Frequently Asked Questions

What is the aim of PDRP...

  • To advance professional development in nursing;

  • To support nurses in demonstrating competency to the Nursing Council of New Zealand; and

  • To fulfil obligations negotiated under the NZNO Nurses' NZNO Nurses' MECA and other multi-employer collective agreements. (Please review your own organisations documents for guidance

This programme aims to promote and reward nursing expertise and recognise the contribution of nurses to quality patient health outcomes.

PDRP is an organisational programme that recognises and rewards the valuable contributions of our nurses to patient care outcomes. It offers support for nurses to demonstrate their level of practice on Competent, Proficient, Expert or Accomplished levels, in addition to providing exemption from Nursing Council's audit processes.

In assessing competencies, feedback and encouragement is given to nurses submitting portfolios. If an applicant has not yet met the requirements of the level applied for, further evidence may be requested or a supportive development plan is given. The goal of PDRP is to have nurses achieve the level they are practicing at and provide applicants with feedback.

It is vital to feel valued and appreciated for the important work nurses do. The PDRP is an excellent tool to provide individualised direct feedback on their nursing practice.

​​​What is the relationship between the Te Kāhui  Kōkiri Mātanga PDRP and Nursing Council New Zealand  

Te Kāhui  Kōkiri Mātanga PDRP is approved by Nursing Council New Zealand (NCNZ) as meeting the requirements for a practising certificate. This programme was granted approval by Nursing Council of New Zealand in June 2006.

The programme is for Enrolled and Registered Nurses.

Is there capping of numbers at applications to Proficient and Expert levels?

No, it is open to all who can demonstrate the criteria for each level have been met.

Can I be audited by Nursing Council if I am on a PDRP? 

Any nurse successful on this programme will not be audited by NCNZ as he/she will already be deemed "competent" to practice by Nursing Council. 

However if you are successful on the programme and you do recieve a letter from Nursing Council informing you that you have been selected for NCNZ audit, please email for Canterbury applicants or your organisations PDRP coordinator if you are from outside of the Canterbury region.

We will report to NCNZ on your behalf.

What is the difference between being audited and being part of a PDRP?

The process for completeing a portfolio at competent level is the same as the NCNZ audit process. If you choose to submit your protfolio at EN or RN competent level or higher within the PDRP you will be exempt from NCNZ audit process for 3 years.

If you choose to complete the NCNZ audit process you are at risk of being selected for audit in the years following.

If you choose to participate in PDRP, and in consultation with your Line Manager, you can submit your portfolio at a higher level depending on your clinical practice. For example:

EN levels – Proficient and Accomplished

RN levels – Proficient and Expert

These higher levels may have financial components attached as per your organisations employment contract/MECA agreement.

Is applying for PDRP compulsory?

No, not within the Canterbury DHB, however, it maybe compulsory for some organisations.  The  NCNZ select 5% of nurses for audit every year. If you are not on a NCNZ approved PDRP you may be selected for the NCNZ audit process which is compulsory.

If you are selected for NCNZ audit you can choose to complete the audit requirements via NCNZ, or complete a portfolio with Te Kāhui  Kōkiri Mātanga PDRP. The process for NCNZ audit and PDRP competent level portfolio are similar.

What is some of the feed back from applicants about PDRP?

  • Nurses felt their practice was validated by particating in PDRP

  • Deveolping a portfolio made nursing visible for them, influencing their thinking and individual practice

  • Self-awareness in nursing was increased and promoted their professional growth.

  • Realised the value of reflection as influencing their practice and then continued to reflect upon their practice

  • Encouraged nurse accountability giving greater understanding of certain competencies

  • Gained understanding of own values, beliefs and own cultural backgrounds

  • Gained further understanding on how they influenced nursing practice in their workplaces with the attainment of PDRP

  • Nurses had an improved awareness of quality imporvement, role-modelled practice, provided guidance and readily shared knowledge feeling they led by example.

Is there capping of numbers at applications to Proficient, Accomplished or Expert levels?

No, it is open to all nurses whom can demonstrate they are practicing at the criteria level for which they have applied.

Does my manager state which level I should apply for?

You choose which level you are applying for, however, your manager also needs to write about your practice so you do need to have a discussion with your manager about the level you wish to apply for. Prior to having a discussion with your manager read the competencies and indicators and think of some examples of how you do that in your everyday practice.

It is helpful for both parties to have knowlegde of what you do in your practice at the level you are applying.

If you have PDRP assessors, or a PDRP resource person in your area they can provide guidance for you or your nurse educator.

The evidence you provide to meet the level of practice on PDRP  should be articulated throughout your portfolio,  these can be found here

What is the financal rewards attached to the levels of PDRP?

These can be found in your employment agreement for your organisation.

What if I'm not a member of NZNO?

This does not stop you from joining the PDRP.

