Frequently Asked Questions about Qualifications

I understand that you can only do NZDEP after doing NZDE, is that true?
That’s right, NZDE is a prerequisite. The only exception is when organisations take on cadets, who do NZDE on a part-time basis while engaging in actual engineering work. NZDEP is then pretty much integrated into their whole course of study, in which case it’s also possible that both could be completed within a 3-year period.

How long will it otherwise take to complete both these courses?
NZDE is 2 years and NZDEP could be done in 18 months depending on the ability of the organisation to provide a mentor

Do you have to do them both, and if not, are there any advantages in doing them both?
You don’t have to do both, and there is no crossover between them. However, an NZDE graduate can gain recognition with EngNZ as a Certified Engineering Technician (CertETn) by doing the NZDEP and become an Associate Member of EngNZ. NZDEP also enables an industry worker to meet the minimum standard of competence expected of a qualified engineering technician in the heavy vehicle industry.

What is the advantage of doing NZDE?
NZDE provides theoretical skills needed as an engineering technician. For someone who simply wishes to have the authority to certify jobs in their current place of employment, NZDE (or equivalent) is the minimum entry level set by NZTA for gaining necessary qualifications in their chosen heavy vehicle certification categories, and as such, is sufficient for requirements to embark on that journey. It is also ideal for someone considering a career change. NZDE [1] was designed by industry as a career launcher in the engineering sector. The general pathway could be NZDE then onto BEngTech and then onto BE (Cross-crediting enables quicker passage through higher qualifications).

What is the difference between BEngTech, BE(Mech) and BE(Hons)Mech?

BEngTech BE(Mech) BE(Hons)Mech
3 years full time 4 years full time 4 years full time
Can be completed part time or by distance education Full time Full time
Polytechnic awarded degree (and one university) University awarded degree University awarded degree
Engineering technologists work on broadly defined engineering problems [2] Professional engineers work on complex engineering problems [2] Awarded as recognition of distinguished study in BE in most institutions, but in some cases is integrated into BE programme
More versatile – more practical, and can be completed while still in full time employment More focused on theoretical knowledge and will suit students who are interested in engineering design and theory More demanding and rigorous – intense, in-depth, self-directed. Prepares for admission to further postgraduate study
Meets the Sydney Accord [3] Meets the Washington Accord [4]  Meets the Washington Accord [4] 
Graduate Membership of EngNZ Professional Membership of EngNZ Professional Membership of EngNZ

NB: BEngTech is also used as a transition to BE and BE(Hons)Mech, and therefore both levels are eventually completed

What are the pitfalls of one route over another?
The route from Diploma (NZDE) to BE or BE(Hons)Mech can be difficult depending upon the individual student’s study record and the particular institution. The route from Dip to BEngTech is a bit better defined because the institutions offering BEngTech can be more cooperative and student focused.


[1] There are various agreements between member countries governing mutual recognition of engineering qualifications and professional competence, allowing individuals who hold relevant qualifications to travel and work with ease within these countries. See: http://www.ieagreements.org. There are 3 such agreements relating to tertiary-level qualifications in engineering, accredited by Engineering New Zealand (EngNZ): the Dublin Accord, the Sydney Accord and the Washington Accord. The Dublin Accord recognises qualifications in technician engineering, normally of two years duration (See Sydney and Washington accords below)
[2] From ‘A Guide to Engineering Qualifications in New Zealand – 2014: At the Diploma and Bachelors Degree Level’ by John P Blakeley (Programme Leader, Department of Civil Engineering, Unitec Institute of Technology)
[3] The Sydney Accord recognises qualifications in engineering technology, normally of three years duration
 [4] The Washington Accord recognises qualifications in professional engineering, normally of four years duration


Thanks to Mike Fermanis (provides the secretariat for the NZ Board of Engineering Diplomas) for his particular help in clarifying many FAQ details, and to Glynn McGregor (Manager, Futureintech) for pointing us in the right direction (2015).

Comments are closed.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