National response to MoCA test certification

News
21 Aug 2019

In June, the MoCA Clinic and Institute announced that all users of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test will be required to complete a training and certification program every two years at their own cost from 1 September 2020. Access to the online test resources will also be restricted to people who have completed the training.

The MoCA test is widely used throughout New Zealand in the assessment of cognitive impairment. It is also listed as a preferred assessment tool for the cognitive impairment (dementia) pathway in HealthPathways across the country.

The potential cost of this announcement to the health sector, in both time and money, is significant. It has national implications; therefore a national response is required.

Our response

The NZ Dementia Framework Collaborative is inviting a multidisciplinary working group to prepare a briefing for district health boards and the Ministry of Health about the potential costs and benefits of continuing to use the MoCA test, and to do an assessment of alternatives. 

Depending on the findings, an alternative assessment may be recommended or a collective agreement for the MoCA negotiated on behalf of the New Zealand health sector.

The terms of reference for the working group are being developed and recruitment will get underway shortly. This approach has been endorsed by the National Health of Older People (HOP) Steering Group and is supported by the Ministry of Health.

What you can do

Save copies of the MoCA test versions and instructions you access most frequently whilst the national process is ongoing. You can continue to use these in good faith until September 2020, so long as you have been trained adequately via local processes or via the MoCA website.

We will keep you informed of progress.

For more information or to offer support or information to the working group, please email director@nzdementia.org.