On successful completion of this programme, students will gain the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) with strands in Health Assistance and Support Work. Graduates will be able to continue their education pathway by enrolling in the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Support) (Level 4).

Programme Aim:

The Health and Wellbeing Level 3 programme develops graduates to:

  • Recognise and respond to signs of vulnerability and abuse in a health or wellbeing setting.
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviour in a health or wellbeing setting.
Health Assistance:
  • Provide person-centred care under the direction and delegation of a health professional.
  • Recognise and respond to change.
Support Work:
  • Provide person-centred support to maximise independence
  • Recognise and respond to change

Modules and Topics

Modules 1-4 are compulsory:
Caring for Vulnerable People
  • Vulnerability and Abuse
  • Observing, Responding and Reporting Change
  • Professional and Ethical Behaviour
  • Challenging Behaviour Awareness
  • Pressure Injuries
Supporting Diverse Cultures
  • What is culture?
  • Diversity of cultural groups
  • Supporting different cultures, including Te Whare Tapa Wha and Fonofale
  • Cultural preferences and practices
  • Code of Rights
  • Effective communication with people from different cultures
  • Resources and support services available
Supporting People
  • Supporting Independence
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Physical Disability
  • Falls Prevention
  • Safe Swallowing
  • Mental Health Wellbeing
Managing Medical Conditions
  • Asthma, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Depression, Diabetes, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Obesity, Impacts and Supportive Practice, Working Safely, Workplace Policy and Procedures, Observing Changes, Reporting Requirements.
Elective Topics (One only to be selected):
  • Caring for the Elderly
  • Dementia Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Wellness Interventions, Care Support.

Learning Commitment

The NZQA states that one credit generally equates to approximately 10 learning hours. Trainees need to plan their learning commitments as follows:

Learning component Expected Time commitment Hours
Tutor Contact hours 6 hours per week 102
Workplace learning 13 hours per week                             (minimum recommended) 221
Tutor directed hours Approx. 5 hours per week             (minimum recommended) 85
Total 408

Entry Requirements

Entry into Healthcare Level 3 is restricted to those who:
  • Have gained the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2) or
  • Have previous work experience in a health and wellbeing setting or
  • Are currently working (part-time, full-time or casual) in a health and wellbeing setting (employed or voluntary).
Any student entering the programme without first completing the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2) must have achieved:
  1. Either, unit standard 23386 Support a person to meet personal care needs in a health or wellbeing setting (Level 3, 5 credits); or
  2. Module 3 Personal Care and Support (Level 2, 13 credits) within Avatar’s Healthcare Level 2 programme (includes unit standard 23386).


Applicants must:
  • be a domestic student;
  • be at least 18 prior to commencement of the programme;
  • be able to communicate competently in English. Applicants may be requested to undertake an English language test at their own expense;
  • be physically and mentally able to perform the role of a health assistant or support worker;
  • undertake health screening and be cleared to work in a healthcare setting; and
  • have no criminal record. Applicants are required to complete a NZ Police Vetting Service Request and Consent Form prior to enrolment
  • provide evidence of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and any other vaccinations as per mandatory requirements from the Ministry of Health. Employment opportunities in healthcare will not be available for those unvaccinated.

Note: Employees and volunteers (includes work placements) may be required to undergo initial and ongoing checks to ensure they are a fit and proper person to provide support in the health and wellbeing sectors.

Recognition of Prior Learning

You may have already gained knowledge and practical skills that could be recognised and credited towards your study.  These may have been gained through:

  • Study while at secondary school
  • Workplace learning
  • Other tertiary study
  • Life experiences or voluntary work

You may be able to seek recognition of prior learning (RPL), credit transfer (CT), cross credit (CC) or recognition of current competencies (RCC).

If you believe you are eligible to have your prior learning recognised, please contact the Learning Centre on 06 755 0558 ext 900.

Work Placement

Workplace experience is essential for successful completion of the New Zealand qualification. It is preferred that you are currently employed in a support worker/care giver role (see Learning Commitment). If you are not already employed, a work placement agreement will need to be arranged. However, it may be possible to complete the qualification through workplace learning at Maida Vale Retirement Village. For further information please contact the Training Coordinator on 06 755 0558 ext 905.


Unit standards are assessed in each module.  Assessment will take place throughout the duration of the programme. Assessment methods include:

  • Practical demonstration of skills
  • Written assignments