Open Polytechnic launches free course on infection prevention

Posted on 5 May 2020

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Ltd, the country’s largest specialist provider of vocational distance learning, has launched a free self-directed course on infection prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 The introductory course, titled ‘Introduction to Infection Prevention’, will provide basic knowledge about infectious viruses and other agents, their risks and means of control so that individuals can recognise infection and prevention control strategies within different contexts.

 The course takes around 20 hours to complete and is delivered on iQualify, Open Polytechnic’s online learning platform. The course is designed for the general public and those with professional contexts where an awareness of infectious agents is useful.

 The Open Polytechnic team has developed the curriculum with a General Practitioner (GP), subject specialists, learning designers and online learning experts to ensure teaching delivers practical skills and knowledge with real-world applications.

Mark Nichols, Executive Director Learning Design and Development at Open Polytechnic says the organisation is well-positioned to deliver a training course on infection prevention, due to its national reach, and its expertise in developing engaging online learning courses which are delivered on its easy-to-navigate learning platform.

 “Our team has moved at phenomenal pace to prepare this course for delivery on our iQualify platform. Our hope is that this course will provide a valuable educational experience on how to prevent infections, while also building confidence in individuals as the country moves out of lockdown and usual work and social activities begin to return over the coming months,” he says.

 The free course, which can be completed at the learner’s own pace, covers an introduction to disease and infection, viruses in your environment, and infection preventions and control.

 It is a self-directed online course designed to allow the learner to work through modules by themselves at their own pace

 At the completion of the course, the learner is awarded a digital iQualify badge which they can upload to their LinkedIn profile. 

 Chief Executive Dr Caroline Seelig says it’s part of Open Polytechnic’s social responsibility to respond to the pandemic by delivering a course such as this.

 “As an online and distance learning provider, we are able to use our expertise to quickly swing into action to create learning materials that meet a national need. Our iQualify platform continues to deliver for our learners, and we want to extend on that by providing a meaningful and relevant course to the general public that will help in New Zealand’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Seelig says.