Introduction to Infection Prevention: a free online course

Open Polytechnic has developed this free online course to help give New Zealanders confidence and knowledge about preventing viral and bacterial infections, particularly relevant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  


This free online self-directed course, ‘Introduction to Infection Prevention’, will provide basic knowledge about infectious viruses, their risks and means of control so that individuals can recognise infection and prevention control strategies within different contexts.

Most people either live or work where they have direct contact with others – for example, travelling to work, interacting with colleagues, customers and/or suppliers. Therefore, we all need the skills and knowledge of how to respond best to the risks of infectious diseases. Everyone must be prepared to act appropriately and if we do, we will save lives.

For more information watch the course introduction video below.


About the course

Open Polytechnic has developed the course content with a General Practitioner (GP), subject specialists, learning designers and online learning experts to ensure teaching delivers skills and knowledge with real-world applications. You'll learn about different types of infectious microorganisms and their known disease-causing potential, and how to recognise authoritative infection and prevention control strategies. The course is designed for the general public and those with professional contexts where an awareness of infectious agents is useful, so you don’t need an academic background or knowledge of biological sciences.

  • It’s an online free course delivered through iQualify – Open Polytechnic’s online learning platform.
  • Learn at your own pace. This is a self-directed  course that is designed  to allow you to work through the three modules at your own pace.
  • It should take up to 20 learning hours, and there are no start or finish dates.

There are three modules:

  1. An introduction to disease and infection.
  2. Infectious viruses in your environment.
  3. Infection prevention and control.


There are two short quizzes (at the end of Modules 2 and 3), and on successful completion of the course you will be awarded a digital iQualify badge which you can upload to your LinkedIn profile.  To be awarded the badge you will need to complete the course materials and achieve a pass rate in the two quizzes of 7/9 and 2/3. 

1280px LinkedIn Logo.svg


Sign up here

Please note: signing up does not enrol you as an Open Polytechnic student.

 Sign me up