Solid wood

It takes nearly three decades for a radiata pine tree to grow to maturity in the forest, so raw logs need to be processed with great care and accuracy to extract the maximum timber – and value – out of each one.


We can provide training plans, support and qualifications - tailored to your businesses specific needs.

What do we offer?

We partner with industry associations like the Wood Processors Manufacturing Association and members of your industry to help recruit and build talented employees. This support includes promoting careers in your industry, identifying potential learners, and encouraging work placements.

We also ensure your industry’s qualifications continue to meet needs, support industry events like conferences and regularly celebrate your learners’ success.

What's changing?

New Zealand Certificates are replacing National Certificates. The industry and New Zealand Qualifications Authority will recognise all New Zealand and National Certificates as valid, relevant qualifications. Our Competenz account managers will work with companies and learners to help learners complete the appropriate qualifications.

How has the industry been involved?

Members of the industry have recommended the structure and content of the new qualifications.

How will the industry move to the New Zealand Certificates?

The New Zealand Certificates are now available for learners to study towards. They will replace the National Certificates over the next few years.

If learners...


Are part way through a National Certificate

Our Competenz account managers will review learners’ progress and confirm the appropriate way forward for each learner.

Have not yet started their qualification 

They will enrol in the New Zealand Certificate.

Have completed  a National Certificate 

They will not need to enrol in the new qualification. The industry continues to recognise National Certificates as valid, relevant qualifications.

 Our Competenz account managers will work with companies and learners to help them understand what they need to do to complete the appropriate qualification.

  • Solidwood Programme Handbook web

    New Zealand Certificates

    The programme handbook summarises the New Zealand Certificates and how to work towards them.

    Download (pdf, 703 KB)

Qualifications available

Solid wood manufacturing qualifications are comprised of a number of disciplines, each with a unique qualification variation (strand) and specific unit standards (learning outcomes) to help assess competency and promote best practices in the yard or in the processing factory.

In some cases two programme options exist for each qualification. A shorter duration option may be chosen if the trainee already holds some of the required units and will therefore complete the qualification in a shorter time.

Competenz also offers solid wood manufacturing apprenticeships which result in the completion of both a Level 3 and Level 4 qualification. Our solid wood manufacturing apprenticeships include:

  • Apprenticeship in Finger Jointing
  • Apprenticeship in Saw Doctoring
  • Apprenticeship in Sawmilling
  • Apprenticeship in Timber Machining

All of our apprenticeships comply with the New Zealand Apprenticeship rules.


  • Timber grading: 58 credits, 8-12 months 
  • Sawmilling: 53 credits, 8-12 months
  • Timber drying: 45 credits, 8-12 months
  • Laminating: 55 credits, 12 months
  • Pole, post and pile: 74 credits, 14 months
  • Timber machining: 53 credits, 8-12 months
  • Finger jointing: 53 credits, 13 month
  • Wood panel manufacture: 58 credits, 8-12 months

NZQA Qualification overview


  • Foundation knowledge: 40 credits, 12 months 
  • Wood handing and distribution: 40 credits, 9 months
  • Wood processing: 41 credit, 10 months

NZQA qualification overview


  • Timber grading: 74 credits, 8-12 months 
  • Sawmilling: 49 credits, 12 months
  • Timber treatment: 67 credits, 18 months
  • Pole, post and pile: 62 credits, 18 months
  • Timber machining: 79 credits,  18 months
  • Finger jointing: 78 credits, 18 month
  • Saw doctoring: 77 credits, 16 months

NZQA qualification overview


  • Log yard operations: 53 credits, 12 months
  • Wood fibre operations: 55 credits, 12 months
  • Timber yarding and dispatch: 50 credits, 12 months

NZQA qualification overview


  • Timber grading: 50 credits, 8 - 12 months
  • Timber drying: 45 credits, 8 - 12 months
  • Timber treatment: 55 credits, 8 - 12 months
  • Laminating: 48 credits, 12 months

NZQA qualification overview

New Zealand Certificate in manufacturing in level 5: 65 credits, 9 months