The purpose of NZQA Level 5 Qualification New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering is to provide our industry with advanced tradespeople.

Ones who are able to contribute to the success and competitiveness of a business by demonstrating leadership in a technical and/or operational field.

Last year, the NZQA level 5 qualifications have been reviewed by COMPETENZ with strong industry input. Noting in the review the very poor numbers in industry uptake of the previous qualification, the review outcome lead to a much more flexible qualification specification. This new specification not only allows more flexible skills and knowledge coverage, but would also allow more flexibility for awarding bodies to run an approved programme of study leading to the qualification.

As a part of the membership services, HERA provides a range of training courses and seminars such as AS 2214 Welding Supervisors and IIW Welding Inspector. Over the years, there has been a strong demand for these qualifications as they meet the requirements of AS/NZS 1554 welding standards.

However, only the AS 2214 Welding Supervisor aligns with an NZQA unit standard. At 25 credits, the unit is only about one third of the credits needed for the full 70 credits NZQA Level 5 qualification, and only a very small number of those who obtained the HERA qualification also asked for having the Level 5 NZQA credit given.

At its last meeting, the HERA Executive discussed the quite-involved commitment of HERA to the NZQA qualification framework, and also the value to its industry for having a working Level 5 Qualification in place.

The meeting recommended that HERA goes back to its members to research interest in a more comprehensive HERA training programme which in a kind of one-stop shop programme would provide skills and knowledge which are indeed desired by our companies, and as a consequence would provide the numbers to operate a successful HERA-led programme.

The HERA training programme may be a set of unit standards or training programme elements delivered by HERA or contracted providers and likely involve a mix of face-to-face and distance learning (most likely in a suitable form of “e-learning”).

The exact content of the qualification has to be developed but at this stage, it would be based on the existing welding supervisor and welding inspector with additional items such as management of safety, projects, staff or technical knowledge enhancements such as in metal coating, bolting, or advanced welding techniques.

The idea is to build on the excellent uptake of the existing courses by providing a one-stop shop for NZQA Level 5 qualifications that would include AS 2214 Welding Supervisor and possibly IWI-B. The course would probably need 3 weeks of off-job training; similar to the old advanced trade certificate. Competenz as the industry training organisation would be consulted and involved as required.

At this stage, we a seeking to gauge the appeal of such HERA co-ordinated training, and to this end, we would appreciate your feedback by participating in our very short two-minute 5-question online survey here.


HERA very much appreciates your valuable feedback to the following five questions:

  1. We believe the NZ metals based engineering industry needs a working Level 5 qualification in order to remain a competitive and sustainable industry?
  2. We support the idea of HERA providing a one-stop-shop NZQA Level 5 qualification training program that would include AS 2214 Welding Supervisor and Welding Inspector?
  3. We have previously sent staff to HERA level 5 training (i.e. welding supervisor or welding inspection)?
  4. We would consider sending staff for NZQA Level 5 training regularly (please indicate possible numbers per year)?
  5. We would recommend the following skills knowledge areas to be considered:

a) Management-related skills
b) Technology-related skills

If you are unable to participate in the online survey, you can return your answers to our Director or post to PO Box 76 134 Manukau, Auckland 2241.

Update shared by our Director Dr Wolfgang Scholz