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Scaffolding, Access & Rigging New Zealand Inc. (SARNZ)

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Launch of New Scaffolding Apprenticeship in 2018

Skills, Scaffolding, Access and Rigging Association of New Zealand (SARNZ) and Tai Poutini Polytechnic are pleased to announce the launch of new Scaffolding Apprenticeship in January 2018.

The new Apprenticeship, developed in close consultation with industry, leads to the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (Trade) Level 4 and includes the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (General) Level 3. Pre-employment qualifications will also be available.

Together, we are looking to support the scaffolding industry by promoting entry into the industry and providing employment based pathways towards becoming a scaffolding professional. We will be working with all current providers to ensure that scaffolding continues to be delivered to a high quality.

Scaffolding is in high demand and more qualified scaffolders are needed across New Zealand.

Refer to the FAQ’s below for further detail about the new Scaffolding qualifications.

FAQ for Learners

 Do I need to be qualified to be a scaffolder?

The simple answer is yes.

A qualification is required before you can apply for a Certificate of Competence, which is the legal requirement for a professional scaffolder. The New Zealand Scaffolding Apprenticeship is the preferred pathway as a career to become professional scaffolder and leads to the Scaffolding Certificates of Competence – both Intermediate and Elementary. Scaffolders are also encouraged to continue to achieve their Advanced status.

For more information on Certificates on Competence please refer to SARNZ’s website

I want to be a scaffolder – how do I get qualified?

Skills can help you identify the best options for you to train. If you’re just starting out and haven’t worked with scaffolding before, a pre-employment course is a good option. If you’re already working, we can work with you and your employer to offer an apprenticeship to help you achieve your Scaffolding Certificates of Competence.

Why are there changes to the qualifications?

Qualifications are regularly reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose for both learners and industry. When the qualifications were recently reviewed, they were redesigned to ensure they fully cover the skills that industry requires.

When will I know what courses are available?

A list of the courses will be available on the Skills website from 1 December 2017.

When will the new Scaffolding apprenticeship be available?

The New Zealand Apprenticeship in Scaffolding will be available in the New Year.

What qualification will the new apprenticeship lead to?

The apprenticeship leads to award of the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (Trade) Level 4, and includes the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (General) Level 3.

If I have a current National Certificate, will it still be recognised or do I need to re-train and achieve a New Zealand Certificate?

The National Certificates are all still relevant and recognised by employers and SARNZ, so there is no need to re-train.

Can I still do an Apprenticeship if I already hold a National Certificate in Scaffolding (Elementary) (Level 3)?

If you have not already achieved a level 4 qualification, you can do this through the Scaffolding Apprenticeship. We will look at your prior qualifications and scaffolding experience, and set you on the best training pathway for you to get qualified.

Will there be an option for those who only want to do the Level 3 (General) qualification?

Yes, it is recognised that some companies may not have the need or the capability to train an Apprentice to Level 4.

If I have already completed the Level 3 National Certificate (Elementary), is there a pathway to complete the new Level 4 (Trade) qualification?

Yes, holders of the Level 3 National Certificate who wish to advance their careers are encouraged to continue training to achieve Trade and then Advanced status.

What is the pathway for those wanting to achieve the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (Proprietary Suspended) (Level 3) qualification?

We are currently working on this and will keep you updated with progress

When will the New Zealand Certificate in Scaffolding (Level 5) qualification be available?

We are currently working on this and will keep you updated with progress

If I’m currently enrolled to complete a National Certificate in Scaffolding qualification, what will happen to me when the new apprenticeship is launched?

We are working to ensure every learner has a clear pathway to completion. If needed, a simple transition plan will be put in place.

I have a National Certificate in Scaffolding, is my qualification still valid?

Yes – National Certificates are still valid and recognised.

How will scaffolding training and assessment be arranged?

Skills will be working alongside providers to ensure high quality delivery.



Training Providers

There are a number of nationally recognised New Zealand qualifications in the scaffolding, access & rigging industry.  SARNZ is privileged to have three members who are NZQA Accredited Training Providers to the industry. AMS Group, Tai Poutini Polytechnic and Vertical Horizonz offer a variety of training options which combine block courses and on-the-job training so students can earn as they learn.

Tai Poutini

Contact Tai Poutini for an application and study options in scaffolding, rigging and rope access. For an information pack phone 0800 800 411 or go to:

Vertical Horizonz NZ_RGB 2017

To find out about training in scaffolding and rope access please get in touch with Vertical Horizonz on 0800 72 33 848 or go to


For information on training in the scaffolding industry, please contact AMS Group on 0800 267 476 or go to

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