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Core skills for specialist practice in infant, child and adolescent mental health and addiction

This certificate programme is for new graduates or existing health professionals new to infant, child and youth mental health and addiction.

The core skills for specialist practice programme is practice-based and supports people to develop the specialty skills and knowledge for this field.

The programme is available at the University of Auckland Grafton campus (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Department of Psychological Medicine). The teaching team is part of the Werry Centre.

Eligibility and entry requirements

Registered health professionals employed in a clinical role working with children and adolescents 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 (at least Bachelor’s) that qualifies them to work as a registered health professional.
  • Applicants must meet the requirements of one or more of the following: Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act; social worker registration or be working towards registration; or Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ) status as a registered competent practitioner or associate practitioner; or other relevant professional body at the discretion of the training provider.
  • 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 experience.
  • Applicants who are new graduates must be working a minimum of 0.7 full time equivalent (28 hours a week).
  • Applicants must meet the university’s criteria for eligibility to study at this level.

Programme details

Programme participants complete a 60 point Postgraduate Certificate in Health Sciences – Child and Adolescent Mental Health. This qualification consists of three courses.

  • PSYCHIAT 747 Child and Adolescent Development (Semester 1 - 15 points)
  • PSYCHIAT 740 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (Semester 2 - 15 points)
  • PSYCHIAT 768 Clinical Skills in Child, Adolescent & Family Mental Health Assessment (Semesters 1 and 2 - 30 points).

The study is normally undertaken over two consecutive academic years, but may be undertaken over one year at the discretion of the university. The study involves five two-day on-campus teaching blocks, online learning and self-directed learning as well as supervision.

The clinical component of the programme provides the participant with opportunities to expand their clinical skills and apply knowledge gained in the formal teaching programme. Clinical placements are a minimum of 1,000 hours over the duration of the programme and are normally completed in the participant’s workplace.

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

How to apply

Please apply directly to the University of Auckland for a Skills Matter funded place on the programme.

Support available

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

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

A travel and accommodation assistance grant is available for nurses who work 100km or more away from the nearest Skills Matter funded provider. However, this might not meet all of the nurse’s travel and accommodation costs and this should be considered before applying.

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