Te Whatu Ora – 12 Year Partnership

Collaborative model for health sector capability development

The Challenge

Collaboration is key to providing coherent, impactful learning opportunities across all regions of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health workforce. The Te Whatu Ora Te Waipounamu (South Island) districts are committed to that shared vision. More than that, there are wide-ranging other health organisations whose staff also need access to great learning experiences. 

Covid reinforced the critical importance of a wide coordinated response, and that applied as much to timely training as it did to access to vaccines. But the challenge is not new. Collaboration across regions has been at the heart of our relationship with Te Whatu Ora since the beginning. 

“We were previously unaware of what Totara Learn could do, but here we are delivering training much more efficiently and getting better value for money. We have found that both learner engagement and knowledge retention have increased significantly.”  

Neil Hellewell, Nurse Educator – Professional Development Unit, Te Whatu Ora, Waitaha | Canterbury

Our partnership

We’ve been the learning technology partner for Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury since 2011. In the early days it was all about getting Moodle running to support elearning development but these days it is a different story. 

Today, healthLearn is the cornerstone of a vision for learning for all health sector organisations across the South Island. It sees the learner as the centre of a lifelong learning experience that transcends boundaries such as the employer or the role they happen to have. 

Te Whatu Ora and other health care sector staff across Te Waipounamu access over one thousand courses in healthLearn. Around 40,000 learners across more than 260 organisations access them.  

As the vision for Te Whatu Ora moves forward, the groundwork laid by the then South Island District Health Boards is paying off. Courses range from dealing with infectious disease outbreaks, medication management, leadership and management development and the basic initial training that all staff working in health care are required to complete. It also makes use of online pre-learning modules to cover theoretical knowledge requirements and face-to-face video conferencing to better link learners from locations South Island wide. 

Recent innovations include:  

  • Using the Totara App to build engagement by providing work phone and tablet access in the Waitaha District 
  • Introducing tenancies which open up the healthLearn philosophy and technology to external Districts. 

South Island districts have the ability to track, monitor and report on course completion and learner performance. Totara Learn also contains functionality that enables positions and roles of different learners within any organisational hierarchy to be defined, providing information on the particular training that any individual learner should receive and the skills they are required to be proficient in. 

The healthLearn site acts as a collaborative platform where Te Waipounamu priority training areas are identified and collaboratively developed. A coordinated vision for developing and offering learning opportunities across the region is a reality because healthLearn is there to deliver on it. 

The Impact

Around 40,000 learners across 260+ organisations access a common body of learning. A collaborative content development model across Te Waipounamu ensures consistent region-wide training in priority areas, avoiding the duplication of effort that occurred when individual districts each developed their own training. 

The results speak for themselves:  

  • Over 136,000 course completions in the last 12 months 
  • Responsive, agile and effective training delivery across the South Island. 
  • Significantly improved rates of learner engagement and knowledge retention. 
  • Increased efficiencies and cost-effectiveness in the delivery of distance and face-to-face training. 
  • Functionality to enable reporting and tracking, and data integration with internal HR systems. 
  • Strengthened linkages between staff across geographically diverse areas. 
  • Excellent learner feedback.  

Contact Us

Keep in touch

Contact us directly by telephone and email

04 801 8478,

Wellington Office

Level 1, 10 Courtenay Place
Wellington 6011
New Zealand

Postal Address

P.O. Box 28, Lyttelton 8082