This programme aims to provide domestic and international learners with skill and qualifications which enable them to work in New Zealand as a Diversional Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Activities Officer, Aged or Disabled Care Worker, and Special Care Worker.

The learning outcomes of the programme include development of knowledge and skills in supporting a client in a community or residential setting. The facilitation strand includes specialist skills and knowledge in developing, implementing, and evaluating diversional therapy activities for a range of clients. The Community Health Work strand includes skills and knowledge on supporting a client with aspirational and person-centered goals in a community setting.

Diversional Therapy is included in the list of skilled occupations that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category of Immigration New Zealand (INZ Operational Manual - Appendix 6, Skill Level 2 Qualifications). Skill Shortage List Checker: Diversional Therapist.

  • Total Length: 76 including holiday weeks
  • Teaching Weeks: 60 excluding weeks
  • Self-Directed Learning Hours: 10.00 Average Per Week
  • Total Learning Hours: 1800

Consists of four semesters with three modules each includes topics of:

  • Communication
  • Maori Tangata Whenua
  • Personal Leadership
  • Currency of Practice
  • Diversional Therapies
  • Activity Quality Management
  • Ethical Support
  • Challenging Behaviour
  • Community Health Promotion
  • Supporting Autonomy
  • Clinical Activities
  • Clinical Professionalism

All Students

  • Students must possess the appropriate immigration document.
  • Students must be at least 18 years of age
  • Students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance
  • Students must provide a current Police Certificate
  • Work experience in the health sector is preferred but not essential

Domestic Students and New Zealand Curriculum aligned countries

  • Minimum academic requirements equivalent to 48 NCEA credits at level 2 (including a minimum of 12 in each of the three subjects and including four credits in reading and four in writing.
  • Non-native English speakers are required to undertake language proficiency testing at the Kauri Academy site.
  • Student loans and allowances for potential domestic students are currently not available for this programme.

International Students

  • Authenticated International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall score of 5.5 with no band lower than 5.0 (Academic Module) from an official testing centre or an equivalent as specified in Rule 18 of the Programme Approval and Accrediation Rules 2013.
  • Additional language instruction may be required once official language testing has taken place at the Auckland site
  • Year 12/13 High School qualification equivalent to or higher. Tertiary graduates and health care professionals who interact with patients are preferred.

You may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours each week during the academic year. You may also be allowed to work full time during the Christmas and New Year period at the end of each academic year. To work you will need to apply for a variation of conditions to your student visa.

One criteria for students to be allowed to work is that the student is undertaking a programme of study in New Zealand that leads to a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category of Immigration New Zealand’s Residence Instructions.

More information on working while studying may be obtained from the Immigration New Zealand website at See also Student Visa Guide.


  • Achieve passing grade in all modules
  • Gain all 180 credits in total
  • Have an overall attendance record of at least 80%

180 credits

Every 6 weeks.

New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Social and Community Services) (Level 4) with strands in Community Facilitation and Community Health Work, Mental Health and Addiction Support, and Social Services.

You may be eligible for a one-year work permit under the Post-Study Work Visa Open Category ("Job Search Visa") after completing this programme.

  • Employment paths may include:
    • Diversional Therapist is at Skill Level 3 (ANZSCO Code 4112311)
    • Activities Coordinators is at Skill Level 3 (ANZSCO Code 4112311)
    • Aged or Disabled Care Workers
    • Nursing Support and Care Workers
  • Potential New Zealand work and residency pathways

Any Questions

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