NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Level 3 with a strand in Health Assistance

23 weeks
Level 3
90 credits
$25 per hour (salary expectation)
  • Course Information
  • FAQs
  • Industry Info
1 August 2022, 19 September 2022, 7 November 2022

Want better pay? Increase your earning power in the healthcare sector by upskilling with this practical and fun Level 3 programme. Learn to use hoists and other equipment and gain four weeks of work experience in a clinical placement. The hours are great and we even help you find a job!

Who can enrol?

If you are 16 years or older, and looking to provide high quality healthcare to the elderly, family/whanau or wider community, this programme is for you.

What will I learn?

Learn how to work within the responsibilities and boundaries of the carer role; be able to recognise and report risks and changes in a person; and learn how to communicate to support a person’s health and wellbeing.

You will cover:

  • Infection control practices
  • Manual handling
  • Personal care tasks
  • Tikanga practices
  • Risk prevention

What qualifications will I gain?

  • New Zealand Certificate in Health and Well-being Level 3 with a strand in Health Assistance.

Where will this take me?

This qualification will land you a role in the healthcare field, or move up to the next pay bracket by staying on for our Level 4 Healthcare programme. 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 do I need to enrol?

It’s easy! All you need to bring along is proof of citizenship or PR. We will help you do the rest. If you are an international student, please contact us first.

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.

What time does my course start and finish?

Your course runs from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.

Am I eligible for a travel allowance?

If you are aged between 16 and 19, yes! If not, we can sit down and discuss what assistance you might be entitled to.

What resources will I need?

Nothing! We will even provide you with a uniform when you go on work experience.

What does a typical day look like?

This course includes lots of practical training in our dedicated healthcare clinics. Some of the highlights include learning how to take blood pressure, care of injuries, palliative care and understanding cultural differences. You’ll learn how to use a hoist, how to make a bed to hospital standards, and you’ll become familiar with all the equipment typically used in a hospital or aged care facility. Gain basic first aid skills, learn to communicate with patients, go on site visits and listen to guest speakers.

Does the course include work experience?

Yes! Three weeks of the course is spent on a clinical placement at an aged care or disability facility, organised by Ignite Colleges.

Will you help me get a job?

Yes! 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.

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 healthcare assistant in a range of contexts including acute care, primary care, aged residential care and therapeutic programmes. Or stay on for Level 4 and boost your skills.

What will my starting salary be?

Successfully complete this course and you will start on $23/hour – that’s the same salary as someone without qualifications who has been working for eight years!

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 $21.50/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 $23/hour (the equivalent of someone who’s been working for eight years); and a Level 4 qualification starts you on $25.50/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.


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