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Upskills Akonga Wellbeing Policy

Last updated: July 2023

This document has been developed in alignment with the Education Code of Practice 2021.

Part 3 Organisational structures to support a whole-of-provider approach to learner wellbeing and safety

Outcome 1: A learner wellbeing and safety system

Upskills has the following processes in place to meet the needs of learner wellbeing:

    • Prior to course start, each learner has a one-to-one session with their tutor with the goal of building connection, reducing first-day nerves, and ensuring clear communication about the learning opportunity. 
    • At initial sessions, Upskills tutors focus on whakawhanaungatanga and manaakitanga, making sure the group is at ease and connections are formed.
    • Built into our course process is also a goals and individual learning plan process which can encompass Te Whare Tapa Whā as a framework alongside a personal SWOT analysis or values activity which contributes to holistic wellbeing.
    • Many of our programmes contain a wellbeing model such as the Fonofale, Te Whare Tapa Whā and/or 5 Ways to Wellbeing.
    • Upskills has a Māori Strategic Engagement Plan attached as Appendix 1, which refers to our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  This is reviewed annually and amendments are incorporated within two months following review.
    • If any wellbeing concerns are disclosed to the Upskills team by learners, information will be provided to refer as appropriate; if Upskills considers this information indicating a safety threat to self or others we will refer to the appropriate agency. 

Outcome 2: Learner Voice

    • Our evaluation processes in our programmes include opportunities for learners to express feedback about their experience. These occur weekly with the tutor in session, and are included in our weekly stakeholder reports to clients, the early evaluation process (an open-ended focus group style evaluation) and an end evaluation (rated scale and space for open-ended written comments, plus a net promoter question).
    • Learners all complete an individual learning plan which expresses their learning intentions and goals and this has 3 separate touch points throughout the programme.
    • Learners are active co-creators of their own learning process throughout.

7. Process 1: Strategic goals and strategic plans

In our 5-year Strategic Plan, learner wellbeing falls under the broader goal of “Being a leader in workplace education”.  Specifically, we reference the following goal which relates to learner wellbeing:

    1. Learner wellbeing is fundamental to a successful learning experience:  learning content, kōrero and activities related directly to wellbeing are built into Upskills programmes of learning.
    2. Learning for the Upskills team reflects this kaupapa in upskilling and keeping current with wellbeing research, best practice and current trends.

8. Process 2: Self-review of learner wellbeing and safety practices

This policy is reviewed annually by the Upskills management team and learner representatives.

9. Process 3: Publication requirements

Wellbeing Policy is available on our website and any amendments will be updated annually. 

10. Process 4: Responsive wellbeing and safety systems

This system is a combination of different processes occurring within Upskills programmes:

    • Learning sessions focused on wellbeing
    • Stakeholder collaboration meetings
    • Weekly summaries
    • WhatsApp/Messenger group chats
    • Professional development sessions across tutor/staff teams (see Professional Development schedule) but including Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, and understanding this policy
    • Upskills IT Cybersecurity Policy and Incident Response Procedure
    • Upskills Privacy Policy

Through these processes, if learners are identified as requiring further support with wellbeing they will be connected to the relevant supporting agency, information or further references.

11. Outcome 2: Learner voice

Class setting is considered a safe space with some having class rules (code of conduct).

Opportunities to influence change at work i.e. project innovations.

12. Process 1: Learner voice

Practices for building learner agency and voice:
    • E-learning platform, relationships with libraries, Pathways Awarua.
    • Stakeholder involvement from across business – engagement and other learning/career opportunities.
    • Learning outcomes are communicated at the beginning of sessions and codesigned by learners.
    • Reflective practice and mahitahi events incorporate feedback about diverse learner needs. This feeds into our strategic planning process so that learner voice is represented in these goals. The Rakau Ako (senior tutor mentoring team) stay current across resources and publications relevant to this space and roll sessions and coaching to the wider teaching team. 

13. Process 2: Learner complaints

There are several touchpoints for complaints within our regular evaluation process – early and end-point evaluations. In addition to this, there is information about how to make a complaint on our website, and on our enrolment forms.  Learners email a dedicated inbox and we respond to their concerns within 48 hours.  This is reiterated in our Welcome letter including information about what to expect when you make a complaint:

    1. Complaint received and recorded in Complaints Register
    2. Complaint acknowledged by Upskills
    3. Complaint evaluated by management team Upskills
    4. Appropriate action identified
    5. Action communicated to the learner, immediate and longer-term changes implemented as necessary (within 48 hours of the complaint being received)
    6. Complaint resolved
    7. Learner check-in post complaint to ensure satisfaction with the outcome
    8. Complaint(s) communicated at Monthly management hui including the number and nature of complaints and their outcomes.

