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New Zealand Certificate in Security (Foundation) (Level 3)

New Zealand Certificate in Security (Foundation) (Level 3)

Level 3

Learn essential skills to gain employment in the security industry with UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Security (Foundation) Level 3.

UCOL security students in the classroom.
Quick info

Level: 3

Locations: UCOL Manawatū in Palmerston North, UCOL Whanganui

Duration: 19 weeks full-time
Part-time option available.
(See Course Hours & Duration for details)

20 Feb 2023 - 30 Jun 2023

Domestic Fees: *
$2458.50Scholarship info

International Fees:*

Additional Fees
Compulsory course costs may apply.

* Fees are indicative only, and are inclusive of the student services levy and GST (goods and services tax). The fee shown is for one year of study.

UCOL's New Zealand Certificate in Security (Foundation) Level 3 will equip you with the skills, knowledge and attributes required to work in the security industry, including maintaining security and safety at sites.

 Course Hours & Duration

This programme runs for 19 weeks, including 2 holiday weeks.

Per week, your learning will include approximately:

Class Time
18 hrs

Lectures, tutorials and/or online recordings.
Timetable set by your lecturer.
Industry Experience
11.5 hrs

In-work activity.
Study Time
6 hrs

Study in your own time.

You can also choose to study part-time. Talk to us about your options with this programme.

 Career & Study Outcomes

  • Major security firms
  • Individual businesses
  • Government departments
  • Specialist security work, such as mobile patrols, event and site security, noise control, personal protection, retail security, secure transport, biosecurity and electronic security
  • Or staircase to further study

To find out more about possible job prospects and salaries, see Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Occupation Outlook for Security Workers.

 Course Information

Note: As a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, UCOL is committed to providing the best learning outcome for you. As part of this, all programmes are currently being reviewed to make them portable, consistent, and closely aligned with the needs of the industry. When published, this course information is correct, but the courses offered may change over time. If you have any questions call an Enrolment Advisor on 0800 468 265.

From 2023, UCOL and the programme you have enrolled in will become part of Te Pūkenga. So, if you join UCOL in 2023, you will be awarded Te Pūkenga certification. And, if you are a current learner graduating in 2023, you will be awarded a co-branded certificate.

This programme consists of 60 credits. The courses includes:

Professional Conduct and NZ Law (20 Credits)
Students will develop conflict management and communication skills when working as a security professional; and to develop their knowledge of NZ Law relevant to the security industry. Students who successfully pass this course will also be eligible for the Security Certificate of Approval. After this course, you will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with security management and staff, clients and the public
  • Describe security officers’ roles and responsibilities
  • Conduct self professionally within a security context
  • Describe and manage conflict in a security context
  • Explain New Zealand law relevant to the industry and apply appropriately

Confidentiality, Privacy and Technology (14 Credits)
Students will gain skills to ensure confidentiality, corporate sensitivity, privacy and specific client requirements are adhered to, when protecting clients in a security context. Students will also operate security equipment and technology and apply knowledge of NZ Law to comply with organisational and client requirements. After this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose and function of protective security and maintaining site security.
  • Maintain confidentiality, corporate sensitivity and privacy when dealing with clients and public.
  • Describe and operate security equipment and technology.

Personal Safety, Situational Awareness and Risk (12 Credits)
Students will gain the skills  to recognise risks and undertake risk assessments in the workplace to ensure personal safety. After this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe personal, organisational and environmental factors that could affect the health and safety of security personnel and apply measures to minimise the risk.
  • Describe workplace risks that may affect the health and safety of security personnel and apply measures to minimise the risk.
  • Complete risk management assessments (RAMS).

Incidents, Events and Emergency Situations (14 Credits)
Students will the skills to respond to incidents, events and emergency situations and communicate and collaborate with emergency services, clients and the public while maintaining personal safety. After this course, you will be able to:

  • Respond to incidents, events and emergency situations.
  • Communicate effectively in an emergency situation.
  • Manage security incidents, events and emergency situations as a security officer.

