Dear HERA Member

The purpose of NZQA Level 5 Qualification “New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering” is to provide our industry with advanced tradespeople 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 qualification has been reviewed by COMPETENZ with very 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 (see ). 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 or 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 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 asked for having also the Level 5 credit given.

At its last meeting, the HERA Executive discussed the 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 program would provide skills and knowledge which are indeed desired by our companies and as a consequence would provide the numbers to operate a successful 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 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 e.g. in metal coating, bolting, or advanced welding techniques etc.

The idea is to build on the excellent uptake of the existing courses by providing a one-stop-shop full NZQA Level 5 qualification 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 coordinated training and to this end we would appreciate your feedback by participating in our very short 5 questions online survey. 

We appreciate you completing the survey now, however not later than 20th February 2016.

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* 1. We believe the NZ metals based engineering industry needs a working Level 5 qualification in order to remain a competitive and sustainable industry?

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* 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?

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* 3. We have previously sent staff to HERA level 5 training (i.e. welding supervisor or welding inspection)?

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* 4. We would consider sending staff for NZQA Level 5 training regularly (please indicate possible numbers per year)

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* 5. We would recommend the following skills knowledge areas to be considered: