TAFE (NSW) Diploma of Hydraulic Services Design

Individuals considering a career in Hydraulic Consulting are encouraged to undertake a Diploma of Hydraulic Services Design conducted by an accredited training institution. TAFE (NSW) will be running the Diploma course from Term 2, 2021. As of August 2020, it is the understanding of the HCAA that TAFE (NSW) is the only RTO that will be offering the course in the country. 

Click here to view course duration and fee structure information on the Australian Government MySkills website.

Click here to view the qualification details for the Diploma on the Australian Government Training website.

Contact TAFE NSW directly for specific information relating to course availability, start dates, cost, locations and enrollment.

Education Update - 28 August 2020

Well, how things can change so quickly. We have had a complete turn-around from the last update that we issued and apologise for the confusion.

On Wednesday 12th August, Artibus endorsed the new training packages for implementation which includes the following two courses:

·       CPC40920       Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services

·       CPC50620       Diploma of Hydraulic Services Design

The confirmation of endorsement was received by TAFE (NSW) on the evening of Friday 14th. TAFE (NSW) have reviewed the Training Packages and found that there are some substantial changes. The key changes that affect us at the moment are:

·       There is no longer a requirement to carry out the 200 hours of workplace training as Supplementary Evidence for either course.

·       The Certificate IV now has 1 x additional unit.

·       The Diploma has had 4 units removed.

This has some big effects on what and how TAFE(NSW) were intending on delivering these courses in the near future.

Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (Hydraulic)

Given there is an additional Unit in the new Certificate IV, TAFE (NSW) do not wish to progress with delivering the old version of the Certificate IV (Hydraulic). If they did, students would still have to complete an additional Unit once they had completed the old course. This would mean re-enrolling in a new course to complete just one Unit. Therefore, it would be best to put all new students into the new Certificate IV course so that once they complete, they can move directly into the Diploma. The other effect of doing this is that there is no requirement for Workplace Training, which would have been 2 days of work experience. While this Workplace Training would be beneficial for the student, there was concern about placements given many Consulting businesses are feeling stretched due to COVID-19 and lack of available work.

The downside of this option is that TAFE (NSW) need some time to review the training package in detail and ensure all of their delivery material is compliant. The effect of this is that the Certificate IV (Hydraulic) will now be offered in Term 1 of 2021. We apologise for the delay, particularly given we have only just delayed the course a few weeks back. However, we believe this is the best way forward for all concerned.

In Term 1, 2021, the main focus will continue to be to get all students who are transferring from the Certificate IV (Operations) enrolled first. These students can expect to have their Certificate IV completed within 1 term and will be able to start studying the Diploma in Term 2, 2021.

Other students who are enrolling in the Certificate IV (Hydraulic) from scratch will continue to complete their studies over an estimated 18 months before entering the Diploma.

Diploma of Hydraulic Services Design

The Diploma has also had some change with the reduction in the number of units to be completed and the removal of the Workplace Experience requirement. In addition, the units that are retained have been amended, so we will need to review all new material that we have produced over the last year to ensure compliance.

As mentioned above, there will be a cohort of students that will complete the Certificate IV (Hydraulic) in Term 1 of 2021. These students will be able to commence study of the Diploma in Term 2 of 2021.

Workplace Experience

While the Workplace Experience and associated logbook are no longer mandatory in the Training Package, we would still recommend that students move into an office environment while studying. If full-time positions are not available, students could try to obtain some unpaid Work Experience with a Consultant during their studies. The benefits include access to computers, software, standards, printers/scanners and the knowledge of the other Consultants in the office. This will all help the student to get through their assessments/studies and prepare them for a career in the office. We understand that a permanent role in an office will not suit everyone, particularly those who may own their own Plumbing business. However, we do encourage those not moving into an office to consider some work experience.

Course Delivery

Both of the courses mentioned above will continue to be delivered by “Blended Delivery”. This means there will be face-to-face classes held in North Sydney and all regional/interstate students will study using Microsoft Teams. There is no change to this with these updates.

For all students interested in the course, the best way to do this is to send your details and transcripts to Glenn Martyn at TAFE (NSW) so that he can contact you when they are ready. Glenn’s contact email is:


We understand the frustration that course details are not on TAFE (NSW)’s website at this stage, but be assured these will be uploaded as soon as the information is available and has been through the appropriate quality/approval processes. In the meantime, send your information to Glenn. In terms of new enrolments, TAFE (NSW) will contact all students who have registered their interest, in both courses, directly and inform them of when and how to enrol.

