Are there recognized professional training and qualification systems for the long-term care workforce? | New Zealand Are there recognized professional training and qualification systems for the long-term care workforce? | New Zealand

15 Sep 2022

Registered and enrolled nurses working in LTC are trained at accredited institutions that meet the requirements for registration with the Nursing council of New Zealand.

Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) are part of a formal system for increasing and developing skills in the workplace. ITOs arrange training and set qualification standards, and work with the industry to determine skill development needs. Health and safety training is included within ITO training programmes. Careerforce is the ITO for New Zealand’s health and community support services, including aged care (Careerforce, n.d.-a). Private training establishments (PTEs) also provide training for aged care work, from entry level up to post-graduate level. PTEs must be registered with the NZ Qualifications authority and meet national standards (Immigration NZ, n.d.).

The standard qualification required for work in aged care is the NZ certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Tertiary Education Commission, n.d.) which provides the skills and knowledge required to provide person-centred support in the health sector. Level 2 provides entry level skills and knowledge required to work in the health sector. Levels 3 and 4 build on this base knowledge to facilitate working effectively in the community and with increasingly complex patients (such as those with dementia or requiring palliative care) (Careerforce, n.d.-b).

Key findings from an analysis of the 2019 annual care and support worker data collected from providers by the Ministry of Health (2020) indicate about one third (36%) of aged residential care staff have no qualifications compared with only 17% of those in the community.


Careerforce. (n.d.-a). Working in the Aged Care Sector. Careerforce website. Available from: https://www.careerforce.org.nz/our_sectors/aged-care/.

Careerforce. (n.d.-b). Qualifications. Careerforce website. Available from: https://www.careerforce.org.nz/qualifications/#C4.

Immigration New Zealand. (n.d.). Working in aged care. New Zealand Immigration website. Available from: https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/resources/working-in-aged-care

Ministry of Health. (2020). Care and Support Workforce Qualification Attainment. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Tertiary Education Commission. (n.d.). Qualifications. Careers.govt.nz website. Available from: https://www.careers.govt.nz/qualifications/view/2470/8144.