May 2017
- 8 May 2017

Acceptable English language proficiency evidence

Some tertiary education organisations (TEOs) may be enrolling international students in breach of Rule 18 and the record-keeping Rules, by accepting offers of place or qualification certificates from other New Zealand TEOs as evidence of English language proficiency.

Rule 18

Rule 18 requires TEOs to ensure that students they enrol have one of the acceptable forms of evidence listed in the Rule or in the criteria for existing English proficiency.

An offer of place issued by another institution is not acceptable evidence under Rule 18 or the criteria for existing English proficiency.

The completion of a New Zealand qualification below Bachelor’s degree is also not acceptable evidence of English language proficiency for the purposes of enrolment in another programme of study.

Internal English language proficiency testing by other institutions

If a TEO is relying on the internal proficiency assessment of another Category 1 or 2 institution (where the student was previously offered a place or enrolled), the TEO must obtain and hold on record a copy of the student’s English proficiency results from that institution, prior to enrolling the student.

Where this is not possible, the enrolling TEO would have to satisfy Rule 18 by conducting its own internal assessment (if allowed by Rule 18) or through another form of acceptable evidence specified in the Rule.

Rule 4.1(g) of the PTE Enrolment and Academic Record Rules 2012 also requires PTEs to keep details confirming the student has met programme entry requirements, including (for international students) English language proficiency testing scores.

In order to keep this information, PTEs relying on the internal assessment of another institution must have a record and evidence of the scores.


If you have any questions about applying Rule 18, please email approvals_accreditation@nzqa.govt.nz.

Update your emergency contact details with NZQA

NZQA is updating the TEO page on its website to include an emergency contact name and mobile number.

The initial set-up requires TEOs to supply their emergency contact details to NZQA. Once the system is up and running, TEOs will be able to update these details themselves.

Please supply the name and mobile number of your emergency contact person to Client Services at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz by 31 May 2017.

Providing evidence of consultation with qualification developers in programme applications

Programme developers need to provide evidence of consultation with the qualification developer in their applications to NZQA.

This is because NZQA considers qualification developers to be key stakeholders in the development of programmes leading to qualifications.

Programme developers should contact the qualification developer by email when developing a programme, or when the NZQA evaluator asks you to do so. The email should do the following:

  • Tell the qualification developer that you are developing or have developed a programme leading to the qualification.
  • Ask whether there are any new rules, regulations, specifications or conditions since the qualification was listed on the New Zealand Qualification Framework; or if there are any other issues to consider.
  • Seek, as appropriate, qualification developer advice on the proposed programme approach.

If there are any delays in gaining or providing this evidence from the qualification developer, please keep the NZQA evaluator informed.

These requirements are set out in the Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 (Rule 4.1).

Aligning subjects and standards from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa with the University Entrance approved subjects list

NZQA is seeking feedback on a proposal to align subjects and standards from the Māori-medium curriculum, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, with the University Entrance approved subjects list.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is the foundation curriculum document for Māori-medium education. It outlines the core learning and competencies of Māori-medium students, including the skills and knowledge required to enter university and follow chosen careers.

The proposal would enable:

  • Māori-medium students to continue their learning within Māori-medium up to and including NCEA Level 3 and be eligible to have their learning recognised for University Entrance
  • learning from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa to count towards the University Entrance requirement for 14 credits in each of three subjects on the approved subjects list.

Find out more about the proposal and provide your feedback at Aligning subjects and standards from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa with the University Entrance approved subjects list.

How to respond to students who request immigration advice

Please note that only immigration advisers licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA), or those who are exempt, can provide New Zealand immigration advice to students.

If a student asks you for immigration advice, direct them to official sources of information such as the Immigration New Zealand website, or put them in touch with a licensed agent.

See Responding to requests for advice on immigration in the November 2016 eQuate for further detail as well as links to government websites, a list of licensed agents, and a list of exempted people.

If you have any questions about immigration please contact Immigration New Zealand. For further information about licensed immigration advisers or who needs to be licensed please contact the IAA.

NZQA moderation in the digital age

NZQA has been carrying out the staged release of a digital moderation service called the external moderation application.

The service aims to improve the external moderation process by which NZQA quality assures the internally assessed work in TEOs.

This service applies to NZQA-managed standards – i.e. standards for which NZQA and the Ministry of Education are the standard-setting body. It does not apply to standards for which industry training organisations are the standard-setting body.

The physical moderation process is time-consuming, often taking weeks. The external moderation application makes this process quicker and easier by allowing education organisations to submit moderation materials online.

A future release will also improve the appeals and clarifications processes, which have previously been labour-intensive. The clarification process will now be a direct query to the moderator. This enables more timely feedback and allows assessors to adjust their assessment practices if necessary.

NZQA Deputy Chief Executive Digital Assessment Transformation, Andrea Gray, says the external moderation application will give TEOs greater control of the moderation workload.

‘Digital submission means more education organisations can submit their learner evidence when it is ready, rather than waiting until their planned submission date.’

Learners are increasingly producing and submitting their work digitally. Education organisations already storing this work online can use this facility immediately. However, the option to provide physical material is still available.

‘While we’re excited about the opportunities that digital moderation will have, there are still some challenges ahead: we’re considering how to account for work that doesn't translate well to digital formats. But, as is good practice in a project like this, we have options in place to carefully manage the moderation processes if we strike any issues,’ says Ms Gray.

