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New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing

New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing

Level 3

Gain essential skills for a career as a panel-beater or painter in the panel-beating or crash repair industry with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing.

  • A student receiving car painting instructionA student receiving car painting instruction
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 1 year, full-time

14 Feb 2022 - 18 Nov 2022
25 Jul 2022 - 28 Apr 2023

Domestic Fees: *
$6468.00Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

If you're seeking to join the panel-beating and collision repair industry, gain the fundamental skills required in UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing will be able to work as collision repair component removers and refitters, and/or automotive refinishing preparers, or similar entry level roles in the collision repair and automotive refinishing industry.

  • Panel beating
  • Coach building
  • Motor trimming
  • Chassis repair
  • Fabrication and automotive refinishing
  • Realignment
  • Plastic repair

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Panelbeaters.

 Course Information

This programme comprises 120 credits.

Health,Safety and Tools (15 Credits)
Learn how to follow workplace policies, procedures and relevant regulations to work safely and effectively in the collision repair and automotive refinishing industry.

Cooling and HVAC (10 Credits)
Learn to identify and remove and replace HVAC and cooling systems components and store them according to recommended procedures.

Light Engineering (20 Credits)
Use hand and power tools, and workshop engineering equipment to complete basic collision repair and automotive refinishing industry engineering workshop tasks.

Vehicle Exterior and Interior Component (20 Credits)
Learn how to select the appropriate tools, products and equipment to remove and replace interior and exterior vehicle components and store them according to company policies.

Critical Vehicle Systems (15 Credits)
Learn to identify, remove and replace critical vehicle systems components such as brakes, steering, suspension, safety systems and electrical components to manufacturer recommendations.

Assess for Approrpriate Repair Procedure (10 Credits)
Select the appropriate tools, products and equipment to assess a vehicle for minor repairs.

Repair Minor Panel Damage (15 Credits)
Select and use the appropriate tools, products and equipment to repair minor panel damage on a motor vehicle.

Prepare Vehicle Component for Refinishing (15 Credits)
Learn how to repair vehicle components for refinishing by using appropriate tools, products and equipment according to current industry practices.

Previous Related Programmes

The New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing supersedes and takes the best from the following programme of study, which is no longer offered:

  • Certificate in Automotive Panel and Paint

 Learning Facilities

A panel and paint spray room, tint room, and workshop.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1


Equivalent academic achievement


On a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

A Class 1 full driver’s licence (or working towards) is recommended on entry to this programme.

Basic computing skills are an advantage.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international students.

English Proficiency Entry Requirements:

International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS General or Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (ie combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL iBT testing centre.

Applicants under 20 years of age:

For international applicants under 20 years of age who do not hold NCEA, International Academic Qualifications Entry Criteria apply.

 Advice & Guidance

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements for operating in an automotive environment and are advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the Programme Leader before the programme begins.

Work experience
Students engaging in UCOL directed work experience will need to successfully complete the induction of Safety Knowledge in the Workplace environment as per programme requirements.

Your personalised timetable will be available just prior to classes starting, and includes the following class times:

February intake

  • Monday 8am - 5pm
  • Tuesday 8am - 5pm
  • Wednesday 8am - 1pm
July intake
  • Wednesday 8am - 5pm
  • Thursday 8am - 5pm
  • Friday 8am - 12pm

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the appropriate form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form). 

 Additional Costs

Please note that there are additional costs associated with the  New Zealand Certificate in Collision Repair and Automotive Refinishing. The following are approximate costs:

  • Steel cap boots $150
  • Cotton, long-sleeved overalls $60
  • A basic tool kit consisting of spanners, pliers, screwdrivers, hammer and socket set $300
  • External hard drive $100.00

The optional text book is May, E., & Simpson, L. (2007) Automotive Mechanics (7th revised edition, volumes 1 & 2). Australia: McGraw Hill. $120.00 each.


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.