Canvas - a new learning management system



A modern learning management system (LMS) is a key enabler for our 2020 strategy to be a skills innovator and have 100% of learning content online.

In May 2017 we launched Canvas, an LMS used by more than 3,000 schools, universities and institutions and 18 million learners around the world. Canvas is a modern, easy-to-use system built on the premise that nothing is ever more than two clicks away, both for the learner as well as the content developer. In New Zealand, Canvas is also used by the University of Auckland and Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).

Canvas benefits:

  • Engages learners in 21st century learning in the digital age, supporting school leavers who already learn in this medium and providing continuity of learning journey
  • Provides a market-leading learning experience where ease of use is paramount and homepages are customisable to suit the learner and engagement is driven between peers
  • Creates a learning eco-system that supports collaboration between learners, employers, assessors and account managers so learning support is readily available and detailed feedback can be provided in multiple ways, including video and audio
  • Enables access to an ePortfolio making it easy for learners to upload and submit evidence and capturing lifelong learning content
  • Enables access to learning content anywhere, anytime from multiple devices
  • Allows the use of third-party content to enrich Competenz learning content
  • Provides a stable and reliable system with a 99.9% up-time so learners are not effected by system outages
  • Continuous system updates cater to evolving learning styles – resulting in increased engagement and better outcomes.


Fire protection qualifications on Canvas

In October 2017 Competenz launched a new suite of fire protection programmes, developed with industry for industry. There are four programmes at Level 3 and six programmes at Level 4, and the New Zealand Certificates replace the previous National Certificates.

The programmes span detection and alarms as well as fire protection and hand operated firefighting equipment. In developing the programmes Competenz has created logical pathways for progression for learners.



The new programmes follow a step-by-step approach as opposed to the traditional year-by-year breakdown. This approach allows for practical and theory to be combined to give better structure and spread to the learning load.

At the same time a new service model was launched for the industry with each learner now receiving four visits per year from a specialised training advisor and 24/7 access to Canvas eLearning with up-to-date learning techniques and vibrant, interactive content.


At the start of the Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) process the fire protection sector comprised approximately 450 learners. All theory units were delivered as correspondence via provider Firetech and practical units were delivered on-the-job with workplace assessment or using a local Competenz account manager. Competenz had no specialist account managers, varying levels of exposure to the fire protection industry and only one account manager with full scope to assess.


A central assessment process was implemented with Fire Protection Training Advisor Steve Maudlin managing all on-the-job assessment for his customers and In-house Assessor Jim Kelly (formerly Firetech) managing all eLearning and on-job assessment of other learners. 
Companies with workplace assessors will be considered for approval to continue assessing and uploading their results via Canvas which is where the central assessment process is managed.


The transition to Canvas has also created an additional commercial opportunity. There are now 17 fire protection unit standards available via Competenz Microlearning, which are ideal for individuals who need to train to task or those who cannot commit to a full qualification.


In New Zealand there are more than 250 companies involved in fire protection and systems with around 2,000 employees between them. This presents a growth opportunity for Competenz.