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Haere Mai / Welcome

Congratulations on your acceptance and welcome to the Competence Assessment Programme at Otago Polytechnic. Please take time to read the below information.  There are several important items that will require your action – please attend to these promptly.

Mihi Whakatau and Orientation

You will attend an informal welcome to the Polytechnic on Friday 21 May 2021. Please meet in room G204, located in G Block on Union Street by 0845am on Friday.


An orientation to the Otago Polytechnic will follow, organised by the Student Success team. You will learn about our campus, arrange your student ID, and provide your passport and visa details to our student administrator. Please ensure you bring all valid documentation with you. (International students are required to bring their passports and e-visa on this day.)

Programme Dates


Theory component Friday 21 May 2021 at 1300 hours to Friday 4 June 2021
Venue Otago Polytechnic: classrooms according to timetable
Clinical component If students have passed all the assessments within the theory component, they will commence their clinical experience as organised by the Programme Leader.

Placements are 6 weeks in duration but may need to be extended up to 7 weeks if competency is not being demonstrated.  We recommend that you do not book any airfares/holidays without discussion with the CAP Programme Leader first.

IMPORTANT: Criminal Conviction History (International Students)

This section will require your immediate action.


All International Students

You are required to complete the Fit2Work International Criminal History Check (ICHC) for each country you have been based in for at least six months. The letter you received from the Nursing Council NZ stated:

You must complete an International Criminal History Check 1 month before the CAP begins. This is required for each country you have lived in or been based in (other than New Zealand) for 6 months in a row or longer. You will need to pay a fee of AUD149 per country”.


You must commence this process now.


International Students who have been in NZ for more than 6 months and all New Zealand students:

You must complete the attached NZ Police vetting form now. Please send this completed form along with two scanned forms of personal ID to the School of Nursing:

As the processing of this request by NZ Police can take up to 4 weeks, we require you to action this immediately.


Only those candidates who provide all documents from these screening requirements will be permitted to continue into the clinical component.

IMPORTANT: Criminal Conviction History (NZ Students)

All New Zealand students:

You must complete the attached NZ Police vetting form now. Please send this completed form along with two scanned forms of ID (see below information to the School of Nursing:


In order to confirm your identity for police vetting, two forms of ID must be sighted, one primary and one secondary, one of which must be photographic.


Primary ID includes:

  • Passport (NZ or Overseas)
  • NZ Firearms Licence
  • NZ Full Birth Certificate (issued on or after 1981)
  • NZ Citizenship Certificate
  • NZ Refugee Travel Document
  • NZ Emergency Travel Document
  • NZ Certificate of Identity


Secondary ID includes:

  • NZ Driver Licence
  • 18+ card
  • NZ Full Birth Certificate (issued before 1998)
  • Community Services card
  • SuperGold Card
  • NZ Employee Photo Identification Card
  • NZ Student Photo Identification Card
  • Inland Revenue number
  • NZ issued utility bill (issued not more than six months earlier)
  • NZ Teachers Registration certificate
  • NZ Electoral Roll Record
  • International Driving Permit
  • Steps to Freedom Form


You can bring your identification to the School of Nursing office and we can sight the IDs for you. Alternatively, you can use an identity referee to verify the identification and email a digital copy to us.


An Identity Referee must:

  • be either a person of standing in the community (e.g. registered professional, religious or community leader, Police employee)
  • be over 16 years of age.
  • not be related or a partner/spouse.
  • not be a co-resident of the applicant.


To verify an applicant’s identity, the Identity Referee must:

  1. Sight the original versions of each identity document.
  2. Compare the photographic image with the applicant to confirm they are the same person.
  3. Sign and date a copy of each document to verify that the documents produced by the applicant relate to that person.
  4. Provide his or her name and contact details.


As the processing of this request by NZ Police can take up to 4 weeks, we require you to action this immediately.


Only those candidates who provide all documents from these screening requirements will be permitted to continue into the clinical component.

Weekly Timetable/ Workload planning

The theory week will consist of classes that are timetabled Monday to Friday between the hours of 0830-1800hrs at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin.

Fulltime attendance is required. (Candidates who arrive late will not be able to join and will be deferred to the next run of the program). Due to the large amount of information required to become a registered nurse in NZ, candidates can expect to be reviewing material in the evenings and during weekends.

