Information regarding COVID-19

COVID19 logo english

NZQA's primary focus is to support the education community, while helping to keep people safe.

Please find information from NZQA relevant to your circumstances in the links below.

Secondary Schools and students

Please check our overview of the changes to NCEA and University Entrance which have been made for 2022

You can also see information about the changes made in 2021 and 2020.

General information about COVID-19 can be found on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Tertiary providers and students

Updated on 14 February 2022

Students should contact their education provider for information and advice about studying during the Red setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

NZQA is committed to helping providers maintain services to students during this challenging time. We will be continuing our quality assurance activities in a fit-for-purpose way to reduce risk. For more information see NZQA Quality Assurance activities at Red.

Information for tertiary providers

COVID-19 Case and contact management

In 2022, NZQA will be the Single Point of Contact for PTEs where a student or staff member has COVID-19.

It is important NZQA has up to date contact information for PTEs, including an after-hours phone number. You can update these details through our online services.

As part of the approach to managing COVID-19 in our community, the Ministry of Health and public health units, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, the Tertiary Education Commission and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority developed this guidance for case and contact management for tertiary providers:

Managing COVID-19: A public health toolkit for tertiary providers is a national tool for tertiary providers and education agencies managing COVID-19 cases and contact management.

Step-by-step guide for managing COVID-19 in tertiary settings is a companion guide with clear steps for tertiary providers to support the management of COVID-19 contacts.

Onsite restrictions

Under COVID-19 restrictions, it is critical that organisations take steps to enable the contact tracing of people who have had possible exposure to the virus. TEOs are required to maintain an up-to-date record of all people who visit or attend their facilities. For more information see keeping site access records.

Information on tertiary and international education at Red is available on the Ministry of Education website. In addition, regular updates are published in Education Bulletins.

Only staff (including volunteers and contractors), students and visitors who are vaccinated can be onsite at Red. There are some exceptions for essential services (including student accommodation).

On tertiary education premises at Red, capacity limits must be based on 1m distancing.

Face masks must be used indoors at tertiary education premises that are open to the public, and during formal teaching and learning activities. There are some exceptions to the face mask requirement. 

Changing to distance or online delivery

At COVID-19 Red, providers are encouraged where possible to make distance learning options available to those unable or unwilling to attend classes being held onsite.

For providers who do not hold approval for distance or online delivery, NZQA expects that they notify NZQA when they are moving to distance or online delivery during the COVID-19 Red setting. 

NZQA also expects that a change in mode of delivery continues for as short a period as possible, and that the provider considers seeking permanent distance or online delivery approval.  Providers can apply at any time to make a Type 2 change via the TEO portal using the secure log-in.

There are questions for providers to consider when shifting to distance or online delivery, including:

  • Are learning activities suitable to be delivered distance/online?
  • Are systems and tools in place for distance/online learning activities?
  • Are there are systems in place to support the learners?
  • What is the plan to monitor learner engagement and attendance?
  • Are assessments suited for distance or an online platform?
  • How will academic integrity be maintained?
  • Does a workplace or practical component require learners to be on campus? 

See here (PDF, 322KB) for more advice to TEOs on distance online delivery.

Extending programme length

At COVID-19 Red, TEOs may need to make changes to the length of their programme delivery in order to allow learners to complete their study.

TEOs that want to temporarily extend programme length should contact NZQA at providing the following and any other relevant information:

  1. the title of the programme[s]
  2. the approved number of weeks for the programme
  3. the extension requested (including original and new end date)
  4. the number of learners affected.

You should also discuss your plans to extend the programme with StudyLink, TEC or Immigration New Zealand, as is appropriate. 

Please note that any request to extend programmes of study that lead to registration with a regulatory body, such as Nursing Council New Zealand, the Midwifery Council, the Social Workers Registration Board or the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand programmes must be agreed by the relevant body.

PTEs need to check that their student fee protection arrangements reflect any changes to programme dates.  For more information see PTEs and student fees.

Inactive PTEs

PTEs impacted by COVID-19 may seek to become inactive, while remaining registered. For more information see Inactive PTEs.

English language tests for international students

The requirements for international students to demonstrate proficiency in English remain in place, but with some changes. For more information see English language proficiency for international students.


The Ministry of Health continues to monitor the situation with regards to COVID-19. The health of students and staff is a priority and up to date health information is available at COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) guidance – Ministry of Health website.

If you have a particular health concern about a student or staff member, ask the student or staff member to call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMS).

If you have any questions and enquiries relating to NZQA’s quality assurance activities or the pastoral care of students during this time, please contact us at This includes signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice who may have a specific question about applying the Code.

For other information and advice please refer to the Ministry of Education website.

Information for tertiary students and trainees

Students and family members of anyone studying at a tertiary education or training organisation in New Zealand can get information about COVID-19 (Novel coronavirus) from health providers, tertiary education organisations and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

  • If you are unwell, please call Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 line (free of charge) on 0800 358 5453 or call your doctor.
  • You can also contact your local District Health Board.
  • Please contact your tertiary education organisation directly for information regarding your accommodation, classes and anything relating to your study during this time.
  • For any other information that your tertiary education provider is unable to help with, please call TEC on 0800 123 797.

International students should contact their insurance provider directly for up-to-date advice on any changes to their cover as a result of COVID-19, consider their options, and take the course of action that is in their best interest.

All tertiary education organisations have been contacted with information about COVID-19 and you can find more information here.

Other useful links


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