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Certificate III in Production Horticulture


Certificate III in Production Horticulture AHC30620

Course Overview

Whether it's pursuing a bright career in flower farming or sowing seeds, the Certificate III in Production Horticulture will set students up for success in their chosen field.

Participants will learn the skills and knowledge to pursue job roles in the production horticulture and floriculture industry including field worker, seeding person, operator, irrigation maintainer, machinery maintainer, and leading hand. Students will come away with a broad range of practical skills, in addition to learning discretion and judgment in selecting and operating equipment, coordinating resources, and applying contingency measures during work.

This course contains a high content of practical outdoor activities in a wide variety of conditions, in which students should be physically capable to participate.

This course is offered full-time to on-campus students, or part-time as a traineeship for eligible students.

Please note: the information on this page is relevant for 2023 enrolments.

Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions

During COVID‐19 lockdown periods, this course will have the majority of the training delivered using online methods of teaching and communication while students engage from home with their trainers. Any required practical components of the course will be moved to a more appropriate time later in the year.

Career Pathways

This course prepares students to work in the production horticulture or floriculture industries.

Roles students may be eligible for include:

  • Field worker
  • Seeding person
  • Operator
  • Irrigation maintainer
  • Machinery maintainer
  • Leading hand

Further Study

After graduating, students might like to undertake further study in:

  • AHC40219 Certificate IV in Protected Horticulture
  • AHC40320 Certificate IV in Production Horticulture
  • AHC40416 Certificate IV in Horticulture

Course Dates & Times

Shepparton - William Orr

Traineeship - Open from 21st June - Some On Campus delivery / 2022

On Campus - Open from Monday 11th July - Wed, Thur, Fri / 2022

Traineeship - Open from 27th Feb - Varied days attendance / 2023

OnCampus - FT - Open from 9th March - 3 days week (Wed,Thu,Fri) - 9am-4pm / 2023

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Standard (Concession)
3. Subsidised Trainee
4. Subsidised Trainee (Concession)
5. Full Fee
Course Materials
Student Services Fee (per year)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.

Please note that the fees on this webpage, for this particular course:

  • are correct at the time of publishing for those enrolling in 2022 and may change without notice.
  • will be discussed with applications as part of the application process to ensure it is understood what is being paid for and which fee rates they may be eligible for.

Course Fees consist of 3 different components:

  1. Student Tuition Fee - cover the costs of training and assessment. These fees vary across courses and are calculated based on a rate per nominal hour enrolled in. The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Circumstances may include:
    1. an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    2. an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    3. ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs.
  2. Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions.
  3. Student Services Fee (SSF) - contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF is a non-refundable annual fee that does not apply to short course participants.

Additionally, some courses require students to purchase or supply textbooks, kits, tools, uniforms and personal protection equipment. Some specific materials may be purchased through the GOTAFE Bookshop. A full list with associated costs will be provided to you at your course information session or during the pre-training review Interview.

GOTAFE offers a range of payment options to help you pay your fees.
Learn more about fees, charges, refunds and payment options

Training package entry requirements

There are no training package entry requirements for this qualification.

GOTAFE preferred entry requirements

Before being accepted into the course applicants must:

  • Complete a Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online test to ensure the required literacy & numeracy levels for the course are met.
  • Undertake a Pre-training Review by interview to ensure the course suits their needs and aspirations, and that they are likely to complete the course successfully.
  • Complete a Digital Literacy self-assessment to ensure they have the required digital entry levels for the course.
  • Prospective traineeship or apprenticeship students are required to apply through an Apprenticeship Network Provider with their employer to organise their contract prior to applying for this course.
  • While not mandatory, it is ideal for potential students to have access to a production horticulture enterprise outside of the course.

