Course Description

If you are wanting to enter the construction industry then the Certificate I is a great introduction to the trade. It is also perfect for people  who want to get the qualification, knowledge and skills to break out and start a repair / handyman business.

During your studies you will learn:

  • How to use basic construction tools and materials.
  • All the essential Work Health and Safety (WHS) requirements, and how to apply them to your job on a day-to-day basis.
  • How to effectively communicate in the construction world.
  • The best ways to plan your work.

Once completed, you can use your Certificate I in Construction to apply for a NSW non-structural repair work license.

The Certificate I has been built around a simulated construction project. What this means is that you can practice and apply what you are learning to the simulated project.

The simulated project will also expose you to typical construction scenarios that you will face on real-world job sites, and all your assessments are constructed around real world examples.

You will be granted access to Trade Hub as part of your studies. Trade Hub is a literacy and numeracy support tool, which explains key concepts that you will need to understand to work in construction (area, volume, percentages, fractions, ratios, instructions, manuals and safety documents).

This course is offered by Open Colleges on behalf of TAFE NSW North Region.

Potential career outcomes

  • Apply for an apprenticeship
  • Develop a handyman business
  • Enrol into a Certificate II pre-vocational program
  • Gain work as a casual labourer
Course number E1206
Qualification name CPC10111 Certificate I in Construction
Course duration Maximum 12 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Knowledge tests, Projects, Short-answer questions
Awarded by
  • TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Digital equipment

You will need access to:

  • A digital video recording device and/or a digital camera and associated software to save and upload video, image and audio files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology.
  • Software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet.

Equipment and tools

In order to complete this course, learners will need the following tools and equipment items:

  • Eye protection (safety goggles)
  • Hard hat
  • Hearing protection (ear plugs)
  • Ultra violet protective clothing (e.g., long sleeve shirt, trousers and sun hat)
  • Hammer
  • Screw driver
  • Retractable tape measure
  • Ruler


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
  • Accessing and searching the internet
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites
  • Uploading documents through websites
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images and audio files
  • Connecting digital video devices and downloading and storing videos
  • Compressing image, audio and video files.

Physical requirements

In this course, you will be required to perform physical tasks such as:

  • Stacking carpentry materials

  • Lifting and operating hand tools and power tools

  • Access a general construction site

Practical task

From Module 3 onwards you will be asked to complete specific tasks outlined in the assessments. You will need to find a workplace that will allow you to undertake the following tasks:

  • Replace the glazing (glass) in a window
  • Replace a door
  • Prepare and install joinery components, cupboards and bench
  • Prepare weld joints (important: you are not required to perform welding tasks, you only need to prepare joints for welding)

The workplace can be either:

  • A construction site (see under ‘White card’ on this page for more information). You will be coached and given advice on locating and approaching builders in their local area; or
  • A friend or relative’s workshop, or your own workshop if you have access to the tools listed below.

The workplace / builder that you use will need to have the following tools on-site:

  • Hand saw
  • Hand plane
  • Chisels
  • Electric plane
  • Electric drill
  • Circular saw
  • Nail gun
  • Air compressor

While it is not mandatory to enter this course, you may be required to wear steel-capped boots when on a construction site. This will be up to the discretion of the builder/ business owner.

White card

If you decide to complete the practical tasks of this course on a construction site, you will be required to have a white card.
People who need a white card include:

  • Site managers, supervisors, surveyors, labourers and tradespeople
  • People who access operational construction zones (unaccompanied or not directly supervised by an inducted person)
  • Workers whose employment causes them to routinely enter operational construction zones

The white card can be obtained online or face to face through a Registered Training Provider.

More information and a list of white card trainers can be found on the Safe Work Australia website.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Note: Courses offered by Open Colleges on behalf of TAFE NSW North Region may include Units of Competency that are graded by TAFE NSW.

Working with plans and specifications

  • Identify types of drawings and their functions.
  • Recognise amendments.
  • Recognise commonly used symbols and abbreviations.
  • Locate and identify key features on a site plan.
  • Identify project requirements.
  • Read and interpret job specifications.

WHS: The basics

  • Identify and assess risks.
  • Identify hazardous materials and other hazards on work sites.
  • Plan and prepare for safe work practices.
  • Apply safe work practices.
  • Follow emergency procedures.

Construction tools and equipment

  • Plan and prepare.
  • Identify and select hand, power and pneumatic tools.
  • Use tools.
  • Identify, select and use plant and equipment.
  • Clean up.

Estimation and costing

  • Gather information.
  • Estimate materials, time and labour.
  • Calculate costs.
  • Document details and verify where necessary.

Handle construction materials

  • Plan and prepare.
  • Manually handle, sort, stack and store construction materials.
  • Prepare for mechanical handling of materials.
  • Clean up.

Planning your work

  • Identify task requirements.
  • Plan steps to complete tasks.
  • Organise work.
  • Review planning and organising process.

Undertaking construction projects

  • Plan and prepare.
  • Prepare materials for use on a simple construction project.
  • Determine component requirements and assembly sequence.
  • Operate hand tools.
  • Use equipment safely.
  • Construct a simple project.
  • Clean up.

Replace windows and doors

  • Plan and prepare.
  • Remove door and window furniture.
  • Install glass to doors and windows.
  • Replace doors and door and window furniture.
  • Clean up.

Sustainability in the construction industry

  • Identify industry structure, occupations, job roles and work conditions.
  • Accept responsibility for own workload.
  • Work in a team.
  • Identify own development needs.
  • Identify current resource use and identify opportunities to improve resource efficiency.
  • Comply with environmental regulations.

Workplace communication

  • Gather, convey and receive information.
  • Carry out face-to-face routine communication.
  • Apply visual communication.
  • Participate in simple on-site meeting processes.



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Jeffrey Halpin

Jeffrey Halpin has been delivering training and assessment to the construction and WHS industries for over 10 years and been in the construction industry for nearly 40 years. He brings with him a wealth of experience covering all aspects of the construction industry including design, construction, energy rating and building compliance. 
As a practising Building Contractor and Consultant, Jeffrey delivers the very highest quality standards to his clientele. 
Jeffrey is tremendously honoured to be part of the Open Colleges team as a Trainer and Assessor. He feels privileged to have the opportunity to impart his experience and knowledge to the students. 

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010). The testamur will be issued by TAFE NSW North Region.

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Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.