February 2018
- 27 Feb 2018

To download a PDF of this newsletter click here (PDF, 402KB).

Reviewing the New Zealand Qualifications Framework

NZQA has initiated a review of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. The aim is to ensure that the framework remains fit for purpose, flexible and adaptive to the future needs of learners, employers and other stakeholders, and that it supports the introduction of new education products and other innovations.

An advisory group is providing strategic advice on the direction of the review. NZQA is currently engaging with a number of end-user groups to gather their views. These groups include:

  • Iwi
  • Pasifika
  • professional bodies
  • qualification developers
  • businesses
  • learners.

There has been opportunity to provide feedback and will be public consultations open in April this year.

The review is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

Cut-off dates for submitting programme approval and accreditation applications for delivery in 2019

The following are cut-off dates for submitting programme approval and accreditation applications where the intention is to begin delivery early in 2019.


Cut-off date for applications

Degree programme approval and accreditation applications

31 August 2018

Sub-degree level approval and accreditation applications (prior to Christmas)

8 October 2018

These timelines exclude any time when an application is subject to a Request for Further Information.

New processes to approve changes to delivery sites

NZQA has streamlined the processes for approval of delivery sites. The aim is to minimise the administration for external evaluation and review (EER) Category 1 and 2 tertiary educations organisations (TEOs), while ensuring that NZQA maintains an accurate record of all active delivery sites.

What has changed?

  • TEOs in EER Categories 1 and 2 can now gain approval for new delivery sites through an attestation process rather than an application.
  • Temporary sites are now defined as those sites used for 26 weeks or fewer.

The changes are effective from February 2018.

For further information about these changes see Approval of delivery sites.

EER Category 3 and 4 providers are still required to submit an application for changes to, or the addition of, delivery sites.

Degree-level programmes have accreditation that is delivery-site-specific. For more information see Changes to programme approvals.

Refreshed EER report for pilot in 2018

A refreshed version of the EER report template will be piloted over the next six months. At this stage, the refreshed format will be restricted to PTEs.

A survey held last year identified the sorts of changes/improvements the sector would like to see in EER reports. With these responses in mind, we have implemented a two-step process.

First, a refreshed report format that largely builds on the current model will be piloted in the first half of 2018 with selected PTEs. Full implementation for all PTEs is planned for the second half of 2018. Modifications for other TEO sectors will be discussed in 2018.

Key improvements include:

  • Summary of results to be sufficient to act as a stand-alone document
  • Limiting the amount of 'description' of a TEO
  • One-page maximum for each key evaluation question (KEQ)
  • Under each KEQ, direct statements of findings; supporting evidence; and evaluative conclusions
  • Direct linkage between KEQs and statements of confidence
  • Any significant non-compliances listed separately (as Requirements)
  • Some reordering of sections of the report to highlight evaluative findings
  • A plain English, shorter report.

PTEs chosen as part of the pilot will have the same rights of comment, appeal and reconsideration as set out in the NZQA Rules.

Secondly, we will continue working towards a more comprehensive reporting solution, that is in line with an increasingly digital world.

We hope the refreshed report will be received as intended - an interim improvement, which acts as a bridge to a more future-oriented update of the EER reporting system.

Changes to standards that contribute to Vocational Pathways

In September 2017, the Ministry of Education’s annual changes to the recommended standards that contribute to each of the six Vocational Pathways were published. The changes do not affect existing Vocational Pathways approvals, except where approvals contain expiring standards.

TEOs must ensure that assessment against expiring standards is completed before their expiry dates and that Vocational Pathways approvals are changed for future learner cohorts. The expiring standards must be replaced with registered standards.

What has changed?

The list of assessment standards in each pathway is in a spreadsheet in the Resources section of the Youth Guarantee website under the ‘Assessment Standards Spreadsheets’ button.

Information about the recommended standards that contribute to each of the six Vocational Pathways is also available from the Profile Builder on the Youth Guarantee website.

In the Profile Builder, the coloured shapes indicate different categories:

  • triangles represent the sectors a standard is in
  • circles indicate the sectors for which the standard is sector-related.

