HomeProgrammesConstruction & Built EnvironmentNew Zealand Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trade Skills

New Zealand Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trade Skills

Level 2

Are you keen to enter one of the largest industries in NZ? The UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Building Construction and Trade Skills (Level 2) will put you on a pathway towards a career in the exciting building & construction industry.

UCOL construction students and lecturer working at the workshop
Quick info

Level: 2

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui, UCOL Wairarapa in Masterton, UCOL Levin in Horowhenua

Duration: 13 weeks full-time
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

Palmerston North
14 Oct 2024 – 20 Dec 2024

14 Oct 2024 – 20 Dec 2024

14 Oct 2024 – 20 Dec 2024

2024 dates TBC

Domestic Fees: *
Nil Fees

International Fees:*
Please enquire for details

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.

The New Zealand Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trade Skills (Level 2) (BCATS) is explicitly designed to provide learners with a progressive pathway into a wide range of trade-related occupations. You will develop the basic skills and knowledge in numerous aspects of the construction trade, which you can further develop relevant to various building, construction, and allied trades contexts.

You will develop a flexible approach to learning through a range of skills and activities, allowing you to make informed choices on the relevant and appropriate subjects to your needs and purposes.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs 4 days per week for 13 weeks, including 3 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
19 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings, workshop practicals and builds, timetable set by your lecturer.
Study Time
13 hrs

Study in your own time.

 Career & Study Outcomes

Successful graduates of the New Zealand Certificate in Building Construction and Trade Skills (Level 2) can progress further by taking the New Zealand Certificate in Construction Related Trade Skills (Level 3).

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries for Carpenters and Joiners, Construction Workers, Quantity Surveyors, and Painters and Floor Finishers, see careers.govt.nz

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL Te Pūkenga is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

This programme consists of 40 credits. 

Introduction to Building and Construction (18 Credits)
Ākonga will learn the basics of the building industry, including health and safety requirements. After completing this building and construction course, you will be able to;

  • Identify, describe, select, use and maintain portable power tools for BCATS projects.
  • Describe health and safety legislation and procedures and apply safe working practices in a BCATS environment.
  • Receive instructions, and communicate information related to BCATS projects.
  • Describe the roles of different trades involved in the construction industry.

Introduction to Construction Planning (14 Credits)
Ākonga will learn construction planning, mathematical processes, timber and other construction materials. After completing this construction planning course, you will be able to:

  • Apply mathematical processes to BCATS projects.
  • Create sketches and drawings for BCATS projects.
  • Describe types, parts and structure of timber.
  • Describe conversion, treatment, handling and storage of timber and other construction material.

Construction Project (8 Credits)
Ākonga will learn to undertake and complete a construction project. After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and prepare components, quantities and materials required from BCATS project documentation.
  • Mark, set out and construct components in accordance with BCATS project documentation.
  • Assemble and finish BCATS project in accordance to working drawings and job specifications.
  • Complete works operation in accordance with workplace practices.

 Industry Connections

  • Registered Master Builders Association of NZ Inc.
  • New Zealand Certified Builders

 Learning Facilities

Our approach to learning a trade is practical learning delivered in modern equipped workshops by industry-proven lecturers to give you the solid foundation you need to build a great career on.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

New Zealand Certificate in Building, Construction, and Allied Trades Skills (Level 1)
equivalent skills and knowledge
on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean.

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5.0 with no band score less than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).


For more information about NCEA Credits see the UCOL Te Pūkenga NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

This programme of study is not open to international learners.

 Advice & Guidance

It is recommended that learners under the age of 20 have met the literacy and numeracy requirements of NCEA Level 1 or equivalent. 

Learners need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway and must supply their own equipment as specified in the Learner Handbook.

To optimise chances of student success, 100% attendance is strongly recommended.

To optimise chances of learner success, 100% attendance is strongly recommended.  

Ākonga must provide the following resources at the beginning of the programme: 

  • Steel cap boots 
  • Calculator - scientific type
  • Drawing Equipment - set squares (45 and 60 degrees), pencils (H & 2H), soft rubber, compass, and scale rule (1:5, 1:10, 1:20 etc.) 

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 Recognition of Prior Learning 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 Te Pūkenga Academic Statute and other relevant policies and procedures.

Assessment and recognition of current competency may be conducted by an assessor appointed by the BCITO, or an accredited provider.

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 National Certificate in Building, Construction and Allied Trade Skills:

  • Steel cap boots $100
  • Scientific calculator $30
  • Drawing equipment - set squares (45 and 60 degree), pencils (H and 2H), soft rubber, compass, and scale rule (1:5, 1:10, 1:20 etc) $60

Approx $150.00

  • Faber Castel graphite sketch pencils
  • Pilot Hi Tech Rectractable Roller Pen 
  • Pilot Hi Tech Rectractable roller pen fine black
  • Staedler Academy scale ruler 300mm
  • Staedler Mechanical Pencil 0.9mm 
  • A3 Sketch Pad, compass set, protractor, usb memory stick 4gb
  • Office eraser max large, french curves, triangles 200mm
  • Pencil sharpener, lecture pad a4 7mm ruled 200 leaf


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.