Clinical placements start times will depend on the placement: you may be required to attend morning, afternoon or night shifts and may be scheduled at any time during the week (including statutory holidays). You will be allocated and advised of your placement details during your theory week. You will need to have a computer device in order to access the online material in the programme. It is recommended that you bring your device with you to class.

Clinical Placements

Students must complete a minimum of 240 clinical hours. This may be extended to 300 hours when competence has not been satisfactorily demonstrated. The majority of clinical placements will be within the Dunedin area; however there are placement providers in the following areas also: Auckland, Christchurch, Timaru, Waimate, Ranfurly, Gore, and Invercargill. The Otago Polytechnic program has a distributed placement network and candidates will need to be able to take up placement anywhere in the national network. You will be advised of your allocated clinical placement during the first theory week. While candidates’ preferences will be taken into consideration, the final decision for placement location is with the Programme Leader. (While a number of applicants for the program come from Auckland, we only have a limited number of clinical placements available in the Auckland region and therefore placement may occur in a different geographical region).



It is the students’ responsibility to arrange their own transportation to their clinical placement. Costs must also be met by the student.



It is students’ responsibility for making their own accommodation arrangements for the entire duration of the clinical experience (including any extension period). If you require homestay accommodation in Dunedin please email your request to as soon as possible. Students are reminded that if the clinical placement needs to be extended due to competency not being met, they may need to extend their accommodation arrangements accordingly.

Uniform Requirements

Candidates will be required to wear a white polo shirt and black or navy trousers while on clinical placement. Trousers must be loose and cannot be skin-tight. Shoes should be closed toe, of wipeable, non-absorbent material and clean. If candidates have brought a suitable nurse uniform from home, they may be able to wear this during placement. The Programme Leader will go over this in more detail on your first day.


The School of Nursing clinical dress code also requires students to have their hair restrained, no jewellery, no wristwatches and no piercings to be worn during placement. Candidates are expected to dress professionally during the theory weeks at the Polytechnic. (The daily use of an antiperspirant/deodorant and daily showering is expected throughout the Programme).


Candidates are not required to have any clinical equipment for the course or placement. They are required to have a watch with second hand that is not to be worn on the wrist. A small calculator is recommended for performing drug calculations. A small notebook is recommended for clinical notes. A laptop-style computer is required for the theoretical component.

Information Technology

It is an expectation that students are familiar with Microsoft applications such as Word and able to perform basic functions such as scanning and uploading information and accessing online databases. All of your courses have online components so students will require access to a computer with broadband connection.  A mobile device such as a tablet or laptop is required. Otago Polytechnic campus has free WiFi access.  A large proportion of course content is computer-based and students are required to have their own computer and skills to fully engage. It is your own responsibility to ensure your competency with basic computer skills mentioned above.


Students on placement outside the Dunedin area will need to be able to use their laptop for teleconferencing with the clinical lecturer on a weekly basis. Microsoft Teams teleconferencing is the current system used at Otago Polytechnic for distance student supervision.


Moodle is the internet-based learning platform used at Otago Polytechnic for students. It is essential that students access the Moodle courses online on a daily basis. There is a large amount of information held under each Moodle course and it is the student’s responsibility to utilise this information to meet their learning needs to successfully nurse in New Zealand.

Student Email

All communication must be through the OP student email system only.  OP staff will not communicate with candidate’s personal email accounts (eg Yahoo, Gmail etc.)  Candidates are expected to check their OP student email on at least a daily basis throughout the duration of the course.

Pre-readings and courses

You have been sent a set of pre-readings and online courses that you will need to have completed before you start at the School of Nursing. You should have printed out your certificates from the online courses as they will be an important part of your portfolio.

Acknowledgement of information   

Please copy and paste the below message into an email and sent to Programme Leader Geoffrey Harvey

By emailing the below message, you are indicating your acceptance of this offer, related conditions and confirming you have read and understand all information on this webpage.


I acknowledge that I have read and understood and agree to the information contained in this letter (including that my clinical placement may be outside the Dunedin area).


School of Nursing contact information

Postal Address:

Freepost 1910, Otago Polytechnic School of Nursing, Private Bag 1910, Dunedin 9054


Physical Address:

Level 2, H Block, Forth Street, Dunedin


Telephone: 03 479 6135


Freephone: 0800 762 786


Office Hours: 9.00am – 3.30pm, Monday to Friday


Geoffrey Harvey RN 

Programme Leader

Michelle Wassell 

School Administrator  

Tuhi Moeke 

Student Administrator