Annual Practising Certificates

When practising as a nurse you must hold a practising certificate (APC). Nurses who practise without a practising certificate may be referred to a professional conduct committee.

As soon as you have completed your application and made payment, you are covered to practise and your details will show on the ‘Register of Practising Nurses’. This is available on our homepage and can be used to confirm your current practising status. Applications for practising certificates are always considered on an individual basis. If you have any questions about your eligibility or whether you require a practising certificate in your current role, please contact us.

Please use the link on the right of your screen to log in and renew your APC.

Definition of practising

The Council is required to define practising, to determine whether a nurse has maintained the required standard of continuing competence and whether a nurse requires a practising certificate.

Nursing practice is using nursing knowledge in a direct relationship with clients or working in nursing management, nursing administration, nursing education, nursing research, nursing professional advice or nursing policy development roles, which impact on public safety.

This means that a person who has the responsibilities of a nurse as defined by the Nursing Council scopes of practice and is using their nursing knowledge in a direct relationship with clients should hold a practising certificate.

If a nurse is employed in one of the other roles set out in the definition, they may not require a practising certificate unless their role impacts on public safety.

The purpose of this definition is to ensure that nurses who are in a direct nursing relationship with clients or whose role impacts on public safety comply with the requirements of the Act. The Act aims to ensure that nurses have maintained the required standard of competence to protect public safety, such as ongoing professional development and the completion of the required number of hours of practice.

The definition and its requirements do not extend to nurses who no longer have nursing responsibilities but who choose to continue working in the health care sector. The definition may include some practitioners who are working as nurses but whose employers have not previously required them to hold practising certificates.

For more information, please contact us.

APC Cycle

APCs are issued in one-year cycles depending on the nurse’s birth date (see the table below).  

Birthday  APC expiry date Renewal available             

1 Jan–31 Mar

31 March

1 Jan31 Mar

1 Apr30 Jun

30 June

1 Apr30 Jun

1 July–30 Sep 

30 September

1 July30 Sep

1 Oct-31 Dec

31 September

1 Oct-31 Dec

If you return to practise outside your normal quarter renewal, a practising certificate is issued for an adjusted period and the fee will be adjusted accordingly.

If you are newly registered the same principle applies and you will be asked to pay for an APC that brings your annual renewal date in line with everyone else with a birthday in the same quarter. This will be valid for either:

  • 6 months (with a fee of NZ$55.00) or
  • 9 months (with a fee of NZ$82.50) or
  • 12 months (with a fee of NZ$110.50) or
  • 15 months (with a fee of NZ$137.50).

All fees quoted include the compulsory disciplinary levy and GST.

If you do not apply for renewal before your current APC expires you may be working without a current APC. This is not permitted under the Act and may lead to disciplinary action. 

To protect public safety, employers also have a responsibility to ensure that the nurses in their workplace hold current APCs. 

If you are no longer practising or do not intend to practise after your APC expires, you do not need to renew.

This could be because you are:

  • retired
  • currently practising overseas
  • not returning to practise or on a break.

Online APC Renewal

The Nursing Council has introduced an online facility for the renewal of Annual Practising Certificates (APCs).

Renew your Annual Practising Certificate

Anyone who is practising as a nurse in new Zealand must have an Annual Practising certificate (APC)

To renew your APC please log on to the MyNC portal

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Nurses can give the Council their email address by emailing: nznurse@nursingcouncil.org.nz