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Key details



The length of time to complete this qualification will depend on the location, study mode and selected units.

* - Student Visa holders must study internally full time


Casuarina, Remote
Not available to international students.

Course code



This is a current, nationally accredited qualification due to be replaced during 2022. It is recommended that students contact CDU for current course details.

This qualification reflects the role of employees such as production operators in an open cut mine or quarry, who perform tasks involving a broad range of skilled applications in a varied work context, using some discretion and judgement in selecting equipment, services or contingency measures.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory and certification requirements that apply to this qualification can vary between states, territories, and industry sectors. Relevant information must be sourced prior to application of the qualification.

Career opportunities

Occupations relevant to this qualification in industry sectors such as Mechanical Engineering, Mineral Mining Exploration, Coal Mining, Quarrying, Blast Hole Drilling include:
>Excavator Operator (Mining and Extractive Industries)
>Remote Control Room Operator
>Grader Operator (Extractive Industries)
>Quarry Equipment Operator
>Face Loader Operator
>Haul Truck Operator (Extractive Industries)
>Open Cut Coal Miner
>Quarry Mobile Equipment Operator
>Quarry Operations Leading Hand
>Scraper Operator (Mining)
>Shotfirer's Assistant
>Water Cart Operator
>Mobile Plant Operator (Extractive Industries)
>Plant Service and Maintenance Operator (Quarry)
>Dredge Operator
>Weighbridge Operator
>Sales Loader Operator
>Grader Operator (Mining)
>Bogger Operator
>Quarry Processing Plant Operator

Credit transfers and advanced standing

Skill recognition

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is the acknowledgement of a person's skills and knowledge acquired through previous training, work or life experience, which may be used to grant status or credit in a subject regardless of how and where they were attained, including overseas.

This can include skills from:

  • Previous study excluding courses at another VET/TAFE institution, but including courses at school or college, through adult education classes or training programs at work;
  • Work experience (including both work that is paid and unpaid); and/or
  • Life experience (for example leisure pursuits or voluntary work).

RPL is a form of assessment. It is used to determine whether a person has acquired, through formal or informal learning, the skills and experience consistent with the stated competency standards that comprise a qualification. RPL is not time referenced, so there are no parameters on how or when the skills are acquired. However, the skills that have been acquired through life experience etc., must be current and must match the elements and performance criteria contained in the individual unit.

Students seeking RPL need to indicate this on their enrolment form at the time of enrolment.

For further information please refer to the Applicant's Guide to the Recognition of Prior Learning or contact Student Central on 1800 061 963 (free call) or email

Credit Transfer

Charles Darwin University as a Registered Training Organisation recognises the Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications and Statement of Attainments issued by any other Australian Registered Training Organisation.

Students are encouraged to submit any requests for credit from previous studies at the time of enrolment, to ensure they are not enrolling in units they may not need to undertake.

In order to apply for exemption/credit transfer from units completed at another training organisation, you will need to complete an Application for Exemption Form available from any campus, centre, or team, or a copy of the form can be obtained from the web.

Your completed Application for Exemption form together with attached documentary evidence (certified copy of Qualification/Statement of Attainment) to support your request for exemption/credit transfer should be submitted directly to the University either in person or by mail. Requests without documentary evidence will not be processed and will be returned to students. There are no fees attached to Credit Transfers.


VET to Higher Education Pathway Mapping for completed Awards in the same field or discipline.


2022 Course fees for students who are eligible for an NT Government supported place range from $1,078.00 - $1,942.50, and for students who are not eligible range from $6,160.00 - $11,100.00 dependent on the units chosen.

CDU trades student

Why study trades at CDU?

Whether you're an apprentice, a trainee, or already working in the industry, our trades courses are for you.

Start your career or upskill in a variety of areas from construction and electrotechnology to plumbing and metal trades. Wherever your interest lies, you'll learn from experts with industry-standard technologies and tools so you can graduate workplace ready.

  • NT's largest training provider
  • Access to specialised trade training facilities
  • Recognition of prior learning so you can qualify faster

What will I study?

To achieve a CERTIFICATE III IN SURFACE EXTRACTION OPERATIONS a total of THIRTEEN (13) units of competency must be completed comprising THREE (3) Core and TEN (10) Elective units as detailed in the packaging rules and listed below.

Course structure

Elective units must comprise of:

  • one (1) must be chosen from Group A
  • one (1) must be chosen from Group B
  • at least three (3) must be chosen from Group C
  • no more than three (3) may be chosen from Group D
  • no more than two (2) may be chosen from within this training package or from another endorsed training package, or from an accredited course.

