Course Description

Whether you are just starting your career in agriculture or want to build on your existing knowledge, this course will give you a comprehensive set of practical skills, as well as the chance to specialise in a particular type of farming.

The Certificate III in Agriculture will teach you:

  • Farming basics and agriculture essentials, including dealing with different weather conditions and managing sustainability and production records.
  • How to use and maintain farming machinery, tools and equipment.
  • How to use chemicals safely and manage biosecurity threats

You’ll then choose to specialise in one of these areas: Livestock, crops or mixed livestock and crops.

The Certificate III in Agriculture has been designed in consultation with experts working in the industry, so you can be sure that the skills and techniques you learn will be relevant when you enter the workplace. The course includes core skills that are relevant across the agriculture industry and applicable to a range of sectors.

This agriculture course includes a work placement. This will give you the chance to gain hands-on experience in a farm setting and put the theory you learn on the course into practice.

This course involves work placement that currently needs to be undertaken in Australia. More information available in our FAQs
Course number E1216
Qualification name AHC30116 Certificate III in Agriculture
Course duration Maximum 18 months
Delivery Method Online with Work Placement
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Knowledge tests, Projects
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 18 years old.


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

High visibility vest
You will need to be provided with a high-visibility vest when working on farms. In the Course Overview you are provided a link to Uniform Super Store to order your high visibility vest which will be branded with the Open Colleges link. There is no cost for you for this item.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment including covered boots or steel-capped boots, hearing and eye protection, rigor gloves, long-sleeved shirt and pants, sunscreen.

Workplace requirements
You will need access to additional materials and equipment related to specific units which you will need to consider when selecting a farm to conduct your assessment on. The list of equipment and tools required at the workpklace is available on
page 5 of this course guide.

Physical requirements

Most of the units of competency include physical requirements, which include:

  • Manual dexterity (use of tools and equipment)
  • The ability to lift and carry general farm equipment and items
  • The ability to meet performance criteria and achieve a competent result

You will also need to be fully able bodied to successfully complete this qualification.

Driver's licence

You will need to carry a minimum of a provisional (P1) Class C driver's licence as you will likely be required to operate farm machinery and vehicles when working on a farm. Although a driver's licence is not required for driving agriculture vehicles on private land, Open Colleges believes that if you carry a provisional (P1) Class C driver licence you will be better prepared for safely operating farm machinery and vehicles.

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.

Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Module. Modules 1 to 14 have been released and is available. The subsequent Modules will be released on the following dates:

  • Modules 15 & 16: September 2017
  • Modules 18 & 19: August 2017
  • Modules 20 & 21: September 2017
  • Modules 22 & 23: October 2017

To attain this qualification you have to complete 16 modules. The first 10 modules are compulsory and then you get to select an elective stream of your choice depending on your vocational aspiration. There are 3 elective streams to choose from: LivestockCrops and Mixed Livestock and Crops.

The Livestock elective stream consists of modules 11-16.

The Crops elective stream consists of modules 17-22.

The Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream consists of modules 11, 12, 16, 18, 19 and 22.

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.

Observe and report on weather

  • Prepare to work
  • Check weather and climate information
  • Carry out preventative action
  • Monitor weather and climate

Contribute to work health and safety processes

  • Apply work health and safety policies and procedures
  • Assist in workplace hazard identification and risk control
  • Observe safe practices during work operations
  • Participate in arrangements for maintaining the health and safety of all people in the workplace

Apply environmentally sustainable work practices

  • Identify current practices in relation to resource usage and sustainability
  • Contribute to the review of workplace environmental sustainability practices
  • Apply improvement strategies
  • Record and report on work practices

Keep production records for a primary production business

  • Develop a system to collect and store production records
  • Collect and maintain production records
  • Organise information for analysis

Implement property improvement, construction and repair

  • Assess property condition
  • Prepare tools and equipment
  • Carry out property improvements
  • Complete maintenance and improvement activities

Perform machinery maintenance

  • Prepare to work
  • Carry out engine and equipment checks
  • Carry out transmission checks
  • Maintain components and attachments
  • Record maintenance

