The New Zealand Certificate in Engineering
The New Zealand Certificate in Engineering was introduced to provide a recognised qualification for technicians — that group which “can apply in a reasonable manner proven techniques which are commonly understood by those who are expert in a branch of engineering, or those techniques specially prescribed by professional engineers”. Moreover, in carrying out many of his duties, the technician will work under the competent supervision of skilled professional engineers.
Courses are available in civil, mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, refrigeration, and production engineering. These take five years' (part-time) study, the more advanced instruction being available only at the major technical colleges. Less advanced instruction is provided at most technical schools. School Certificate or an equivalent standard is required for entry to the course, but there is a subject-for-subject exemption (for first-year and some second-year subjects) in respect of subjects passed for School Certificate or University Entrance. Hence the duration of the course may be shortened where exemptions apply. Students are required to be employed in suitable engineering work while they are studying.
The number of students attending courses for the New Zealand Certificate in Engineering has multiplied enormously since the first enrolments in 1955, thereby demonstrating the reality of the need for courses of this kind.
Some of those who embark on the New Zealand Certificate course transfer to professional studies. A few do so before completing the certificate course, but this is believed to be ill advised, as the certificate courses are very well ordered and can provide a useful foundation for more advanced study. Candidates completing the certificate course with distinction may receive consideration for entry to the Bachelor of Engineering degree course, with certain credits for their prior studies, thus shortening the time spent full time at University.
by Percy Lyndon Laing, B.E.(CIVIL), M.I.C.E., Commissioner of Works, Wellington.