Certificate III or Certificate IV: Which Instrumentation Certificate Should You Enrol in?

    • By Kevin G. Trainer at Ausinet – 12 November 2019 – Australian Institute of Electrotechnology

The global demand for Instrumentation and Process Automation is skyrocketing, and experts predict it to grow to a $106B industry by 2026. As the instrumentation market grows bigger, so does the need for suitably trained individuals who have undergone appropriate training. Instrument Electricians hold practical and hands-on expertise through completing Instrumentation Courses.

Certificate IV in Instrumentation student

Other electricians might find it unnecessary to take the path to become an Instro. However, the industry is evolving; from commissioning to performing fault finding and maintenance processes, each stage requires a higher level of competency than ever.

Employers are now looking more into job seekers with specialized skills and expertise. Licenced Instro professionals are rare and, therefore, in-demand and receive an increased pay rate.

What is Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control?

UEE31211 Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control provides the certificate holder competencies such as the selection, installation, set up, testing, fault finding, repair, and maintenance of various systems and devices. Such instruments are used in measuring and recording multiple physical or chemical phenomena and other related process control systems.

This course is suitable for individuals who aim to upskill and enhance their HMI, PLC, and Process Instrumentation knowledge and skills. Industries like Oil & Gas and mining and process industries (field instrumentation with PLC interfaces) choose candidates with this qualification.

Before you can undertake the course, you will need to aquire the prerequisite qualification UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology and UEE40411 Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation to be eligible for enrollment in this course. You should also hold an Unrestricted Electrical Licence and have the necessary work experience 

Like many courses in electrotechnology, UEE31211 has a flexible delivery. You can choose either the traditional classroom learning or online theoretical learning along with block practicals. It is a combination of blended techniques like one-on-one study, lab or site-based activities, hands-on performance, and the completion of a workplace log book or a RPL kit

The delivery of competencies is as follows: 50% theoretical learning that can be completed online, and 50% practical learning that is achieved through hands-on experience with the equipment in the lab 
Assessment of each unit of competency includes written and practical tests, assignments, and observation of skill in projects.

A Registration and Work Recognition (RWR) or Recognition of prior learning (RPL) will be issued to you for completion and should be duly signed by your workplace supervisor. The RWR is a mandatory requirement before you can receive the Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control

How long does it take to complete Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control UEE31211?

There are a variety of training providers in Australia. Some are attendancy based and few competency based. The difference is that the attendacy based training everyone gets the qualification at the end of the stipulated time frame as long as one is physically present and attend the classes. These courses can be completed in 2 weeks. Typically there are about 10 students in a classroom and most students watch the trainer perform the practicals and take the readings or complete the ITRs based on the instructions.   

Competency based training is where the student receives the certificate when they demonstrate that they can perform the tasks independently without anybody’s help. In this method the time factor is irrelevant as some students with instrumentation experience or exposure for that matter do the tasks in a week and some take months. The training environment is competency-based, which means that the amount of training is indicative of the learning range in Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control. You are not expected to complete the course in a specified number of days or weeks. It is centered on measuring competence on industry-based standards of performance, as opposed to adhering to a stringent course duration.

Therefore, the training period depends on the availability of workplace equipment and the learner’s schedule of preference. UEE31211 may be completed between 1,200 to 2,4000 hours. This is equivalent to a period of training from nine months to twelve months in total. The learner may complete this course up to two years from commencement.

Ausinet is a competency based Training provider with flexible delivery days and night classes. One can accomplish the requirements and graduate from UEE31211 course in as fast as two weeks for someone with the exposure to Instrumentation

Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control - Course Outcome

Full Qualification

Individuals who successfully complete the course, undergo all competency units stipulated in the training package, and are proven to be competent in both practical and theoretical training will receive the nationally recognised Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control.

Statement of Attainment

Any student who successfully completed one or more competency units stipulated in the training package but is unable to meet all the requirements for the Certificate III full qualification can walk away with a Statement of Attainment (SOA). It is also granted to Electrical Engineers who have been duly assessed and completed all units of competency included in UE31211.

Some Technologies learned in UEE31211

  • Flow control and configuration
  • PLC and HMI configuration
  • Suppression or elevation of a transmitter (pressure)
  • Ultrasonic/radar configuration
  • Temperature (Thermocouples/RTD)
  • Capacitance level configuration
  • Dead Weight Tester Operation
  • Valve calibration
  • Smart device configuration via handheld configurator and Hart modem
  • P&ID control
  • Control Valves
  • Level measurement
  • Basic pressure measurement
  • Complex pressure measurement applications
  • SCADA setup and programming
  • Commissioning
  • Loop Cheking
  • Faultfinding
  • Tuning loops
  • Schematic drawings
  • Loop drawings
  • P and IDs
  • GA drawings
  • Pnuematics
  • Tube bending
  • Density measurement
  • Transmitter install and setup
  • Magnetic flow meter testing

What is Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation?

