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Programme Overview

This apprenticeship programme leads to the awarding of the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Social and Community Services) Diversional Therapy strand qualification. It is well-supported and resourced with a team of Apprenticeship Advisors providing pastoral care and support.

The Diversional Therapy apprenticeship programme is designed to develop the skills of new and experienced Diversional and Recreational Therapists and those in related roles. This programme enables apprentices to enhance the spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing of the people they work alongside, and family and whānau. 

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

Learning outcomes:

  • Developing client-centred meaningful programmes to improve wellbeing.
  • Creating quality care plans for a variety of individuals 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 knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi when providing support in their role.
  • Demonstrating a knowledge of kawa and tikanga and the ability to relate the unique place Māori have as tangata whenua of Aotearoa in their role.
  • Understanding New Zealand’s health and wellbeing aims and purpose and the impact on their role.
  • Displaying self-awareness, reflective practice, self-care, and personal leadership in the workplace.
  • Actively contributing to a culture of professionalism, safety, and quality in your workplace.
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge of a condition or impairment, situation or issue and applying the new knowledge to support clients.

Download qualification brochure

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

Funding to support your business

Several grants and funding options are available to help meet the costs of attaining Careerforce qualifications. 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.

You can view these options at

Learn more about Careerforce 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 staff already have, to develop their critical thinking, reflective practice and 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 vocational 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 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 Diversional Therapy, please complete an expression of interest form or you can 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 Coordinators
  • Occupational Therapy Aides
Relevant for the following sectors
  • Aged Care
  • 134 Credits
  • 22 months
  • $2000 (inc GST)