Is Certificate IV in Building and Construction hard?

Construction is one of the industries where courses are abundant. Due to the size and scope of the industry, there are a great deal of roles that are occupied or sought after, which only results in the existence of many courses to enable people to enter into those roles. From carpentry and joinery, to a professional builder or project manager, the possibilities are endless. 


These courses do however differ in difficulty and/or quality of content. This is especially evident when considering their ranking in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which specifies standards of education in Australia. For instance, a Certificate II in Plumbing could not possibly be compared to an Advanced Diploma of Building Design. 


One such course is the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building). This course is of relative popularity, as the prospects for future job opportunities are favourable, along with being generalised to allow for specialisation. Despite its traction in the industry, is it a difficult course?


Certificate IV in Building and Construction hard


Before analysing whether the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) is hard or not, it is imperative to understand what comes before the course. A construction induction card, also known as a white card, must be obtained. A white card is a requirement, and it grants you access to construction zones and the permission to carry out construction work. The estimated time to complete this section is only 1 day, so it does not necessarily have a huge impact on the difficulty of completing a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building). 


From a glance, one might think that the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) has inherent complexity given its standing in the AQF at the fourth level. However, it is available for those inexperienced in construction to undertake given they have received a white card. This allows potential students to bypass the process of going through the previous three levels (Certificate I, II and III) whilst gaining a significant footing in their educational pathway. So essentially, the difficulty does not stem from its placement in the AQF. The actual difficulty is more accurately determined from analysing the components of the course. 


The Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) comprises 16 units, with 13 being core and the other 3 elective. Some of the core units on offer include:


  • Apply building codes and standards to the construction process for low rise building projects
  • Select and prepare a construction contract
  • Produce labour and material schedules for ordering
  • Conduct on-site supervision of building and construction projects
  • Apply structural principles to residential low rise constructions


Additionally, 3 potential electives are:


  • Arrange building applications and approvals
  • Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
  • Undertake small business planning


The actual content of the course could potentially be considered hard, but the level of hard will differ for most people. For instance, someone with previous experience will find it easier to complete assignments within units than someone completely new to the world of construction. Despite this, this course does not discriminate based on knowledge levels of students; it is designed to raise students to a high standard of knowledge whether or not they have completed any course in construction.


The key benefit this course provides which reduces its difficulty is accessibility. There are dedicated classes with tutors who teach the course by introducing key topics, encouraging and helping students to solve problems, and marking assessments and providing feedback. Although a minimum of 2 hours per week of self directed research is a part of the course, there is support from trainers who are readily available via phone or email. Additionally, there are online resources provided which can act as extra support services to students. 


In summary, the difficulty of the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) is not as evident as one might think. Numerous factors go into determining this, such as the type of student taking the course, or how it factors when compared to other courses in its level or other levels within the AQF. Even more important is the individual’s disposition towards the course, which will determine how hard it may be for them.


Parker Brent is an accredited provider of construction courses, specialising in the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) and the Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). Enquire with us to find out more about what we offer: