Important Messages Regarding Qualifications

Important Messages Regarding Qualifications


Dear Members

NZDSN has been in ongoing discussion with Careerforce during recent weeks over the issues that have arisen around qualification equivalencies as well as the need to take a fresh look at the Health and Wellbeing qualifications themselves, now that they are an integral part of the recent pay equity legislation.

As you will be aware Careerforce have responsibility for the task of establishing equivalencies with the Health and Wellbeing Certificate qualifications that now form the basis of wage rates under the new pay equity legislation. The sector is particularly concerned about quickly determining equivalencies for the level 4 certificate in relation to relevant diplomas and degrees.

In addition, with a high level of focus (and demand) now expected on support staff attaining a level 4 certificate qualification as a result of the pay equity legislation, there is a need to have a high level of assurance that this qualification is relevant and fit for purpose – and anticipates the workforce demands in the context of system transformation recently signalled. There is a need to consult widely with the sector to determine the currency of this qualification and what changes might be needed.

Careerforce is addressing these two developments with the following approaches:


  1. Qualification Equivalencies:

Rather than have everyone go through an individual recognition of prior learning (RPL) process, Careerforce is assessing the equivalency of identified diploma and degree qualifications directly (informed by enquiries received to date) and based on a comparative analysis of content between the level 4 Health and Wellbeing Certificate and the diploma/degree in question. Once equivalency is established then everyone who holds these qualifications will be deemed to have a level 4 certificate qualification. Depending on particular features of the qualification there may be a requirement to complete certain learning (for example content on cultural competence or a practicum component). Careerforce will be communicating this coming week the progress they have made to date on Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Therapy, Teaching and Psychology qualifications.  If you hold one of  the qualifications identified by Careerforce as having equivalency you do not need to apply individually to Careerforce, just wait for the outcome of the process Careerforce is already undertaking. If you think you have a diploma or degree that is not on this list, but you think may be equivalent, contact Careerforce so that it can be added for consideration.

  1. Evaluating the currency/fit for purpose of Health and Wellbeing Qualifications: 

Careerforce will be undertaking a series of engagements with the sector to get feedback on what changes and developments need to be made to these qualifications so that they are  highly valued, relevant  and fit for purpose. Careerforce will be consulting through an employer evaluation survey, focus meetings with key stakeholders, including disabled people and families,  and have also committed to a co-design approach with the sector on qualification development. This work will include the kinds of developments needed to support the independent facilitation role envisaged as a key part of a transformed system. This aspect will start with some discussions with the National Enabling Good Lives leadership Group.  Further details on these consultations will be available soon. It is intended that Careerforce provide feedback on the results of these consultations and a recommended work programme to the next NZDSN CEO/Leadership forum in December (details TBC).

Please contact the NZDSN office at or on 04 4734678 if you have any queries



Dr Garth Bennie

Chief Executive



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