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Autism workforce development

Understanding and supporting the full autism spectrum

Meeting the needs of people with autism and their whānau

In 2014 the Ministry of Health changed eligibility criteria for disability support services to include anyone on the autism spectrum, regardless of learning ability.

Demand for services continues to increase and the workforce requires the necessary skills to deliver high quality support.

Autistic people are adamant that anyone working in disability support should have a basic of understanding of the autism spectrum and how it impacts on the person they are supporting.

Alongside, there is a clear need to enhance knowledge around supporting people without learning disabilities, individuals who may also be experiencing mental health issues and people with complex behaviour and communication support needs.

Workforce development needs

In late 2015, Te Pou undertook an analysis of the workforce development needs of New Zealand’s autism workforce. The resulting report, Determining the
workforce development needs of New Zealand’s autism workforce,
describes the then-current learning and development activities that were in place across New Zealand for the workforce supporting children and adults with autism through funding from Disability Support Services.

Te Tau Tītoki: A framework for supporting people on the autism spectrum

Te Tau Tītoki is a framework to support organisations and individuals to provide services that meet the expectations of autistic people and whānau. It describes the essential knowledge, skills and indicators of quality autism support.

It’s critical to have a workforce who provide services reflective of the standards in the framework.

Te Tau Tītoki e-learning

Te Pou has created a series of e-learning modules designed to improve understanding and support the implementation of Te Tau Tītoki. This resource will be regularly updated, so continue to check back to access new learning opportunities.

Please note, the e-learning is now hosted on Moodle at On your first visit to the site, you will need to create an account using your email and a unique password.

If you previously accessed e-learning modules on, your account information and record of learning have been transferred to Moodle. You will be prompted to set up a new password when you first log in using the same username (that you used on learn.orgnz). If you have any problems accessing your account, please email

Key Contacts



Related Initiatives



Te Pou has a wide range of evidence-based resources and tools to help the mental health, addiction and disability workforces.

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Our work

Te Pou works alongside mental health and addiction services, and disability organisations to understand their priorities and workforce challenges.

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