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NZQA Certificate in Horticulture: Fruit Production


Would you like to graduate with the NZQA New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture (Strand – Fruit Production) and launch your career working in an orchard growing fruit for international and domestic markets.

This NZQA approved programme is available to students from our Training Centre on a part time basis.

The programme has a significant amount of practical on-site training, working in a fruit production orchard. This allows those who are already working a chance to complete their practical training within their workplace.

It also introduces those who are entering the industry with an appreciation of the wide range of seasonal horticultural tasks, pest management strategies, plant health considerations required to produce optimal crops and have them harvested having met food safety and market requirements.

This programme is ideal for you if you:

  • are already working part time in a orchard
  • are looking to enter the industry and get your first job
  • want to be self-employed with your own horticulture business venture


This is an NZQA approved entry-level programme is designed to introduce you to the range of practical horticultural tasks required to produce optimal crops ready for market.

You can tailor this programme to suit your needs

We have developed our horticulture programmes so you get to decide what your main study focus will be. This is so that you can choose topics that are relevant to the fruit / produce and their markets or job you are training for.

We will then use your focus area as the context and we will deliver the knowledge, projects, practical skills and the work placement you will need to achieve the programme using your focus area.

PCTI has set modules for this programme and we will include a range crops in the examples in the prescribed training throughout the programme.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Work as an effective member of a team and colleagues relevant to a role in the fruit production sector and carry out routine seasonal fruit production tasks.
  • This qualification is ideal for people who may have some general experience, or have a desire to work, in the horticulture industry who want to develop their skills and knowledge in the Fruit Production sector.
  • Graduates can work under limited supervision with responsibility for work outcomes in an orchard.
  • After achievement of this qualification you could continue study with the relevant strand of the New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Production (Level 4) with strands in Fruit Production.
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Practical Training

There is a significant amount of practical, on-site training to complete the on-course requirements. How this happens will depend on your individual situation. For example, if you are working full-time or part-time in the industry your practical hours will occur naturally within your workplace. Or if you do not have access to an apiary we will organise a work experience placement for you.

Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)

We have developed the modules in this programme so that Employers can have the training accepted as ‘formal courses’ under GAP NZ general regulations.

The modules which would qualify as GAP formal courses included within this programme of study at level 3 is as follows:

  • Module – Food Safety Standards – (i)Training in HACCP principles
  • Module – Food Safety Standards – (ii) Food Hygiene Training
  • Module – Soils, Growing Media and Fertilisers – (iii) Crop Scope – Fertiliser training
  • Module – Integrated Pest Management – (iii) Crop Scope – Plant Protection & Integrated Pest Management training

Certificate Awarded

  • New Zealand Certificate in Horticulture Strand – Fruit Production– Level 3 (75 Credits)

Programme Modules

The programme includes the following Level 3 Modules:

Module 1 – Employer Expectations and Work in a Team

  • This module will introduce student to the expectations that employers have of employees including health and safety and the top 10 soft skills.
  • Students will be able to take an employer’s perspective by exploring position descriptions for jobs advertised to identify these key skills and how employers communicate their expectations.

Module 2 –  Soils, Growing Media and Fertilisers

  • This module provides students with fundamental knowledge in Soil and Growing Media Science to apply to identifying soil textures and to understand how modifying soil properties can influence plant growth and plant health.
  • The module provides opportunities to explore the role of fertilisers in horticulture and students will adhere to best practice application using codes of practice to apply fertilisers to plants to optimise plant growth, health and optimise production.

Module 3 – Food Safety Standards (Traceability | Pre-Harvest)

  • This module outlines the 7 fundamental principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system and the 12 steps to apply when developing a HACCP plan for a specific workplace. Applying knowledge of the HACCPs to the understanding of traceability requirements, supply chain and food safety standards to determine the role on orchard to produce fruit which meets market requirements.
  • The module provides opportunities to explore the personal responsibilities expected of an employee within the context of food safety and how their practices can contribute to food safety including the use and preventative measures that can be taken with equipment, tools and the techniques and accuracy of agrichemical applications.

Module 4 – Use of Horticulture Vehicles & Machinery

  • This module will provide students with the underpinning knowledge and practical skill sets required to perform a range of tasks required within a fruit production operation where the use of a vehicle and/or machinery are required.
  • Students will gain practical field /workplace experience in the production sector as they perform routine seasonal tasks, as directed, as they contribute to the production of crop(s) and other plants on the property they are working on.

Module 5 – Integrated Pest Management

  • This module will introduce student to the fundamental principles, synergies and benefits of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The module covers the range of pest control methods available under a IPM programme for growers to consider in order to develop a sustainable approach to producing food for a range of markets.
  • Students will learn how to produce Pest Profiles and use the information required to guide them to a range of control methods for a range of pests under an IPM programme.
  • As agrichemicals is quite often a necessary method of controlling pests, students will complete training as outlined under Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) for Approved Handlers and will also cover off training of the use of NZS 8409:2004 for the safe, effective, and responsible use of agrichemicals.

Module 6 – Perform routine tasks within a Fruit Production context

  • This module will provide students with the underpinning knowledge and practical skill sets required to perform a range of tasks required within a fruit production operation. Students will gain the knowledge and recognitions required to access, handle and use a range of horticultural supplies, equipment, machinery and tools, as required to perform routine seasonal tasks.
  • Students will gain practical field /workplace experience in the production sector as they perform routine seasonal tasks, as directed, as they contribute to the production of crop(s) and other plants on the property they are working on.


  • No academic requirements. Open Entry.
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Start Dates and Duration

There will be several intakes as advertised during the year with each intake commencing once minimum numbers are achieved.

Part Time Programme

The part time programme will be 34 weeks including 3 weeks holiday and 7 weeks or a total 35 days of work placement. There is a commitment to attend training sessions for approx. 24 of the 34 weeks for 2, 6 hour days a week, based out of our training centre.

There will also be self-directed learning projects to complete throughout the programme.

The training days will be a mixture of tutorials, skills workshops, practical group tasks, site visits and managing project work.


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We will send you a detailed Programme Overview and Enrolment Form.

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