Designed for people interested in a career in ambulance services, or furthering their knowledge beyond First Responder level. Successful completion of the New Zealand Diploma in Ambulance Practice will prepare the student to apply for the authority to practise as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with a recognised ambulance service. Please note that the authority to practice is issued by the employer, not by Whitireia.

What you will learn

The New Zealand Diploma in Ambulance Practice (Level 5) is a one-year equivalent distance programme held over 18months with onsite block courses and is designed for students who hold the  First Responder NZCEC qualification. Students must already hold a position as a First Responder and will need to provide a letter of support confirming their access to clinical placements, including on a front-line emergency ambulance.

This programme will provide graduates with the knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required to practise in out of hospital emergencies and other community settings. Graduates will have the skills needed for clinical assessment and patient management aligned with the recognised Authority to Practice (ATP) for an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in New Zealand. Course delivery is based on principles that respect the rights and individuality of the patient, is based on best evidence and meets legislative requirements in New Zealand. The course is offered part-time over 18 months through a blended delivery model. This programme prepares graduates with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to:

  • Apply functional knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology for a range of commonly seen medical and trauma conditions in order to improve patient outcomes in an ambulance context
  • Perform differential diagnoses and determine patient acuity using knowledge of structured, focused patient assessment techniques to improve patient outcomes in an ambulance context
  • Manage and treat patients using knowledge of structured and focused patient assessment techniques to improve patient outcomes in an ambulance context
  • provide competent out-of-hospital care incorporating safe, legal, ethical, and culturally safe practice to improve patient outcomes in an ambulance context
  • Communicate appropriately with stakeholders, including patients, whānau, health care providers and other emergency services, using speaking, listening, and writing skills to improve patient outcomes in an ambulance context

Entry requirements 

New Zealand Certificate in Emergency Care (Level 3); evidence of suitability based on interview, health screening as required, safety check and referee reports and 18 years of age prior to commencing practical placement


proven equivalence of entry requirements plus Academic IELTS 6.5 in each band, or equivalent

Funding your study

Government's Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

These programmes are FREE under TTAF, covering; compulsory tuition fees, compulsory course costs and compulsory student services fees. Visit for more information about TTAF.