New Zealand Defence Force training programme recognised in Open Polytechnic degree

Posted on 7 May 2020

A new initiative between The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Ltd, the nation’s leading online distance tertiary education provider, and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will see senior Warrant Officers able to gain Advanced Standing when enrolling in the Bachelor of Applied Management.

The NZDF provides further education to personnel for professional development within the organisation by way of its New Zealand Defence College. The New Zealand Defence College also support career pathways after the Defence Force through partnerships with education providers like Open Polytechnic, which provides flexible, online study options for NZDF staff and their families.

 As part of the Advanced Standing agreement, senior Warrant Officers who complete the NZDF’s Joint Warrant Officer Advance Course (JWOAC) are able to have their skills and knowledge recognised within the Open Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Applied Management programme.

 Ralph Springett, Manager of the Assessment Centre at Open Polytechnic, says that both NZDF and Open Polytechnic wanted to find a way to recognise the applied learning that occurs within the Defence Force and credit that into a formal qualification.

 “Our goal is to improve pathways for recognition of learning, regardless of where and how that learning was achieved. Personnel in the Defence Force undertake a high-level of applied learning, and we realised the JWOAC meets many of the same outcomes as our Bachelor of Applied Management programme” he says.

 Mr Springett says the Bachelor of Applied Management and JWOAC are aligned in offering leadership and senior management training in practical applied settings.

Evaluators found that completion of the JWOAC is equivalent to 240 credits of the Bachelor of Applied Management programme, which is a 360 credit programme.

 Warrant Officers can gain an Applied Management degree by completing another 120 credits, which can be completed in one year of full-time study, through Open Polytechnic.

 Warrant Officer Class One Grant Collins, Warrant Officer Professional Development at Command and Staff College, a unit of the New Zealand Defence College, says the JWOAC prepares select NZDF Warrant Officers for senior strategic advisory positions within the organisation.

 “To further develop Warrant Officers for these positions, the high impact course builds on years of individual experience, skill, and the ethos and values demonstrated daily within the NZDF. Fittingly, Open Polytechnic and the NZDC have formalised an academic alignment that recognises the importance of investing in the development of the NZDFs future strategic advisory Warrant Officers,” he says.

 New Zealand Defence College Tertiary Education Manager Diana Shirley says learning on the job is a critical part of life in the Defence Force.

“Education and training opportunities allow our personnel to refine their skills in leadership and tactical and critical thinking to develop innovative solutions to contemporary challenges. NZDF personnel can spend years in training environments, so we are pleased the training our senior Warrant Officers receive can now be recognised as part of a formal qualification,” she says.

Open Polytechnic’s Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Seelig, says the Polytechnic is excited to be working with the NZDF to find a solution to formally recognising years of applied learning.

 “Open Polytechnic was first created to provide resettlement training for returned servicemen and women after World War II, and we are delighted that we continue to provide lifelong training opportunities for Defence Force personnel through our working partnership,” says Dr Seelig.

 Senior Warrant Officers can complete the Bachelor of Applied Management at their own pace. Anyone who has completed the JWOAC and NZDF Lead Capability course is eligible for Advanced Standing into the Open Polytechnic Bachelor of Applied Management.