Information for an A-grade opencast coal mine manager certificate of competence (CoC), including how to apply, legislative requirements, and where to find help.

A CoC is valid for 5 years and is issued by the New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners (the Board).

As an A-grade opencast coal mine manager you are expected to meet the key functions and responsibilities for this role, which are listed in the High level framework for oral examination requirements (see below under Oral examination).

What you need to know

To apply for this CoC, you need to prove that you meet all the requirements. In summary, you need to:

  • be a fit and proper person (see below under Requirements)
  • complete the required unit standards (see below under Requirements)
  • hold a current first aid certificate
  • demonstrate that you have the required practical experience for this CoC.

You are also required to sit an oral examination to satisfy the Board that you are competent to hold an A-grade opencast coal mine manager CoC.


The application fee for this certificate is NZ$140.00 (including GST).

Please pay by internet banking. Instructions are included in both the online and PDF forms.

How to apply

To apply for a new CoC, use our online form. 

With online applications you can:

  • complete your application form and upload all supporting documentation
  • track the progress of your application, including saving it and coming back to it if you need to.

Note, to access the form you will be asked to register for our online system. To do this you need a RealMe login. If you do not currently have a RealMe login the registration process will guide you through setting one up.

Applications that are completed and submitted through our online system automatically get sent to the Board's Secretariat for processing.

Start a CoC application(external link)

If you are unable to apply using the online form, download the PDF form below.

Application for a New CoC-2023 (PDF 279 KB)

Once you have completed the PDF form, email printed copies of your application form and supporting documentation to the Board of Examiner's Secretariat or post to:

New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners
PO Box 165
Wellington 6140.

Note – the fastest way to apply for your CoC is online. Paper applications may take longer as they need extra processing.

Our application process map provides you with an overview of what is required at each stage of this CoC.

CoC application process map (PDF 40 KB)


You must provide a certified copy of the following documents. This means they must be certified by an authorised person such as a Justice of the Peace, Court Registrar, lawyer, or notary public to confirm that they are a true copy of the original document.


Provide a certified copy of one of the following items to confirm your identity. The copy must be of a current (unexpired) document.

  1. New Zealand driver’s licence.
  2. New Zealand or overseas passport.
  3. New Zealand firearms licence.
  4. Certificate of identity.
  5. New Zealand Police or New Zealand Defence Force photo identity card issued to non-civilian staff.
  6. Refugee travel document used by or on behalf of the government of New Zealand.

 Fit and proper person 

To apply for a CoC, you are required to provide evidence that you are a fit and proper person. The Board may refuse an application if there is insufficient information to verify that you are a fit and proper person to hold this CoC. 

  • Complete the fit and proper person form (included in the online system or attached to the application form).
  • Provide a current certified copy of your New Zealand criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice(external link).
    • Your criminal record check must be provided to the Board even if there are no convictions listed.
    • The date on your criminal record check must not be more than 3 months old when we receive your application.
  • If you have lived overseas for a period of 12 months or more within the 5 years before making your application, you must also provide a criminal history from that country.

You can find more information on how criminal records are considered in our Fit and proper person policy.

First aid certificate

Training of first aid personnel in workplaces must be carried out by individuals who are employed by an organisation granted consent by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to assess first aid unit standards.

  • Provide a certified copy of your current first aid certificate.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) Record of Achievement

Provide a certified official transcript of your Record of Achievement from NZQA, that shows the unit standards required for this CoC.

You can obtain this by contacting NZQA on 0800 697 296 or online(external link).

The following unit standards are required for an A-grade opencast coal mine manager CoC and should be showing on your Record of Achievement:

Unit standards



Demonstrate knowledge of the application of regulatory requirements to manage an extractive site


Inspect and report on safety and operations at an extractive site


Prepare a safety inspection plan for extractive operations


Demonstrate knowledge of construction and maintenance of working surfaces at an extractive site


Demonstrate knowledge of the geotechnical requirements for ground stability at surface extraction sites


Demonstrate introductory knowledge of geology at surface extraction sites


Conduct an incident investigation at an extractive site


Undertake job safety analysis


Demonstrate knowledge of planning rehabilitation operations for an extractive site


Demonstrate knowledge of the management and use of water at an extractive site


Demonstrate knowledge of planning and managing extraction to minimise environmental impacts


Demonstrate knowledge of and follow safe working practices at an extractive site


Analyse Human Factors present in workplace practices at an extractive site


Develop standard operating procedures for an extractive site


Carry out the risk management process at an extractive site


Demonstrate operational knowledge of New Zealand’s Coordinated Incident Management System functions and structure


Apply operational knowledge of New Zealand’s Coordinated Incident Management System


Demonstrate knowledge of conveyors, and crushing and screening plant for extractive industries


Demonstrate knowledge of conveyors, and crushing and screening plant for extractive industries


Demonstrate basic knowledge of New Zealand’s Coordinated Incident Management System


Explain hazards and controls associated with stockpiling and tip heads at extractive sites


Follow, maintain and recommend modifications for stockpiling and tip head management plans at an extractive site

First aid unit standards  


Manage first aid in an emergency situation


Provide first aid


Provide basic life support

For information on unit standards for all CoCs, please see below.  

