Health Care support development and training

The Waikato DHB Workforce Development Plan 2009 – 2019 identifies that there is a need to develop a care and support workforce that is

  • knowledgeable
  • and used effectively across the sector.

This workforce has the potential to undertake an expanding variety of roles in local communities and in health facilities, including care for people with stable chronic disease across the sector. This includes Health Care and Psychiatric Assistants and may also include Maternity Aides and Rehabilitation / Therapy Assistants

The purpose of this training is to build confidence and knowledge in this workforce working in both Waikato DHB  and non DHB facilities

Benefits include   

  • Improved patient/service user safety and outcomes
  • Transferable skills that can lead to professional development or career pathways 
  • A more flexible and effective workforce.

The training is workplace-based and there is good support to ensure success.  This training is offered only to those currently employed in a health care support worker role.

Current guide document

The purpose of this training is to build confidence and knowledge within the health care support t workforce working in Waikato DHB facilities.

How will training benefit this workforce?

Health care  support workers will benefit from the opportunity to enrich their career in a variety of ways, which may include work across a range of DHB and non-DHB settings. Obtaining a qualification will support    more confidence and knowledge within a team, ensuring patient/service user safety, have transferable skills and, if desired, staircase into formal health professional roles.

Some key facts about this training 

  • Fully funded by the DHB
  • Level 3 on the NZQA framework
  • Qualification will take approximately six to nine months
  • Training will be in work time with the expectation that some study is completed in the trainee's own time
  • The training will be facilitated and trainees supported by designated DHB senior nurses
  • There are no exams,  and assessment will be undertaken by DHB nurses
  • Consists of compulsory and elective unit standards which match the work situation of trainees
  • Support will be offered for literacy and numeracy issues as required and for trainees who are not progressing
  • Cultural support will be available
  • Careerforce is the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) providing the pathway for the qualification (more information below on Careerforce)

Health Care Support Development Team Members


Careerforce is an Industry Training Organisation (ITO).

It develops pathways for national qualifications and facilitates education and training for those working in the health and disability sector across New Zealand.

Careerforce works alongside employers, workers and funders, and supports flexible workplace learning for thousands of trainees nationally each year by:

  • providing leadership within the health and disability sector on matters relating to skill and training needs
  • designing national qualifications and setting and monitoring the consistency and quality of national education standards
  • developing arrangements for the delivery of industry training

The national qualifications are developed and refined by the sector to ensure they are relevant and meet government strategies and evolving service delivery philosophies, models and service specifications. Each qualification is recognised by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).


Links and other information

Merit step process for HCAs

The merit step process has been signed off by the Nursing and Midwifery Directorate and by Human Resources (September 2013).