Getting accredited as a Welcoming Community

Find out about the benefits of becoming an accredited Welcoming Community and how to apply for accreditation.

What getting accreditation means

Welcoming Communities accreditation assesses a council and community’s efforts to include and welcome newcomers — recent migrants, former refugees and international students.

Councils who have signed up to the Welcoming Communities programme can apply for accreditation and work to meet the Welcoming Communities Standard. Accredited communities can showcase their achievements to the world with pride.

Welcoming Communities Standard

Join Welcoming Communities

The Welcoming Communities accreditation model

There are 4 stages of accreditation, each with increasing levels of requirement and benefits:

  • Stage 1 — a Committed Welcoming Community
  • Stage 2 — an Established Welcoming Community
  • Stage 3 — an Advanced Welcoming Community
  • Stage 4 — an Excelling Welcoming Community.

At stage 1 a council must commit to participating in the Welcoming Communities programme and complete an application.

For stages 2 to 4 a council, working with its community, completes an application and a self-assessment workbook. The Welcoming Communities External Accreditation Assessment Panel prepares a detailed report on each application.

Site visits are arranged for Advanced (stage 3) and Excelling (stage 4) accreditation.

We have prepared an overview of the Welcoming Communities Accreditation model which includes a summary table and a short description of each stage.

Welcoming Communities Accreditation – An overview

The benefits of accreditation

Accreditation builds a competitive advantage to attract, support and retain newcomers.

  • showing that a council values and welcomes newcomers
  • providing a way to assess progress and to improve welcoming practices
  • celebrating success and shared pride in positive outcomes for the community
  • showing that a council and community is part of an international welcoming network
  • showcasing welcoming activities on the national and international stage
  • providing councils with access to support, resources, knowledge sharing and networking New Zealand and overseas through the Welcoming Communities programme which we lead.

How to apply for accreditation

The full process, and what councils and communities must do to get accredited, is in the Welcoming Communities Applicant Accreditation Manual.

Welcoming Communities Applicant Accreditation Manual

Application forms and resources

For each stage of accreditation there are application forms and other resources to help councils complete the process.

Stage 1 — Committed Welcoming Community forms

The Committed Features Checklist helps a council and community decide if they are ready to apply for accreditation as a Committed Welcoming Community.

Committed Features Checklist

Committed Application Form

Stage 2 – Established Welcoming Community forms

Councils use the Excelling Features Checklist to make sure everything is in place to become accredited as an Excelling Welcoming Community.

Established Features Checklist

Established, Advanced and Excelling Application Form

After an application is submitted, the Established Planning Tool helps to map out the accreditation process and timeframes.

Established Planning Tool

Stage 3 — Advanced Welcoming Community forms

Councils use the Advanced Features Checklist to make sure everything is in place to become accredited as an Advanced Welcoming Community.

Advanced Features Checklist

Established, Advanced and Excelling Application Form

After an application is submitted, the Advanced Planning Tool helps to map out the accreditation process and timeframes.

Advanced and Excelling Planning Tool

Stage 4 — Excelling Welcoming Community forms

Councils use the Excelling Features Checklist to make sure everything is in place to become accredited as an Excelling Welcoming Community.

Excelling Features Checklist

Established, Advanced and Excelling Application Form

After an application is submitted, the Excelling Planning Tool helps to map out the accreditation process and timeframes.

Advanced and Excelling Planning Tool

More information

Contact our Welcoming Communities programme team for more information about the programme and getting accreditation.

You can email us to request the Self-assessment Workbook.

Email: welcomingcommunities@mbie.govt.nz

What is Welcoming Communities?