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Home > Living & Working in New Zealand > Starting work

Starting Work

Annual Practising Certificates (APC's)

Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists are legally required to hold a current Annual Practising Certificate in order to work. This is after your original registration application. You need to visit the 'Recertification' page of the relevant Board web site and follow the step by step instructions. Almost all employers will reimburse you for the cost of your APC, although some will only do this 'pro-rata' if you are on a short term contract.

Because Speech Language Therapists are not yet legally registered in NZ, you don't have an APC requirement. Employers normally reimburse your annual NZSTA membership, in the same way as they do APC's for registered professions.

eNZed partial reimbursement of registration application fee

For the last 2 years eNZed Paramedical has offered a partial reimbursement of registration fees. This was because the high cost to therapists of applying for professional registration in New Zealand is a barrier to recruitment. Strict criteria apply. The employment conditions in New Zealand are changing and we expect that therapists will soon be able to claim reimbursement from their employers for initial registration costs.

Therefore we need to give advance notice that our own offer of reimbursement will not apply to any appointments with a start date of 1 April 2008 or later.

You can still apply for a reimbursement. Once you are appointed, eNZed will send you an application form to use to claim your reimbursement for up to $500 (for a 12 month contract) once you have met these criteria. If you complete your contract in full, and the contract is longer than 6 months, and your employer has not given you an equivalent reimbursement, you will be eligible. The actual amount will vary according to your length of contract. Full details of all criteria will be included with your reimbursement form.

eNZed Paramedical will be introducing a new programme to reward therapists using our service. Full details will be announced early in 2008.

Income Tax Number

You must have a New Zealand Income Tax Number (IRD) before you start work. This is a very simple process. We will send you the relevant application form with your job offer letters or you can download it online.

Health Screening For Employers

NOTE: The screening that is required by NZ Immigration is not always the same as that which is required by employers.

New Zealand employers are becoming more and more particular about the level of health screening required by new staff. They tend to want a lot more detail about vaccination records and infectious diseases such as Hepatitis, MRSA and TB. Some will not write the job offer letters ( which you have to have for your visa application) until they have all the health information that they want.

When you have signed on with eNZed Paramedical, we will send you our own health screening form, which you should use as a guide to gathering the details and records that employers will later ask of you. If you travel for an extended period (especially through Asia or South America) on your way to New Zealand, you may well have to undergo extra tests on arrival. If so, eNZed Paramedical will refer you to a relevant service if your employer doesn't do these 'in house'.

Police Checks for Employers

eNZed Paramedical doesn't require a Police check, but most employers will. NZIS also requires Police checks for residency and some work visas (depending on length of contract).

UK therapists should get an 'enhanced' check for employment purposes, but take care about your dates. Some employers will only accept checks less than 6 months old, so plan this carefully in relation to your preferred start date.

Culture Shock

Once you start work, be very aware that New Zealand is a different culture from even the UK, USA or Canada, much more so than many people think. The British culture is more similar than others but there are still significant differences. In a social sense, therapists are regularly telling us of incidents that show up unexpected little cultural differences! New Zealanders are very friendly, and each others social lives are regularly discussed at work. A 'kiwi' would think it strange if someone was unwilling to talk about this. However, this is well intended and if you need help to shift house or to cope with other life dramas, those same workmates are often the first to volunteer. Kiwis very freely invite you into their homes, and will be offended if you decline without good reason!

Culture shock includes the practice of your profession. Assessments, treatment techniques and work habits that you are used to might not be known or accepted here. In some cases you might find that some things are not considered to even be within your own professional role at all. If your employer has not worked with another therapist from your country before they might also not be aware of these differences, until you inadvertently do something that raises the issue. Because of this eNZed Paramedical recommends that both employers and therapists are particularly careful to have detailed discussions about such cultural differences during the orientation period. However, do not be concerned about this, most of your work will be familiar!

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Refer to the section on Insurance under on the Living in New Zealand page


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Last Modified: 20 November 2014