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New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade (Level 3)

Do you want to work in the electrical industry? This pre-trade certificate is your starting point towards a career as a registered electrician and to begin your training in any electrical engineering industry.

120 (1.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for 1 year, or part-time options available

Programme overview

Start your electrical engineering training with the New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade (Level 3) (NZCEP). This pre-trade programme is a significant first step in electrical training before you enter into an apprenticeship arrangement with an employer.

You’ll learn and develop Level 3 competencies such as:

  • Fault diagnosis and testing techniques
  • Safe practices
  • Electrical legislation
  • Installation and maintenance of electrical equipment
  • Communicating with stakeholders on electrical and related matters

This qualification is suitable for a career in becoming a registered electrician and related electrical fields or further education in Electrical or Electronics Engineering.


Qualification pathway

Once you’ve completed this programme you’ll receive the qualification New Zealand Certificate in Electrical Pre-Trade (Level 3).

Graduates of this qualification will be able to work within the electrical industry as an electrical apprentice, including maintaining current competency and communicating with stakeholders on electrical and related matters in the context of the wider electrical industry and under supervision in a controlled environment. You will also have the option to progress into further education, such as the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical) or Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Electrical)

International students/graduates: This programme is eligible for a Student Visa. After completing this programme, graduates will not be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa. However, you do have options to progress into further qualificationsContact our Visa Team to understand the qualifications eligible for Student or Post Study Work Visas.

Graduates of this programme intending to work within the electrical industry or pathway into further education will be required to work in physically demanding environments.  If you face fitness or mobility challenges, this programme may not be suitable for you.  Please contact us at 0800 10 95 10 or email us at to discuss your options.

Funding your study

We have scholarships and fees free options that are specifically created to support you in maintaining your ongoing course of study. 


Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:
1. NCEA Level 1 in Mathematics,and English.
2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 1 in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing).
3. A minimum of 3 years secondary education.
4. Be 16 years old by the time the programme starts.
5. If English is not your first language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don't have NCEA? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 2 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; or
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Workplace Skills and Safety (ENCE3001) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply electrical workplace standards and health and safety practices. They will also achieve/maintain a first aid certificate.
DC Fundamentals (ENCE3002) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply fundamental theory and principles of Direct Current (DC) circuits and systems.
AC Fundamentals (ENCE3003) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply fundamental theory and principles of magnetism and electromagnetism and demonstrate the safe use of the tools and equipment used in an electrical workplace.
Cables, Fittings and Testing (ENCE3004) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will install, test and fault-find electrical cords, cables, and equipment in accordance with legislation.
Supply Systems (ENCE3005) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply knowledge of the New Zealand electricity supply system and methods used to ensure the protection of users and installations.
Protection, Plans and Circuits (ENCE3006) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply knowledge of circuit protection, electrical drawing conventions, switching circuits and lighting.
Installations (ENCE3007) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply knowledge of cable and wiring systems, damp situations and special installations.
Transformers, Electrical Machines and Isolation (ENCE3008) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will apply theories underpinning the operation of transformers, electrical machines, and isolation procedures.
Capstone Assessment (ENCE3009) 1.0 credits (0.008 EFTS) Learners will demonstrate the knowledge of theory and practice for electrical workers in accordance with EWRB final closed-book examination (capstone assessment). Learners will complete a final closed-book examination (Capstone Assessment) to measure their understanding and competency gained towards the end of the qualification. This examination is set and moderated by the Standard Setting Body (or Workforce Development Council) to prepare trainees for further training and assessments leading to relevant EWRB registration classes. Note: Achievement of this capstone assessment alone does not entitle trainees to legally perform prescribed electrical work without supervision. Until registered and licensed under the Electricity Act 1992, trainees are assisting, and must work under supervision when carrying out prescribed electrical work.