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New 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 New Zealand? UCOL’s New Zealand Certificate in Building Construction and Trade Skills (Level 2) will put you on a pathway towards a career in the exciting building and 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

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

Palmerston North & Whanganui
25 Jul 2022 - 30 Sep 2022
10 Oct 2022 - 16 Dec 2022

10 Oct 2022 - 16 Dec 2022

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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

The New Zealand Government COVID-19 Mandate Order requires the following workers to be vaccinated: 

  • health and disability sector workers
  • prison staff
  • border and MIQ workers.

As well as that, private companies and organisations have the right to require staff to be vaccinated.

Therefore, to go on placement or an internship that is a part of your programme, you must meet COVID-19 vaccination requirements. You can see more information on UCOL's Covid-19 page and on the Unite Against Covid-19 website.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs 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 New Zealand Certificate in Construction Related Trade Skills (Level 3).

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Carpenters & joinersConstruction WorkersQuantity Surveyors, and Painters and Floor Finishers.

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL 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.

This programme consists of 40 credits. The courses include:

Introduction to Building and Construction (18 Credits)
Students 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)
Students 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)
Students 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).  UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.


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 student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5.0 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). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.

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

 Advice & Guidance

As UCOL becomes Te Pūkenga on 1 January 2023, learners enrolling in a programme that is likely to continue into semester 1 2023 or starting in semester 1 2023 will become Te Pūkenga learners. They will receive their qualification from Te Pūkenga on completion.

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

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

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

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

Students 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 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 Act 1989, and Universal College of Learning (UCOL) Trading as Universal College of Learning (UCOL) is accredited to teach it.