Happy new year everyone. Te Pou offices are now open for 2021. 

Happy new year everyone. Te Pou offices are now open for 2021. 

New entry to specialist practice: allied mental health and addiction

This programme is for allied health professionals entering a mental health and addiction setting. The programme combines theory, supported clinical experience, clinical preceptorship and supervision.

People on the new entry to specialist practice (NESP): allied mental health and addiction programme develop their confidence and effective clinical practice.


The programme is available at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

Eligibility and entry requirements

Occupational therapists or social workers employed in a clinical role in a DHB or NGO mental health and addiction service, or in a mental health role in a PHO, can apply for this programme.  

  • Applicants must be a New Zealand citizen or hold a New Zealand permanent resident visa.
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree that qualifies them to work as an occupational therapist or social worker (this is a minimum entry requirement).
  • Occupational therapy applicants must be registered.
  • Social work applicants must be registered or working towards registration.
  • Applicants must have been in the mental health workforce for two years or less.
  • Applicants must be working clinically for at least 0.6 full time equivalent (24 hours a week) where they have at least one year’s sector work experience.
  • Applicants who are new graduates must be working a minimum of 0.7 full time equivalent (28 hours a week).

Programme details

Programme participants complete a 60 point Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science (Mental Health and Addictions). This qualification focuses on recovery-oriented mental health practice. It consists of two papers: 589341 Concepts of Recovery in Mental Health and 589342 Mental Health Practice.

The programme usually takes one academic year. It involves blocks of classroom learning, online training, self-directed learning, supervision and preceptorship.

For more information on the programme content and entry criteria refer to the programme service specifications.

How to apply

Please apply directly to AUT for a funded place on the NESP allied mental health and addiction programme.

For general information about enrolment or an enrolment package contact the AUT course information centre.

Skills Matter support available

Skills Matter funding covers all course fees. Allied health professionals on the programme receive:

  • a minimum 20 hours professional supervision over the year with an experienced practitioner
  • access to a preceptor at all times, provided by the employer
  • time away from the clinical setting (in addition to rostered days off) to attend formal learning.  

Some travel and accommodation assistance is available for those who work 100km or more away from the nearest Skills Matter funded provider. However this might not meet all of the travel and accommodation costs and this should be considered before applying.

Academic advice

To discuss the programme further, contact Daniel Sutton, programme coordinator, AUT University. Phone 09 921 9999 ext 7732.