How do I change my approved Vocational Pathways?

If you need to change an existing Vocational Pathways approval, apply through the secure TEO login on the NZQA website, under ‘Other’:

  • state the Vocational Pathway and reference number
  • include the revised sample learner profile in the Profile Builder.

For further information or clarification, email qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) – update

Code enquiries

If you have any queries about the Code, contact NZQA and ask to speak to a member of the Code team. Our contact details are:

0800 697 296 or code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz

Due date for your organisation’s attestation of self-review for 2018

The due date for your organisation to attest you have completed your annual self-review report is 1 October 2018. Please submit your self-review attestation form by this date.

A clear majority of signatories indicated October as their preferred month when surveyed by NZQA last year.

More information about self-review and the self-review attestation process will be sent to all signatories in April.

Sampling of 2017 Code self-review reports

In December 2017, as part of our routine monitoring, we requested self-review reports from a random sample of 29 schools and 21 tertiary education organisations.

The reports are currently being assessed and the selected signatories can expect to receive feedback on their reports by early April 2018.

New agent management tool

In December, NZQA published a new resource to assist signatories to meet their Code obligations under Outcome 2: Managing and monitoring agents.

This resource was developed in collaboration with relevant government agencies and a sector reference group consisting of practitioners from all levels of the sector.

Please review the new agent management resource in the Code of Practice toolbox to ensure you are up-to-date on the requirements and recommended practice for meeting and exceeding Outcome 2 of the Code.

New guidance on scope of responsibility for international students

NZQA has published new guidance on provider responsibilities for international students and international student insurance in the online Code of Practice toolbox. It addresses the requirements of Outcome 3.

This guidance was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Immigration New Zealand, Education New Zealand and sector peak bodies, including ITENZ, English New Zealand, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics International (ITPI), and Quality Tertiary Institutes (QTI).

It addresses questions around the extent to which signatories are responsible for pastoral care and insurance cover of international students before and after the enrolment period: for example, when students engage in tourist activities prior to study.

Regional engagement

NZQA aims to visit every region of New Zealand at least once a year to update you on Code matters, run workshops, and answer your questions in person.

We will advise you by email of regional engagement dates for 2018, so please keep an eye out for our email notifications, which are sent to both the Principal and Code of Practice Contact Person.

If there is an event or meeting in your region you would like us to attend, please let us know at code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz. Depending on the timing, a representative from the Code team may be able to attend.

A new tool to guide your organisation’s self-review of the Code

NZQA currently has a project underway to develop a new tool to guide signatory self-review of performance against the outcomes and processes of the Code.

A sector reference group consisting of practitioners from a range of provider types and regions met in November to provide feedback on current information gaps and needs, and to brainstorm what future guidance and support around self-review could look like.

NZQA is now collaborating closely with the Education Review Office and Universities New Zealand to develop a new resource.

The sector reference group will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the prototype tool later this month, and the proposed resource will be published on the NZQA website in March for wider sector review.

Review of the Code Guidelines

NZQA will review and update the Code Guidelines between February and July 2018.

NZQA has initiated a review of the guidelines to ensure information is clear and concise, and meets the needs of signatories. A government agency reference group has been established, and NZQA is currently working with peak bodies, in the first instance, to build sector reference groups appropriate to each outcome area.

If you would like to be part of a reference group for this project, please contact your relevant peak body group (i.e. ITENZ, English New Zealand, QTI, ITPI) to register your interest.

University Entrance literacy requirements

Additions to the list of assessment standards that can be used to meet University Entrance literacy requirements

The list of standards that contribute to University Entrance literacy requirements has been amended for 2018.

The Standards that contribute to University Entrance literacy requirements from 1 April 2018 provide the registered numbers of assessment standards that contribute to University Entrance literacy requirements from 1 April 2018.

Consultation on the review of the list of assessment standards that can be used to meet University Entrance literacy requirements

NZQA is undertaking a review of the list of assessment standards that can be used to meet the University Entrance literacy requirements. This is to ensure that all the standards on the list provide appropriate evidence of the reading and writing skills required for university-level study. The current list has been considered for its suitability by an expert panel and some changes have been proposed. We are consulting on the review between 19 February and 13 April 2018.

