March 2019
- 22 Mar 2019

Christchurch terrorist attack: Support for students and providers

Our thoughts are with all those affected by last Friday's terrorist attack in Christchurch. We are providing support for students and education providers after the Christchurch terrorist attack.

You can also contact our Code team on code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz if you have any questions about the pastoral care of your international students.

Ensure accurate start dates for fees protection

NZQA has identified an issue with incorrect information being used when finalising the set-up of student trust accounts. This applies to all trust arrangements but is particularly applicable within the Public Trust Student Fees system – an online automatic system.

This has led to funds being drawn down before they are entitled to be. Consequently, there are insufficient funds to cover the length of the course, breaching section 13.9(a) of the Student Fee Protection Rules. This says providers must:

‘ensure that the correct amount of Student Fees is held by an Approved Independent Trustee when the Provider or any person acting on behalf of the Provider receives a payment of Student Fees, along with the amount of any deductions made by an Agent prior to the Provider receiving the Fees (whether that Agent is based overseas or in New Zealand)’.

The issue arises when students start their programme at a time later than originally expected. PTEs input the information to the Public Trust system based on the letter of offer – which generally has the expected start date.

This expected start date can change for many reasons, for example, starting later than anticipated because of late arrival caused by factors such as a delayed visa.

To ensure that the dates in the system align with the actual start date, the start date needs to be amended in the Public Trust system to reflect that delay.

If the number of weeks of delivery remain the same, check that the course duration and end date are updated correctly in the system. Should the course still be delivered by the end date, the length of the course needs to be changed to ensure the end date remains correct.

If you have any questions about this, or other student fee protection matters, email: risk@nzqa.govt.nz.

Cut-off dates for submitting programme applications for delivery in 2020

Below are the cut-off dates for submitting applications for programme approval and/or accreditation or programme change (Type 2 change) for programmes to be delivered in 2020.


Final date for submission to NZQA

New degree approval and accreditation; or Type 2 programme changes to existing degree-level programmes

Monday 12 August 2019

Sub-degree programme approval and/or accreditation applications; or Type 2 programme changes to approved programmes (levels 1-6 and Level 7 Diplomas)

Friday 11 October 2019

These timelines do not apply when an application is subject to a Request for Further Information.

The cut-off dates are intended to allow enough time for providers to prepare and market for the incoming academic year, and provide an opportunity to plan and implement the new or changed programmes. You can apply at any time. If you are planning a commencement date in early 2020, please submit your application before the relevant final date.

If you have any questions about programme applications, contact the Approvals and Accreditation team.

Applications for programmes leading to two or more qualifications

NZQA expects that if a programme leads to two or more qualifications, the learning and assessment must be progressive and integrated and meet the criteria in Rule 4 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018.

In particular, applications must meet Criterion 2 of Rule 4 to ensure that the aims, learning outcomes and coherence of the whole programme are adequate.

Application documents must clearly demonstrate a strong need for and acceptability of the programme to all key stakeholders. The target learner group should also be identified and evidence included that demonstrates a discernible educational benefit for them. 

For the avoidance of doubt, NZQA considers that where such an application is essentially the joining of two or more previously approved programmes (leading to the award of individual qualifications), Rule 4 will not be met and the application will be declined.

If you have any questions about programmes leading to two or more qualifications, contact the Approvals and Accreditation team.

Programme change application (Type 2) process – update

When a change application (Type 2) is approved for a programme, training scheme, or vocational pathway, NZQA files a final agreed programme document.

To help us maintain these records, NZQA asks that TEOs include a tracked change programme document in their applications. This helps the NZQA evaluator to see the proposed changes and reduces the need for requesting further information (RFIs).

Near the end of the application process both parties will agree on the content of the programme document that NZQA files.

Changes to the list of standards that contribute to University Entrance literacy requirements

The list of standards that contribute to University Entrance (UE) literacy requirements has been amended for 2019.

One Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko achievement standard (AS 91908) has been added to the list for writing.

The registered numbers of all assessment standards that contribute to UE literacy requirements from 1 April 2019 are listed at: Standards that contribute to University Entrance literacy requirements from 1 April 2019 (PDF, 326KB).

Further changes to the list will be made in 2020 and are available now for planning purposes.

To find out more about the changes, see: Changes to the list of standards that can contribute to university entrance literacy requirements.

Consistency workshops for 2019

NZQA is offering free workshops on NZQA’s process for assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes.

The workshops will introduce education organisations to the process and show how it fits into NZQA’s overall quality assurance framework.

QAD on the web

New guidelines for reviewing New Zealand qualifications listed on the NZQF

In December 2018 NZQA published guidelines on reviewing New Zealand qualifications to help qualification developers and TEOs with approved programmes understand their role in reviewing qualifications.

For more information about the process see: Reviewing New Zealand qualifications.

If you have any questions about reviewing New Zealand qualifications, contact the Future State team.

New guidelines for PTE registration and maintaining registration

NZQA has reviewed the Guidelines for applying for registration as a private training establishment and has developed Guidelines for maintaining registration as a private training establishment, to support PTEs to meet relevant requirements and deliver high quality and high value training to learners.

We have also updated the Registration of a new private training establishment page and the Maintaining PTE registration page to support both new applicants and existing PTEs.

If you have any questions about PTE registration or maintaining your registration, contact the Approvals and Accreditation team.

New fees-free tool for NZQA’s Learner Login

NZQA and the Tertiary Education Commission have been working to develop a new tool for fees-free eligibility information, available through NZQA’s secure Learner Login. This will allow those accessing the Learner Login to quickly check whether they can get fees-free and get directed to further information as needed, rather than accessing a separate website. The tool is in the final stages of development and will be launched soon.


Transition to New Zealand qualifications

New Zealand qualifications are the new qualifications arising from the Targeted Review of Qualifications. They replace National and provider-developed qualification at levels 1-6 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

The transition to the new qualifications is well underway and transition dates have been communicated to affected qualification developers. The dates are also available on the NZQA website. Just enter the qualification number into the qualification overview page and view the qualification details: Qualifications – Advanced Search.

Refunds for domestic students on courses under three months

Effective from 2 June 2018, domestic students enrolled in courses lasting fewer than three months are entitled to withdraw and receive a refund in the same circumstances as an international student.

PTEs should ensure their refund information reflects this change. Refer to the Student withdrawals and refunds web page for further information.

Update your contact details

To help NZQA maintain accurate information, NZQA asks all TEOs to log in and review their contact details through their NZQA provider profile page. This enables us to talk to the right person in your team and ensures that the NZQA website shows accurate information about your organisation.

Also, NZQA asks providers check their NZQA provider page to ensure that:

  • their list of approved permanent delivery sites is current and shows the sites that are actively being used
  • the degrees, programmes and/or training schemes listed are those that have been delivered by your organisation within the past 12 months.

If you have corrections to make please send them to qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

Printing New Zealand qualification certificates

NZQA encourages TEOs to award and issue New Zealand qualifications listed at levels 1-6 on the NZQF.

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

Forms and attestations due

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018 need to submit the following documents to NZQA by 31 May 2019:

Quarterly student fee protection attestation due 14 June 2019

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 31 May 2019 is due to your trustee by 7 June 2019. Lodge the trustee attestation with NZQA by 14 June 2019.

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 March-May 2019

Annual Statutory Declaration

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

For all TEOs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018, due 31 May 2019

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 31 December 2018, due 31 May 2019

Student Fee Protection audit

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018, due 31 May 2019

Student Fee Protection quarterly attestation – quarter ending 31 May 2019

To NZQA by 14 June 2019

Not required for standard trusts – only for static trusts or bank bond trusts

Code of Practice self-review attestation

To NZQA by 1 October each 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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