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Primary Care Practice Assistance 4 (Te Mahi Āwhina Tuatahi 4)

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Primary Care Practice Assistance) (Level 4)


Course details

  • Feb 2025
  • $2,569*
  • Level 4
  • Online delivery


This programme is designed for those who are interested in developing a career in health and wellbeing; supporting people, families/whānau, and the healthcare team in a primary care practice.

Students 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 a primary care practice.

This programme enables students to develop skills by integrating the knowledge learned through worked based experiences. Students 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: Students 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 Organisation, Māori, or Pacific health trusts by the start of the programme. This qualification is not associated with professional registration or a clinical scope of practice. To enrol in this programme, students must be working in a healthcare setting and able to complete 400 hours of workplace learning.

What you will learn

Students will 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, and
  • contribute to the effective functioning of primary care practice administration and quality systems.

View programme modules

Note: no value in the pre/co-requisite columns means there are no pre/co-requisites for that module.

Module codeModule titleLevelCreditsPre-requisitesCo-requisites
COMC401You and the Primary Healthcare System415 COMC402
COMC402Infection Control Principles and Application in Primary Care415 COMC401
COMC403Administration and Quality Systems415COMC401COMC404
COMC404Clinical Tasks in Primary Care415COMC402COMC403
COMC405Administration and Quality Systems in Practice415COMC403COMC406
COMC406Primary Care and the Primary Care Practice Assistant415COMC404COMC405
COMC407The Primary Care Practice Assistant in Context 1415COMC405COMC408
COMC408The Primary Care Practice Assistant in Context 2415COMC406COMC407

Programme structure


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 students with the opportunity to meet other students and academic staff, give an overview of the programme requirements, and ensure students are engaged with the online delivery platform.

Application process

  1. Apply online or download and complete an Application to Enrol Form.
  2. Complete the online Self-Disclosure Form. If you have applied in hard copy, you will also need to complete a Self-Disclosure Form, if you have applied online this form is included as part of the online application process.
  3. If applying in hard copy, and if you are unsure that you meet the entry criteria, complete the Additional Information Form. This will enable us to assess your application further. If applying online, and if you are unsure that you meet the entry criteria, select discretionary entrance and this form is then included as part of the online application process.
  4. If you have them, provide certified copies of your prior academic transcripts. Find out more about supporting material for enrolment here.
  5. We may also need to verify your identity (your legal name and date of birth) as well as your residency status.  If you are a domestic student, we may be able to do this through your National Student Number (NSN), if we can not access your NSN number, you will need to provide evidence of this by supplying verified copies of your birth certificate or passport.

Once you have submitted your application

  • We will email you to confirm we have received it and let you know if there is anything more we need from you.
  • We will assess your application and let you know the outcome.
  • If you are accepted to study, we will send you an enrolment offer letter - you will need to accept this to confirm your place on the programme. Click here to find out more about enrolment and accepting your offer.

After you have accepted your offer

  • During your induction, you will be required to complete a number of safety checks to comply with the provisions of the Children's Act 2014. You can find out more about the safety check process and the Children's Act here.

Career/further opportunities

Graduates of this qualification may be employed in roles providing administrative and clinical support across a primary care practice; for example as, primary care practice assistants or medical care assistants.

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.


Entry criteria

You can apply for this programme if you meet one or more of the below options.

Based on your school achievement (secondary school study)​

  • 40 credits at NCEA Level 2; including 10 literacy credits at NCEA Level 2 and 10 numeracy credits at NCEA Level 1;​
  • Or a recognised equivalent

Based on study completed after school (tertiary study)

  • A relevant qualification at NZQF Level 2;
  • Or a recognised equivalent qualification

Based on your work experience (on the job)​

If you can demonstrate relevant knowledge, skills and experience that you have gained through work experience, that will help you to be successful in the programme.​

Based on discretionary entrance

If you don’t meet any of the above options, and you think you have what it takes to complete this programme, you can apply for discretionary entrance. Your application may be accepted if you can demonstrate a good chance of success. Approval of discretionary entrance applications is decided by the relevant manager. If your application is approved, your acceptance into further programmes relies on you demonstrating success in this programme.

Selection criteria

a) In order to comply with the provisions of the Vulnerable Children’s Act, 2014 and Child Protection Policies for all ‘specified organisations’ providing a ‘regulated service’, all candidates/students will be subjected to safety checks. These will include but are not limited to;

i. A Formal Interview
ii. Referee Checks
iii. A Police Vet Check
iv. A Risk Assessment

Any unsatisfactory result arising from the full safety checking process may result in the candidate/student being precluded/declined entry or withdrawn from the programme of study. Furthermore, students must declare any pending or new convictions arising during any stage throughout the entire enrolment period. A conviction or failure to declare a conviction may also result in the student being immediately withdrawn from the programme. Persons who are convicted of ‘specified offences’ will not be accepted onto any programme that requires that person to work in an organisation providing a regulated service.

b) Candidates are required to 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.

c) Candidates are required to provide the names of two character referees from people of standing in their community attesting to their suitability for working in health care.

d) Candidates are required in their application to indicate whether they have been convicted of, or are being prosecuted for, a criminal offence. Candidates should be aware that some types of criminal conviction may prevent them from accessing workplace experience, and completing the programme.

e) Candidates must hold a current First Aid Certificate upon commencing the programme.

f) Candidates may be required to attend an interview.

English language requirements

Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.0, with a minimum band score of 6.0 in listening and speaking and a minimum band score of 5.5 in writing and reading; or equivalent.

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


Health and social practice pathway diagram

To check what you need to gain direct entry to a course, review the entry criteria available on each programme page. These assist you in understanding what qualifications or experience are typically required to gain entry. You can contact our team at or 0800 2 Wintec at any time for further guidance.

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.

Programme information will be emailed to you approximately 2–4 weeks before your first workshop or at the start of your module.

What you will need

Logins for computer access
All course information, workshop timetables, and relevant content will be available online through Moodle.

Computer requirements 
We require students to have access to a device, such as a laptop or a smartphone, that has access to a video player, PDF reader and Microsoft software. Find more about device specifications here. For the Pharmacology Module: Scopia is required.

Timetable information

All Wintec timetables are available online here.

How to find your way around

Campus maps can be found here.

Parking and bus information

Both the Rotokauri and City campuses have parking available - payment and permits may be required. Learn more about parking and find out about bus services here.

He reo pōwhiri, your official welcome to Wintec

Tēnei te mihi mahana ki a koe e piki nei, e kake nei ki te Kuratini o Waikato.

You are warmly invited to attend the official welcome to Wintec for all new students, staff and whānau (family) at either our marae, Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa or Rotokauri campus. The pōwhiri is a welcoming ceremony involving mihimihi (speeches), waiata (singing), and will conclude with kai timotimo (light refreshments). Please gather at the campus hubs, and a staff member will guide you through our pōwhiri.

Click here to find out when the next pōwhiri will be.

Paying for your study

Course-related costs

Additional information


Purchasing textbooks

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

    New Zealand-based suppliers

    General book suppliers

    First aid certificate

    Health status



    Clinical placement

    Prospectus (course guide)

    The Wintec Prospectus (otherwise known as a course guide) outlines everything you need to know about Wintec. It contains information about the Wintec campuses, student life, and the programmes that are on offer.

    Access your copy of the Wintec Prospectus

    The Wintec Prospectus (course guide) is available by downloading the file - click on the document below to access the file. Alternatively, to request a copy via email or the post, please complete the form below.

    Request an emailable or printed copy of the Prospectus


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