Course Description

The Certificate IV in Agriculture will teach you intermediate skills in livestock and crop production, as well as giving you the option to specialise in organic production or agribusiness, should you want to own or manage your own business.

When you study the Certificate IV in Agriculture, you’ll learn a range of practical skills, such as:

  • Livestock production fundamentals, including welfare and breeding programs
  • Broadacre crop production
  • Budgeting and analysis

You’ll then specialise in one of the following:

  • Organic production
  • Agribusiness – ideal if you want to manage your own farming business

The course content of the Certificate IV was developed with insights from industry experts so you can be sure that the skills and techniques you learn will be relevant when you begin to progress in the industry.

The Certificate IV includes a work placement. This will give you the chance to gain hands-on experience in a working agricultural business 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

Potential career outcomes

  • Farm Supervisor
  • Farm Team Leader
  • Shed Supervisor
Course number E1217
Qualification name AHC40116 Certificate IV in Agriculture
Course duration Maximum 18 months
Delivery Method Online with Work Placement
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Case studies, Interviews, Knowledge tests, Logbook, Reports
Awarded by
  • TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course however, given the nature of the skills required, Open Colleges recommends that learners have some practical exposure to the farming and agriculture industry.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading learning content and undertaking a range of written assessments and 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 12 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 12 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate III level or higher; or
  • 3 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

You will need to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items in all study periods:
  • Long trousers
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Steel-capped boots
  • Good-quality protective gloves
  • Rubber boots


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

You will need the physical strength, ability and dexterity to use tools, mechanical equipment and/or machinery. Several units will also require you to lift, carry and dig to meet the required performance criteria and achieve a competent result for your course units.

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 modules.

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.

Livestock production

  • Provide information about animal welfare to the team
  • Facilitate the participation of workers in animal welfare compliance
  • Implement and monitor workplace animal welfare procedures
  • Implement workplace procedures for dealing with animal welfare emergencies
  • Implement and monitor workplace procedures for providing animal welfare training
  • Implement and monitor workplace procedures for maintaining animal welfare records
  • Identify breeding selection criteria
  • Select animals for breeding

Broadacre crop production

  • Develop a pasture management program
  • Implement pasture management program
  • Monitor pasture growth and fodder production
  • Review production level
  • Determine condition of agricultural crops
  • Determine pest control
  • Manage crop health

WHS and sustainability

  • Provide information about work health and safety
  • Facilitate the participation of workers in work health and safety observance and decision-making
  • Implement procedures for identifying hazards and assessing and controlling risks
  • Implement workplace procedures for dealing with emergencies and hazardous events
  • Implement and monitor enterprise procedures for providing work health and safety training
  • Implement and monitor enterprise procedures for maintaining work health and safety records
  • 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

Budget and analysis

  • Collect and organise production data
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Present data
  • Participate in formulation of a budget

  • Supervise financial transaction

Organic production

Elective stream 1

  • Manage animal health and welfare
  • Develop and implement supplementary feed requirements
  • Develop and implement a sustainable grazing strategy
  • Manage farm fertility for the livestock enterprise
  • Monitor indicators of soil fertility
  • Assess soil-related factors for selected plants
  • Select, design and implement allowable systems, techniques and inputs to optimise soil fertility


Elective stream 2

  • Undertake farm office procedures
  • Establish and maintain a petty cash system
  • Establish and maintain a cash book in accordance with organisational requirements
  • Reconcile invoices for payment to creditors
  • Prepare invoices for debtors
  • Maintain financial records
  • Administer the legal requirements of the business
  • Process and maintain the insurance requirements for the business
  • Identify sources, types and cost of finance
  • Prepare application for finance or investment

Agricultural management

  • Identify and establish an appropriate rural business structure
  • Identify and establish the roles and responsibilities within the business unit
  • Develop and implement stress management strategies
  • Access rural networks and support groups
  • Identify risks
  • Analyse and evaluate risks
  • Treat risks
  • Monitor and review effectiveness of risk treatment/s



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 115 hours of work placement

You will be required to commence your work placement at the end of Study Period 3.

The workplace will need to be involved in farming and agriculture activities and will need to be able to provide you with access to specialist equipment and resources.

Your workplace assessor will ascertain whether the workplace is appropriate. If you select ‘Organic Production’ as your preferred elective, you will need to find a workplace that is certified by a registered certification body such as Australian and International Organic Certifier (NASAA) or Australian Certied Organic (ACO).

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.