Pay Equity and Qualification Equivalency

For complete information on the pay equity settlement, including the associated pay rates, please go to the Ministry of Health. For specific information on the 2018 mental health & addiction support worker pay equity settlement, please go here.

As part of both the 2017 aged care and support pay equity settlement, and the 2018 mental health and addiction support worker settlement, workers can qualify for pay equity via either job tenure, or level of qualification.

For qualification based pay equity, support workers either need to have an actual New Zealand Certificate in Health & Wellbeing (Level 2-4),  or a qualification which has been assessed as equivalent to it.

Careerforce was given responsibility for determining qualification equivalence, and to date, have assessed over 7000 New Zealand and overseas qualifications. You can find out more about the assessment process here.

STEP 1 – Review all Assessed Qualifications

STEP 2 – Check if a Blanket Decision applies to your Qualification

STEP 3 – If required, complete Qualification Assessment Application Form


Please note: Our role here is to assess qualifications.  We do not get involved in conversations around pay rates or back pay.  Queries about these subjects should be taken up with your employer in the first instance, and then an employee advocate or union.

Before you submit a qualification for assessment, please ensure you have already thoroughly checked the already assessed qualifications. If still submitting a qualification for assessment, please follow the instructions very closely, as the assessment cannot be completed otherwise.

Please note:  Only people currently employed as a care and support worker in New Zealand are eligible to apply for a Pay Equity Assessment.

Qualification assessments are done at an individual qualification level, with some exceptions for ‘blanket’ decisions as follows:

  • Teaching qualifications – New Zealand teaching qualifications that have been approved for teacher registration by the NZ Teachers Council (formerly the NZ Teacher Registration Board) are deemed to be equivalent to Level 4 for pay equity purposes. This includes Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, Graduate and Post-Graduate Diplomas, and Masters degrees. This also applies to teaching qualifications gained overseas that have led to the person gaining Registration by the NZ Teachers Council.  All other overseas teaching qualifications should be submitted for assessment via our on-line application. To find out if a teaching qualification has NZ Teachers Council or previously NZ Teacher Registration Board approval view the following website: 
  • Social Work qualifications – obtained in New Zealand and recognised by NZ Social Work Registration Board will be assessed as equivalent to Level 4.  A list of these can be found here All other Social Work qualifications, unless listed on our website as equivalent, will need to be sent to Careerforce for assessment.
  • New Zealand Nursing Qualifications – If you hold a NZ Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, an NZ enrolled nursing qualification or have had Registration with the New Zealand Nursing Council and are working as a care and support worker under the Act then your qualification is assessed as equivalent to Level 4.