Postgraduate Certificate in Public Management Launches

A World First 

Postgraduate Certificate in Public Management

In 2021, Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Government will offer a world-first post graduate Certificate in Public Management (PGCPM) in association with the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative (G-REG) and the Skills Organisation. This programme will be delivered to students whose organisation has a contract with Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) for the teaching of the programme, who are nominated staff of central and local government agencies anywhere in New Zealand, and whose application has been accepted by VUW. In 2021 the programme will be taught face to face (or by Zoom attendance) in Wellington in 12 one day modules between May 2021 and March 2022. Students will be in a cohort of up to 30 completing the programme together and assisted to develop strong supportive networks through group modes of learning.

For experienced public officials, particularly those who are regulatory or policy practitioners in or aspiring to management in central or local government organisations, gaining a PGCPM will expand understanding of the theory and practice of public management and regulatory practice in the 21st century in Aotearoa/New Zealand and open career development options. Participation leads to upgraded personal competencies and capacities as managers and the ambition, imagination and courage to improve practice in regulatory organisations. The tertiary qualification builds on G-REG’s NZQA courses offered currently by Skills Organisation.

There are four courses in the PGCPM, two of which focus on regulatory practice and policymaking specifically. The order of courses may vary from year to year. Students will enrol for and complete all courses in a 12-month period. All courses will be delivered at the VUW premises at Rutherford House, Lambton Quay, Wellington. Each course meets from 9.30am to 5:00 pm on three separate days spread over two months. Successful completion can be a stepping stone to the full VUW’s internationally accredited Master of Public Management (12 courses).


Course Details

Course 1: Public Managers and the Policy Process

How are the roles, work and accountabilities of public officials shaped by the institutions of responsible government? Learn how to go about managing the achievement of desired policy outcomes in the public sector through the work of analysis and design (including public engagement), implementation and evaluation.

Course 2: Public Management: Managing for Results

Learn how to effectively achieve the desired policy outcomes sought by central and local government by managing strategically from top to bottom of an organisation in a recursive cycle of planning, resourcing, implementation and review.

Course 3: Regulatory Policy

This course explores key concepts and frameworks for successful regulatory practice in complex 21st century environments. Students will reflect on contemporary developments in regulatory practice and reform, drawing on theories and experiences including international trends and influences, evaluate regulation and regulatory policy and consider the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and policy settings/tools and their suitability in specific jurisdictions.

Course 4: Regulatory Practice in the 21st Century

Contemporary issues in regulatory practice are examined with emphasis on the roles of the agencies in successfully implementing regulatory policies through New Zealand case studies. The delivery of regulatory practice is examined.

Participants and criteria for eligibility

The PGCPM is a professional development programme for public officials already in or about to enter middle/upper, service and regional management or analysis/advisory roles. It is available to students whose employing organisation has signed a contract for the teaching of this programme with VUW. There are reduced fees and greater learning supports for students through this route. Students are nominated by their manager who will be looking for applicants with particular promise and/or capability in their organisations, including the medium/long-term potential to rise to upper regional and senior management.

For acceptance into the PGCPM an applicant must:

  • Be supported by their employer for participation (‘Nomination’); AND
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree (NZQA Level 7) in any discipline from a New Zealand (or overseas equivalent) university; AND two years relevant experience in the public sector (this requirement may be waived in special cases); OR
  • Have extensive practical, professional, scholarly, public or community sector experience (‘Special Entry’).

If you want to be considered as a student, please discuss with your manager. Organisations wishing to enter into a contract for places on this programme should email or call Verna Smith (contact details below) between now and the end of March 2021 to discuss access to the programme and forward the names of nominated students. We will then commence administrative arrangements and application processes.

Cost (to be confirmed)

In 2021, the fee per participant for the four-course programme is $7070.00 GST exclusive. In addition, there is a one-time student levy of $871.00 (GST inclusive) for Wellington-based students (or $449.42 (GST inclusive) for distance students unable to attend in person).

Information, advice and applications

Organisations and individuals wanting more information or advice and to provide nominations are asked to contact the Academic Coordinator, Dr Verna Smith or Regional Coordinator, Adjunct Professor Bill Ryan (contact details below). The academic staff developing and teaching the programme are:

Academic Coordinator

Dr Verna Smith


Phone: 021 148 166

Chair of Regulatory Practice

Professor Jeroen van der Heijden


Phone: 04 463 5082

Verna is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy in the School of Government. She previously worked for several government agencies, managing and service development housing, funding of non-profit agencies, social and family services, treatment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities
Professor Jeroen van der Heijden is the inaugural holder of the Chair in Regulatory Practice. He works at the intersection of regulation and governance and has a specific interest in regulatory stewardship and dynamic governance regimes.
Regional Coordinator

Adjunct Professor Bill Ryan


Phone: 027 476 4201


Dr Flavia Donadelli


Phone: 04 463 7647

Bill has been a public administration and management academic in Australia and New Zealand for many years, and has published and consulted in governance and governing, strategic planning and management, service delivery and monitoring and evaluation. He is particularly interested in ideas emerging in New Zealand and Australia as public services adapt to the 21st century.
Flavia obtained a PhD in Political Science from London School of Economics and Political Science in 2017, after also pursuing a Masters in Regulation at the same institution (2011-2012). Currently, she is working on an analysis of administrative reforms and innovation in the New Zealand public sector and on the role of redistributive regulatory actions in developing countries.