HomeProgrammesConstruction & Built EnvironmentNew Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Pre-Apprenticeship)

New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Pre-Apprenticeship)

Level 3

The UCOL New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying (Pre-Apprenticeship) (Level 3) provides you with the skills, knowledge and attitudes you will need to kick-start your career in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry.

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Quick info

Level: 3

Locations:  UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North

Duration: 23 weeks full-time
Part-time option available.
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

Palmerston North
26 Feb 2024 - 02 Aug 2024

Domestic Fees: *

Scholarship info

International Fees:*
$14,582.50 + Student Services Levy $344.80

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 programme covers water supply systems, building envelop, drainlaying, plumbing maintenance and foul water, and introduction to gasfitting. Graduates will be capable of assisting with work undertaken by a licensed Plumber, Gasfitter, or Drainlayer under supervision and will be ready to enter into an apprenticeship that will lead to a New Zealand Level 4 trade qualification in one or more of the plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying trades.

The qualification is common to all three trades and is suitable for those who wish to enter the industry and do not yet have an apprenticeship agreement.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 23 weeks, including 2 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
24 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings.
Timetable set by your lecturer.
Study Time
9.5 hrs

Study in your own time.

You can also choose to study part-time. Talk to us about your options with this programme

 Career & Study Outcomes

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Apply good conduct, ethical, and legal practices to work in a plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying environment
  • Apply safe working procedures and practices, and identify hazards in a plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying working environment.
  • Assist with the installation of basic plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying systems and components including the following: hot and cold water supply; sanitary plumbing of appliances and fixtures; foul water; drainlaying including associated components; basic sheet metal.

Study Outcome:

On completion of this qualification, graduates may progress into one of the Level 4 Certificates: New Zealand Certificate in Plumbing (Level 4), New Zealand Certificate in Gasfitting (Level 4) or New Zealand Certificate in Drainlaying (Level 4).

Career Outcome:

The roles that this qualification may lead to are plumbing apprentice, gasfitting apprentice, or drainlaying apprentice.

Graduates may also be able to work in areas such as plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying wholesaling or retailing as a counter salesperson.

 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 70 credits:

1. Essential Safety Skills for Plumbing, Gasfitting, and Drainlaying (Level 30 (18 credits)

Unit Standard 6400 (Level 3) (2 credits)
Manage first aid in an emergency situation

Unit Standard 6401 (Level 2) (1 credit)
Provide first aid

Unit Standard 6402 (Level 1) (1 credit)
Provide basic life support

Unit Standard 18629 (Level 3) (4 credits)
Demonstrate knowledge of hazards associated with confined spaces

Unit Standard 17599 (Level 4) (5 credits)
Plan a confined space entry

Unit Standard 4249 (Level 1) (3 credits)
Describe obligations as an employee

Unit Standard 30596 (Level 3) (2 credits)
Demonstrate knowledge of asbestos and safety measures for asbestos-related work

2. Patterns, Tools, Regulatory and Ethical Considerations (Level 2) (14 credits)

Unit Standard 21881 (Level 2) (2 credits)
Describe ethical and legal considerations for plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying services

Unit Standard 30536 (Level 4) (5 credits)
Demonstrate knowledge of the regulatory framework for plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying

Unit Standard 30557 (Level 2) (4 credits)
Select, describe, use, and maintain tools for plumbing and drainlaying projects

Unit Standard 25413 (Level 2) (3 credits)
Draw and form simple patterns for plumbing and gasfitting sheet metal components

3. Introduction to Drainlaying (Level 3) (11 credits)

Unit Standard 30692 (Level 2) (2 credits)
Perform basic calculations used in a given trade situation

Unit Standard 30532 (Level 3) (5 credits)
Demonstrate knowledge of excavating and trenching for plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying

Unit Standard 30533 (Level 3) (4 credits)
Position, excavate, and backfill excavations and trenches for plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying

4. Introduction to Plumbing (Level 3) (23 credits)

Unit Standard 30616 (Level 3) (3 credits)
Demonstrate knowledge of water, material properties, and of less frequently used materials in plumbing and drainlaying

5. Introduction to Gasfitting (Level 2) (4 credits)

Unit Standard 21883 (Level 2) (3 credits)
Demonstrate knowledge of working in gas contaminated environments in plumbing, gasfitting, or drainlaying

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Domestic Entry Requirements

To meet level and health requirements, candidates must be physically able to carry out the practical components of the programme.

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 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

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

English language proficiency
International learner applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS 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 (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible).

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

To successfully complete this programme, students need to be aware of the physical demands required for this career pathway.

Learners must supply their own equipment as specified in the Learner Handbook.

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

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 learner 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 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).


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.