The total Nominal Hours for the sequence listed below will depend on the elective units chosen 308 - 555

Code Module/Unit of Competency Hours
RIIENV201D Identify and assess environmental and heritage concerns 20
RIIRIS301D Apply risk management processes 40
RIIWHS201D Work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures 20
Total nominal hours for core units 80
RIICOM301D Communicate information 30
RIICOM302D Communicate workplace information 20
RIIGOV201D Comply with site work processes/procedures 20
RIIQUA201D Maintain and monitor site quality standards 20
RIIBHD305D Conduct down-hole hammer drilling 40
RIIMEX302D Assess ground conditions 20
RIIMPG301D Control and monitor automated plant/machinery 40
RIIMPO206D Conduct bulk water truck operations 30
RIIMPO301E Conduct hydraulic excavator operations 40
RIIMPO302E Conduct hydraulic shovel operations 45
RIIMPO304E Conduct wheel loader operations 40
RIIMPO306D Operate plant/machinery on live stockpiles 24
RIIMPO308F Conduct tracked dozer operations 40
RIIMPO309F Conduct wheeled dozer operations 40
RIIMPO310F Conduct grader operations 40
RIIMPO312E Conduct scraper operations 40
RIIMPO313E Conduct face loading operations 40
RIIMPO331E Conduct operations with stockpile dozer 40
RIIMPO336E Conduct belly dump truck operations 40
RIIMPO337E Conduct articulated haul truck operations 40
RIIMPO338E Conduct rigid haul truck operations 40
RIIPRO301D Conduct crushing and screening plant operations 50
RIISAM202D Isolate and access plant 30
RIISAM301E Test operational functions of vehicles and equipment 30
RIISRM301D Blend stockpile materials 20
RIISRM302D Conduct stockpile reclaiming operations 40
RIISRM303D Move and position materials to form stockpiles 24
RIISRM304D Maintain stockpiles 20
RIIVEH305E Operate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle 40
RIICRC310D Construct and maintain roads 60
RIIHAN305D Operate a gantry or overhead crane 40
RIIHAN307E Operate a vehicle loading crane 40
RIIHAN311F Conduct operations with integrated tool carrier 80
RIIVEH306E Operate mine service vehicle 20
TLILIC0002 Licence to operate a vehicle loading crane (capacity 10 metre tonnes and above) 40
TLILIC0010 Licence to operate a slewing mobile crane (up to 20 tonnes) 70
TLILIC2016 Licence to drive a heavy rigid vehicle 50
TLILIC3017 Licence to drive a heavy combination vehicle 60
TLILIC3018 Licence to drive a multi combination vehicle 60
 Total nominal hours for the qualification will vary                                                                  308 - 555



Entry requirements

Admission criteria

CDU Domestic Entry Requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
Students will need to demonstrate an appropriate level of language, literacy and numeracy skills and
knowledge to undertake a course at this level.

Essential requirements

English language requirements

All of my lecturers were top notch former tradies with a solid grasp of what they were teaching. Whatever my issue was, they were always there for me. It was great.


CDU Student

Yron VET Trades

Course details


This is a current, nationally accredited qualification from the RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry Training Package.

VET for secondary schools

VET for Secondary Students (VSS)

Select VSS for more detail about this program.

Employability skills

Employability Skills are embedded in the training and assessment of national training package qualifications. Information on the Employability Skills relevant to your qualification can be obtained by visiting this website and keying in the national code for the qualification:

Location and study mode

Delivery at all locations is subject to sufficient demand and resources.

Locations: Casuarina, Remote

Study Mode: RPL only

Subject to demand other locations and modes may become available throughout the year.

Additional information

Vocational Education & Training
Industry groups
Occupation types
Area of study
Engineering and Mining, Engineering

Contact details Phone: (08) 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963 (free call).

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How to apply

How to apply for domestic students

CDU VET has several pathways for you to apply.


Visit How to apply for CDU VET courses for more information.


Admission requirements for domestic students

Before applying, you may want to check if you meet the admission requirements for studying with CDU.


CDU has many pathways to study, so don't worry if you don't meet the admission requirements right now. There is a study pathway to get you started on your journey.

Not sure if you are a domestic or international student?

That's OK - it can be a little tricky to know the difference.


To help you out, we've put together a guide to answer any questions you might have.

How to apply for international students

Applications to CDU must be submitted online.


The process is simple, all you need is a valid email address to create your online account.


Once you have started the application you will have the option of saving your application and resuming it at a later date.


There is no application fee when you apply online.

Find a CDU agent partner

Applicants may seek further information about international education in Australia from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training or from our overseas / external representatives.


To help with the process, we've compile a list of authorised representatives.

Not sure if you are a domestic or international student?

That's OK - it can be a little tricky to know the difference.


To help you out, we've put together a guide to answer any questions you might have.


Things like the difference between domestic and international students or the difference between course types like VET and undergraduate.

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