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Qualification and Programme Overview

This New Zealand Apprenticeship programme is designed to recognise and enhance the skills of new and experienced Diversional Therapists and those in roles including: Recreational Therapists, Motivation Therapists, Activity Co-ordinators, and Occupational Therapy Aides.

Upon completion, Diversional Therapists will meet the qualification and competency requirement to become registered with the New Zealand Society of Diversional Therapists.

The programme includes developing the following core competencies:

  • Developing client-centred meaningful programmes to improve wellbeing.
  • Creating quality care plans for a variety of individual and groups.
  • Understanding and defining the role of diversional therapy practice.
  • Engaging and communicating with people, family and/or whānau who are accessing social and community services in a manner which respects their socio-cultural identity, experiences and self-knowledge.
  • Developing relationships and supporting the achievement of intended outcomes;
    demonstrating a knowledge of kawa and tikanga and the ability to relate the unique place Māori have as tangata whenua in Aotearoa in their role.
  • Understanding New Zealand’s health and wellbeing challenges and the impact on their role.
  • Displaying self-awareness, reflective practice and personal leadership in the workplace.
  • Actively contributing to a culture of professionalism, safety and quality in your workplace.
  • Gaining an in-depth knowledge of a condition, impairment, situation or issue and applying the new knowledge to support clients.

Watch the short video to see why Pauline loves her role and her apprenticeship learning journey

Funding to support your business

Employers may also qualify for the Apprenticeship Boost which provides a wage subsidy for new and existing apprentices in their first two years of training, encouraging employers to retain their current apprentices, and to take on new apprentices. 

Visit our Apprenticeship pages to learn more about health and wellbeing apprenticeships.

Learn more about apprenticeships

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.  Please contact us via if you have a question not covered below.

The Careerforce apprenticeship programme is for experienced staff. It builds on the technical skills and knowledge that and develop  critical thinking, reflective practice to expand their ‘toolkit’. This programme is ideal for activities coordinator or recreational therapists employed in the health and wellbeing sector. Apprentices will need to have the support of their employer to be able to enrol.

Apprentices gain their skills and knowledge through on-job learning. The core value of industry-based training is that it sets people up with the right experiences, skills and knowledge. Apprentices can earn while they learn, gain nationally-recognised qualifications, support more complex health conditions and handle challenging social issues, resulting in better health outcomes for the New Zealand community.

The learning at this level is self-directed and the apprentice will be developing new ideas and new ways of approaching their work. They will be stretched and allowed to explore special interest areas in greater depth, becoming more proactive rather than reactive.

The on-job learning is supported by Careerforce’s Aka Toi online learning platform.

Careerforce Apprenticeships are well-supported and resourced. The Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor acts as “coach” providing one-on-one support appropriate to the individual apprentice and their needs. The apprentice’s advisor will engage with the employer and others as needed to provide additional learning support and appropriate pastoral care based on the apprentice’s needs. The Advisor could also be the assessor.

The expected duration is between 18 and 24 months.

The enrolment fee for this apprenticeship is $2,000 (inc GST) NZD. The employer usually pays the fees for staff to enrol in these programmes. To enrol in a Careerforce programme, you must be currently employed, and have the support of your employer.

You may be eligible for Fees Free training. To find out more and to learn how to check your eligibility, see our Fees Free page.


To enrol in the Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Social and Community Services) Community Facilitation strand specialising in Diversional Therapy, please call 0800 277 486, email: or speak to your local Careerforce Workplace Advisor

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Level 4

Ideal for

  • Diversional Therapists
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Motivation Therapists
  • Activity Co-ordinators
  • Occupational Therapy Aides
Relevant for the following sectors
  • Aged Care
  • 120 Credits
  • 18 - 24 months
  • $2000 (inc GST)