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Programme Overview


Our Certificate in Payroll Operations is a 12 month programme focused on building your practical, tactical skills and experience in all the fundamental areas of payroll processing, including employment law, policies and procedures, and payroll management.


Over the Certificate you will complete online learning modules with on the job assignments, case studies, quizzes and assessments. The programme also involves rating your achievement level from the start to the finish and mapping your skills and experience.


Who should attend?

You’ll benefit most from the Certificate in Payroll Operations if you are:


What will you finish with?

The Certificate in Payroll Operations is different from tertiary study as you need to be working in a role where you can apply what you’re learning, rather than just covering theory.

You’ll work through case studies, exercises and real situations, and review your own workplace practices so that you get as much experience as you can, to deliver effectively in real life. Once you’ve completed your final assessment you will be awarded your certificate.


Elephant Certificates are now recognised globally, in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, the US and United Kingdom.


Apply for a place

The programme investment is AUD$1,550, NZ$1,750, UK£795 or US$995.

You will need to complete the on-line application to register for the Certificate.

You can register and start the programme at the starting points during the year.





The Employment Relations Act


Payroll are often responsible for checking what status new employees are (regardless of the employment agreement HR have put them on) and to ensure they are set up and paid correctly. This modules covers all you need to know.




Core Modules

Other Leave Provisions


There are a number of other types of leave that payroll may be asked to process. This module covers Long Service Leave, Domestic Violence Leave and other leave policies.


Allowances & Tax


There are a number of allowances that payroll may have to set up and pay to employees. You need to make sure you have set these up correctly and understand the tax issues, to mitigate any issues for your business.

Parental Leave Provisions


When employees take parental leave and when they return to work, there are a number of issues payroll must navigate correctly including calculating payments, entitlements and recent changes.

For the Certificate in Payroll Operations, you must complete 12 modules. Ten of these are core modules which are compulsory and two can be chosen from our five optional modules. If you have significant experience or training in 1 or 2 areas covered by the core modules, you can swop these for optional modules.

This Certificate is for anyone in a payroll role, who wants to build their operational payroll skills and knowledge.

Certificate in Payroll Operations

Apply Online - NZ Download the full brochure

Deductions & Overpayments


There are a number of deductions you may have to set up and make from employee’s pays. Again there are some complexities with getting these right! This module covers them all.





Effective Payroll Processes


Whether you are a sole charge Payroll professional or part of a team, there are a number of tools and techniques you can use to make your payroll processing effective, and some legislation around these.

Processing Final Pay



There are a number of payroll challenges you can face when processing final pays. This covers how to calculate all types of final pay and deal with the associated payroll issues.

Optional Modules

Leading Change


This module takes you through using specific change tools with a payroll system change case study so that you are fully prepared to drive change in your business.

Remuneration Systems


If your payroll role is also responsible for developing or improving your remuneration systems, or you’re involved in the salary review and bonus processes, this module is for you.



Leading a Team


If you are a team leader or Payroll Manager with direct reports, this module covers how to set up team processes, develop team skills, deal with different personality styles and more...

Payroll Metrics & Analytics


In recent years many HR teams have been asked to produce more analytics – and where do they turn? To payroll! However payroll teams can also now get asked to produce employee data. If this is an area you want to learn more about, this module is for you.

Writing Payroll Policies


There are several policies that you may have responsibility for developing or updating when working in payroll This module covers the different policies to have and how to make them effective.



Apply Online - NZ Download the full brochure

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Clever Communications


To deliver effectively in payroll, you need to understand the different communication styles – both yours and others, and how to adapt to managers, employees and your team!


Offering Employment


In some payroll roles, you can be responsible for managing the operational processes around offering employment to candidates and then setting them up in the payroll system. This modules covers how to do that.




Establishing Yourself


It’s hard early in your career when you are still building your payroll experience, but advising your business on best practise, and answering questions from managers. This module covers how to do it.



Annual Leave and Public Holidays


The Holidays Act can cause many payroll headaches and cost your business if leave isn’t calculated and paid correctly. This modules covers annual leave and public holiday payments.

Sick and Bereavement Leave

Like annual leave, there are some complications to correctly paying sick and bereavement leave under the Holidays Act. This modules covers how to do it.

Bonuses and Remuneration


This modules covers the payroll issues around salary increases for individuals or through Collective Bargaining, and for paying bonuses and incentives.