NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Care & Support) Level 4

36 weeks
Level 4
121 credits
Intakes: 15 July 2024, 19 August 2024, 23 September 2024

Gain the skills and knowledge required to provide advanced person-centred and/or relationship-centred care and support for a person with complex needs, and their whanau and/or family. This programme is perfect for healthcare professionals who already have significant experience and are looking to gain the additional knowledge and skills required to provide person-centred/ relationship-centred care and support to a person with complex needs and have the leadership capabilities and technical skills that can be demonstrated in the workplace.

The graduates will benefit by gaining recognition of transferable skills and knowledge valued across the health and wellbeing sectors and the specific skills and knowledge required to perform in the healthcare and wellbeing industry. Graduates will be capable of working under broad guidance and may have some responsibility for the performance of others.

Who can enrol?

This is an ideal programme if you are 16 years or older and want to provide advanced support to a person with complex needs or family/whanau.

What will I learn?

Gain the skills and experience you need to work as a healthcare assistant, senior caregiver or senior support worker in hospices or specialised dementia units.

You will cover:
  • Work collaboratively with members of a multi-disciplinary team and the whanau and/or family of a person with complex needs to support the person’s health and wellbeing
  • Support registered health professionals by carrying out delegated clinical tasks in a health or wellbeing setting
  • Apply knowledge of health or wellbeing conditions and organisational processes to implement culturally appropriate person-centred/relationship-centred approaches to care for and support a person with complex needs in a health and wellbeing setting
  • Communicate effectively in a culturally appropriate manner, including preparing and delivering reports and recording information as required by the organisation, and engaging in challenging conversations.
  • Apply leadership skills in a health or wellbeing setting by formal or informal mentoring and/or coaching of colleagues


What qualifications will I gain?

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Care and Support) (Level 4) – Toitu te Waiora Community, Health, Education and Social Services Workforce Development Council

Where will this take me?

With this qualification you can apply for a wide range of well-paid healthcare roles including District Health Board positions. Alternatively, you can pathway into further nursing and healthcare studies. Either way you’ll stand out from the crowd by having trained at Ignite Colleges!

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about this course

What are the benefits of staying on for Level 4?

Level 4 will fast-track your career and significantly increase your earning ability.

What will my starting salary be?

Successfully complete this course and you will start on $27/hour – that’s the same salary as someone without qualifications who has been working for 12 years or more!

What jobs can I apply for after completing this course?

This is a high-demand sector with lots of rewarding job opportunities. With this qualification you will be able to work as a health care assistant, senior caregiver, senior health care assistant or senior support worker in hospices or specialised dementia units, aged residential care or home and community support settings.

Will you help me get a job?

As part of your course we spend time working on interview and CV skills to make sure you leave us work ready. We also bring in speakers from industry to talk to you about what today’s employers expect. As well as this, our tutors have great industry connections and can introduce you to potential employers.

Does the course include work experience?

Yes, you will spend a large amount of time out in the workplace on this course. 200 hours of the 36 weeks will be spent on a clinical placement at an aged care or disability facility, organised by Ignite Colleges.

How much does this course cost?

You might be eligible to do this course for free! Talk with our Student Support Team to find out. If not, you may be eligible for loans and allowances, and we can help you with that.

How long will it take me to complete?

This course is 36 weeks.

How many credits will I receive?

The New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Care and Support) (Level 4) is NZQA-approved and worth 121 credits.

Is this qualification recognised for pay equity in the health sector?

Yes, it is.

If I already have industry experience, can I go straight to level 4?

Level 3 is a pre-requisite for Level 4, however exemption from Level 3 is possible if we have evidence that you have sufficient skills and knowledge. To find out more talk to our friendly Student Support Team.

What are my options for studying?

This Level 4 programme is available on campus or online, giving you the freedom to study full-time or upskill while you work.

If you are interested in online study, click here.

What does a typical day look like?

You will learn about first aid, leadership skills, and become a pro using a range of health-related equipment, like hoists and blood pressure monitors. Learn to work with people with dementia, build leadership skills and take part in peer mentoring. Classroom theory will develop your managerial skills and teach you all about risk management.

What do I need to apply?

Please call the Student Services Team on 0800 200 345 to find out how to enrol.

Healthcare workers provide assistance, support and care to people in need (such as the aged or disabled) in a wide range of health, welfare, residential and community settings. The work they do fills a crucial role in society and is becoming even more critical as New Zealand’s population becomes increasingly older.

By 2021, 34,547 people are estimated to be working as personal carers and assistants in New Zealand – that’s up 0.9 percent from 2013. Employment in the sector is expected to remain stable out to 2026. According to a 2015 Ministry of Health survey, healthcare support workers are predominantly female (91 percent) and have an older age profile than other New Zealand workforces, with 54 percent of workers aged between 45 and 64. In addition, the survey found most support workers were employed part-time, working an average of 21 hours a week. Late nights, early mornings, weekend and shift work is common.


What makes a great healthcare worker?

Most people enter the healthcare sector because they are passionate about helping others and dedicated to making a meaningful difference in their communities. Having empathy and a kind and caring nature is a must. But there are several other skills and traits that help to make an exceptional healthcare worker. These include:

  • good customer service skills
  • first-aid knowledge
  • knowledge of health and safety standards
  • patient, tolerant and compassionate
  • practical
  • organised and responsible
  • skilled at listening and communicating
  • able to relate well to people from a range of cultures
  • able to follow instructions
  • fit, healthy, strong and free of back problems


Employment opportunities

Employment opportunities for healthcare support workers are good, thanks primarily to New Zealand’s aging population, and the increasing demand this is putting on our healthcare services. And while many care workers are employed in hospitals and nursing homes, there are also excellent opportunities in private home care companies, specialist care providers, church and welfare-based trusts, and home support services run by District Health Boards (DHBs).

In 2017, pay equity in the sector took a giant leap forward, with the passing of the Care and Support Worker (Pay Equity) Settlement Act, which removed wage discrimination based on gender for 55,000 care and support workers – and led to pay rises of 15-50 percent. Linking pay rates to qualifications, the Act encourages workers to increase their qualifications, and helps New Zealand build a more highly training workforce.

The new wage rates are being rolled out over five years and as of July 2018, healthcare support workers with a Level 2 qualification earn $23/hour (the same as an unqualified person who has been working in the sector for three years); those with a Level 3 qualification start on $25/hour (the equivalent of someone who’s been working for eight years); and a Level 4 qualification starts you on $27/hour, the same as an unqualified worker who has been in the sector for 12 years.

Entry-level roles in the health sector include:

  • caregiver
  • healthcare assistant
  • home care support worker
  • hospital orderly
  • nurse aide
  • nursing support and care worker
  • personal care assistant
  • Once in the industry, there are plenty of opportunities for progression and specialisation. Go onto degree-level studies and become a registered nurse, become a health promoter in the local community or within a government agency, or move into an administrative or managerial role in a hospital or private healthcare organisation.