Students will be required to provide:

  • Laptop/computer with internet access, including access to YouTube.
  • Camera or smart device able to take photographs
  • PPE: hearing protection, eye protection, gloves, sunscreen, workwear, work boots/shoes
Core Units
Apply biosecurity measures
Contribute to work health and safety processes
Comply with industry quality assurance requirements
Elective Units
Identify and report signs of unusual disease or pest
Transport and store chemicals
Prepare and apply chemicals to control pest, weeds and diseases
Implement a maintenance program for hydroponic systems
Install hydroponic systems
Schedule irrigations
Implement a plant nutrition program
Implement a crop regulation program
Implement a post-harvest program
Coordinate horticultural crop harvesting
Control weeds
Control plant pests, diseases and disorders
Coordinate work site activities
Apply environmentally sustainable work practices

Assessment methods may include:

  • Knowledge questions
  • Scenarios
  • Observations
  • Simulated demonstration
  • Reports
  • Products (creation of a physical product)

Rob Hall

On-campus students

  • This course is delivered to learners who are currently working in or seeking work in the horticulture industry.
  • The course is full-time and is delivered face-to-face on campus 3 days a week (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) over 36 weeks.
  • Two of these days (Wednesday and Thursday) will be classroom-based, and the third (Friday) will be a practical skills day at the Shepparton William Orr Campus in a simulated environment provided by GOTAFE that reflects industry conditions, standard equipment and facilities.
  • Attendance at the Friday skills day is mandatory for students who are not currently employed.
  • Overall, 80% on-campus attendance is required of students.

In addition, students are expected to complete some research and self-directed learning. Students in this cohort will complete their skills assessments during scheduled class hours and complete their knowledge assessments outside of their scheduled classes.

Trainee students

  • This course is delivered to trainees part-time in a blended model.
  • Learners are either undertaking a traineeship in a protected cropping workplace or an orchard workplace.
  • Training is provided online, in the trainee's workplace, and on-campus at the Shepparton William Orr Campus for scheduled 1-day workshops for a total of 46 days over the 2 years.
  • GOTAFE trainers visit students in the workplace 4 times per year over the duration of their course.
  • Students can enrol to start at any time and each trainee will have an individualised training plan and timetable.
  • Students are required to undertake structured online learning through goLearn where they read learning materials, watch videos on YouTube, and complete interactive learning activities related to the unit of study. Students are required to spend time researching and undertaking assessments tasks in their own time.

Weekly online or telephone support with trainers is available to all students over the duration of their training. Students have access to trainers for the duration of their course and can schedule a one-on-one phone call outside of working hours if required.

As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you may access a wide range of academic support services to assist you to meet the academic challenges of your course from our Learning Support Unit.

Learning support

A free and confidential service to help you build the foundation skills you need to be successful at TAFE. Improve your english language, maths and/or writing skills; enhance your computer, exam and study skills.

Learn more about our learning support services


Our library team are passionate about supporting students to achieve their study goals. They have subject guides, referencing help, and online resources to assist you with you assessments.

Find how to reach out to our library in Shepparton

Jobs and study options

Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.

Reach out to our Skills and Jobs Centres

Whether you need support with time management, your mental health, grief and loss, a diagnosed disability, financial hardship, or any other challenge life through your way, we are here to help.

Support for personal issues

We have a dedicated team to ensure students have the help they need with personal issues impacting studies such as homelessness, family problems & setting up payment plans.

Find out how the Student Experience Team can help you

Disability support

Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.

Seek support from our Equitable Learning Advisors

Counselling services

We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.

Learn about our Student Wellbeing Advisors

Refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding Learner’s Rights Student Handbook.

Further information is provided at course induction.

Please note: Eligible individuals who wish to access a government subsidised place, must participate in a Pre-training Review. This will consider your:

  • Aspirations/career goals
  • Educational attainment and capability
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Suitability for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer

Enrolment in general public entry courses will require a selection interview. Please call 1300 468 233 to enquire further.

Skills Recognition is an assessment only process that may result in credits towards a part or full qualification. There is no formal training involved, although you may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.

You can apply for Skills Recognition before you enrol in the qualification you are seeking. You can apply for Skills Recognition through one or both of the following processes:

  • Credit Transfer for formal training that might be equivalent to a new qualification or partial qualification.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for people who have relevant and current skills and knowledge that they have gained through non-formal or informal learning i.e. work or life experience.

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