New Zealand Certificate in Education Support and Care (Level 3) - SIT2LRN Distance Learning

Qualification: Certificate
Level: 3

2019 Intake 5: 12 August to 01 November - Applications Close 22 July 2019

2019 Intake 6: 23 September to 13 December - Applications Close 01 September 2019


12 week full-time

Up to two years part time

Intakes are 12 weeks long

Location: SIT2LRN Distance Learning
Credits: 40

  • To gain skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to working or further training in the education support and care sector.
  • To provide a base for learners to progress to more advanced studies in education support and care.
  • To provide education support and care programmes of study that will enhance the knowledge base, skills and professionalism of those working or intending to work in the sector.

To produce dedicated, professional practitioners who hold a qualification which is well regarded by employers in the sector

ESC100  Communication skills in an education support and care context (5 credits)

ECS101 Inclusive practice in an education support and care context (5 credits)

ECS102 Human development and learning in education and community contexts (5 credits)

ECS103  Educational support and care practicum (25 credits) 

The Zero Fees Scheme applies to this course, so there are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen, resident/permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a student direct material cost per credit of study undertaken, plus a non-refundable administration cost of $50.00 for each application processed, and the required textbook/s listed below. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain your Zero Fees Scheme entitlement.

Zero Fees Scheme – applies to NZ citizens and residents/permanent residents (residing in NZ). 2019 Cost (NZ$) $7.00 per credit + admin cost $50.00 per application (e.g. $700.00 for 100 credit course) - includes GST

International Students $100.00 per credit

Payments must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice.

Withdrawals & Transfers

  • Early withdrawals within the first week of the intake starting are entitled to a full refund of the Student Direct Material Costs but not the non-refundable administration fee of $50.
  • Withdrawals have to be requested within 75% of the intake, withdrawals after the early withdrawal date are not eligible for a refund.
  • Transfer requests have to be within the first two weeks of the intake starting and will incur a $50 transfer fee. Transfers can only occur to a subsequence intake within the same calendar year.

All SIT2LRN courses are approved by Studylink. Any queries regarding Studylink allowances, loans, and terms and conditions should be made directly to Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or

Graduates will define the role of a teacher aide, define the tasks a teacher aide can be responsible for, develop useful skills for working with students with special needs, and adapt resources to ensure inclusion for all children.

Graduates could apply for employment in schools or in support services roles. 

All Applicants:

All applicants wishing to undertake this programme of study are required to submit the following with their application:

  • Evidence of having secured a practicum venue where they can participate in supporting students while under supervision;(Applicants need a minimum of 100 hours in class teacher aiding for the practicum paper ESC103. This can be spread out during the intake to suit the practicum venue and students studies);
  • Evidence of having completed a safety check as required to comply with the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Applicants under 20 years:

Applicants should be a minimum of 16 years of age, and have attained NCEA Level 2.

Applicants over 20 years:

Applicants over the age of 20 years at time of enrolment will be considered where they can demonstrate the ability to succeed in a programme. Examples of demonstration of ability to succeed are the provision of evidence of successful completion of a programme of study at level 2 or above in a related discipline and/or employment in the related sector for one or more years. They may be admitted subject to programme regulations approved by the Head of Faculty in consultation with the Programme Manager as appropriate.  Personal commitment and a belief in one’s own ability to succeed are important personal traits and will always be taken into consideration during the selection process.

Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having passed an NZQA approved English Language Assessment, or one of the following tests of English language competence in accordance with the NZQA rules below:

New Zealand Certificate in Educational Support and Care (Level 3)

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having passed an NZQA approved English Proficiency Assessment, or one of the following tests of English language competence in accordance with the NZQA rules below:


  • IELTS test General or Academic Score of 5 with no band score lower than 5
  • TOEFL Paper based test (pBT) Score of 500 with an essay score of 4 TWE
  • TOEFL Internet based test (iBT) Score of 35 with a writing score of 14
  • Cambridge English Examinations FCE or FCE for schools with a score of 154. No less than 154 for each skill OET at Grade C in all sub-tests
  • NZCEL a) Expiring b) Current a) Level 3 (General) or (Workplace) b) Level 3 (General)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) PToE (Academic) score of 36
  • City and Guilds IESOL B1 Achiever with a score of 43
  • LanguageCert B1 Achiever IESOL (LRWS) with PASS


An NZQA approved English Language proficiency test, where the student has achieved an outcome that is equivalent or better than those scores listed for Internationally recognised English language proficiency tests above in relation to the level of intended programme of study, or

Completion of all primary education and at least three years’ secondary education at schools with English as the language of instruction, or

Completion of five years of secondary education at schools with English as the language of instruction.  

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate below 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English must provide evidence that they:


  • Have gained NCEA Level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements, or
  • Have successfully completed a Bachelor ‘s Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters’ Degree or Doctoral Degree, the language of instruction of which must be in English and which must be from a tertiary education provider from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States, or
  • Have achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA, or
  • Have achieved the required score and with all scores achieved in a single test in one of the internationally recognised English Proficiency tests (specified above) within the preceding two years


Suggested study path / combinations

Full time study

Full time study is completing all 47 credits in one intake. However, due to the intensive workload of the programme we do not recommend that students enrol in full time study. Full time acceptance into the programme is at the Programme Manager’s discretion.

Part time study

Part time study is recommended for this qualification.