Extractives CoC Unit Standards 18 July 2023 (PDF 381 KB)

Certificate of competence experience logbook

Provide a completed Certificate of competence experience logbook where you record your practical experience that is required for this CoC.

Extractives CoC Experience Logbook (PDF 275 KB)


This section should show the following experience:

Holder of a certificate of competence as a B-grade opencast coal mine manager, A-grade or B-grade quarry manager, or A-grade or B-grade alluvial mine manager


At least 2 years’ work experience in the workings of an opencast mining operation, quarrying operation, or alluvial mining operation


At least 2 years in the underground workings of a mining operation; and

12 months in the workings of an alluvial mining operation, opencast mining operation, or quarrying operation.


This section should show the following experience:

If you are the holder of a certificate of competence as a B-grade opencast coal mine manager, A-grade or B-grade quarry manager, or A-grade or B-grade alluvial mine manager you do not need to complete Section B of the logbook.


If the above does not apply to you:

At least 9 months carrying out 3 or more of the following types of work:

  1. excavation
  2. drill and blast
  3. load and haul
  4. processing
  5. stockpile and loadout
  6. coal exploration.

Before sending in your Certificate of competence experience logbook, check that you have: 

  1. filled in all the fields in Section A and Section B (if applicable)
  2. demonstrated the required amount of experience as outlined above
  3. had your logbook signed by a supervisor/manager or expert as verification
  4. completed the Contacts page (at the back of the logbook).

Your logbook will be reviewed by the Board. If the Board requires clarification of your logbook, you will be given the opportunity to do this.

You will be invited to attend an oral examination once your experience logbook has been approved by the Board.

Additional competency requirements

Do you intend to work in an operation that uses explosives?

If so, there are some additional competency requirements for this. You will need to have completed the following additional unit standards, which must be stated on your NZQA Record of Achievement.

Unit standards



Demonstrate knowledge of explosives and their properties


Demonstrate and apply knowledge of storing explosives for use

You will also need to submit a separate application for the additional requirement for work in operations using explosives to be noted against your standard A-grade opencast coal mine manager CoC.

As part of the application, you will need to complete an oral examination for the additional requirement for work in operations using explosives.

 For further information on how to apply, please refer to Additional competency requirements.

For your application to be considered complete, you must provide all required information and supporting documents. If your application is considered incomplete, you will be given 10 working days to provide the requested information or documents. If you have not provided this within the 10 working days, your application and supporting documents may be returned to you.

You will need to reapply for your CoC when you have the correct documents, ensuring your Ministry of Justice criminal record check is still dated within 3 months and your first aid certificate is still current.

For more information, see our Incomplete applications policy [PDF, 47 KB].

Once your completed application has been reviewed, logbook approved and a date has been set for your oral examination, you will receive an email outlining the date and time of your online examination. Scheduling of oral examinations is based on availability of suitable panel members and the number of applicants applying for similar CoCs. Your oral examination could take place up to a few months after the Board has received your complete application and you should allow approximately 1 hour for the examination.

An oral examination panel consists of 3 members who will mostly be senior colleagues from the extractives industry relevant to your CoC. A member of the Board’s Secretariat is also present to ensure the Board’s processes and procedures are followed. In some instances, such as moderation, the Board wishes for observers to be present during an oral examination. If this is the case, you will be asked for permission prior to your examination.

The panel will assess you against the benchmarks set out in the High level framework for oral exam requirements.

You may need to sit a separate oral examination if your CoC needs to include additional or alternative requirements relating to an operation that uses explosives.

High level framework for oral examination requirements (PDF 128 KB)

The panel will use workplace-based scenarios to assess you against these benchmarks. The scenarios may include follow-up questions. You will be asked to demonstrate the application of your skills and/or knowledge relevant to the CoC. This means that the panel will expect you to talk about the scenarios you have been presented with, including the actions you would take, putting into practice what you have learnt and explaining why you have taken the action(s).

The scenarios will cover these 4 competencies:

  1. Operating and safety systems.
  2. Legislation.
  3. Emergency management.
  4. Leadership.

Each competency has a range of topics that can be found on page 3 in the High level framework for oral examination requirements.

For more information, see our oral examination policies.

It can take up to 2-3 weeks after your oral examination for a response from the Board on the outcome of your overall application.

If the Board finds you competent and grants you with an A-grade opencast coal mine manager CoC, a letter of confirmation will be sent, along with your certificate and information on continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

If the Board finds you not yet competent and refuses your application for your A-grade opencast coal mine manager CoC, you will receive a letter including the report from your oral examination. This will assist you to prepare, should you wish to reapply.

You can reapply at any time.

Contact us for more help

If you have any questions about CoCs or anything else relating to the New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners, please contact our Board Secretariat team, who are happy to help:

Email: BoE_Secretariat@worksafe.govt.nz