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Certification: checklist

HEA Student Checklist

Do you have what it takes? 


  1. Do you enjoy working outdoors?

  2. Are you interested in driving/operating a Heavy Duty Machine: like an Excavator, Dump Truck, Tractor Loader; just to name a few?

  3. Are you 16 years or older?

  4. Do you thrive in a practical learning environment?

  5. Can you climb a ladder and is able to lift 50 lbs?

  6.  Can you read and write at a 6th grade/Standard 4 level?

  7. Are you prepared to work hard so you can achieve success and earn a decent income to care for yourself and family?


If you do then HEA is definitely for you!



Basic Level

Receive basic  training and a CVQ certificate upon successful completion.
Complete in only two (2)

Suitable for Experienced operators.

As a certified operator you will receive more employment opportunities  and earn a higher pay than your un-certified counterparts. 

Convenient schedules also available; select from 2hr Morning/Afternoon/Evening sessions on select weekdays for 8 weeks. 


Advanced Level

Receive advanced training with 54+  practical hours
CVQ certificate upon successful completion as well as certificate of competence from HEA and employment Assistance (see list below)
Complete  in as little as three (3)

Suitable for persons with no prior experience in operating the machine of study.

 Start off as a beginner and leave as a fully competent, professionally experienced and certified  operator; beginning your career long before your peers can complete university. 

IPLA - Individualized Prior Learning Assessment 

Certification: List

Individualized Prior Learning Assessment (IPLA) program is one  through which an individual can obtain his/her National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certification based on evidence of past experiences, achievements, or work experience in the operation of  Heavy Equipment.

Suitable for persons who have prior experience  on heavy equipment machines:  minimum of 18 hours on a machine is a basic requirement


  • The process of assessment leading to certification begins with the candidate submitting evidence of his/her competence as a Heavy Equipment Operator in the form of a portfolio which is a compilation of materials to  reflect one’s skills, training, and experiences 

  • Samples of a candidate’s work and practical evidence  relevant to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required by the given standards or criteria as indicated by the prescribed syllabus (pictures, letters etc.) can also be included in the portfolio.

  • The information contained in the Portfolio comes from the candidate’s daily on the job activities as well as past work experiences.


Students will gain an NVQ Certificate upon competition of the program to become certified operators



  • The  certificate is  of equal standing with other recognized academic qualifications.

  • The one who is NVQ certified is an asset to the workplace and consequently earns the respect of the employer.

  • It enhances productivity in the workplace

  • The NVQ certified operator adds value to the workplace.

  • The certified operator is also  employable at the level of the wider Caricom region.


Note: We provide the direction and guidance needed to help complete the portfolio. We will also assist in the provision of any further education and training needed to meet certification standards. 


Tuition Fee: from $2,500 inclusive of Assessment Fee


You can specialize in the operation of one of these machines.

  • Backhoe
  • Excavator

  • Roller

  • Dump Truck

  • Grader

  • Tractor Head

  • Lube Truck

  • Bulldozer

  • Teleporter / offroad telescopic forklift

  • Crane


In order to study at HEA you must have:

  • Sixteen (16) years of age or more

  • Completed primary school education

  • Ability to communicate effectively in English

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and climb a ladder

  • *A valid driver’s license is required for certain courses ( Dump Truck, Backhoe, Motor grader, Tractor head/trailer ).
    An endorsement for Heavy Duty Machines is not needed.


What you will have

  • Ability to fully operate and maintain a machine of choice

  • Understanding of General construction site layout and Advanced site safety

  • Understanding of Advanced Operational Techniques on machine of choice

  • Understanding of Preventative Maintenance; performing  pre -operation and operational inspection, etc

  • Ability to demonstrate competencies in line with N/CVQ standards


We will provide you with the following assistance to ease your transition into the work force. (Aspirers students only)

  • Internships
    Students will receive internships to strengthen their competency on the machine and gain valuable networking and long term employment opportunities.
    The highest performing students will receive priority assignment for the internship program. 

  • Job search assistance
    Assistance with job searching, resume writing and interview coaching will be made available to all students.

  • Free refresher  
    Up to one year after graduation, past students can schedule a free refresher session on a machine before beginning their new job. 


How much will you make as a certified operator?

At present operators earn between $12.50 - $23.00 an hour. 

As a entry level certified operator you should expect to have an income of no less than $16/hr, to increase over time with experience.  

In about one year of full-time employment, you can earn more than double your tuition. 


At HEA safety is a priority

  • Safety gear
    Students will receive a safety package inclusive of: hard hats, safety vest and glasses.

*Students are required to obtain safety boots however.

  • Insurance
    All students are insured by HEA for the use of equipment in training exercises.

employment assistance
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