New Zealand Certificate in Organic Primary Production (Level 4)

If you have some experience in horticulture or agriculture and want to learn more about organic crop or livestock production this practical, part-time qualification is for you.

You'll learn to apply organic principles, understand the certification process and implement a soil and nutrient management plan. You'll then choose an elective from Organic Crop Production or Organic Livestock Production.

You’ll learn in real-life environments and enjoy a mixture of face-to-face and online learning in classes and workshops, online teaching, practical activities, and guided assignments.

Content Details

During your study you'll cover the following TWO topics:

  • Organic Principles and Certification: understand organic principles and compliance requirements and identify how these are applied to successful organic primary production operations
  • Soil and Nutrient Management: understand soil health practices and apply management strategies to improve soil quality and nutrient availability

Then select ONE of:

  • Organic Crop Production: carry out specific production activities to implement and monitor an organic crop plan over a full production season
  • OR; Organic Livestock Production: carry out specific production activites to implement and monitor an organic livestock plan over a full production season

To complete these topics you'll need to:

  • Complete practical hours on a certified or in-transition* organic property as agreed with your tutor
  • Be available to attend workshops/tutorials about once a fortnight
  • Have access to the internet to communicate with your tutor and submit assignments
  • Attend an information session prior to enrolling

Mature applicants (20 years of age and over) are encouraged to apply provided they show evidence of the ability to undertake the course with a reasonable chance of success like participation in class activities and completion of assessments.

* 'in-transition' is a property that's registered with an organic certification agency and has begun the conversion process towards being organic certified.


Planned intakes*: July
Delivery modes: Part-time
Locations*: Tauranga (Windermere Campus)
Duration: One year

* subject to change. Intakes may vary between locations.

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

Indicative Fees

2017 domestic students special introductory fee $1,200.00 (for three topics)

2017 international students $9,978.00 (for three topics)

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 course you will receive:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Organic Primary Production (Level 4) (Crop Production, Livestock Production)

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this qualification are likely to be employed as an: organic orchard/vineyard supervisor or leading hand, organic crop supervisor or team leader, organic crop monitor, organic nursery specialist, organic farm production manager.

Entry Criteria

Entry, including English language and academic requirements, will be in accordance with the criteria specified in the Toi Ohomai Regulatory Framework and QMS.

  • NCEA Level 2 with passes in English/Te Reo Māori or education achievement at least equivalent to NCEA Level 2
  • OR a Level 3 qualification in Horticulture, Agriculture OR show equivalent skills and knowledge
  • Evidence of ability to complete academic and any other course requirements


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.