A consultation document and list of changes are available, along with an online survey to provide feedback on the changes proposed. The consultation documents and the survey can be accessed through the Review of the University Entrance Literacy List consultation page.

Maintaining the approved subjects list for University Entrance

The processes and criteria for maintaining the approved subjects list for University Entrance are now available on the NZQA website.

Following national consultation between 11 September and 20 October 2017, NZQA finalised the processes and criteria for:

  • a modification to the list of approved subjects for University Entrance (i.e. adding and/or removing subjects and standards), and
  • a regular periodic review of the list of approved subjects for University Entrance (i.e. the list remains relevant and meets its intended purpose). This will occur every four years.

A guidance document Processes and criteria guidelines for maintaining the approved subjects list for University Entrance (PDF, 226KB) is available on the Processes for maintaining the Approved Subjects List for University Entrance page. This guide provides detailed information on applications to modify the University Entrance subjects list, and the process for the periodic review of the list.

Key dates for 2018

Key dates for those wishing to apply for a modification to the approved subjects list are as follows:


Application to NZQA

Decision to applicant

Adding standards to a current subject/subjects on the list

28 February 2018

By 31 August 2018

Adding a new subject to the list

31 May 2018

By mid-May 2019

Indicative timeline for the periodic review of the University Entrance approved subjects list is as follows:


Indicative dates

NZQA call for submissions

February 2018

Information to NZQA

By 31 August 2018

NZQA notifies the outcome of the review

By 31 August 2019

For more information see Processes for maintaining the Approved Subjects List for University Entrance.


2018 Assuring Consistency workshops

Assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes is a quality assurance process developed to maintain the integrity of the new New Zealand qualifications developed after the targeted review of qualifications.

Each education organisation is responsible for demonstrating how graduates meet the qualification requirements and outcomes, through the organisation’s self-assessment processes. Education organisations will participate in a review meeting to assure the consistency of graduate outcomes. The focus is on comparing graduates in relation to the qualification outcomes, using evidence provided by the education organisation. 

These workshops will introduce education organisations to the assuring consistency process and show how it fits into NZQA’s overall quality assurance framework. The workshop is directed primarily at education organisations delivering programmes that award the new New Zealand qualifications, or are working on developing programmes to do so. 

To view the workshop schedule and register for one of these workshops please visit the Events section of the NZQA website.

Additional Auckland information session: English Language – Supporting Consistent Assessment Practice

Following an oversubscription for the November 2017 English Language Roadshow in Auckland, NZQA and the Ministry of Education are running an additional one-day information session for secondary schools and tertiary providers. This will run on 7 April 2018 at Ormiston Senior College, Manukau.

This event is being run in collaboration with Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages Aotearoa New Zealand, the New Zealand Certificate in English Language Providers’ Forum, and the secondary school sector.

The purpose of this session is to build sector capability in assessment by increasing awareness and use of:

  • New Zealand Certificates in English Language
    • English for Academic Purposes unit standards
    • English Language unit standards and related assessment resources, services and requirements
  • Ministry of Education resources to support English for Academic Purposes and English Language teaching and learning towards unit standards.

There will be interactive sessions on:

  • the placement of students and assessment of student work, using the Common European Framework of Reference language descriptors
  • designing English Language assessments.

This event will give teachers and tertiary providers the information and tools necessary for consistent assessment practice.

Code of Practice 101 Workshops

Following positive feedback about our pilot workshops last November, we are offering regular Code 101 induction workshops in Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington. We have now arranged a workshop in the Hawkes Bay region.

Please see the dates below and contact NZQA about the availability of workshops.

The workshop will be offered in other regions throughout 2018. We will notify signatories of additional regional workshop dates by email and in the next issue of eQuate.

The Code 101 workshop is designed for:

  • new signatories to the Code (i.e. providers who became a signatory after 1 July 2016)
  • new staff, or staff who would like to find out more about the basics of the Code
  • signatories who have not enrolled an international student since before December 2015 and who wish to refresh their practice.

