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​Primary Care Practice Assistance Te Mahi Awhina Tuatahi (Level 4)


  • Starts February 2018
  • One year full-time or part-time equivalent
  • Fee Guideline: $2,500​​ (per year)
  • Work based, online delivery - with a two day face-to-face intro workshop


If you are interested in developing a career in health and wellbeing, supporting people, families/whānau, and the healthcare team in a primary care practice, then this is the programme for you.

You will work in healthcare teams under the direction and delegation of a registered health professional and be able to assist general practitioners, registered nurses, and management in the day to day operation of primary care practice including routine clinical tasks and procedures.

Successful completion of this qualification can enable you to progress on to higher levels of tertiary training.

Pathways options in health and wellbeing include New Zealand Certificate in Public Health and Health Promotion (Level 5), enrolled nursing studies or bachelor’s degrees in health and wellbeing areas, including nursing or allied health disciplines.

Pathways options related to leadership and management include New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4), the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 5), the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 6) or bachelor’s degrees in related leadership and management subject areas.

This programme enables you to develop skills by integrating the knowledge learning  through worked based experiences. You will experience and develop professional practice through:

  • Problem solving skills
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Project-based learning 
  • Technological competence; computer literacy, relevant technology
  • Team work
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Self-managing; and
  • Initiative

Please note you must be working (paid or voluntarily) for at least 12.5 hours a week in a primary care practice setting by the start of the programme.

Programme Content

You’ll learn to:

  • engage and communicate with people, family and/or whānau accessing primary care services in a manner which respects their socio-cultural identity, experiences and self-knowledge
  • relate the history of Māori as tangata whenua and knowledge of person-whānau interconnectedness to own role in a primary care practice setting
  • actively contribute to a culture of professionalism, safety and quality in a primary care practice
  • relate the purpose and impact of own role with the aims of the wider health and wellbeing sectors
  • apply knowledge of primary care to support people, family and/or whānau, and the healthcare team in a primary care practice
  • perform routine clinical tasks in a primary care practice setting under direction and delegation
  • contribute to the effective functioning of primary care practice administration and quality systems.


Please Note: You must be working (paid or voluntarily) for at least 12.5 hours a week in a primary care practice setting such as general practice, Primary Health Care Organization, Māori or Pasifika health trusts, by the start of the programme Programme Content. This qualification is not associated with professional registration or a clinical scope of practice. To enrol in this programme you must be working  in a healthcare setting and able to complete 400 hours of workplace learning.




Programme Delivery 

The 120-credit Primary Healthcare Practice  Assistance (PCPA)  programme is comprised of eight 15 credit modules and includes 400 hours of mentored work placement. 

The programme is primarily delivered online with a two-day face-to-face introduction workshop.  The workshop will provide you with the opportunity to meet other students in the programme the academic staff, give you an overview of the programme requirements, and ensure you are engaged with online delivery platform.

Entry Criteria

Students must have:

  • reached at least 18 years of age as of 1 January in the year of enrolment; and
  • a minimum of one year of post-secondary school experience working with people.
  • working (paid or voluntarily) for at least 12.5 hours a week in a primary care practice setting by the start of the programme
  • must hold a current First Aid Certificate upon commencing the programme.


Understand the application process.

All applications require some supporting documents, however, you don't need to supply these immediately. You can begin an online application now and we'll get in touch with you at a later date to arrange the documentation.

A candidate’s identity must also be verified . You will be required to provide:

  • A primary identification document (original birth certificate,  ( NZ full birth certificate that is issued on or after 1 January 1998 and that carries a unique identification number. Note: if the birth certificate was issued before 1998 it can be verified by a Justice of the Peace. ) passport, citizenship certificate, NZ certificate of identification or a NZ firearms licence); AND
  • A second form of official identification that shows the claimed identity is used in the community (driver licence, HANZ 18+ card or IRD number); AND
  • One of the two forms of identification must be photographic, verified in person against the candidate.

Apply. Get started online.


Got some questions you need answered first? We're always here to help. Call us on 0800 294 6832


For successful graduates who intend to pursue further study related to health and wellbeing, this programme may lead on to the New Zealand Certificate in Public Health and Health Promotion (Level 5) enrolled nursing studies or bachelor’s degrees in related subject health and wellbeing areas including nursing or allied health disciplines.

For successful graduates who intend to pursue further study related to leadership and management, this qualification may lead on to the New Zealand Certificate in Business (First Line Management) (Level 4), the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Level 5) or bachelor’s degrees in related leadership and management subject areas.

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