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Increased Community Facilitation experience at Karori

St John of God Karori caregiver Alan Crawford recently completed an NZQA Level 4 qualification in Community Facilitation. We congratulate Alan on this fantastic achievement and welcome the extra support that this brings to the care for our residents at Karori as well as Alan's career development. Alan shares his journey with us.

The apprenticeship that I recently completed, is an NZQA Level 4 qualification. My area of study was in community facilitation and health work. This can include areas such as disability support, diversional therapy, employment support, housing and budgeting support, information provision, health and wellbeing coaching.

The apprenticeship is learnt and assessed on-line through the tertiary educational institution Careerforce with practical experience in the workplace and in the community. The period of study is approximately 18 months. There is an on-line forum where you can communicate with your fellow students, and communication with your Careerforce advocate / assessor is frequent. As my assessor and I both work in Wellington there were regular face to face meets too. A manager at the workplace also is trained by Careerforce to be your mentor.

The apprenticeship comprised of 14 modules:

  • Following workplace practices;
  • Holistic needs and the contexts in which people live their lives;
  • Developing self-awareness and reflective practise;
  • Relating New Zealand’s contemporary health and wellbeing sector to your role;
  • Embedding bicultural practice;
  • Engaging positively with people, family and whanau;
  • Creating a safe environment;
  • Recognising vulnerable situations and knowing how to respond;
  • Implementing self-care;
  • Demonstrating values, attitudes and behaviours for the health and wellbeing sector;
  • Identifying goals, aspirations, needs, barriers and approaches;
  • Using tools and techniques to affect change;
  • Connecting people and networking with community agencies;
  • Applying technical skills and knowledge for your context.


There were considerable challenges for me. Learning on-line, however, I found to be a convenient process as I was able to study after hours and on weekends or even through the night on occasions. The cost of the course was supported by The Elios Trust – big kudos to them!

Working at St John of God Karori in both the Clinical and Rehabilitation and Therapy areas for some considerable years gave me a wealth of experiences to draw on for the studies, as did my continuing role in the areas of therapy and activities including my liaisons with various community educational, disability support and pastoral agencies. A big thanks to the residents of St John of God Karori for their unintentional but relevant input into my course.

The apprenticeship ended with a 2 day Careerforce Conference which was in itself a great learning experience with speakers from political parties, government agencies, economists, mental health and suicide prevention agencies, industry training, business development and health and educational institutions. A graduation dinner was also held. Here I was able to meet up with my fellow students who I had hitherto only “met” on-line. It was interesting to get feedback from these fellow students many of whom received several hours paid study time from their employers weekly during the course.

Overall the apprenticeship was an invaluable learning experience that will enhance my work with the residents of St John of God Karori. It will also mean personally that I am eligible to become a registered Diversional Therapist.