Steps Involved in Becoming a Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifier (HVSC) to Practice as a Heavy Vehicle Certifying Engineer (HVCE)

  1. Gain relevant qualifications in Mechanical Engineering: See detail of these steps and options below.
  2. Recognise that this is a specialist field and you need a lot of on-the-job work experience to gain industry knowledge – also the most effective training in this field. Be prepared to glean and learn from others along the entire pathway of your career in this industry.
  3. Start working in the heavy transport industry – Get a job working for a heavy vehicle engineer or in a company that does heavy vehicle engineering. This experience will help you gain an understanding of the industry. It is recommended that you work alongside an already qualified HVCE, but if that is not possible, seek out a respected HVCE willing to mentor and/or advise you through this process. A curriculum vitae outlining your qualifications and experience, and written references will be required to support your application to become an HVSC.
  4. There are seven technical certification categories in which you can become qualified to practice as a HVSC in New Zealand. Some have prerequisite qualifications as noted below. Please refer to the Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) website for more detail of each of these here.

Load Anchorages (HVEA) – Securing loads to vehicles: Rope rails, chain hooks, twistlocks, chain plates etc. Excludes log bolsters
Towing Connections (HVET) – Drawbars, drawbeams, kingpins, fifth wheels, towbars
Chassis Modification and Repair (HVEC) – Steering conversion, PSV rollover, chassis modifications and repairs, design of new chassis and ratings, mounting of cranes and other specialised equipment, modifications and repairs to drive trains and axles, seatbelt anchorage design. Note: Prerequisite HVET
Brakes (HVEK) – Brake system design and modification
Log Bolster (HVEL) – Attachments, modifications and repairs. Note: Prerequisite HVEC
Static Roll Threshold (HVS1, HVS2, HVS3) – Calculate stability angle. Note: Prerequisite previous SRT qualification
Dynamic Performance: Swept Path (HVP1); and, Vehicle Dynamics PBS (HVP2) Note: Prerequisite HVP1

Link to Heavy Vehicle Specialist Applications on the Waka Kotahi (NZTA) website for information, contacts, syllabus requirements for each category, and relevant application forms.

  1. When you think you know enough to sit an exam in any one category, contact Waka Kotahi (NZTA) with questions and for timing and locations of the next relevant exam at: vehicleinspections@nzta.govt.nz; or phone: 0800 587287. Exams conducted by Waka Kotahi (NZTA), are usually scheduled for April and October.
  2. Once you pass the exam for any category, you will be required to attend an interview with Waka Kotahi (NZTA) to be questioned on your business acumen and work ethic, technical ability and understanding of the industry and your critical role in it. At the interview you will be required to provide samples of your work in the respective category from first principles engineering, and demonstrate competence of the subject matter, Rules and Standards, and design requirements. From your interview it may be identified that more training is required prior to progressing further in the process.
  3. On successful completion of the Waka Kotahi (NZTA) interview, you will be required to attend training in the Performance Review System (PRS). The PRS is the review (audit) and performance measurement process that you will follow for the entirety of your appointment as an HVSC, even after your period of probation is completed.
  4. Prior to your appointment, you will have a liaison visit from Waka Kotahi (NZTA) to ensure that all systems are established in your workplace, and are sufficient that a credible delivery is possible.
  5. At the satisfactory completion of the liaison visit you will be allowed to commence your first period of probation under direct guidance of a Mentor. The Mentor will be an experienced HVSC appointed in the respective category, and a person acceptable to Waka Kotahi (NZTA) to fulfil this role. This first period of probation will be for a minimum of three months.  During this first period of probation, the Mentor will be onsite and oversee directly all your work; the Mentor will issue the LT400 certificates and sign-off your files. The Mentor is duty-bound to help you identify weaknesses and opportunities for development, and any training requirements. The probationary period will be staged in three-monthly periods with reviews (audits) at the completion of each three-monthly interval. The length of this process is determined by your performance at the Waka Kotahi (NZTA) Reviews at the end of each three-monthly period. If the scope of your work is determined to lack the required practice in a given category, or your performance is wanting, then the probation may be repeated and further mentoring or training may be required. The same process is repeated for each category. See Steps in Probation below
  6. Upon completing probationary requirements, you will receive a Notice of Appointment of up to five years. For a summary of expectations, link here. This period of appointment may be extended by the issue of a valid Certificate of Appointment, with a new termination date stated on the certificate.

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