The Te Ara Institute

Te Ara offers an ongoing professional development programme that supports village staff to improve their operations and build a competitive edge.

The programme provides topics, tools, videos, and professional development workshops to master today’s most in demand village management skills. 

Built around a community of supportive and like-minded village professional peers, the Te Ara Institute supports networking and connectivity within the sector.

Te Ara –Professional Development is aimed at retirement village managers, staff andothers who want to upgrade their skills and knowledge, and earn Continuous Professional Development points (CPD) while doing so. The programme has two parts – Te Ara – Foundation and Te Ara – Professional Development.

Te Ara –Foundation has six resident-focused modules. They are:

  • Resident well being - recognise the importance of a customer-centric service model
  • Resident Committees - Understand the role of resident committees in a village and how to support and engage them.
  • The Customer experience - Understand the customer experience from initial enquiry to departure 
  • Complaint management - How to develop and implement a robust complaints and dispute management process
  • AGMs - Conduct informative, engaging, and effective AGMs with your residents
  • Time management - Managing competing priorities, identify strategies and activities to achieve more when time is scarce

Te Ara –Professional Development allows learners to access an ever-growing suite of retirement village focused modules that cover a wide range of modules that help build skills and knowledge. They include the six modules in the Foundation course, plus the following:

  • The vacancy pipelines and refurbishments - understand the vacancy pipeline and strategies to help with managing refurbishments
  • The Sales process - understand the importance of a sound sales process with engagement with the customer
  • Content Marketing - create resident communications that are clear, effective and engaging
  • Intentional Leadership - 3 modules that introduce leadership, develop a leadership mindset, understand personal dynamics, and explore where time goes and focus on what matters
  • Decisions, Directives and Guardianship - understand how enduring powers of attorney work, and the impact of the End of Life Act 
  • Sponsorship - Understand how to measure value in sponsorship proposal s you receive and how unique "money can't buy" offers add value to your village 
  • Event planning - Identify what makes a great event and the strategies to make all events great
  • Ageing 101 - Fascinating scientific facts around the ageing process that will help you in your day-to-day interaction with residents
  • Village valuations - Understand the methods of valuation for villages, legislative obligations and issues that impact on your village's value 
  • Financial Management - Identify financial management components and understand how to answer residents' questions on the village finances
  • Social Media Marketing – Judi Carr, Director, Content Republic, shares the Golden Rule of social media marketing – educate first and sell second!

More modules are being released monthly. 

Te Ara Professional Development learners have access to the above topics, and new ones as they're introduced, plus free attendance at our regular in-person seminars with experts in the sector. 


Te Ara - Foundation $600 + GST, with the opportunity to upgrade to the Professional Development course for $1,400 (or $1,300 if you've attended the Village Finances seminar) within 12 months of starting

Te Ara - Professional Development $2,000 + GST for an annual subscription. 

Find out more 

Checkout the website here and sign up! Get the benefits today

Te Ara Launch Webinar Recording

The RVA’s e-learning programme for retirement village compliance

The retirement village industry is unique. Our legislation is designed to protect our residents' interests and places a significant challenge for operators and their staff to comply with the RV Act, associated regulations, the Codes of Practice and Resident Rights.

Dispute hearings with cost liabilities can arise should you or your staff unwittingly breach the requirements of these!

To assist you prevent this, the RVA developed a three-tier training programme aimed at all staff and contractors who have contact with residents and their families. Launched in Oct 2015, the system has been well-received by our members.

Independent operators benefit because they get ready-made training programmes for team development. Larger operators welcome the independence the RVA's programme offers and can brand it for the delivery of staff development within their organisation.

The courses

There are three levels:

  • Elements of the Code of Practice and Residents' Rights
    Aimed at all new staff members and all existing members who have contact with residents. Elements covers complaints, residents' privacy, access to residents dwellings, emergencies, residents' rights to consultation, courtesy and respect.
  • Advertising and selling
    Covers the Marketing, Sales and Re-sales process based on the RVA's best practice guide. It's aimed at all those involved in selling ORAs.
  • Managing the village
    Focuses on the regulatory regime, the Code of Practice, and RV Act. It's a 'must do' for all managers and perfect for new managers or people who want to refresh their knowledge.

Each level builds on the previous one, so to start the Managing the Village, the trainee must have completed the previous two courses.

Getting started

Contact Ethan to get registered.
If you have any questions or wish to get registered, call Ethan on 04 499 7090 or email

Training is available to anyone who is interested.

Each organisation appoints a sponsor who registers their trainees in the system. The RVA will send each trainee a training agreement outlining what is required and once they have replied to acknowledge their acceptance, they will be sent their own log-in details. They can then access their nominated training modules at

The login for your e-learning is different to your login for the RVA website as they are managed on separate websites and also helps to protect the integrity of your course.

The trainees complete each course at their own pace. As a guide, the Elements course takes, on average, an hour or so, Advertising and Selling a couple of hours, and Managing the Village up to eight hours.

The sponsor gets updates on each trainee's progress.

Certificates of Achievement are posted to the sponsor on completion to be countersigned and presented to the trainee.

Some of the comments we've had from trainees who have completed the courses:

"It's a great programme"
"I was nervous about doing it, but it was fine in the end"
"I haven't studied since I left school almost 50 years ago, but it worked just fine"

"It's a godsend," said Bruce Cullington, manager at Acacia Cove RV. "It makes sure all our staff are up to speed on the regulations." Bruce noted that the courses are great for team-building because people talk about the course and the questions, and give moral support. "Everyone encourages others, give tips on logging in, and just work more confidently together," he said.

The costs

  • The Elements = $30 + GST per trainee
  • Advertising and Selling = $40 + GST per trainee
  • Managing the Village = $75 + GST per trainee

Note that each course is cumulative. Trainees must have successfully completed each course before moving to the next. Completing three courses is $145 + GST per trainee.

If you have 50 or more people to train, contact us for some licensing options.

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