Zoom Meeting

The HCAA hosted a Zoom meeting on the 18th August 2020 to discuss these issues. This started with a short presentation about the changes and was followed by a good Q&A session. If you missed the meeting, it was recorded and is available for viewing at the following link:


If you have further questions, please email Rodney Ware at education@hcaa.org.au or call his mobile (0418 645 932) if you wish to discuss any aspect of the Diploma.

Previous Education Update Information

Suitable Candidates

We have almost 70 names of people who are interested in commencing the Diploma and are very pleased that there are so many that wish to enter the industry. However, at this stage, only 1 of those people that have registered meet the pre-requisite entry requirements and are eligible to commence the Diploma. There are a large number of applicants who hold plumbing qualifications who are yet to complete the Certificate IV (see below) and the remainder of applicants are about to commence the Certificate IV and are coming from High School or other parts of the construction industry.

Completion of the Certificate IV

The pre-requisite for the Diploma is the Certificate IV in Plumbing (Hydraulic). We have found that almost all of the students who had attended the Certificate IV (Operations Stream) to obtain their license do not hold all of the required units in the Hydraulic stream, but have completed the Units required to obtain their License. Typically, this has left approximately four Units outstanding to complete which were:

•             Prepare simple sketches and drawings.

•             Apply codes and standards to building trade and services contracting.

•             Produce 2-D architectural drawings using CAD software.

•             Produce Simple Word Processed Documents

These 4 Units need to be completed prior to enrolling into the Diploma. The focus for Term 1 2021 will be in completing these students in the Certificate IV (Hydraulic) and be ready to commence the Diploma in Term 2, 2021.

Previous Tuition

We have found there are a number of applicants for the Diploma with varying backgrounds in tuition and qualifications. Some of the qualifications (other than plumbing background) we have seen include drafting/modelling, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, the pump industry, product design and aircraft maintenance. A good number of these qualifications have also been completed overseas.

As you can imagine, this becomes a big task for TAFE NSW (TAFE) to review and analyse each applicants’ various qualifications and advise the students what they need to study to ensure they meet the entry requirements for the Diploma. This may include additional training if it is required.

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is a process carried out by an RTO where a student can provide suitable evidence that they are competent in a particular Unit and avoid having to complete that Unit in a normal attendance fashion. This can be beneficial to TAFE and to the Student. There is no desire to force a student to sit through numerous weeks of study if they already know the material. However, TAFE must ensure that the evidence provided covers all aspects of the Unit of Competency and be able to verify that it is accurate and true. This can sometimes be a lengthy process.

It is agreed that many of the prospective students for the Certificate IV and Diploma courses have some form of experience that will entitle them to RPL for some Units. TAFE is already being asked to provide feedback on these before the students are enrolled. We ask that the students please wait until you are enrolled in a course before investigating these RPL options with TAFE. The staff at TAFE need to focus on getting the courses running at this stage and will attend to the RPL items at a later date.

Unit Credits

Students will get credits for Units that they have completed that have the same Unit code. This will particularly affect the students transferring from the Operations Stream into the Hydraulic Stream. If you have studied a particular Unit and the Unit name is still the same but the Unit code has changed, this will need to be reviewed and assessed on an individual basis. An example may be for a student who has completed the Certificate IV operations stream prior to 06/02/2013 as this was the date when the current training package was updated.

New Zealand Students

We have had some interest from 3 potential students in New Zealand (NZ). At this point in time the intention is to commence the courses with local interest while the detail in having the courses available for international enrolments is worked through as the study requirements for international students is more detailed and complex.

Enrolment Details

We have had many calls from students who are eager to commence, which is great to see everyone so keen. Glenn Martyn at TAFE is collating the details for all students and determining which subjects will be run and when. Please note that course enrolment details for students transferring from the Operations Stream to the Hydraulic Stream will not be publicised on the TAFE website. Glenn will contact all students directly with enrolment details. Glenn will forward information in the coming weeks relating to enrolment and also some information sessions will be held online via Microsoft Teams. This will allow prospective students to ask questions and get feedback immediately.

