Ākonga (Learner) support and services

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Te Mahi Ako's learner support system is guided by the Whare Tapa Whā model of health.

The four walls of the whare are the four key areas of our health: Tinana (physical), wairua (spiritual), whānau (family and relationships) and hinengaro (mental and emotional).

While you are on a learning journey with us, we'll endeavour to help you maintain your wellbeing across all these areas, so you can thrive as a person and succeed in your programme.

Ākonga support and services: A to Z

All learners are entitled to a safe working and learning environment, free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.

What are bullying and harassment?

Harassment means behaviour towards someone that is unwelcome or offensive and targets their gender, gender identity, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, religion or marital status.

Bullying is any behaviour towards someone that is unwelcome and unreasonable, and includes victimisation, humiliation, exclusion, and undermining or threatening behaviour, whether by individuals or a group.

How we can help

Te Mahi Ako provides a number of steps for learners to take if they have concerns about bullying and/or harassment:

  • Start by contacting your learning advisor - or any Te Mahi Ako staff member - to discuss your concerns.
  • If you feel safe and comfortable enough to do so, try talking directly to the person who is bullying or harassing you. More on this below.
  • We will work directly with your employer, where appropriate, to tackle any issues that are taking place at work.
  • If the bullying or harassment is serious, or if nothing else works and it is still going on, we recommend you make a formal complaint. You can start this process using the confidential complaints form on our Forms page or find out more in our Ākonga (Learner) Complaints/Grievances policy, in the policy section on this page. 
Other sources of guidance
  • The Ministry of Employment provides advice on how to raise bullying and harassment with the person responsible, if that's safe and appropriate in your situation. Check it out here.
  • If you are experiencing online harassment or bullying, Netsafe NZ has a detailed guide on how to protect yourself from this behaviour through unfriending and blocking actions, and reporting harmful online content. Check it out here.

If you feel something isn't right with your experience as a Te Mahi Ako learner, you have the right to complain, and our job is to respond with fairness, consistency and in a reasonable time.

You might experience problems with your learning programme, or concerns about the behaviour of other learners/ākonga, our staff, your employer, or other people involved in your learning journey.

How to complain or raise an issue

Our Learner Support team is there to provide holistic support - that means supporting you as as a learner and as a whole person. You can talk to your Learner Support Coordinator, or any Te Mahi Ako staff member, about any problems that are impacting your ability to study, or any incidents that have made you feel unsafe while studying.

You can make a complaint or report an issue through the complaints form on our Forms page. You can also contact us at learner.support@temahiako.org.nz or 0508 475 455, and one of our team will contact you.

You'll find more information on our complaints process in our Ākonga (Learner) Complaints/Grievances policy, in the policy section on this page. This policy is in line with the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice and the NZQA provider complaints process.

What if you're not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint?

If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can escalate the matter to the following organisations.

  • If your concern relates to support services, pastoral care, programme quality or Te Mahi Ako management, contact NZQA
  • If you have a financial or contractual issue, domestic students can contact Tertiary Education Dispute Resolution and international students can contact iStudents.
  • If you are uncertain which dispute resolution scheme applies to you, you can email risk@nzqa for help.
EMERGENCIES

Please be aware that the Te Mahi Ako Learner Support team is not a crisis service.

If you or anyone you care about is in immediate danger, or a danger to others, then you must contact 111.

Click here for a list of helplines and support channels including after-hours services. 

Te Mahi Ako has partnered with Puāwaitanga to provide independent and confidential counselling services, free for our learners. Puāwaitanga offers phone or video based counselling in multiple languages including te reo Māori.

Puāwaitanga is designed to support you over a brief period of time to strengthen your hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing). You will have the opportunity to choose the counsellor you'd like to do sessions with, and book a time that works around your schedule. Puāwaitanga offers sessions throughout the week (including weekends) from 9am to 9pm.

In your first session, you can share with your counsellor what is happening for you and together you will decide what you'd like to work through in further sessions. You may want to access Puāwaitanga for support around things like anxiety, low mood, relationships, grief, low self-esteem or stress.

The Te Mahi Ako ākonga handbook has everything you need to know to get through your programme from start to finish. 

Check it out here.

As a work-based learner you are balancing your studies along with your job, and all your other life commitments including friends, family, hobbies, fitness and more. It's a lot to manage. 

