Maritime Operations - Skipper Restricted Limits (Level 4)

This course combines theory with strong practical skills to provide you with the practice and knowledge you need for employment on vessels of up to 24 metres, in the maritime transport/tourism/fishing industry. It replaces the programmes previously offered, Inshore Launchmaster (ILM) and Local Launch Operator (LLO).

This training is best suited to those already employed in these industries and those about to progress into roles that require a formal qualification.

It is the approved Maritime New Zealand training programme for the licence Skipper Restricted Limits, which is essential for skippers of vessels up to 12 metres (or 24 metres with further endorsement), who navigate to a distance of up to 12 nautical miles off the New Zealand coast.

The topics covered increase your general employability by enhancing your core transferable skills particularly digital literacy, problem solving, communication skills and team work.

A flexible learning approach enables you to complete some course components online, meaning less time away from your job, and a focus on completing a Seafarer Training Record Book based on sea time means that all of your learning is put into a relevant workplace context.

Content Details

Topics covered during your study:

  • STCW Elementary First Aid
  • Sea Survival for Inshore Vessels
  • Fire Extinguisher Training and Fire Prevention
  • Engines, Equipment and Systems On Board Vessels
  • Electronic Aids & Navigation Systems
  • Maritime Restricted Operators Certificate (MROC)
  • Navigation - Inshore
  • Restricted Vessel Operations

Graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  • Plan a passage and navigate using electronic and non electronic navigational systems
  • Operate a restricted limits vessel at sea
  • Maintain legal compliance on a restricted limits vessel
  • Maintain safety and respond to emergencies on a restricted limits vessel
  • Operate vessel propulsion, auxiliary machinery and systems
  • Maintain vessel propulsion, auxiliary machinery and systems

As part of your learning you must independently gain sea-time and complete a Seafarer Training Record Book. Sea-time can be gained on either a commercial or recreational vessel. If done on a recreational vessel you must be acting as Skipper.

Course Related Costs: Equipment Requirements

A number of the courses and assessments in this programme use the Navionics navigation application. To access and use this application you will need:

  • iPad 2 Wi-Fi  + Cellular, or higher specification (see specifications attached (pdf, 580kb), with iOS 8.4 or higher
  • Navionics application – available through the App Store
  • NZ Charts – available from Navionics as part of license purchase
  • It is recommended that you purchase a suitable waterproof iPad case to protect your equipment from the elements

The costs for this equipment and software are covered by your Course Related Costs allocation and in many cases it may be possible to source the items for substantially less than $1,000.

The iPad will also be used throughout the programme to facilitate learning and provide online communication, evidence capture and assessment. On completion of the programme the iPad and its applications will become a valuable and necessary standby resource for you while working in the maritime sector. 


Planned intakes*: February, May, October
Delivery modes: Full-time
Locations*: Blended Delivery (online and in class, Windermere)
Duration: 1 semester

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

To see full details of the next available intake please visit the application form.

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students $1,562.00

2018 international students $14,132.00

Course related costs: Up to $1000 for iPad and software (see Content Details section above)

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You MAY be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees.

Find out if your programme qualifies by visiting the Studylink website.

If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

Qualifications Gained

Upon successful completion of your programme of study you will receive:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Domestic Maritime Operations (Restricted Limits) (Level 4)
  • This course contributes towards graduates being able to obtain the Maritime New Zealand licence, Skipper Restricted Limits, which is essential for skippers of vessels up to 12 metres (or 24 metres with further endorsement), who navigate to a distance of up to 12 nautical miles off the New Zealand coast.

Career Opportunities

Holders of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge required to work as a skipper on vessels operating within the restricted limits as defined in the New Zealand Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework, and the competencies required to enter command positions within the maritime sector both on board vessels and in land based positions.

Typical roles may be as skipper on work boats, water taxis or small ferries under 12 metres in length and carrying fewer than 12 passengers.

With additional training and sea time, graduates may progress to roles including:

  • Skipper Coastal/Offshore
  • Mate or master fishing vessel
  • Watchkeeper Deck < 500GT
  • Master < 500GT
  • Watchkeeper Deck – Unlimited, which is the mandatory prerequisite to Master of a Foreign Going Ship (Master Mariner) qualifications

Study Pathways

This qualification can build on the skills developed in New Zealand Certificate in Domestic Maritime Crewing (Level 3).

Graduates wishing to continue with domestic maritime operations can progress to New Zealand Certificate in Domestic Maritime Operations (Coastal and Offshore). Graduates may also progress to qualifications recognised internationally under the Standards for Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW):
  • New Zealand Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 4) with strands in Fishing and Watchkeeping
  • New Zealand Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 5)
  • New Zealand Diploma in Nautical Science (Level 6)

Entry Criteria

  • Open entry
  • Applicants should be aware that they should meet the full Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) seatime, medical and eyesight requirements prior to commencing this programme if they wish to be eligible for the MNZ licence which this programme contributes towards. Applicants should refer to the MNZ guidelines for Skipper Restricted Limits which can be found on the Maritime New Zealand website.


International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013. And below under the title English Competency.

English Competency

Level 4 certificate IELTS General or Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 or completed NZ Certificate in English Language L3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace or Academic, or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013.

For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language, evidence of language competency may be required.