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Competencies for the mental health and addiction service user, consumer and peer workforce

Competencies have been created to help shape the development of the peer and service user workforce in mental health and addiction services.This resource can be used to inform all aspects of an organisation including training, recruitment, performance management, self-assessment, service specifications, auditing and more.

It outlines the competencies necessary for the peer workforce at four levels: essential, peer practitioner, manager and leader. It also describes the values necessary for the workforce.

The competencies were developed from national and international literature and in consultation with peer support workers and leaders around New Zealand. A reference group of people working in peer leadership roles, and a series of forums in the Midland region, informed the development of the competencies.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks go to the many, many people from across New Zealand who responded so willingly to the invitation to feedback on these competencies. Your time and effort in providing the prolific, rich, passionate and deeply thought-out responses was truly treasured. We hope you see your hard work reflected in this final result – a document succinct enough to be useful and achievable but reflective of the complexities, sophistication and subtleties of peer work.

Companion documents

Two documents have been created to support the competency framework. The Service user, consumer and peer workforce guide for managers and employers and the Service user, consumer and peer workforce guide for planners and funders.

It is envisioned that these documents will provide information and sound direction for people managing and employing peer workforce members and for planners and funders investing in this exciting growth area in the mental health and addiction workforce.

Linked Resources



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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