Otago Polytechnic

Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice (Occupational Health and Safety)


Throughout New Zealand 

One year full-time

This programme is delivered by a facilitator/academic mentor working with individuals. Learning is self-paced and as communication can be face-to-face or via email, phone or Skype, learners can access the programme from anywhere within New Zealand

  • Location
    Study breaks
  • CapableNZ
    26 February 2018

Delivered via Capable NZ and offered in conjunction with the New Zealand Institute for Safety Management (NZISM)

Are you an experienced Health and Safety practitioner who wants an academic qualification to validate your knowledge? 

This Graduate Diploma is a qualification provided for Health and Safety practitioners with many years of experience. 

If you have sound experience but no academic qualification to back your knowledge, this programme is the means with which to achieve 'Graduate' status within the NZISM accreditation programme.

This programme is a project-based qualification carried out in an organisation you work for, play a leadership role within or have a key functional relationship with. Alternatively, you may be self-employed and want to use this programme to extend your practice in your field. In some cases, learners may use multiple work and community contexts to complete their learning.

To achieve the Graduate Diploma, you will complete a self-assessment tool prior to enrolment (or early in your enrolment in Course One). This will identify gaps in your learning and practice. During Course One, you will then be able to summarise the new learning needed to address these gaps.  

Fee information

The tuition fees shown in the right-hand column are part of the Government’s Key Information for Students (KIS). This data is pulled from a database that the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) control. It is based on an average fee from the previous year.

This means there is always a difference between the TEC/KIS fee shown and Otago Polytechnic’s current indicative fee (other reasons also affect the KIS data such as fee reductions for students granted Recognition of Prior Learning). Due to this, the indicative fee below is the best guide for prospective students.

Information about compulsory student services levy >

Please note: The KIS data only applies to domestic students. Up-to-date international student fees can be found by clicking the International tab in the top right corner of this page.  

How to apply

1. Complete our enquiry form by filling in your details and choosing the qualification that you are interested in.

2. A pre-assessment survey will then be sent out to you to complete.

3. Complete the online application form and submit it with your CV. One of our team at Capable NZ will send you the link to the application form.

4. You will then start the profiling process with one of our facilitators.

5. If you are successful, we will send you a letter of offer – you just need to accept!

Is this for me?

In the process of achieving the Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice (OHS), you will:

  • acknowledge your professional practice
  • integrate and formalise your experience
  • develop higher-level academic learning skills at a graduate level. 

The professional benefits of completing the qualification are:

  • clarification and transparency of your status as a Generalist Health and Safety Practitioner
  • achieving NZISM accreditation membership status of 'Graduate'
  • qualifying for the option to list on the Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) register. 
Programme outcomes

At the end of the 12 months, you will have achieved:

  • new learning in your professional field
  • new skills of professional self-reflection
  • increased confidence in your professional practice.
Entry requirements 
  • You must hold a bachelor's degree OR degree equivalent AND/OR relevant practical, professional or educational experience. 
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure you meet the entry requirements. 

All students (international and domestic) for whom English is not a first language:

  • must demonstrate English Language skills with an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5 OR
  • must provide acceptable alternative evidence of English language proficiency depending on the visa decline rate of the country you are from. See here for acceptable evidence and visa decline rates by country.

Please note: All scores must be achieved in a single test completed in the preceding two years. You cannot combine scores from multiple tests. If you have achieved NCEA Level 3 University Entrance you are not required to provide evidence of English Language skills.

If you need to improve your English, we offer a range of English language programmes.   

Programme structure

The work-based learning approach centres round the relationship between you, your employer/sponsor or field of practice and Capable NZ. The programme is divided into three main phases. The first is a review of your professional learning to date reviewed against a core body of knowledge recognised for the generalist occupational health and safety practitioner. The second is an agreement on what new learning you would like to achieve for professional development against the core body of knowledge. The final stage is completing a project designed to capture these new ideas of insights and to enhance your personal and professional development.


Name of paper


Course 1

Review of Learning


Course 2

Learning Agreement


Course 3




Programme Total


How is the programme delivered?

Learning and teaching activities within each course may include:

  • mentoring and facilitation via distance processes
  • on-campus workshops and seminars depending on locations
  • online support and course resources through the Polytechnic’s Learning Management System platform (Moodle) and other learning technologies
  • online and video link assessment methodologies.

Domestic - $5,693

International - $18,640 

Student loans/allowances

Domestic students of the Graduate Diploma in Professional Practice (OHS) are eligible for student loans and allowances (dependent on other eligibility criteria). Please contact Studylink for additional information. Phone: 0800 88 99 00 or visit the Studylink website.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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