The Vanuatu College of Nursing Education (VCNE) now has a five-year strategic plan, after years of operating without one.

The absence of a strategic plan is part of the reasons of the cessation of intakes from the college. The national education training provider has been operating as an internal unit of the Ministry of Health (MOH), it has no proper basis for its legal establishment and operations.

The development of the plan is essential for the re-registration of VCNE by the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA) and marks a significant milestone in the institution’s development and accreditation process.

It has been formally endorsed by both VQA and MOH.

Acting Director General (DG) of Health, Dr Posikai Samuel Tapo, commended the VCNE Board, key stakeholders including the Vanuatu Australian Health Partnership and the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP), for dedication and efforts in ensuring the plan aligns with the evolving needs of the healthcare landscape in Vanuatu and meets VQA compliance requirements.

According to the MOH, the next steps for the re-registration include a final submission of a progress report demonstrating further compliance evidence to VQA. This step is essential to enable VQA to verify VCNE’s rectification progress and to start the renewal of the registration process.

The ministry has signed a multi-stakeholder agreement with the Ministry of Education and the Department of Local Authorities for the flexible delivery of Certificate II Health Support Work, Certificate III Health Assistance, Certificate IV Nurse Aid, and certificate IV Village Health Worker, in outer provinces.

“The flexible delivery of the certificate courses will follow a similar process already implemented by VIT, extending VQA-approved qualifications to individuals residing in remote areas,” stated the ministry.

“The success of this program relies on the flexibility of the institutions involved to mobilise VQA-accredited trainers to the islands, to deliver demand-driven courses.”

The Australian Government, under its support to the Government of Vanuatu through the Vanuatu Australia Health Partnership and VSP, supports the re-registration of VCNE and ensure that quality-based, flexible delivery of accredited nursing and health training is decentralised to the provinces for improved access to inclusive health services.