nurse seated beside bed with patient

Certificate in Nursing (Competency Assessment Programme)


Course details


Note: This programme is only offered to NZ registered nurses

Need to get a New Zealand practicing certificate? The Certificate in Nursing (Competence Assessment Programme) can help you complete this.

If you are a registered Nurse, this programme will allow you to demonstrate your ability to meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies for your scope of practice.

New Zealand nurses returning to practice after a period of five years or more are required to complete an approved competence assessment programme, such as this programme, before a practising certificate may be issued.

If you are an overseas nurse you may be required to complete this programme before you can become registered in New Zealand.

What You'll Learn

This programme will take six to twelve weeks and will involve up to 10 days of classroom and self-directed learning and five to ten weeks of supervised clinical placements.

You will learn content that ensures you are able to demonstrate current and competent nursing skills within your scope of nursing practice. This includes a theory component that is specific to New Zealand’s health context such as an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi, cultural safety and the legislation and guidelines for the practice of nursing in New Zealand.  

You will undertake a period of supervised clinical experience that will allow you to demonstrate your nursing competence. 


Module CodeModule TitleLevelCreditsPre-Requisites​​​Co-Requisites​​​Assessment Standard
NURS701Concepts Related to Nursing in the New Zealand Context715  N/A
NURS702Competence Assessment in Clinical Practice730 NURS701N/A

Career/Further Opportunities

The Certificate in Nursing (Competence Assessment Programme) may allow you to apply for a practicing certificate from the Nursing Council of New Zealand or if from overseas will allow you to be eligible to apply to the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration and a practicing certificate to work in New Zealand as a nurse.

Entry criteria

New Zealand Nurses

New Zealand registered nurses and registered with the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Applicants with New Zealand nursing qualifications who are required by Nursing Council of New Zealand to complete the competency programme to apply for a current practising certificate may also be admitted to the programme.

Applicants are required to provide evidence of any health issues, mental or physical conditions, or criminal history that may prevent their entry onto the Nursing Register.

Overseas Nurses

Overseas registered nurses wishing to gain New Zealand Nursing Registration must have completed the application for registration process with the NCNZ and have received a decision letter outlining the requirements to be met to verify competency and New Zealand relevant skills.

All applicants

Applicants from a country where English is not the first or native language will need to provide evidence, obtained within two years from the date of assessment for registration, of their ability to speak and write in English. The Nursing Council of New Zealand approved  language tests for this programme are:

  • Academic International English language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of at least 7.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking respectively
  • Occupational English test (OET) with minimum B band in each section.

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively to practise within their scope of practice.

Want to see full details of the entry criteria?
Don't meet the entry criteria?


Health and social practice pathway diagram

Your first day

Are you ready for your first day of class? Check out your start date and where you need to be. You can also find useful information about studying at Wintec on our Welcome page.

Date: Monday 13th May 2019
Time: 9am-4pm
Venue: CG.17, City Campus

Please bring pen, paper and two ID documents (original or verified) required for VCA, these can be a Passport, NZ birth certificate, Driver Licence or Firearms Licence.  Evidence of name change if applicable​, eg Marriage Certificate.

What you will need

Immunisation documentation/screening - is a requirement of entry as this is a contractual obligation with our clinical placement providers.  The tests and approximate associated costs are your responsibility. Forms will be available on the first day.

Clinical placement and uniform - Clinical practice will commence on 27 May 2019 - July 2019, it is expected that practice will cover all shifts of the twenty four hour period over seven days of the week.

The clinical uniform is a white shirt/blouse with tidy/dress dark blue or black trousers and matching shoes.  You will be required to wear your student ID card at all times in clinical practice.

Costs associated with travel and accommodation are your responsibility.

Timetable information

All timetables are available via Timetable Net on our website.

How to find your way around

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - permits are required. Learn more about parking. Find out about discounted bus services here.

Wintec pōwhiri/nau mai, haere mai

Wintec extends a warm invitation to all new students to attend a Pōwhiri to welcome the semester ahead. After formalities, light refreshments will be served in the marae dining room, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa, Wintec City Campus.

Click here to find out where and when the next Pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course related costs

Additional information

​The Competence Assessment Programm (CAP) is about you, the student, meeting New Zealand Nursing Council competencies for the registered nurse scope of practice to either gain New Zealand registration and/or a practising certificate. To maintain your pactising certificate you need to be in employment as a nurse within six months of the issue of your practising certificate.


Purchasing textbooks

If your programme requires you to have access to textbooks, these can be purchased through a range of suppliers listed below:

Hamilton-based supplier

  • Bennetts (Bennetts has a store operating on campus at the University of Waikato, Hamilton)

New Zealand-based suppliers

General book suppliers

First aid certificate

Health status



Clinical placement

Course guide

Our course guides (prospectuses) will tell you everything you need to know about Wintec. They contain information about the Wintec campus, student life and the programmes we offer.

We offer the course guides (prospectuses) in both digital and physical form. Click on the document to download, or fill in the form and we will post or email you a copy.

Request an email or posted copy of the prospectus

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