14. Process 3: Compliance with the Dispute Resolution Scheme

Upskills will comply with the Dispute Resolution Scheme and has information about the Tertiary Education Disputes Resolution scheme included in our Complaints Policy.  Upskills provides information on how to make a complaint to NZQA who administer the Code of Pastoral Care in our Learner Briefing Pack.

Part 4 Wellbeing and safety practices for all tertiary providers

15. Outcome 3: Safe, inclusive, supportive, and accessible physical and digital learning environments

Access to digital devices supplied by Upskills.

Digital literacy sessions focussed on accessing learning online and safety online as well as fostering a digital mindset and personal agency.

Digital Confidence survey.

Adult Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Tool used for pre-assessment purposes to identify literacy and numeracy needs and support accordingly.

Stakeholder involvement with identifying learning needs.

16. Process 1: Safe and inclusive communities

Cultural competency and responsiveness within teaching are assessed annually through our observation process and professional development is suggested accordingly.

Ako practice and models of tuakana-teina are utilised in our practice.

All facilitators have completed basic Diversity Equity and Inclusion training and actively create a learning space free from discrimination, bullying and/or abuse.

Culturally responsive teaching practices are committed to as per our teaching guidelines inside a connected, diverse and inclusive learning environment.

17. Process 2: Supporting learner participation and engagement

Whakawhanaungatanga is front and centre in our learner engagement models to build confidence and relationships between learners and tutors, and learners with other learners.

Cultural relevant models are embedded in the learning programmes, e.g. Te Whare Tapa Wha and Fonofale.

Te reo Māori and tikanga are embedded in the learning programme through use of karakia, whakatauki, whakawhanaungatanga and culture and identity are celebrated.

Next steps conversation occurs towards the end of programmes with a focus on sustainable learning outcomes and scaffolding to achieve future goals.

Through the individual learning plan and NZQA assessment guide process, learners know where they are at and how they are tracking towards their qualification and learning completion.

18. Process 3: Physical and digital spaces and facilities

We use our site inductions checklist for adequate training spaces.

19. Outcome 4: Learners are safe and well

Tutors begin every session with a check-in.

Tutors give extra support sometimes out of class support with their learning. WhatsApp groups and other communities of learning are created.

20. Process 1: Information for learners about assistance to meet their basic needs 

Through our third-party and stakeholder relationships with our sector, including with the MSD first response team, we can access information and support for any learners who are struggling financially. We encourage and model a healthy variety of food choices and meet dietary requirements in group celebrations.  Content on wellbeing invariably touches on healthy lifestyles.

21. Process 2: Promoting physical and mental health awareness

Tutors incorporate fun activities that encourage active learning e.g. Amazing Race.

Tutors embrace the culture of their learner groups and give opportunities to share cultural perspectives.

Upskills embraces language weeks and language celebration. Pink Shirt Day and Mental Health Awareness Week are opportunities for activities centred on mental health.

Through Te Whare Tapa Whā learners identify growth/ strengthening opportunities.

22. Process 3: Proactive monitoring and responsive wellbeing and safety practices

    • Learners can disclose this during the tutor one on ones and in class. There is an emphasis on creating and maintaining supportive relationships between learners and the tutors.
    • Upskills provides learners with a digital kit so that they can continue with study if unable to attend in person e.g. Covid.
    • Upskills can deliver online where barriers prevent someone from attending in person.

Part 5 Additional wellbeing and safety practices in tertiary student accommodation (in relation to domestic and international tertiary learners)

Not applicable.

Part 6 Additional wellbeing and safety practices for tertiary providers (signatories) enrolling international learners

Not applicable.

Part 7 Wellbeing and safety practices for schools enrolling international learners

Not applicable.

More information

To discuss learner wellbeing at Upskills contact one of our Directors, Sarah Balfour or Holly Patterson.


Upskills Ltd.

Address: 93 Church St, Onehunga, Auckland 1061
Free parking: 120 minutes, Gerrard Beeson Pl.
Phone: 09 622 3979