For those students starting the Certificate IV in Plumbing Hydraulic Stream from scratch, if you have already provided Glenn with your details, he will contact you with enrolment information directly. There will be a separate information session for this group as the details discussed will be different for the new commencing students. This will also be conducted via Microsoft Teams.

Diploma Course Writers

Our writers continue to work through the Units to be produced. Paul Smit, Scott Harris, Michael Labib and Rodney Ware have continued to work on these resources. There are currently 17 Units completed and are undergoing the TAFE QA process. This leaves 16 yet to be completed. This is a little slower than our intended progress given the start of 2020 has included some pretty disruptive events, but we are working to get these completed and enlisting more help to complete the other Units. We do note, however, TAFE (NSW) have enough material to progress for the course delivery in 2021.

It is also looking like we will be gaining some help from Andrew Taylor for the Sewer Infrastructure Unit and Jim Burns for the Gas Units. We are in the process of outlining what needs to be done for these gentlemen so they can get started.


Many TAFE courses that are traditionally face-to-face have faced issues due to COVID-19. TAFE (NSW) are trying to accommodate these as best as they can be doing the following:

·       Using dial-in facilities where this is feasible.

·       Holding classes in a way where social distancing can be adhered to.

The good news for the Hydraulic Diploma is that it will be able to be run using dial-in platforms (likely Microsoft Teams) from 2021, if social distancing requirements are still enforced. Once these are lifted, TAFE (NSW) will return to face-to-face learning for those students attending in Sydney.

Student Interest

We have had a lot of interest from students who are keen to start the Diploma. Many are keen to commence the Certificate IV given it is a pre-requisite for the Diploma. We currently have almost 70 interested across the country.


We have a number of members who have indicated that they would like to teach portions of the Diploma. We are still working with TAFE (NSW) on getting these people Qualified with the TAE. Please let us know if you are interested.

Cadetship Program

The HCAA Cadetship program has officially been launched. We have selected the 3 x Cadets for 2020. Their names are:

·       Jacob Begg

·       Peta Collis

·       Ty Huggins

We would like to congratulate the Cadets on their success in being selected.

We would also like to extend a massive thank you to Rheem and Viega for their contributions to the program.

Specialist TAFE (NSW) Presenters

TAFE (NSW) have outlined that when the Diploma is running, they encourage specialist manufacturers, authorities and suppliers to come and talk to classes about their field. This can be beneficial to help supplement the Teachers knowledge with expert advice and feedback from industry. The attendance for Specialist Presenters will need to be arranged with TAFE (NSW) and the Teacher so that topics can be discussed to match what the students are learning in the class. The visit would typically include a presentation to the class followed by some Q&A sessions to help the students understand the product/system. This should take around 60 minutes of the lesson, but can be negotiated with the Teacher.

We have already had some interest from Studor, SWC Trade Waste officers, Fire and Rescue NSW, Enware and Aquacell. I am keeping a register of interested parties that will be provided to TAFE (NSW). If you are an Affiliate and are interested in presenting to a class in the future, please let me know and I will add you to the list.

Please note that this is not to be about Brands. The presentation should be purely technical in its content and focus on design principles.

Hydraulic Industry Promotion

The HCAA have also taken out a double page advert in a new careers magazine called Step in the Right Direction. This is being produced by News Corp Australia and is an annual magazine that will be distributed to all schools in NSW. A digital copy of the magazine will also be provided to the HCAA for our distribution. The digital copy will be available in early May and the hard copies will be printed and distributed in the next few months (pending COVID-19 requirements).

Further Interest

If you are interested in being involved in any of the areas outlined above and have not yet talked to me, please come and have a chat with me and I can help you out with any of the details.

Additional Education Resources

Continuing Education

There are many industry-related courses that can help you become a hydraulic engineer, or further develop your consulting skills. By continuing your education you will be adding to your skills set, thereby increasing your value as a consultant and your ability to increase your income.

Many of the educational programs you undertake will be eligible to have CPD points awarded upon successful completion. Please check with our CPD Officer prior to undertaking any continual education program.

Below are links to some relevant educational programs. The list is by no means exhaustive, and we welcome any suggestions for listing additional programs:

DRAINS Software Courses


HYENA Software Courses