How long does the process take?

As per the CDHB PDRP policy we allow ten weeks from the date of submission. However please note there are occasions where it may take longer. For example if further evidence is required either from the applicant or/and the manager/reviewer, or/and the assessor is due for internal moderation, or your portfolio is choosen for external moderation.

These situations can extend the period your portfolio is in the system.

 PLEASE NOTE: There is organisational variance across the regions.

How are the assessors selected and trained?

Assessors are nurses (EN's or RN's) nominated by their peers and endorsed by line managers. An assessor is to have submitted their portfolio and attained at least proficient level PDRP.

Assessors are trained to the NZ Qualifications Unit Standard (4098) for assessors by The Open Polytechnic of NZ. This training programme has been used by most DHBs nationally and has been found to be satisfactory. There is an internal moderation process to ensure consistency of assessor decisions.

Assessors are to have attended a PDRP Current Assessor update study day every year to remain up-to-date with changes and updates in the programme.

Assessors are required to assess a minimin of eight portfolios per year.

What are the professional responsibilities regarding an assessor that knows me and the assessment of my portfolio?

It is the professional responsibility of the assessor to not complete an assessment on a portfolio where they know of / working with / worked with the PDRP applicant or the manager/reviewer.

If an assessor receives a portfolio of any of the above situations they have been instructed to return it to the office and request another portfolio.

The criteria are generic rather than specialty specific. Therefore evidence against any competency is able to be verified by a trained Assessor. It is not necessary for the Assessor to have detailed specialty-specific knowledge.

If a colleague asks me to do a peer review, how will I know what information to give?

There is ongoing education around this process and a template is available that lists helpful phrases you may wish to view. Remember that under the new guidelines peer reviews are only necessary if the performance appraisal provides insufficient evidence.

A peer review can be completed on the performance appraisal document if instructed by the nurse line manager (CDHB)

What is the Moderation process?

Internal Moderation: A new assessor will be moderated for their first 3-5 portfolios assessed, then 1:10 will be moderated. An assessor may be  moderated more frequently.  

External Moderation: This process involves moderating portfolios between DHB's and the partnering regions. This process happens three times per year and the results are discussed at the Operational Group meetings.

The moderation process is to ensure consistancy between assessors and between the partnering organisations.

If your portfolio is selected to be part of either moderation process the outcome of the original assessment will stand.

When is PDRP compulsory?

Completing a portfolio is compulsory if you are in the Nursing Entry to Practice Programme (NETP) or the New Entry to Speciality Practice Mental Health and Addiction Nursing Programme (NESP).

It is also compulsory if your organisation has it written in their employment contract. Be familiar with your own organisations requirements.

Can extensions be given at expiry for resubmissions of PDRP portfolios?

Unfortunately it is not possible for the PDRP to grant extensions to expiry dates as Nursing Council requirements state assessment against the competencies must take place every three years for nurses.

If you resubmit your portfolio prior to or on your expiration date, there should be no interruption in your level of practice payment. Only if the expiration date comes and goes without resubmission will the PDRP payment be removed. 

Do I have to wait for my three yearly submission date before I can resubmit at a higher level?

No, if you wish to submit a a higher level you can do this at any stage provided you have met the criteria for that level you wish to progress to.

Is there study leave associated with submitting a portfolio?

In some organisations employment agreement there is study level associated with the submission of your portfolio.

It is your responsibility to be aware of this for your organisation.

Te Kāhui  Kōkiri Mātanga PDRP is not responsible for enforcing any criteria contained in an organisations employment agreement.

How much reflection am I expected to do on my professional development for PDRP?

Nursing Council of New Zealand requirements for professional development activities is as below and is also found on their website.

Evidence of professional development hours (a minimum of 60 hours in the last three years) must be verified by your employer or nurse educator. This must also include a summary of the actual hours, signed by your employer or educator to confirm your participation. This person is to include his or her name, designation, address and phone number. 

What can be included in our professional development hours?

  • The professional development (PD) needs to be in the context to your practice area

  • These educational activities may be within the work environment or an educational context

  • The level of PD should be appropriate to your scope of practice and work context

  • The 60 hours of PD in the three year period should include more professional learning than the mandotory or core training by your employer

  • Some of your PD must be relevant to your development as a nurse and your area of practice

  • Journal reading may be considered a PD activity if it takes place within a formal framework such as a journal club, a presentation to colleagues or to inform an educational or quality improvement process

  • Meetings may be considered a PD activity if they have an educational focus and include appropriate documentation, e.g. minutes that clearly identify the education topic

  • As indicated on the 'Reflection on Professional Development' template, your portfolio should include an explanation of what you have learnt and how you apply this to your practice from three key learning activites OR a short reflection for each course/activity attended.

  • The PDRP assessment criteria aligns with:

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Page last reviewed: 10 August 2021