Competency Assessment Programme (CAP)

The aim of the Competency Assessment Programme is to enable successful applicants to demonstrate their ability to meet Nursing Council of New Zealand’s competencies for their scope of practice to gain Nursing Council of New Zealand Registration.

Programme Structure

The Competency Assessment Programme is delivered over a period of eight weeks. There are two parts to the programme.


Part One: Topics

Part One is delivered over the first three weeks and includes the following topics:

  • Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) Competencies
  • NCNZ Code of Conduct and Professional Boundaries
  • Legislation, Documentation and Reflection
  • Leadership and Delegation
  • Head to Toe Assessment
  • Safe Manual Handling
  • Treaty of Waitangi, Maori Health and Cultural Safety
  • Medication Management
  • Infection Control
  • Wound Management
  • Mental Health
  • Dementia, Delirium and Depression
  • Health and Disability Consumer’s Rights


Part Two: Clinical Placement

Part Two is delivered over five weeks.  Students will complete a total of 200 hrs work experience in clinical practice. 

Clinical placements are arranged by the Training Coordinator.  Placements are organised on a 40-hour week, including weekends.

Students will work alongside a designated preceptor who is a Registered Nurse. All preceptors have a minimum of three years New Zealand work experience and have completed preceptor training.

Clinical placement providers are located in Bell Block and New Plymouth.  Where possible, the Training Coordinator will place students who do not have their own transport in Bell Block.  This cannot be guaranteed therefore students are encouraged to bring their own car.

Public transport is limited between Bell Block and New Plymouth as per the bus links listed below. This may be a concern for you when you are required to attend workplace training. For your convenience we suggest that you bring your own vehicle as you will also want to explore what New Plymouth has to offer during your free time. Students sharing the same work placements may be able to agree to car share. There is free car parking available onsite at the training school.

Bus Timetable – Bell Block, New Plymouth

Bus Timetable  – New Plymouth – Merrilands  (3 workplace training establishments based in this area)

Taxi Service

There is a taxi service available but this will come at a cost, cost of  a Taxis to work placements outside of Bell Block area are between $30-32 per one-way trip with Energy City Cabs 06 757 5580, this is the best negotiated rate currently available or  you can phone New Plymouth Taxis 06 757 3000.

Note: Uber is not available in Taranaki Region.

By Arrangement

Transport under special circumstances may be able to be arranged through Avatar Institute of Learning at a cost of $15 each way to your placement.

Eligibility For Enrolment

Applicants must:

  • Have written notification from the NCNZ of the requirement to complete a Competence Assessment Programme.
  • Meet english requirements laid down in the NCNZ’S registration policy for overseas nurses prior to entry to the Competency Assessment Programme. Such as,  the International Language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of at least 7.0 in reading, writing and speaking retrospectively; Or the Occupational English Test (OET) with a B band in each section.
  • Have verified documented evidence of a minimum of two years clinical experience as a Registered Nurse in a ward environment.
  • Provide evidence of six months employment in New Zealand or another English speaking country, in a healthcare setting.
  • Be able to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively for the purpose of practicing in the New Zealand setting.
  • Provide current evidence of a Police clearance from the country where the applicant holds current registration.

We have small interactive training sessions with limited applicant vacancies. You will not want to miss out on the opportunity to attend this NCNZ approved CAP Programme and the opportunity to explore our beautiful surrounding community.

Intakes 2019

  • 01 April – 27 May:                                  Full
  • 24 June – 16 August:                              Full
  • 19 August – 11 October                          Full
  • 14 October – 6 December                     Full

No further intakes for 2019.   CAP Courses for 2020 to be advised at a later date.

Current tuition fee is $10,000 for the eight week programme.

English Language Requirements

If English is a second language the applicant must:

  1. Meet English language requirements laid down in the New Zealand Nursing Council’s registration policy for overseas nurses prior to entry to the competence assessment programme. Approved English language assessments are: Academic International English Language Testing System (“IELTS”) with a score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening, writing and speaking respectively. Occupational English test (“OET”) with a B band in each section.
  2. Demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively for the purpose of practicing within their scope of practice.

March – May 2018 Student Journey

Our latest graduates created this video to show their experience and gratitude for Avatar.