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Certificate in Commercial Road Transport

International Close Date: Please enquire

Gain the skills needed to join the new standard in professionalism for heavy transport drivers.

Delivered by Mainland Driving School in partnership with Ara and industry, this programme will equip you with the skills and knowledge the industry needs, ensuring a solid start to your career.

It covers: practical driving skills and experience; loading and unloading skills; route planning and selection; heavy vehicle systems, components, dynamics and handling; customer service skills; driving compliance; health and safety skills; communication and personal skills for employment.

The programme is divided into four blocks; two are classroom-based and two are based in a range of workplaces to enable you to learn and apply practical skills. In the first block you'll learn the key components of safety and driving compliance, and you'll gain your Class 2 and forklift endorsements so you can be hands-on during the work placements. Where possible under NZTA requirements you'll also gain up to Class 4 licence.

If you live in Ashburton or Oamaru and wish to study this programme in Timaru, you can catch our free daily bus to and from the Timaru campus. For more information

Please note: this programme is FEES-FREE for domestic students until 31 December 2022. Find out more >

Qualified heavy vehicle operators are in short supply throughout New Zealand. To help address the problem, Ara got together with transport operators in South Canterbury to create a solution.

The result is a training programme called the New Zealand Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator), which is designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and practical skills needed in the industry. Local operators are heavily involved in the delivery of the programme, ensuring that students get lots of hands-on experience in real workplaces and connect with potential employers.

Michele Bassingthwaighte was working as an aluminium fabricator when he learned of the shortage of heavy vehicle operators. “With the serious shortage of drivers it made sense for me to go for it,” he says. “I chose to learn at Ara because they had the foresight to be part of the solution by helping create this course.”

Michele says the programme gave him a great all-round grounding, taught him how to do things correctly and showed him what companies expect. “You get a full range of experiences that prepare you well for your future job. And you get to drive a variety of different trucks like milk tankers. A highlight was getting into the crane at the wharf and unloading containers off a ship.”

Michele says the tutors were very helpful and professional and made the course interesting. “Ara staff are great and they bend over backwards to help you.”

His advice to anyone thinking of doing the road transport certificate? “Just do it. Be positive, give things a go and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Now having completed the programme, Michele is keen to work for Fonterra and says he wants to “drive until I retire”.

Michele Bassingthwaite

Fees for 2021

Domestic costs
$4,600 - $5,200 per year
Indicative Student Services Fee
$240 per year
Valid To
December 31, 2021

This programme has open entry. English language requirements apply.

In addition you need to:

have held a current class 1 driver licence for a minimum of six months.

  • complete a criminal history declaration.
  • provide a current medical certificate as required by NZTA.
  • attend an interview.
  • sign a Student Drug‐Free Agreement and be drug tested at the beginning of the programme and periodically throughout the programme. This aligns with the strict drug testing policies in the heavy vehicle industry.
  • If you test positive for drugs you will need to discuss the outcome of the test result and what this might mean with Ara staff. You will be offered support.
  • You may be unable to complete any practical work until a negative test result is provided.
  • consent to the Traffic Operator Register Online (TORO) for driver checks.

What if English is not my first Language?

If English is not your first language, we want to make sure that you will be successful in your chosen programme of study.

  • Please provide a result from a test or qualification on the acceptable alternatives English Proficiency Outcomes Chart.
  • If you are a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident, complete an Admission and Enrolment form and Ara will contact you regarding a free assessment.
  • If you are not a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent resident, book an IELTS or other test through the Ara Examination Centre or in your home country.
  • IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form and are valid for two years from the date of the test.
  • What if I have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance?
  • You do not need to provide additional evidence of English Language skills.

Overall IELTS 5.0 Academic

  • 5.0 Listening
  • 5.0 Reading
  • 5.0 Writing
  • 5.0 Speaking

Funding assistance

If you face unexpected financial hardship during your studies, we have several funds that you can apply for. These are designed to enable you to continue your current course of study. We also have a wide range of scholarships and awards that can provide financial assistance.

Find out more

Career opportunities

There are a huge number of excellent employment opportunities for truck, tractor, forklift and industrial machine operators in Canterbury and beyond. As a graduate of this course you will be qualified to apply for these roles. As this programme has been put together by industry to address a shortage of drivers and operators, you'll work within those businesses. This will allow you to make industry connections and create employment opportunities while you study.

Study pathways

Further study options include programmes in specialist transportation such as heavy haulage, logging, livestock, dangerous goods, waste, general cartage and ground-spreading. Other related options include operations management, supply chain logistics and heavy automotive engineering.

Recommended school subjects

  • English
  • Mathematics

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

PART-TIME - 30 Weeks

Gain the skills needed to join the new standard in professionalism for heavy transport drivers.

Information
Type Certificate
Code NZ3089
May be available for Study Visa? Yes
International application close date Please enquire
Credits 90
Level 3
Available Part time Yes
May be eligible for Fees Free? Yes
Reference NZ3089-STRU

Fees for 2021

Domestic costs
$4,600 - $5,200 per year
Indicative Student Services Fee
$240 per year
Valid To
December 31, 2021
Enquire Now

With an internationally-recognised Ara qualification, the world is your oyster. Our graduates can be found working and making a difference across the globe…

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Additional Entry Requirements

In addition you need to:

have held a current class 1 driver licence for a minimum of six months.

  • complete a criminal history declaration.
  • provide a current medical certificate as required by NZTA.
  • attend an interview.
  • sign a Student Drug‐Free Agreement and be drug tested at the beginning of the programme and periodically throughout the programme. This aligns with the strict drug testing policies in the heavy vehicle industry.
  • If you test positive for drugs you will need to discuss the outcome of the test result and what this might mean with Ara staff. You will be offered support.
  • You may be unable to complete any practical work until a negative test result is provided.
  • consent to the Traffic Operator Register Online (TORO) for driver checks.

See overview for more

Credit Recognition

If you have work experience in this area, or a relevant prior qualification, you may be eligible for credit recognition towards this qualification.

Find out more

Documents

Area of Interest

Key Information for Students

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