To keep yourself in good shape to juggle everything, you need to look after your wellbeing - the four walls of your Whare Tapa Wha. We can help with support and advice on how do this. And below is a list of external resources that provide some useful guidance on staying safe, healthy and well. 

Finally, remember to be gentle with yourself, set realistic goals, and stick to a sustainable workload. When you keep things in perspective, it's easier to make positive choices that enhance your overall wellbeing, and that will help you to cope with all of the different aspects of life. If you are feeling overwhelmed, get in touch with our Learner Support team - they are there to help.

Once you have enrolled in a Te Mahi Ako qualification, you can log in to your dedicated learner portal to view information about your training, track your progress, access learner-only resources, and receive support. Just click the login button at the top right of this site.

Many of our qualifications have an online component, and if this is the case with your programme, you will also have access to our online learning platform, from inside your portal. This is where some or all of your learning and assessment will take place.

Your literacy, language and numeracy (LLN) means your ability to understand and express information through reading, writing and numbers.

If you have any concerns about LLN, we can help with that. If your highest post-school qualification is at Level 3 or below, we may ask you to complete a simple LLN test after you enrol. Based on your results we can determine whether you need any support, and if so, tailor a plan to help you gain the skills you need to do well in your programme.

Feel free to have a chat about LLN with your learner support coordinator or your regional learner advisor, if you have any questions.

Te Mahi Ako policies

As a learner, you are entitled to view our policies, so that you can understand how we operate, and the reasoning behind our decisions and processes.

The Skills Active Te Mahi Ako Policy Manual contains all our policies which are relevant for learners. This includes: 

  • Equal Education Opportunities Policy

  • Assessment Policy

  • Cheating Policy

  • Impaired Performance/Aegrotat Policy

  • Academic Appeal Process Policy

  • Ākonga Charter Policy

  • Staff Charter

  • Ākonga Conduct and Discipline Policy

  • Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

  • Ākonga Complaints/Grievances Policy

  • Withdrawal and Refunds Policy

Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners Code

Te Mahi Ako is bound the Pastoral Care Code for Tertiary Learners. This code sets out the requirements that tertiary education providers must meet in order to look after the wellbeing and safety of their learners.  

Workplace relationship agreement

A workplace relationship agreement is a contract between Te Mahi Ako and your workplace. It sets out how we will work together to ensure the success of the work-based learners at your organisation. You'll find a copy of the agreement on our Forms page.

To help understand the context for the workplace relationship agreement, we recommend reading this short piece of guidance from NZQA on the implementation of the Pastoral Care Code in workplace learning settings.

A number of people on our team will support you throughout your learning programme:

Learning advisors

Your regional learning advisor is the key contact person at Te Mahi Ako for both you and your workplace. They will help set up your enrolment, and have regular catch-ups (whether in person, online or over the phone) to make sure you're progressing. They will be there to help you navigate the work-based learning process and connect you with help when you need it.

Learning facilitators

In some cases your programme will include learning that takes place outside of your work, such as seminars, training courses or wānanga. These events or activities will supplement the skills and knowledge you are picking up on the job, and will be led by one of our learning facilitators.

Assessors

Your assessor may be someone at your work who's a qualified Te Mahi Ako assessor, or an external person.  Your assessor is a subject matter expert in your field of practice, and they will assess your tasks and determine when you are competent. They may also be able to help you with questions about the content of your programme.

Learner support coordinators

Our dedicated team of learner support coordinators are based at our head office. They are there to listen and understand what's going on with you and how it might impact your learning experience. This could be anything from computer issues, literacy, or a mental health condition, through to a relationship breakdown or financial difficulties. Your learner support coordinators can provide guidance and troubleshooting to help you tackle any barriers. Find out more about them below.

You'll find more information about the rights and responsibilities of our staff in the Staff Charter policy, in the policy section below.

When you enrol with us, your workplace makes a commitment to support you in your learning programme. This means that specific people in your organisation are responsible for helping you to pick up the knowledge and skills required in your programme. This might include your manager, supervisor or senior colleagues.

This support could involve teaching you new processes and tasks, checking your work, answering questions, observing you and offering advice, helping you solve problems, or directing you to the right resources so that you can do your own learning.