First professional qualification for FASD in Aotearoa announced

UPDATE: Read Radio NZ coverage of the micro-credentials here.

In a first for Aotearoa New Zealand, FASD-CAN and Toitū te Waiora are pleased to announce a brand-new NZQA qualification intended to address a lack of knowledge of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in cross-sector professionals around the motu.    

Earlier this year Health Minister Shane Reti announced a revitalisation of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Action Plan. With up to 3,000 babies born a year with FASD in Aotearoa, it is more prevalent than Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy combined. But recent research by the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health have shown that professionals from all sectors surveyed feel under-educated about FASD.

Completing the new micro-credential and two new skill standards (50 hours each) will enable professionals in health, education, police, corrections, social work and mental health and addictions, as well as foster-carers, parents and whānau, to identify the key characteristics of FASD and to implement a strengths-based plan to empower and support a person with FASD.

CEO of FASD-CAN Stephanie James-Sadler said, “The lack of understanding of this complex neurodiversity has a major impact on the wellbeing of people with FASD and their whānau ... this micro-credential is ground-breaking – it’s the first FASD-specific qualification available in Aotearoa and it is definitely something we need to celebrate.”

“We are hoping the micro-credential will be used for professional development in both health and nonhealth related sectors. And the two new skill standards can be used in various types of NZQA-programmes of study,” said Hayley Semenoff, General Manager Qualifications and Quality Assurance for Toitū te Waiora.

FASD-CAN wishes to thank Toitū te Waiora for their help and input during the year-long process of creating this qualification. It's a fantastic example of what can be achieved when two organisations see a need and work together collaboratively. 

Click here to read more in the full press release.