The workshop will:

  • guide staff who would like to know more about the nuts and bolts of the Code
  • include discussion topics such as: ‘why does the Code matter?’, ‘the intent of each outcome’, ‘NZQA’s role as Code Administrator’ and ‘how to undertake self-review’ 
  • be interactive, increase your knowledge, address any urban myths, and assist you in understanding what this little book of words really means for you and your organisation.

If you are interested in attending a workshop in the Hawkes Bay or Wellington region, please contact our Client Services Team at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz to secure a place.

Hawkes Bay

Hereworth School
Te Mata Road
Havelock North 4157

Wednesday 4 April 2018
Thursday 5 April 2018



NZQA - Quality Assurance Division

125 The Terrace

Thursday 21 June 2018

QAD on the web

Updated guidelines now available on the NZQA website

NZQA has updated the following guidelines to better reflect NZQA Rules and quality assurance processes:

Please use these updated guidelines for any future applications.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please email Approvals_Accreditation@nzqa.govt.nz.

Recognising learning for credit – new guidelines and learner resource now available

Guidelines and a learner resource about recognising learning for credit are now available (see the Recognising learning for credit page).

The Guidelines for the recognition and award of learning for credit cover the processes for credit recognition and transfer and recognition of prior learning.

The section Taking your learning with you – a student’s guide to recognition of learning gives learners information on how their skills and knowledge from previous learning can be recognised for credit towards a qualification.

Updated Immigration New Zealand decline rates for student visas

The 2017 decline rates for student visas are now available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

From 25 February 2018 (one month after the list was published), education organisations must use the published 2017 decline rates when enrolling international students, to determine which Rule 18 requirements apply.

Rule 18 specifies the English language proficiency testing requirements for international students from countries with a student visa decline rate of over 20 per cent.


Keeping records

A reminder that version 2 of the PTE Enrolment and Academic Records Rules 2012 came into effect in October 2016.

Rule section 6.2 of the amended Rules requires PTEs to keep all student assessments for at least 12 months from the date of completion. This means that, even if students have graduated, all of their assessment material must be retained by the PTE for at least one year.

Updating contact details

Help us talk to the right person first time – keep your organisation’s contact details on the Education Organisation profile page up to date.

If you have a query about Approvals and Accreditation, please contact your NZQA person directly. You can find this person on your profile page.

Printing New Zealand qualification certificates

When you are designing New Zealand Certificates and Diplomas, refer to the guidance at the following web page: TEO issue of New Zealand qualification documents.

Forms and attestations due

PTEs with a financial year-end of 30 September 2017

PTEs with a financial year-end of 30 September 2017 are required to submit the following documents to NZQA by 28 February 2018:

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2017

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2017 need to submit the following documents to NZQA by 30 May 2018:

All TEOs with international students

Quarterly student fee protection attestation (due 14 March 2018)

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 28 February 2018 is due to your trustee by 7 March 2018. Lodge the trustee attestation with NZQA by 14 March 2018.

Forwarding information and queries

Forward the above documents and any queries to: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

Subscribe to eQuate 

You can subscribe to eQuate through the ‘sign up’ link on the eQuate section of the NZQA website.

Compliance summary for February–March 2018

Annual Statutory Declaration

To NZQA within five months of a TEO’s financial year-end

For all TEOs with a financial year-end of 30 September 2017, due 28 February 2018

Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review

To NZQA within five months of a PTE’s financial year-end

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 30 September 2017, due 28 February 2018

Student Fee Protection audit

To NZQA within five months of a PTE’s financial year-end

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 30 September 2017, due 28 February 2018

Student Fee Protection quarterly attestation – quarter ending 30 November 2017

To NZQA by 14 March 2018

No longer required for standard trusts – only for static trusts or bank bond trusts

Code of Practice self-review attestation

To NZQA by 1 October this year

Annual requirement

Fit and Proper Person and Conflict of Interest declarations

With new applications for registration; also, for proposed new governing members* of registered PTEs

*See Section 232 of the Education Act 1989 for the definition of governing member

Must be completed by all new governing members before commencing in the role, and at any time when an existing governing member has a new conflict of interest or change in fit and proper status

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