Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations

National Code: RII30815
TAFE SA Code: TP00947


This course is for those who want to enter or are currently employed in the civil construction industry. It covers civil operations work undertaken in local government, state road authorities and civil contractors. You will be trained across different areas including the operation of load shifting equipment and plant, excavation techniques, trenching and confined space work.

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Up to 36 months 
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Study Load

Course Admission Requirements

If you have a verified disability/medical condition and require additional support to demonstrate satisfactory reading, writing and numeracy skills please contact Student Services prior to applying to discuss your needs. To be eligible for support you must provide medical documentation to verify your disability/medical condition.
Average cost per semester
Total Fees for the 36 month course
$1,050 - $1,739
$2,100 - $3,478
$565 - $936
$1,131 - $1,873

This course is subsidised through the Government of South Australia's Subsidised Training initiative. The eligibility check below is an indication only and does not confirm your eligibility status. Eligibility verification will take place during the enrolment process and may include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. Concessions apply to Subsidised Training only.

Subsidised Training Eligibility
Full Fee
$5,895 - $9,764
$11,790 - $19,528

Student Services Fee (SSF) applies. Full-time student $20. Part-time student $10.

Fees vary depending on subjects you enrol into. TAFE SA and their agents reserve the right to make any changes necessary.

  • Upfront Payment

    Each semester, fees can be paid online with VISA or Mastercard or at an Australia Post outlet.

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    Payment Plan

    If you have difficulty paying your fees upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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  • Employment Outcomes

    This qualification reflects the role of a skilled operator working with civil construction plant, who applies a broad range of skills in a varied work context. Job roles may include Team Leader/Supervisor of a Civil Construction Work Team, Machine Operator, Fitter, Labourer.

    Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

    Qualifications & Skills Covered

    Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations (RII30815)
    This course provides skills in communication and organisation, measurements and calculations, interpreting plans and specifications, manual excavation, plant operations, basic levelling, hand and power tools and workplace safety. To complete the qualification you are required to complete all 14 core units and 5 elective units.

    Note: Students who successfully complete only one or more units of competency but not the full qualification are eligible to receive a Statement of Attainment.

    of TAFE SA graduates find jobs or continue studying.
    of TAFE SA graduates are satisfied with the overall quality of training.

    * 2019 NCVER Student Outcomes Survey findings
  • Below is a list of all units that TAFE SA can offer in this qualification. The selection of units you will be enrolled into depends on the campus you attend, and the qualification packaging rules described on www.training.gov.au.

    Not all units listed below must necessarily be completed to achieve your qualification.


    Name Nominal Hours
    Carry out basic levelling 8
    Carry out manual excavation 8
    Carry out measurements and calculations 20
    Communicate in the workplace 20
    Drain and dewater civil construction site 20
    Handle resources and infrastructure materials and safely dispose of non toxic materials 16
    Identify, locate and protect underground services 30
    Operate small plant and equipment 20
    Plan and organise work 20
    Read and interpret plans and job specifications 40
    Spread and compact materials manually 12
    Support plant operations 8
    Use hand and power tools 80
    Work safely and follow WHS policies and procedures 20


    Name Nominal Hours
    Carry out concrete work 40
    Conduct backhoe/loader operations 200
    Conduct paver operations 80
    Control traffic with stop-slow bat 20
    Erect and dismantle temporary fencing and gates 40
    Implement traffic management plans 20
    Install trench support 16
    Lay pipes 40
    Licence to operate a boom-type elevating work platform (boom length 11 meters or more) 30
    Operate elevating work platform 40
    Repair potholes 36
    Use explosive power tools 16
    Work safely at heights 20
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