About the course

About the course

This process plant course is a technical qualification for advanced operators and operations technicians who use production equipment to directly produce product. At this level, operators/ technicians will undertake more advanced operations, typically of integrated plant units in accordance with the operating procedures, and would apply their knowledge to anticipate problems. This qualification is customisable based on your company requirements and is typically used to develop employees performing a process plant operator’s role that includes the running of specific areas of a process plant. People with this qualification may be expected to work in one of the following sectors:

  • fine chemicals
  • heavy chemicals
  • petrochemicals
  • hydrocarbon extraction
  • hydrocarbon transmission
  • hydrocarbon processing/refining
  • minerals processing/refining
  • metalliferous processing/refining
  • metals smelting/processing
  • other related areas

There are a number of delivery options to complete this qualification:

  1. a) Through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) only; this program is suited to existing workers in the chemical, hydrocarbons or refining sectors, or similar industries. Completion will require third party verification and submission of workplace evidence.
  2. b) Flexible delivery including using open learning, RPL or a combination of both. This program will include workplace assignments and third party verification. Again, this option is suited to existing workers in the chemical, hydrocarbons or refining sectors, or similar industries.
  3. c) Company Traineeship consisting of specific units of competency chosen by your company. This program will include two weekly, twice a year on-campus (ACEPT Munster) block release with all assignments completed in the workplace. To study as a Trainee, you must be employed in a training contract by an appropriate organisation. Please see the Apprenticeships/Traineeships section for more information.

This process plant course is a technical qualification for para-professionals who undertake technical projects such as plant modifications either individually or as part of a project team where they have a significant technical role. The course has been developed specifically for people experienced in the industry to gain a qualification based on work experience or prior studies. It is not offered as classroom based delivery.

As part of the course, you will be assessed on your current competencies in areas of petrochemicals, hydrocarbons, chemical, metal/ore processing, oil, gas, smelting, refining, maintenance and manufacturing using Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).  RPL can allow you to fast track through the course if you consider that your previous work experience or other studies cover the subject matters of units within the PMA Process Plant Operations Training Package.

RPL FEES: Completion of this course by RPL costs up to $3,100 depending on the units selected. Your assessor can give you a clear indication of the fees that apply to your unit selection.

Course Details


Intake Dates & Course Length

You can enrol throughout the year. 

Email industrialsciences@boxhill.edu.au

Part time: 1 to 12 months (self paced based on the availability of workplace evidence required)

For information regarding dates such as enrolment, orientation and study breaks please visit the Academic Calendars page

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Career Outcomes

You may wish to apply for employment as a process plant operator in a senior position. Operators working at this level will be responsible in an operational capacity for a unit within the plant.

A Process Plant Operator utilises sophisticated computerised equipment, in a safe and environmentally aware manner, to control the production processes and quality in both the chemical and oil industries.

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Entry Requirements

You must:

  • have successfully completed Year 10, or equivalent
  • be currently (or recently) working in the oil, gas, process manufacturing, smelting, mineral extraction or processing, industry, or
  • have relevant experience in process manufacturing industries.


To assist prospective students to determine whether a course is suitable and appropriate for the individual needs, Box Hill Institute will assess all students’ language, literacy and numeracy and digital literacy by asking you to undertake a self-assessment review prior to the enrolment.

A course advisor will discuss the outcomes of the review and make recommendations about whether the course is suitable for you, and identify additional support where required.


Direct entry. Email industrialsciences@boxhill.edu.au for more information.

Recognition of Prior Learning is available.

Pathways & Accreditation

You may be eligible to apply for entry into the Certificate IV in Process Plant Technology.

This course is government accredited and has national recognition

The qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 3

Fees & Finance Options

Tuition Fee Type Estimated Annual Fee
Full Tuition Fee $4,332.00
Service Fees Estimated Annual Fees
Service & Amenities*$155.00
Core Skills Support**$75.00
Annual Material FeesNo materials fee applies
Retain Course Items***No fee applies
* Does not apply to VETiS or Short course students.

** Does not apply to VETiS, International students, Short Courses, Graduate Degrees , or re-enrolling students who re-enrol in the same course.

***Retained Course Items are purchased by the student once prior to commencing. The course items bought by the student become the property of the student. Such items retain a generic application for other purposes outside the student's course of study (e.g. textbooks).

Annual student tuition & material fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Fees listed are for 2019 and may increase annually over the duration of delivery. Advertised start dates and delivery locations are subject to viable student numbers. For more information please contact our Course Advisors on 1300 BOX HILL.
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Course Structure

You will be required to complete 21 units (5 core and 16 elective units).  You must choose electives as follows:

  • a minimum of 2 from Group A
  • the remainder may be chosen from Groups A, B and C (with a maximum of 12 from Group C) to bring the total number of electives to 16.
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