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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

Why study at CDU?

"Study with the Northern Territory's largest provider of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and gain industry-ready skills and experience.

  • Learn from expert lecturers and industry professionals
  • Access to first-class facilities - Recognition of prior learning accepted
  • Packages into higher education available for most courses"

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

CodeModule/Unit of CompetencyHours
RIIENV201DIdentify and assess environmental and heritage concerns20
RIIRIS301DApply risk management processes40
RIIWHS201DWork safely and follow WHS policies and procedures20
Total nominal hours for core units80
RIICOM301DCommunicate information30
RIICOM302DCommunicate workplace information20
RIIGOV201DComply with site work processes/procedures20
RIIQUA201DMaintain and monitor site quality standards20
RIIBHD305DConduct down-hole hammer drilling40
RIIMEX302DAssess ground conditions20
RIIMPG301DControl and monitor automated plant/machinery40
RIIMPO206DConduct bulk water truck operations30
RIIMPO301EConduct hydraulic excavator operations40
RIIMPO302EConduct hydraulic shovel operations45
RIIMPO304EConduct wheel loader operations40
RIIMPO306DOperate plant/machinery on live stockpiles24
RIIMPO308FConduct tracked dozer operations40
RIIMPO309FConduct wheeled dozer operations40
RIIMPO310FConduct grader operations40
RIIMPO312EConduct scraper operations40
RIIMPO313EConduct face loading operations40
RIIMPO331EConduct operations with stockpile dozer40
RIIMPO336EConduct belly dump truck operations40
RIIMPO337EConduct articulated haul truck operations40
RIIMPO338EConduct rigid haul truck operations40
RIIPRO301DConduct crushing and screening plant operations50
RIISAM202DIsolate and access plant30
RIISAM301ETest operational functions of vehicles and equipment30
RIISRM301DBlend stockpile materials20
RIISRM302DConduct stockpile reclaiming operations40
RIISRM303DMove and position materials to form stockpiles24
RIISRM304DMaintain stockpiles20
RIIVEH305EOperate and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle40
RIICRC310DConstruct and maintain roads60
RIIHAN305DOperate a gantry or overhead crane40
RIIHAN307EOperate a vehicle loading crane40
RIIHAN311FConduct operations with integrated tool carrier80
RIIVEH306EOperate mine service vehicle20
TLILIC0002Licence to operate a vehicle loading crane (capacity 10 metre tonnes and above)40
TLILIC0010Licence to operate a slewing mobile crane (up to 20 tonnes)70
TLILIC2016Licence to drive a heavy rigid vehicle50
TLILIC3017Licence to drive a heavy combination vehicle60
TLILIC3018Licence to drive a multi combination vehicle60
 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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You make CDU

Our students choose to study with us because we share the same vision – to make a positive change. Whatever your motivation is, we can guide you in the right direction.

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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