UEE40411 Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation provides the certificate holder with competencies in the selection, installation, commission, fault finding and maintenance of various instrumentation and electrical equipment found in premises and buildings. It also involves instrumentation systems, core equipment in instrumentation, and its corresponding process and control. Included in the course are the ERAC requirements for an Electrician’s license.

Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation is suitable for candidates willing to learn or enhance their skills in process instrumentation. This course is typically for Electricians wanting to upskill but keep their core trade as Electrician. Someone who would prefer to more Electrical that Instrumentation. On the other a canditate with Cert III would be spending more time doing Instrumentation work than Electrical work. It is a qualification that grants the graduate an edge in their industry of preference (field instrumentation in PLC interfaces), especially in the Oil & Gas industry, Mining, and Food Industry. Typically someone with Cert III would be preferred over Cert IV in most of the Oil and gas Industry

Before you can undertake the course, you will need to possess the prerequisite qualification UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology and a valid Unrestricted Electrical Licence.

As in UE31211 Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control, UEE40411 has a flexible delivery. Candidates can choose classroom learning or complete the necessary theoretical learning portion online. It combines various techniques like hands-on performance, one-on-one training, simulated or site-based activities, and logbook completion through workplace activities.

The delivery of competencies is as follows: 50% theoretical learning that can be completed online, and 50% practical learning that is achieved through hands-on experience with the equipment.
Assessment of each unit of competency includes written and practical tests,assignments, and observation of skill in projects.

How long does it take to complete Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation UEE40411?

UE40411 in Electrical Instrumentation involves a competency-based training ecosystem. It means that the volume of learning is directly proportional to the amount of training you will get. In this course, you will demonstrate your competency on standards defined by the industry. Therefore, there is no strict course duration. You will not be expected to study this course in a fixed number of
months or weeks. Typically an Electrician with Industry experience would complete it in 2 weeks including weekends

Depending on your availability and your access to work place equipment needed for the training, you will be able to undergo this course in as fast as 600 hours or up to 2,400 hours of learning for a fresh student without prior experience. That is roughly six to twelve months of comprehensive studies. However, you will be given up to two years to complete this course.

Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation - Course Outcome

Full Qualification

Individuals who successfully complete the nationally recognised UEE40411 course, including all the units of competency included in the training package with proven aptitude in theoretical and practical training, are fully qualified to receive UEE40411 Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation.

Statement of Attainment

Students receive a Statement of Attainment (SOA) when they complete one or more units of the competency requirements in Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation but are unable to fulfil all the necessary requirements stipulated in the training package. It is also given to Electrical Engineers who satisfactorily complete all units of competency included in UEE40411.

Technologies learned in UEE40411

  • Introduction to Instrumentation
  • Flow control and configuration
  • PLC configuration
  • Suppression or elevation of a transmitter (pressure)
  • Ultrasonic/radar configuration
  • Temperature (Thermocouples/RTD)
  • Capacitance level configuration
  • Temperature measurement and configuration
  • Smart device configuration via handheld configurator and Hart modem
  • Magnetic flow meter testing
  • Vortex and other flow meters

Certificate III or Certificate IV in Instrumentation: what are the differences?

UEE31211 Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control and UEE 40411 Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation are granted to individuals who want to further their careers in the field of electrotechnology. However, both these instrumentation certificates involve different units of competencies

Whether you need a Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control or Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation, here is a comparison to determine whether you are qualified for a particular course.

This course grants both theoretical and practical training needed to select, install, fault find, commission, and maintain any instrumentation equipment. In essence, Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation is the lower level certification of the two. Electricians working on instrument systems like transmitters and transducers install are expected to hold UE40411. Whereas typically someone involved in commissioning, setting up DCS faultfinding from DCS to transmitters would be a Cert III UEE31211

On the other hand, the Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control requires the completion of UEE40411 before you can be eligible for enrollment. It grants core competency skills in the selection, installation, set up, fault finding, testing, and maintenance of instrumentation systems and devices.

In Certificate III, you are expected to complete a RPL documentation duly signed by your work place supervisor to ensure that you have completed all the necessary requirements in the on site training for the particular package.

Both certificates require a valid Unrestricted Electrical Licence and UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology for you to be eligible to undertake such courses.

Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control is more specialized than Certificate IV in Electrical
Instrumentation and is used for highly demanding fault finding and frontline breakdown maintenance. 

Job Opportunities for Instrumentation Certificate Holders

  • Heavy Industry Shutdowns
  •  Mining Shutdowns
  • Oil and Gas Shutdowns (offshore and onshore)
  • Heavy Industry Construction
  • Mining Construction
  • Oil and Gas Construction

Wrap Up

Whether you decide to undertake Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control or Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation, these courses are necessary to become more competitive in the industry. Upskilling today is a valuable tool to achieve success, especially if you are looking to progress in your career and require highly technical and specialized knowledge.

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