New Zealand Certificate in Fishing Vessel Crewing (Level 3)

This qualification is an internationally recognised advanced deckhand fishing certificate, which opens the door to enhanced employment opportunities in New Zealand and offshore.

Graduates of this course will be able to work under supervision in the coastal, offshore and unlimited operational limits as specified in the Maritime New Zealand Seafarer Certification and Operational Limits Framework.

Content Details

During the course you will cover the following topics:

1. Demonstrate safe and sustainable working practices and contribute to effective communications and relationships on board a vessel. Basic safety training:

  • Personal survival techniques
  • Fire prevention and firefighting
  • Emergency procedures
  • Elementary first aid
  • Prevention of marine pollution
  • Prevention of shipboard accidents

2. Understand operational factors that affect the safety of the fishing vessel and crew, including nautical terminology and commands.

  • Marine (Nautical) terms
  • Orders commonly used in fishing operations
  • Dangers associated with fishing operations
  • Handling and maintenance of deck appliances
  • Good personal conduct and use of personal protection equipment to minimise hazards

3. Assist with vessel navigation at the support level.

  • Navigation aids
    Watchkeeping duties

4. Understand fishing vessel construction and factors affecting stability and seaworthiness.

  • Construction, application, purpose and handling of equipment
  • Vessel stability and seaworthiness

5. Apply seamanship knowledge and skills to the safe operation of the vessel at the support level.

  • Knowledge of splicing ropes
  • Mooring operations and the handling of mooring ropes
  • Commands for mooring, anchoring and towing


Planned intakes*: February, October
Delivery modes: Part-time
Locations*: Tauranga (Windermere Campus)
Duration: 25 weeks

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

You will complete most of this qualification while you are working, but you will also need to come to Windermere Campus in Tauranga for a 7 day block course, and up to another 7 days of specialised training.

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

Indicative Fees

2018 domestic students $1,033.00

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 the programme you will receive:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Fishing Vessel Crewing (Level 3)
  • This qualification is a critical requirement when applying to Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) for the Advanced Deckhand- Fishing endorsement (ADH-F) Certificate of Competency.

Career Opportunities

Holders of this qualification will have the skills and knowledge required to work as a fishing deckhand. With the relevant additional training and experience, graduates may progress to employment as:

  • Skipper Restricted Limits
  • Mate Fishing Vessel limited
  • Skipper Fishing Vessel limited
  • Mate or Skipper Fishing Vessel unlimited

Graduates may also progress to the New Zealand Diploma in Nautical Science (Level 6) which leads to a role as Watchkeeper Deck – Unlimited, which is the mandatory pre-requisite 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 2)

Graduates may progress to qualifications recognised under the STCW-F:

  • NZ Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 4) with strands in Fishing and Watchkeeping
  • NZ Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 5)
  • NZ Diploma in Fishing Vessel Operations (Level 6) with an optional strand in Fishing Vessel Skipper

Graduates may also progress to additional non-fishing qualifications recognised under the Standards for Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW): 

  • NZ Diploma in Nautical Science (Level 6)

Entry Criteria

  • Applicants must be a minimum of 16 years of age


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 3 certificate IELTS General or Academic score of 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.