The number of credits selected per intake should depend on work, family and other commitments.

Students must complete papers in the order that they are listed.

The following part time study paths are guides only; students may do fewer or more papers, time permitting:

Literacy and numeracy assessment

It is a Tertiary Education Commission requirement that all students enrolled in programmes at Levels 1, 2, or 3 must complete online literacy and numeracy assessments at the beginning of their studies. This is a Level 3 programme, therefore you will be required to complete at least one literacy, and one numeracy, assessment as part of your studies. You will receive information about the assessments, and how to complete them, during the first two weeks of your first intake.

Additional information

  • As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours study within an intake period.  Click HERE to download a Study Load Calculator (spreadsheet).
  • All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake unless a transfer is requested (conditions apply; see FAQs).
  • Online enrolments are on a year by year basis and students are welcome to apply for multiple intakes in one enrolment.  Further enrolment is the responsibility of individual students.  There is no automatic enrolment rollover. 

Cross Credits

Students who have previously completed any of the above units at SIT or another learning institution can apply to have the unit(s) cross credited to their record of learning at SIT. This is done by filling in a cross credit application form and attaching proof of achievement. If you wish to apply for a cross credit, please attach the completed form to your application. Forms can be found at:

Please use the following checklist to ensure that all relevant information and documentation has been included. Remember, your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide us with.  Processing of your application will be delayed if we need to come back to you for missing information.

  • I have read all sections of the Programme Information on this page
  • I have read the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questionssection
  • I have met all admission criteria for the programme (found under Application Criteria)
  • I have met all the criteria for individual papers (found under Course Content).
  • I have selected the paper(s) I wish to study
  • I have selected intake(s) (I have selected alternate intakes rather than overlapping intakes)
  • I know my intended payment method
  • If my organisation/company is paying for my studies, I have a completed and approved purchase order to attach to my online application.  I am aware that should my organisation or company not pay my fees, these will become my responsibility.
  • I have completed and attached a cross credit form (if applying for a cross credit)
  • New students – I have provided an active NSN in the name I am enrolling in or I have verified ID and will attach it to my online application.
  • New students – I will attach academic documentation (NZQA record of achievement/academic transcripts/certificates).  These do not need to be verified. (If you do not have any academic documentation to support your application, please attach a comprehensive CV outlining your education and work experience).
  • I confirm that I have agreement from a primary school to give me the employment hours (paid or unpaid) necessary to meet assignment requirements.
  • I understand that this is a Level 3 programme therefore I will be required, by the Tertiary Education Commission, to complete at least one literacy and one numeracy assessment as part of my studies
  • I have computer access,  an Internet connection and access to software to create electronic documents e.g. Microsoft Word or Open Office

What is the Zero Fees Scheme?

The Zero Fees Scheme means we do not charge tuition fees. However, there is a Student Direct Material Cost that you need to pay and a non-refundable administration fee. The administration fee is for processing your application and the Student Direct Material Cost gives you secure access to Blackboard® our online learning environment and to student support services throughout your study with us.

Who qualifies for the Zero Fees Scheme?

  • A New Zealand citizen completing the full qualification or 
  • An Australian citizen/New Zealand Resident or Permanent Resident who will be residing in New Zealand for the duration of your enrolment.

Instructions to help you with your application:

  1. Read the Programme Information on this page and the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions and find out if you meet the application criteria for both the programme and the unit/s you wish to study.
  2. Check your eligibility for Zero Fees. If you are not eligible to study under this scheme, please call 
    0800 748 257 for further options.
  3. Complete your online enrolment checking that:

If you are a new student …

  • Provide an active NSN number in the name you are enrolling in (contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 to get your NSN number if you do not know it);
  • And you do not have an active NSN, then attach a copy of your verified ID in the name you are enrolling in.
  • And you are a Resident or Permanent resident of NZ, please provide a copy of proof of residency;
  • Attach all academic documentation to support your application including copies of any certificates of courses you have undertaken / NZQA record of achievement / transcripts / CV;

Attach supporting documents as required and outlined on the previous page.

  1. Please check that you have included all the required information and supporting documents.  Your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide.  Missing information will delay the processing of your application.
  2. Please scan and email all additional documentation to

What happens next?

  • You will receive an automatic email confirmation when we receive your online application. Processing may take up to three weeks. However, we will get in touch with you sooner if we require further documentation.
  • Once your application has been accepted you will be sent a conditional offer of acceptance with an invoice and instructions on how to make payment.
  • Once we have received your payment (or if you have opted to pay by Credit Card, Student Loan or Purchase Order) you will be sent an Enrolment Confirmation Letter and Important Information Booklet. Closer to the start of the intake you will receive a Time To Get Started Letter which will give you all the necessary information, tools and guidance to start your study with us.

To satisfactorily complete the teacher aiding programme of study leading to the New Zealand Certificate in Education Support and Care (Level 3), and be awarded this qualification the student must successfully achieve:

  • A minimum of 40 credits in accordance with the Programme Schedule for the New Zealand Certificate in Education Support and Care (Level 3)
  • The student will normally be expected to complete the teacher aiding programme of study leading to the New Zealand Certificate in Education Support and Care (Level 3) full-time over three months or part-time over two years


Please Note: Students failing to engage in study as per programme requirements may forfeit Zero Fees entitlement