Dr Frances Hughes speaking at the launch of the Masters of Professional Practice event.

Press Release 8 September 2016

Whitireia Community Polytechnic (Whitireia) and the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) have joined forces maximising resources and capabilities to create and deliver new Masters and Postgraduate qualifications (diploma and certificate) for Professional Practice for people working in the health and social services sector.

The nationally renowned Faculty of Health Te Kura Hauora at Whitireia and the School of Health and Social Services Te Hau Tapu me te Puna Oranga at WelTec, have joint accreditation for three interdisciplinary postgraduate programmes enabling industry practitioners from the health and social practice workforce to undertake a postgraduate pathway to a Master’s degree, the Master of Professional Practice (with optional endorsement in Education or Leadership) and the complementary Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice and Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice.

Whitireia and WelTec Chief Executive Chris Gosling says both tertiary institutions are regarded as leaders in academic delivery for health and social practice. “Our reputation for quality education in nursing particularly the Bachelor of Nursing Māori and Bachelor of Nursing Pacific, paramedic, counselling, social work, addictions, and other delivery in emerging areas such as youth development makes us well placed to provide a cohesive package of postgraduate training options for the health and social services sectors.”

Iwi, Pasifika communities and industry partners from across the country contributed to the new qualifications which have seen more than eighty people enrol.

“Our collaborative approach to postgraduate programme development has been evident in the overall curriculum design for these programmes, appealing to many health and social service professionals wanting to further their skills working in interdisciplinary teams, leadership and development, and increasing their knowledge in their chosen discipline,” says Dr Maria Ulloa, head of the Professional Practice programmes at WelTec and Whitireia.

“The New Zealand Health Strategy (released by the Ministry of Health April 2016) notes a strong desire for better collaboration between health and social services. These postgraduate qualifications, which are attracting people from different professions, are supporting health practitioners to learn how to work well as part of interdisciplinary teams. 

“These qualifications support that objective and we are seeing the development of greater trust and collaboration among the people participating in the integrated learning modules.  There is potential to considerably reduce fragmentation across the sector through collaborative study pathways such as through qualifications being offered by Whitireia and WelTec,” says Dr Ulloa.

The new suite of postgraduate programmes were celebrated at an event on 7 September attended by Dr Frances Hughes Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses, Mr Chai Chuah Director-General of Health Ministry of Health, David Waters Chief Executive of Ambulance New Zealand, Lisa Phillips Addiction Practitioner for Wellington Addiction Services and currently studying the Master of Professional Practice.