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The Postgraduate Certificate in Rehabilitation (PGCertRehab) is a distance-taught, part-time course in rehabilitation that can be completed over one or two years. It is designed for those interested in developing better skills and understanding in rehabilitation for people with disabilities or long-term conditions. The course attracts clinicians (such as nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language therapists, social workers, psychologists and doctors) but also rehabilitation managers, vocational placement providers, policy makers and expert consumers (i.e. people with lived experience of rehabilitation who are interested in developing an academic career in the field). Our diverse student body provides for rich class discussions. The Certificate aims to provide a combination of rehabilitation theory and principles, integrated with training on specialist rehabilitation topics of interest for individual students.

The PGCertRehab is particularly suited for those who are looking to satisfy ACC's postgraduate training requirements to hold a vocational rehabilitation contract.

ACC's postgraduate training requirements (PDF)

Students who complete this course report:

  • Feeling more confident in their knowledge of evidence-based practice in rehabilitation, and better able to apply evidence to clinical work
  • Being better equipped to collaborate with rehabilitation professionals from other disciplines
  • Having confidence in their ability to communicate their expertise and knowledge within a team context and between funding, providers and users of rehabilitation services
  • Having a greater appreciation and understanding of cultural issues and person-centredness in practice
  • Being more able to take on leadership roles, such as driving quality improvement initiatives, in their place of work
  • Feeling enthusiastic about continuing education and keen to study more.

Course structure

This course is distance-taught, allowing students more flexibility to fit study in with their busy work and home life. Teaching occurs via regular interaction with classmates and paper tutors via Zoom videoconferencing and the online learning platform, Moodle. Additional online events are offered to support whakawhanaunatunga (establishing relationships), and skills development, within the broader Rehabilitation Teaching and Research Unit learning community.

The qualification is comprised of two papers: one compulsory paper and one paper of your choice from the list below.

Compulsory paper

  • REHB 701 Rehabilitation Principles introduces interprofessional frameworks to critique rehabilitation and explores key principles in the delivery of high quality rehabilitation including cultural safety, person-centred care, goal setting and teamwork. Advanced skills in evidence-based rehabilitation, professional communication and economic analysis of rehabilitation design are developed through students’ self-selected project focus.

Optional paper – one from the following:

  • REHB 703 Musculoskeletal rehabilitation A specialist paper in rehabilitation assessment and management of musculoskeletal disorders, including chronic pain conditions, arthritis and amputation.
  • REHB 704 Neurological rehabilitation takes students on a journey through the evidence for, and practice of, neurorehabilitation across a person’s lifespan. At the same time, students are inspired and challenged to become part of the story of improved neurorehabilitation access and outcomes in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We explore the rehabilitation needs of people with a range of neurological health conditions through several key lens’ including, optimising neurological functioning, service delivery approaches, the impact of communication or cognitive changes on rehabilitation practice, living well across the lifespan, and managing complexity through whole-person approaches. Students tailor assignments to their specific learning interests.
  • REHB 706 Work rehabilitation offers a strategic and evidence based view of how to promote safe and effective return to work – suitable for all health professionals wanting to learn more about work rehabilitation. This paper is particularly suited for ACC Case Managers or Vocational Rehabilitation Service providers.
  • REHB 707 Rehabilitation for older adults Assessment, rehabilitation and management of conditions that cause impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions in old age.
  • REHB 710 Clinical rehabilitation – soon to be renamed “Rehabilitation service innovation and evaluation” – teaches the skills required for best practice service evaluation, design and monitoring in rehabilitation contexts. Graduates of this paper will be skilled to accurately scope projects, apply frameworks to lead project teams, gather and report information that robustly answers the intended question. Design and evaluation processes that fit te ao Māori and other world views will be addressed. The three major assignments (two written, one oral) are each proposed by students from their own contexts and anticipated to be readily applied to those contexts.
  • REHB 714 Personal & psychological factors in rehabilitation explores psychological aspects of rehabilitation, ranging from the presence and effect of co-morbid mental disorders, to the influence of personal factors that promote resilience and recovery. Students will learn about mental health care and treatment for people with physical health conditions, and will gain a broad understanding of what contributes to our psychological well-being.
  • REHB 716 Rehabilitation with children delves deep into family-centred rehabilitation and child development, unpacking the clashes in ideology that family-centredness can impose on health professionals, service and policy designers and advocates for children and families. National and international policy impacting paediatric rehabilitation across sectors is examined in relation to the research evidence and the lived experience of children with disabilities and their whanau. Students tailor assignments to their specific learning interests.
  • HASC 701 Working in interprofessional clinical teams encourages deep reflection on what we bring to teams, the creative opportunities in diversity, what helps teams work well, and what actions help manage team conflict. Students from across the health sector regardless of profession or role are welcomed, and your assignments explore what’s happening in your team.”

Each paper runs for one half of the year, between March and November. Typically the course involves 8–12 hours of work (reading, writing, thinking and discussion) each week.

Study opportunities after the PGCertRehab

This Certificate can lead to further postgraduate study. Students who successfully complete the Certificate may then go on to complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Rehabilitation (PGDipRehab), using the PGCertRehab papers  towards this higher qualification.

To apply

For more information on papers and fees, and to start your PGCertRehab application, please follow this link. 


For more information please contact the RTRU Programme Administrator at