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.

Introducing the six foundation topics developed specifically to establish a solid foundation of village management competence and confidence. The six foundation topics are recognised by the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission, the Retirement Villages Residents Association and Operators as essential Learning.

The Foundation Programme:

  • Resident Wellbeing –Establish a service model that supports independence and promotes resident wellbeing.
  • Resident Committees - Investigate why resident committees exist, how to support them to contribute to a harmonious village and why they can be an invaluable resource for a Village Manager.
  • The Customer Experience - Achieve quality customer experiences, from inquiry to termination, by placing the resident at the centre of all that you do and understand how the customer experience can impact sales results and marketing spend.
  • Complaint Management - Understand the benefits and purpose of a complaint management system and how to transform feedback into improvements which enhance the resident experience.
  • Annual General Meetings - Understand the purpose of the AGM including the statutory, operational, financial and management reporting required to meet your legislative obligations.
  • Time Management - Managing competing priorities, identify strategies and activities to achieve more when time is scarce.

When learners enrol in the full professional development programme, they gain access to the six foundation topics and all other new PD module releases each year.

This programme is ideal for both new and established village professional. Te Ara Institute delivers a rich and expanding library of key topics, polices, online tools, video sessions and guest expert speakers plus up to three Masterclasses through out NZ each year.

The Full Professional Development Programme:

  • The Vacancy Pipeline & Refurbishments: Understand the vacancy pipeline and strategies to assist with managing refurbishments.
  • The Sales Process: Understand the importance of a sound sales process that includes engagement with the operational team and tools to ensure compliance and positive customer experiences.
  • Content Marketing: Understand Content Marketing, and how to create a marketing strategy that increases brand awareness and grows your connection with prospective clients.
  • Decisions, Directives and Guardianship: Understand the importance of Enduring Powers of Attorney and identify the legislative requirements of decisions, directives & guardianships.
  • Sponsorship: Sponsorship is often an undervalued part of the marketing mix for retirement villages. Learn how you can use sponsorship to attract more potential residents, provide unique ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences, and how it can help win the hearts and minds of those you serve.
  • Event Planning: Identify what makes a great event and how to plan, conduct and manage successful events.
  • Ageing 101: This module talks us through the science of ageing, gives us some well-respected facts on the evolution of human ageing and really makes us stop to think about what it is ageing is actually all about (other than us all getting older!)
  • Valuations: Understand the methods of valuation for retirement villages, the legislated obligations and the operational decisions that can impact the value of the village.
  • Financial Management: Identify the financial management components required to meet legislative compliance and understand the importance of sound financial accountability for residents.
  • Social Media Marketing: Judi Carr, Director, Content Republic, shares the golden rule of social media marketing is to EDUCATE first & SELL second.
  • Insurance: Understand the insurance requirements of retirement villages, the cover needed for your village and insurance jargon, so you can effectively compare policies.
  • Sustainability: The module looks at the importance of Greenstar design and construction and outlines a range of sustainability initiatives for managers to implement.
  • Handling Difficult Conversations: Being able to navigate difficult conversations is an important skill for anyone to have. While not all difficult conversations involve conflict or confrontation, they do need to be handled correctly to maintain the relationships with all parties involved. In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, we frequently encounter diverse perspectives, opinions, and emotions, making challenging discussions inevitable.
  • Health & Safety #1: As we are all aware, Workplace Health & Safety is an essential part of village management. For us to maintain a certain level of safety in the workplace for our residents, staff, and ourselves, it is critical we have processes and procedures in place.
  • 5 Intentional Leadership modules: The Intentional Leadership Series begins with an introduction to leadership and how to develop a Leadership Mindset. It then explores how we can adapt our Leadership style to get optimum results. The third module helps us 'Prioritise for Purpose' and determine if we are “Busy” or “Productive”. We then look at developing a leadership mindset and delves into delegation as the bedrock of successful collaborative leadership. The fifth leadership module looks at ways of Coaching for Success.

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. 

Programme cost:

  • Six Foundation Topics, $600 + gst

  • Upgrade to 12-month Professional Development Programme, $1400 + gst

  • Full Professional Development Programme, $2000 + gst

Learners can upgrade from a Foundation Program enrolment to the full Professional Development Programme at any stage for an additional $1,400 + gst.

Due to the partnership with DCM, Te Ara learner enrolments are non-refundable in most instances, but can be transferred to a different member of staff if they have not yet been activated by the learner. 

Find out more 

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

Ongoing Professional Development

The ongoing Te Ara professional Development Programme is designed to support and expand the competency of village and head office management staff in a dynamic sector. Operational and regulatory knowledge is supported with evolving topics keeping pace with a fast-changing industry.

Monthly themes and in-depth topic explorations are released and curated to meet the specific obligations for legislation and regulation development so members remain current in their skills and knowledge.

Our new module releases for 2024 include:

  • Commerce Act & Cartel Behaviour: An overview of competition law, what constitutes anti-competitive behaviour, the Fair-Trading Act and how that regulates advertising, and cartel behaviour.
  • Residents’ Induction: How to ensure your new resident gets the best experience possible from the first time they come up the drive to settling into the life of the village.
  • Intentional Leadership #6 - Delivering Positive & Constructive Feedback: This Leadership module deals with delivering positive and constructive feedback to those around us in a non-confrontational and more approachable way.
  • Asset Management: This topic gives village managers a better understanding of the importance of property and asset management, as well as gaining knowledge and skills for effective decision-making and risk management.
  • Intentional Leadership #7 - Resilience in Leadership: The final Leadership module in the series explores resilience in leadership and the coping mechanism of stress and adversity.
  • Health & Safety #2 – Emergency Management: This module focuses on villages’ emergency planning and risk management, including planning and tools required to ensure villages can recover quickly from unplanned events.
  • Privacy – Effective Record Keeping for Village & Community Managers: Managing information through records involves taking care of the information created, received, stored, digitised, or discarded in your village. Companies need to follow rules and procedures for record keeping, understanding the privacy component and know how long to keep different types of information, such as employee files, financial reports, emails, and social media posts.
  • The Art of Report Writing – A Guide for Managers: This topic focuses on the essential skills and techniques required by Management in retirement villages to produce clear, concise, and informative reports. As the primary communicators within the village, Managers need to master the art of report writing to effectively convey information to residents, staff, and external partners.
  • Elder Abuse: This module takes you on a systematic journey of discovery, understanding and action by teaching everyone what to look out for and how to respond to Elder Abuse. In particular, how to recognise the signs of abuse, including financial, physical, sexual or psychological, and know what to do when the abuse is identified.
  • Duty of Care: This module covers information to assist you with knowledge of parameters and what 'good' looks like from the lens of a village and a resident.

*The RVA/Te Ara Institute reserves the right to vary the module release schedule as required.

Getting started

Contact Julie to get registered.
If you have any questions or wish to get registered, call Julie on 021 2437 940 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.

Learner incentives

$2000 investment in our Professional Development Programme includes the following incentives for each learner.

Within the first year, the opportunity to attend up to three Masterclasses in NZ free of charge.

(Revised cost for the 2024 Masterclass Programme is $195 + gst, per day)

Within the second year of the Professional Development Programme renewal the incentive includes:

  • The opportunity to attend up to three Masterclasses in NZ free of charge.

Te Ara Launch Webinar Recording

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