Operate machinery and equipment

  • Prepare machinery and equipment for use
  • Operate machinery and equipment
  • Check and complete machinery and equipment operation

Identify and report unusual disease or plant pest signs

  • Identify signs of unusual disease or a plant pest
  • Report signs of unusual disease or a plant pest

Prepare and apply chemicals

  • Determine the need for chemical use and prepare an application plan
  • Prepare chemical mixes
  • Calibrate application equipment
  • Apply chemicals
  • Clean up equipment and complete records

Transport and store chemicals

  • Prepare to transport and handle chemicals
  • Transport and handle chemicals
  • Store chemicals in the workplace
  • Record storage details

Establish pastures and crops for livestock production

  • Prepare for pasture and crop establishment
  • Implement pasture and crop establishment program
  • Implement grazing strategies during establishment

This module is part of the Livestock elective stream and the Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream.

Implement feeding plans for livestock

  • Determine livestock condition and nutritional requirements
  • Assess pasture feed
  • Manage the feeding of livestock

This module is part of the Livestock elective stream and the Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream.

Monitor livestock production growing environments

  • Monitor livestock health and welfare
  • Monitor the production environment
  • Monitor feed
  • Perform routine maintenance checks
  • Complete monitoring activities

This module is a part of the Livestock elective stream.

Identify and draft livestock

  • Identify animals
  • Assess and select animals

This module is a part of the Livestock elective stream.

Coordinate and monitor livestock transport

  • Prepare for the transport of livestock
  • Load livestock
  • Monitor transport and unload livestock
  • Complete transportation operations

This module is a part of the Livestock elective stream.

Comply with industry animal welfare requirements

  • Determine and identify animal welfare requirements
  • Comply with animal welfare requirements
  • Participate in animal welfare process

This module is part of the Crops elective stream and the Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream.

Provide information on plants and their culture

  • Identify the issue
  • Decide on preferred solution
  • Provide the preferred solution

This module is a part of the Crops elective stream

Identify plant specimens

  • Inspect plant morphological features
  • Determine status of health
  • Identify the specimen
  • Report on the process results

This module is part of the Crops elective stream and the Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream.

Establish agricultural crops

  • Prepare machinery and equipment for use
  • Prepare for agricultural crop establishment
  • Sow the crop
  • Complete seeding operations

This module is a part of the Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream.

Maintain agricultural crops

  • Monitor & assess agricultural crop condition, growth and requirements
  • Undertake crop health operations
  • Complete cleaning and hygiene operations

This module is a part of the Crops elective stream.

Operate pressurised irrigation systems

  • Carry out pre-start checks
  • Inspect and operate the system
  • Monitor irrigation system performance
  • Shut down irrigation system

This module is a part of the Crops elective stream.

Troubleshoot irrigation systems

  • Locate and identify faulty components and blockages
  • Shut down and isolate component
  • Replace faulty components and clear blockages
  • Return system to normal operating status

This module is part of the Crops elective stream and the Mixed Livestock and Crops elective stream.



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

The course contains a minimum of 175 hours of work placement

The workplace will need to be a commercial broadacre field cropping and or commercial livestock production farm. Each facility will require the following equipment and resources:


  • Office equipment and resources including computer, photocopier, telephone
  • Instructions for use of equipment
  • Tools, machinery and equipment and manufacturer’s instructions
  • Chemicals
  • Handheld or powered chemical application equipment
  • First aid kit

Workplace, health and safety and environment

  • Emergency response procedures
  • Fire safety policies and procedures
  • Biosecurity procedures
  • Environmental sustainability practices

Workplace health and safety guidelines and manual

  • Personal protective equipment
  • SDS sheets

Policies and procedures

  • WHS policies and procedures
  • Standard operation procedures
  • Incident reporting system


  • Seeding and fertilising equipment
  • Fertilisers and pesticides
  • Pasture and crop establishment program

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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Weekly and fortnightly payment plans are also available when you pay online.

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