Guidance counsellor training

The Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award provides untrained guidance counsellors with support to complete a relevant qualification. The award provides time off for part-time study over a three year period or full-time study for one year. Recipients receive their normal salary from school while on study leave plus:

  • core compulsory tuition fees
  • you may receive a contribution towards travel or relocation costs, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

Each year there are four FTTE (full-time teacher equivalent) awards available.

Applications for the 2023 Guidance Counsellor Training Study Awards open on 20 May 2022 and close 26 August 2022

Am I eligible for a Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award?

If you wish to apply for a Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award, you must:

  • be working in a state or state-integrated school that has a secondary roll of more than 200 students (years 9 to 13)
  • work a minimum of 0.6 FTTE (full-time teacher equivalent) as a guidance counsellor
  • apply to study a Ministry-approved guidance counselling qualification
  • not already hold a Guidance Counsellor qualification
  • not previously had more than 190 days or three years’ consecutive study leave through a Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award
  • provide evidence that you have the support of your employer.

If you are on a fixed term contract or are a long-term relieving counsellor, you may still apply for a study award, as long as you are employed by a school during the term of the award.

Approved tertiary institutions

There is not an approved list of qualifications, but you must be studying for a guidance counsellor qualification at one of the following tertiary institutions:

University of Auckland

Contact: Sophie Scott-Elvidge


University of Waikato

Contact: Paul Flanagan


University of Canterbury

Contact: Dr Shanee Barraclough


Wellington Institute of Technology

Contact: Frank Burkitt


Massey University

Contact: Kiesten Kneizel


What does the award provide?

You will receive your normal salary from the school while on study leave. This includes permanent salary units and allowances. You need to check with your principal whether any fixed term units and allowances will be paid while you are on leave. The study award funds relief costs to your school for the duration of leave. In addition the award:

  • covers core compulsory tuition fees
  • may contribute towards travel or relocation expenses.

To be eligible for assistance with travel or relocation, you must be travelling more than 100km return between your usual work place and your study centre. For a full year course, you can claim a maximum of $2000 if you are studying on the same island as your current school or $3500 if you are studying on the other island. Travel or relocation assistance will be paid in two instalments: the first in March and the second in July.

Please note that if you fail to complete your study award, you may be required to repay any travel or relocation contributions.

The amount of leave awarded is based on the length of your course. If your application is successful, we will confirm the course dates with your tertiary provider.

Contact Us

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New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand