestry operations 3 5
22132 - Carry out the functions of the poleman on a cable harvesting landing 3 10
22994 - Demonstrate knowledge of factors that affect the performance of forestry workers 3 10
22995 - Demonstrate knowledge of employment relationships, and work collaboratively in a forestry operation 2 5
22999 - Demonstrate forestry foundation skills under supervision for landing operations 3 10
23411 - Operate a chainsaw and carry out basic chainsaw maintenance in a commercial forestry situation 3 12
24567 - Plan and carry out breaking out and assist in lineshifts for a cable harvesting operation 3 10
24568 - Demonstrate knowledge of, and undertake, basic repairs and maintenance on a forest industry machine 3 10
24574 - Demonstrate knowledge of, and contribute to, worksite health and safety for commercial forestry operations 3 5
24575 - Demonstrate knowledge of factors that affect the quality of commercial forestry operations 3 5
24579 - Demonstrate knowledge of incident response in plantation forests 3 5
25787 - Carry out quality control of logs on a landing 3 10
25788 - Demonstrate knowledge of and implement temporary traffic control on private forest roads 3 5
25952 - Thin plantation trees for extraction 3 10
27964 - Demonstrate knowledge of forest industry machines 3 5
27965 - Operate a forest industry machine 3 10
28560 - Fell trees in a commercial forest harvesting operation 3 10
28562 - Fell and/or clear hazardous trees 3 15

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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Part time



Start Dates

Rolling intakes nationwide

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

Domestic: Fees Free

International: Programme not open to international students

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
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