Otago Polytechnic

Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) for New Zealand Registered Nurses



Five-eight weeks, full-time

Face-to-face and online learning, 10 days in theoretical skill-based study, plus a minimum of 120 hours in clinical practice at a clinical provider arranged by Otago Polytechnic predominantly in Dunedin or the Otago region

April, July & September 2020
Until two weeks before start date
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Competency Assessment Programme
    17 April 2020
  • Competency Assessment Programme
    10 July 2020
  • Competency Assessment Programme
    25 September 2020
Are you a New Zealand registered nurse who requires a Competence Assessment Programme to obtain a current Annual Practising Certificate?

Gain the most up-to-date skills and knowledge required to be part of a healthcare team in New Zealand during this theoretical and applied programme. Successful completion of a Competence Assessment Programme enables you to demonstrate your ability to meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand Competencies for the registered nurse (2007). The theory courses within this programme may also be used for professional development purposes and you may enrol in one or both of these.

Entry requirements
  • All New Zealand registered nurses who meet the requirements of the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) will be accepted into this programme. However, acceptance is dependent on the availability of places in the requested intake.
  • You must provide a curriculum vitae detailing your professional nursing experience as this will help us to negotiate an appropriate clinical placement for you.
  • You must consent to police vetting (upon acceptance into the programme, the paperwork for this will be sent to you).
  • You must provide a verification letter from Nursing Council of New Zealand of your registration.
  • You must provide your immunity status - please see this document for further details.
  • You must be computer literate and preferably have access to a laptop. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

For enquiries about requirements for obtaining an Annual Practising Certificate, please contact the Nursing Council of New Zealand (Te Kaunihera Tapuhi o Aotearoa).

Postal Address

PO Box 9644,
Wellington, 6141,
New Zealand

Street Address

Level 12 Mid City Tower,
139-143 Willis Street,
New Zealand 

Completing your application

You must provide certified copies of proof of identity, academic records and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Applications will only be considered complete when the following documents are also received by the School of Nursing:

Upon acceptance into the programme, you may be required to consent to police vetting.

Selection procedure

There are a maximum number of students accepted, per intake. Once each intake has been filled, qualified applicants will be placed on a waitlist and notified of their status.

Additional costs

You are responsible for clinical costs such as transport and accommodation.

Further study options

Advance your skills and increase your career prospects with postgraduate Nursing studies in New Zealand.

You will study

You will need to demonstrate the ability to meet Competencies for registered nurses (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2007) at the completion of this programme to be eligible for an Annual Practising Certificate.


Theory: BN 714: Professional Nursing Practice (5 Credits) (Level 7) 

Update your knowledge about legal, ethical, cultural and evidence-based professional aspects of nursing in New Zealand. This course provides the basis for meeting some of the Competencies for registered nurses and runs over four days. It has assessments which must be completed before clinical can be undertaken.

Theory: BN 713: Health Assessment (Adult) and Nursing Skills (10 Credits) (Level 7) 

Revise your health assessment and practical nursing skills. This course runs over six days and has assessed components which must be passed before commencing clinical.

Clinical: BN 712 Nursing Practice (15 Credits) (Level 7) 

This clinical course commences immediately after the two theory courses. Through experiential learning, you will be able to update your practice and demonstrate ability to meet the Nursing Council of New Zealand Competencies for registered nurses. Successful completion of this course will mean you are eligible to apply for an Annual Practising Certificate. If you do not achieve the competencies by the end of the clinical course, you may re-enrol. This course involves 120 hours of full-time rostered duties at an approved clinical provider.

Information on approved clinical providers is available from the Programme Coordinator for this Competency Assessment Programme.

Your workload

This programme includes ten days of theory followed by 120 hours in clinical practice.

Five weeks is the minimum duration for successful completion of the theory and clinical courses. The Nursing Council of New Zealand allows one re-enrolment for the clinical course if you do not pass, which would then extend the duration of the programme for you to eight weeks. 


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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