Transition to the new Foundation and Cornerstone programmes begins with a roadshow

24 February 2020

College CEO Lynne Hayman (pictured left) has been on the road during January and February meeting with Primary Health Organisations to talk about the College’s new Foundation and Cornerstone programmes. She and other staff will be talking to most PHOs, either face-to-face or via Zoom webinar, by the end of February. 

Lynne’s discussions with PHOs is the first stage of a three-stage communications plan from the College. PHOs will soon receive letters giving an overview of the practices they support and what qualifications those practices currently have, along with their expiry dates and due dates of assessments.

Following a short feedback period, to double-check all our details are correct at the College, a detailed transition plan will go out, by email, to individual practices. These will usher in the new programmes, give greater detail about how the transition will work, and outline the costs involved. 

Practices will also be supported by a new portal on the College’s website, which went live in February 2020 on and be accessed from a ‘Quality Programmes’ tab on the homepage (next to the GP Pulse tab).

During her roadshows, Lynne has been talking about the two programmes, which become new and separate entities from 1 April 2020. She’s also been talking through the transition process with PHOs and answering the kind of detailed questions that come about with any major change. 

The Foundation programme will be the base (or foundation) qualification of the new system and represents a collection of legislative, regulatory, and clinical requirements for all general practices in New Zealand. It provides a nationally consistent benchmark that allows a practice to measure its current quality of care, and progress toward health equity outcomes. 

The Cornerstone programme will be divided into Bronze, Silver, and Gold accreditation levels. It’s a modular and flexible system that will give practices the freedom to choose the quality modules best suited to their practice and patients. It’s up to practices to decide how far on the Cornerstone journey they want to go. 

The College has developed the transition process to help move practices smoothly to the new system while considering their previous qualifications.

Lynne says, “I’ve found that people are overwhelmingly positive about the separation of ‘Foundation’ and ‘Cornerstone’ with a number of people mentioning that it has been a long time coming.

“PHOs were also, for the most part, very positive about the transition process saying to me that Cornerstone, especially, is now heading in the right direction and is more contemporary and fit for purpose.”

Paul Rowe, WellSouth Practice Network Director says, “this is a considerable project and one the College should be proud of completing.”

The new Foundation Programme is now live and Cornerstone programme will go live on 1 April 2020, and all practices will automatically be transitioned on to these new programmes as their current qualifications expire. 

The College will provide regular updates to help practices with this transition, but if you find your practice needs help, you can get in contact by emailing 

Foundation and Cornerstone programmes transition timeline 

Currently   College CEO Lynne Hayman visiting and talking to PHOs 
Late February  Letters go out to PHOs
Early March   Detailed plans go out by email to individual practices 
1 April 2020  New Foundation and Cornerstone programmes come into effect