Approved Handler’s Certificate

Envirohaz offers NZQA Accredited Approved Handler  training and certification to Unit Standard 20645.   Get in touch with our friendly team today on 06 345 6999 or send us a message using our contact form.


There are two parts to the Approved Handler training, part 1 is the legal side which Tony provides and the course is done to NZQA Unit Standard 20645.

Trainees must also have knowledge of the risks associated with the substances and know how they are handled. Worksafe, the controlling body of HSNO does not allow test certifiers like Tony to do physical handling of substances as this is a conflict of interest and it must be done by a third party or in-house. He can only deliver the legal side which is externally moderated, being a unit standard.


In terms of who requires it, it is based on the individual substances that they handle on your site. Once companies provide a list of those substances against the proposed people who need training, then we can inform them whether they are required to have an Approved Handler(s) under the HSNO legislation.


Under HSNO (Personnel Qualifications) Regulations 2001 Approved Handlers must have or know the following –

    • Hazard classifications of hazardous substances
    • Harmful effects of those substances

Controls imposed on those substances

  • Obligations and Liabilities, including – Purpose and Principles of the Act Offences and defences
  • Penalties and liabilities
  • Effects of a Compliance Order
  • Which regulations apply to your substances and where to find them.
  • Any conditions of your Approved Handler Test Certificate.
  • What is in each relevant Approved Code of Practice.
  • How to prevent injury or damage to the environment.
  • Emergency procedures
  • Working knowledge of PPE & equipment used to handle the substance.

Yes, you do need to do the course before an Approved Handler Certificate can be issued and it isn’t until you receive your certification that you are able to legally handle the hazardous substances on your site.

This certification lasts for 5 years and at the end of this time, [approx. 1 month prior] you will receive notification of renewal as an approved handler. The paperwork must be fully completed and returned to this office, and again, if your previous certificate expires, you are not legally able to handle those hazardous substances until you have your renewed certification.

Courses by Envirohaz are held in the following areas – Wanganui, Palmerston North, Napier, New Plymouth and Wellington when there are sufficient numbers. Other areas by request [with sufficient numbers].


As of late 2004, Tony, and as from late 2011,  Brendan, have been providing Approved Handler training courses involving over 380 courses. To that end, the feedback has been that they display well their experiences with professionalism and while the courses are a full-on half day,  both Tony and Brendan inject some humour into this time and make the effort to ensure everyone understands the course while respecting people’s diverse learning abilities.