NZ2470 - NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing - FAQs

This page should answer any questions you have about the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3).

If you cannot find what you are looking for here, please don't hesitate to contact us.

About this qualification

  • Is this a recognised qualification by employers within the industry?


    This is a New Zealand Certificate, which is a recognised qualification on the New Zealand Qualification Framework. 

    Many employers in the health and wellbeing sectors have a preferred professional development pathway across the L2, 3 and 4 Health and Wellbeing programmes. 

    Make sure you check with your employer what the right level is for you.

  • What type of jobs will this qualification lead to?

    Graduates from this qualification may be employed in a range of roles supporting people in the community. Potential employment roles include support worker, caregiver, employment consultants, whānau workers, housing coordinators, aged care workers, and navigators.  

  • Who is this qualification for?

    This Certificate is ideal if you are currently working as a healthcare assistant, support worker, caregiver, employment consultant, whānau worker, housing coordinator, or in aged care.

    This certificate will give you the skills and knowledge required to provide a person-centred approach that maximises independence for the people you support.

    You will be capable of working under limited supervision under the guidance of your organisation and be able to implement personal plans. 

    This qualification does not focus on working with children, working in education, counselling, or front-line service roles that are not official mental health, disability or aged care contracts.

    For qualifications involving youth work, RTLB, teacher aide, or counselling, please search the Te Pūkenga website for a qualification that suits you: 

  • Should I study at level 3 or level 4?

    Workers studying towards Level 3: 
    • Follow instructions of a personal care or support plan. 
    • Work under direct supervision of someone.
    • Work in mental health, addiction, disability (support worker strand) or aged care (Health Assistance Strand). Suitable roles include: Health Care Assistance (For example: DHB healthcare or aged care), support worker, community support worker, disability or aged care caregiver. 
    • Have a continuity of care and support with tāngata whaiora (which means working with the same person over a period of weeks or months).

    Workers studying towards Level 4: 
    • Can create or deliver a personal care or support plan. 
    • Set goals with tāngata whaiora, being actively involved in their personal plan. 
    • Work in mental health or addiction, (mental health and addiction strand) or disability or aged care (Community Facilitation Strand). Suitable roles include: support worker, community support worker, caregiver. 
    • Have a continuity of care and support with tāngata whaiora (which means working with the same person over a period of weeks or months). 

  • Is this Level 3 the right qualification to meet pay parity? 

    You will need to ask your employer as there is currently no official designated qualifications list to cater for the recent pay parity changes.

    The social services sector ITO has been contracted to create this list and until this is approved, you must discuss it with your employer.

    You must find what strand they want you to do and at what level. If you already have a level 3 or 4 qualification in this area, you should also be asking if it is acknowledged as an equivalent qualification for pay parity. 

    You can check the information for pay parity here: 

Workplace Learning

  • What happens if I am not employed in the sector?

    You must be working, either as a volunteer or paid employee, for a minimum of 100 hours of relevant work in a health and wellbeing context to study this qualification. 

    Open Polytechnic does not provide placements. You need to organise these or find a volunteer position yourself.

    These 100 hours distribute evenly across the course in your programme, which equates to 25-30 hours per course in Level 3, as a guide.

    The workplace activities provide the context for your assessment.    

  • What do I need to know about distance learning and learning in the workplace?

    The workplace context is an essential part of this qualification.

    As part of the assessments, learning activities will be provided so you can apply what you have been learning in the course material to your own working environment.

    The tasks you undertake in the workplace will be documented and verified by your workplace verifier.  

  • How long does each course take?

    We have a study plan based on each course taking 16 weeks, which equates to 12.5 hours per week.

    This includes study time and preparing and submitting assignments. You can adjust your study plan to suit your own personal and flexible timeline.

    You may wish to progress through the course more quickly than the 16-week study plan suggests.

    Your 100 hours workplace requirement is distributed evenly across the courses in your programme. This equates to 25-30 hours per course in Level 3, as a guide.  


  • Do I need to have a computer?

    Yes. All the courses in this qualification are studied online so you will need to have regular access to a computer or device, a reliable internet connection and a data plan to be able to support your learning. You will need to stream videos, download content and submit assessments online.

  • How long will the application process take?

    Once we have received the completed online application and the supporting workplace agreement, and we have assessed that you meet the entry criteria, we will approve your application.

  • Do I have to be working in the sector to study this qualification?

    To study the courses in this qualification you need to be able to access a minimum of 100 hours of paid or unpaid employment in a relevant health and wellbeing context.

    A relevant context includes, but is not limited to – aged care, acute care, community support, home-based support, respite care, and mobile services.

    Your 100 hours workplace requirement is distributed evenly across the courses in your programme. This equates to 25 -30 hrs per course in Level 4, as a guide.

    Each assessment requires a minimum number of hours of workplace practice to demonstrate competency.

    You will need to have a suitably qualified workplace verifier who has agreed to oversee your work.

    Both you and your employer will need to sign a workplace agreement and provide information about your workplace verifier.

    You will be able to download this agreement during the online application process. Your acceptance into the qualification is subject to final approval by the Level 3 Programme Delivery Manager.  

  • What are the entry requirements for this qualification?

    You must be at least 17 years of age at the start of the qualification and have NCEA Level 1 or equivalent.

  • When can I enrol?

    This qualification has four courses. You can enrol in and start the first course (HWB301) throughout the year. When we confirm your enrolment we’ll give you the start and end dates that you need to complete your study within.

  • Who can be my workplace verifier? 

    This person is likely to be provided to you by your organisation.

    It could be a manager, team leader, residential house leader, team coach, registered nurse or other delegated health professional.

    The verifier must see you doing your work in the workplace or know what work you do. This person must be qualified at the level you are applying to study at or above.

    For example, if you are applying for the level 3, the verifier must hold a level 3 qualification or higher in either Health and Wellbeing, disability, mental health, addiction or equivalency like nursing, social worker or counselling or other health care qualification.  

  • Can my verifier be a family member? 

    It is preferred not. You need to have someone who is level 3 qualified (can be in health and wellbeing or another relevant qualification like a registered nurse, counsellor, social worker or your service manager if they are qualified).  

  • What do I need to provide for the online application process? 

    You will need to download a workplace agreement form for you and your employer to sign.

    This agreement confirms that you are working in an appropriate health and wellbeing setting and have a qualified workplace supervisor who can verify your work.

    If you do not have an active National Student Number, or haven’t studied with us before, you may need to provide us with verified proof of your identification to confirm your legal name and residency status.

    You will find more information on our website about the types of verified documents that you can send us.