Want to learn more about NFSS?

Are you:

An interested member of the general public

Click here for our public information

A registered doctor, nurse or nurse practitioner

Complete the Registration Form below

A member of MEDSAC/NFSS-examining clinician

Scroll down to learn more about our NFSS education & accreditation pathway

Registration Form

For registered doctors, nurses & nurse practitioners - complete this form to access Introduction to NFSS in the NZ setting (30 days FREE access)

Kia ora,

These educational modules are restricted to clinicians with an interest in NFSS, family violence and sexual assault. For this application, please use your clinic or Te Whatu Ora email address. Once your details have been checked, you will hear from us within two business days to confirm your login details.

Ngā mihi,


Information for members of MEDSAC and NFSS-examining clinicians

Read on below to learn more about our NFSS education programme and accreditation pathway.


A new offence of strangulation/suffocation came into force in New Zealand on the 3rd December 2018 to reflect that strangulation/suffocation is one of the most lethal forms of family violence. Strangulation/suffocation can have significant long and short term psychological and physical impacts. Victims of non-fatal strangulation/strangulation (NFSS) are at a significantly higher risk to serious injury or death when perpetrated by an intimate partner or former intimate partner.

The Ministry of Health has contracted MEDSAC to design and develop a NFSS education and accreditation programme to enable the provision of expert medical forensic assessments of NFSS and expert medico-legal opinions to inform the patients/victims, the NZ Police, and legal counsel engaged in litigation activities resulting from NFSS incidents.

Education modules

MEDSAC offers a non-fatal strangulation/suffocation education and accreditation programme to train and support doctors and nurses in New Zealand to care for people who have experienced NFSS. This clinical programme is broken down into four modules, access to each module is determined by which category of MEDSAC membership is held.

The four clinical modules are (click on each module for further information):

  1. Introduction to non-fatal strangulation and suffocation in the New Zealand context (1-2 hour eLearning)
  2. Injury documentation and interpretation: non-fatal strangulation and suffocation (1-2 hour eLearning)
  3. Expert report writing for cases involving non-fatal strangulation and suffocation (1-2 hour eLearning)
  4. Forensic medical assessment and treatment of non-fatal strangulation and suffocation (8 hour, in-person training day)

Clinical module access criteria

You are entitled to access at least one of these modules if you are a registered doctor or nurse working in New Zealand and fulfil the requirements for membership of MEDSAC:

  • in an acute care setting e.g., ED, A&M or GP clinic, and have an independent role in the assessment of patients with injuries
  • as a Police Medical Officer
  • in a funded Sexual Abuse Assessment and Treatment Service (SAATS)

NFSS Accreditation and NFSS in the Manual (non-member)

Modules one to four above comprise the key components of our non-fatal strangulation/suffocation accreditation pathway, also supported by the NFSS section in the MEDSAC Manual. Membership of MEDSAC is required. Read about our membership types here. Contact the MEDSAC team for more information.

Apply for membership Email MEDSAC Phone MEDSAC: 09 376 1422

Non-fatal strangulation/suffocation...