 Student & Staff Profiles

 Industry Connections

  • Red Badge
  • First Security
  • Allied Security
  • CDS Security
  • Armourguard

 Learning Facilities

Subject-expert lecturers provide intense assistance to students in a classroom environment with practical, field-based and work-based components integrated into the programme. Students learn utilising the latest equipment and methods.

 Domestic Entry Requirements

NCEA Level 1


Equivalent academic achievement


On case by case basis at the discretion of the Executive Dean


To be eligible for a Certificate of Approval, under the Private Security Personnel and
Private Investigators Act 2010 (section 33), all applicants are required to:

  • Be 18 years of age by the end of the programme
  • Undertake a Criminal History Check (not all offences will prohibit entry)

English language proficiency
If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 5 with no band score less than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.


For more information about NCEA Credits see UCOL's NCEA explained page.

 International Entry Requirements

In addition to the Domestic Entry Requirements, the following applies to international student applicants.

English language proficiency
International student applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS Academic score of 5 with no band score lower than 5 (or equivalent including TOEFL). IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form (i.e. combining scores from more than one test is not permissible). UCOL is a TOEFL testing centre.

Under 20 years of age
In addition to this, international applicants under 20 years of age must have NCEA equivalency.

 Advice & Guidance

Students will learn essential skills to gain employment in the security industry, including maintaining security and safety at sites.

Students must undergo a Ministry of Justice Criminal Check to ensure suitability and compliance with the Ministry of Justice regarding security licencing. Not all convictions will prohibit entry.

Security licence 
Persons working or intending to work as a security officer or in related security employment may require a Security Guards Licence or, if an employee of a Security Guard Licence holder, a Certificate of Approval to be the Responsible Employee of a Security Guard. Both are issued by the Registrar of Private Investigators and Security Guards.

Students need to be aware of the physical requirements  for operating in the workforce for security and protection services. As they are expected to keep a reasonable level of fitness to physically carry out the practical components of the programme, it is expected that students will actively belong to a gym to manage their personal fitness. It is also noted that students may spend long periods on their feet while completing their work experience requirements.

Special needs
Students will be advised to put any special needs or requirements in writing and advise the programme leader before the programme begins.

Work experience
Students are required to undertake a minimum of 196 hours work experience. Every reasonable step is taken to ensure student safety while they are in the workplace. 

A Work Experience Agreement that details expectations is signed by UCOL for its delegates, the work experience employer and students. 

Work experience hours may be required to be undertaken during evenings and over weekends.

You can expect to attend up to 30 hours per week of timetabled theory classes and practical/work experience, although, changes may be made from time to time.

Independent learning
As well as your timetabled classes, you are expected to spend up to 6 hours per week doing your own learning. This time is dedicated to self-directed research, study and completion of your assignments, plus online work (as applicable).

Recognition of prior learning
Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning, including Cross Credit, Credit Transfer and Assessment of Prior Learning may be made on the Recognition of Prior Learning Form where a student believes all learning outcomes for a course have already been met. Applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the UCOL Academic Statute and other relavant policies and procedures.

Application checklist
It will make the process easier if you prepare the following before you apply:

  • National Student Number (NSN) (If you don't have a NSN, you may request one from NZQA, or you can supply a verified copy of your birth certificate, passport or Whakapapa statement.)
  • Evidence of your highest level of academic achievement (and evidence of prior learning, if applicable)
  • Evidence that you meet the entry requirements of the programme
  • Check if you're eligible for additional support or a scholarship. If you're 19 years or younger, you may be eligible to enrol in one of our free Youth Transition programmes.

Note that you will need to provide any verified documents in person, via post or email (not via the online application form).

 Additional Costs

  • Travel to/from work experience
  • Purchase of a uniform comprising of Denstock boots $150, 1 pair Kapinua trousers $44, a Kapinua white shirt $34, and a Kapinua tie $7.40
  • Certificate of Approval from Ministry of Justice (Approximately $187)


The programme is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020, and Universal College of Learning Limited, a subsidiary of Te Pūkenga is accredited to teach it.