Pre-Tertiary Certificate in Excavation Plant Supervision

MQF Level 4

Pre-Tertiary Certificate

Excavation Plant Supervision

October 2024
Price  (Local/EU)
Part-Time: 8 months
Full-Time: 4 months
ECTS Credits
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Course Description

This programme equips you with the competencies, knowledge, and skills required for a Level 4 certification in Excavation Plant Supervision, essential for becoming an Excavations Contractor.

You will gain a thorough understanding of health and safety culture in construction and the implementation of safe practices. The course covers the operation and interpretation of portable powered plant and equipment, focusing on their use in excavation contexts. You will learn the procedures for manual excavation, including forming holes and trenches and protecting the work site.

Additionally, you will acquire skills in secondary dimensional control activities and the use of relevant tools and equipment.

The programme emphasizes the supervisor’s role in monitoring work progress, maintaining safety, and effective communication. Lastly, you will gain proficiency in operating mobile plant equipment.

This qualification will enhance your professional experience, communication, presentation skills, and practical expertise in the construction industry.

Entry Requirements

  • A general Level 3 standard of education including the completion of a compulsory education and/or, O´levels, and/or a related Level 3 qualification.  
  •  A good level of communication in English. 
  •  Individuals currently working and/or having previous experience in the construction industry.  
  •  The maturity clause can be applied to those students who have experience, but do not possess the required entry qualifications. Their experiences will be verified through an interview with a board of experts appointed by IDEA Academy.  
  •  The maximum number of credits that may be gained as a result of the RPL process at IDEA Academy will not exceed 50% of the qualification/award chosen by the individual for formal learning. 

Target Audience

  • Individuals who aspire to advance further in their construction studies, particularly in excavation.
  • Individuals who aspire to achieve competencies as excavation plant supervisors.

Career Paths

The possible positions for which this programme aims to prepare you for include, but are not limited to: 

  • Excavation Plant Supervisor 

This programme constitutes a Level 4 certification in Excavation Plant Supervision, which is a requirement for attaining the licence of an Excavations Contractor. It is also a requirement (according to the Legal Notice no. 166 of 2023) that a programme of this nature should very closely reflect the related NOS. 


You are required to complete all 6 compulsory modules (30 ECTS) to fulfil the requirements of this Pre-Tertiary Certificate.

How you’ll be assessed

The course comprises:

  • Evening classes for part-time courses.
  • Classes held throughout the day for full-time courses.
  • Guided learning, presentations, comprising synchronous online discussions, tutorials and/or videos.
  • Self-study hours comprising research, reading and assignment work.


Assessment is carried out via two mandatory components:

  • Modular Assessment
  • Project Assessment

The programme includes different forms of assessment which allow for and promote students’ critical engagement. The formative and summative assessment tasks may include an in-class assignment and/or a home-based written assignment using diverse assessment tools which may take the form of online and in-class discussions, examinations, case studies, reports, proposals, essays, and presentations, etc., as applicable to the diverse modules. 


Course Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes

For Knowledge:

The learner will be able to: ·

  • Interpret relevant organisational information and legislation relating to health and safety in construction.
  • Comprehend one’s own responsibilities as well as those of others under current legislation and regulations.
  • Interpret information proceeding from different sources such as risk assessments, method statements, appropriate industry practice, organisational procedures, permits, instructions, specifications, etc.
  • Outline the risks to health within a construction setting.
  • Correctly interpret information for the safety operation of powered plant and equipment and portable power tools in excavation.
  • Understand organisational requisites for on-site secondary dimensional control work in excavation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge on important elements to work operations, such as special site requirements, use of resources, operational standards, and productivity targets.
  • Describe the procedure of preparing, setting up, and operating mobile plant equipment to undertake extraction and excavation work.

For Skills:

The learner will be able to:

  • Implement safe practices in construction.
  • Ensure that team members adhere to health and safety regulations.
  • Identify and report any hazards within the organisation.
  • Make use of appropriate safety equipment such as PPE and RPE.
  • Select, prepare, and set up powered plant and equipment and portable power tools in an excavation context.
  • Oversee and ensure safe practices in the manual excavation of ground and surfaces.
  • Conduct checks on tools and equipment to be used for excavation work.
  • Ensure the protection of the work area for carrying out secondary control dimensional activities.
  • Recommend methods of improving organisational work processes, procedures, and activities.
  • Communicate work information, processes, and activities to relevant stakeholders. · Oversee the progress of excavation work operations and activities.
  • Operate mobile plant equipment for ground excavation.
  • Communicate more effectively with peers and stakeholders within the construction-excavation environment.
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Kevin Borg

The road is rough and bumpy, but the satisfaction at the end of the journey is priceless. IDEA Academy administration, staff and lecturers made it feel more effortless than it looks. Success isn’t easy, but if you believe you can achieve it. No words can explain my gratitude for all the help and motivation provided throughout the course. It’s never too late to enrich your academic portfolio.

Kevin Borg

M.Sc. in Governance and Management

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