Online training is available as new functionality is released. One of NZQA’s Future State goals is to see 100 per cent of moderation materials being submitted digitally by 2020.

Pastoral Care of International Students (Code) update

Introducing NZQA’s Code team

The new, dedicated NZQA Code team includes Julia Moore, Team Leader (Wellington), Elizabeth Douch, Senior Advisor (Wellington) and Harsha Chhima, Senior Advisor (Auckland). They look forward to engaging with the tertiary sector and supporting signatories to understand their responsibilities under the new Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice.

For Code queries, please call 0800 679 3000 or email code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz.

Suggestions wanted for Self-Review Attestation due date for 2017

NZQA is currently reviewing the deadline by which signatories need to submit their Self-Review Attestation for 2017, and would like to hear the views of TEOs on the best time of year to submit their attestations.

The due date in 2016 was 1 December. One approach for this year would be 1 October 2017, covering the previous 12 months.

Please email your feedback to code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nzby Friday 12 May 2017.

Questions about insurance requirements

Do you have any questions about insurance requirements under the new Code? Clause 16(5) requires that signatories ensure that, as far as practicable, international students have appropriate insurance cover while they are enrolled. We will have a focus on insurance in the next eQuate, so please email us your questions at code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz by Friday 12 May 2017.

Making complaints under the Code

It is important to ensure that your students know how to make a complaint under the Code. NZQA suggests that you provide the following information to students:

‘If you have a complaint about <name of provider/school> breaching the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, follow <name of provider's/school’s> formal complaint process first.

If this does not resolve your complaint, you can contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) by phone on 0800 697 296 or email qadrisk@nzqa.govt.nz.

Or, if it is a financial or contractual dispute, you can contact iStudent Complaints by phone on 0800 00 66 75. More information is available on the iStudent Complaints website: http://www.istudent.org.nz/istudent-complaints.’

NZQA has produced a brochure for international students about the complaints process (PDF, 147KB) (PDF, 122KB) which is available to distribute to your students.

General counselling and advice

Free counselling and specialist advice for international students in Auckland is available through a new joint initiative from the South Asian community and New Zealand Police. The initiative aims to reduce social problems among international students and help prevent them becoming victims of crime. Check out www.new2newzealand.org.nz for further information.

Joint recognition of Republic of Korea and New Zealand qualifications

Education officials from the Republic of Korea and New Zealand have signed a statement that will pave the way for secondary students to further their studies in either country.

The statement follows a joint research project showing that the senior secondary school curricula in the two countries are broadly comparable. 

For more information, see: Joint recognition of Republic of Korea and New Zealand qualifications.

QAD on the web

Consultation on proposed NZQA Rule changes

NZQA is seeking feedback on proposed changes to a number of NZQA Rules, in three main areas:

  • Te Hono o Te Kahurangi quality assurance
  • Rule 18, English language proficiency requirements
  • Other NZQA Rules.

For more details on the proposed changes and a survey form for feedback, see Consultation on proposed NZQA Rule changes.

Consultation closes 31 May 2017.

Recognition of Prior Learning survey results available

Results are available of a survey of TEOs on their policies and practices for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

RPL is an area of growing relevance for today’s learners. People want their skills and knowledge recognised wherever they go. But RPL is not easy to do because it can be time consuming and complex. It can also be expensive for both the organisation and learner.

For more information and a link to the survey results, see Survey on Recognition of Prior Learning.


Annual Programme Evaluation Reports due 30 June 2017

TEOs that offer degrees are reminded that Annual Programme Approval Reports must be submitted to NZQA by 30 June 2017.

Email your report to DegreeMonitoring@nzqa.govt.nz.

Updated Immigration New Zealand approval rates for student visas

The 2016 approval rates for student visas are available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

The list enables education providers who enrol international students to check the visa decline rate for the students’ countries of origin. Students from countries with a decline rate of over 20 per cent have specific testing requirements for English language proficiency.

These are detailed in English language entry requirements for international students.

Application acknowledgements

TEOs that have submitted an application online via the TEO login, and have not received the email acknowledgment within a week of the application being made, please contact the Client Services Team at APERS@nzqa.govt.nz.

Forms and attestations due

Annual Return and Student Fee Protection audit opinions (due 31 May 2017)

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2016 need to submit the following documents to NZQA by 31 May 2017:

Quarterly student fee protection attestation (due 14 June 2017)

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 31 May 2017 is due to your trustee by 7 June 2017. The trustee attestation needs to be lodged with NZQA by 14 June 2017.

Download the form at: Quarterly student fee protection attestation.

Forwarding information and queries

Forward the above documents to: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz. For any queries about these requirements, contact Yvonne Collins, 04 463 3256 or email: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

Annual Registration Fee Return (due 30 June 2017)

The Annual Registration Fee Return Form (AF01) is due at NZQA by 30 June 2017.

Following receipt of the AF01 form, NZQA will send an invoice for payment.

For more information, including forms, see: Annual Registration Fee for registered providers and Completing the Annual Registration Fee Return Form.

If you have any queries about the Annual Registration Fee, contact Client Services at 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 May-June 2017

Annual Return – Statutory Declaration

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2016, due 31 May 2017

Annual Return – Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2016, due 31 May 2017

Student Fee Protection audit

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2016, due 31 May 2017

Student Fee Protection quarterly attestation – quarter ending 28 February 2017

To NZQA by 14 June 2017

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

Compliance declaration

Submission of self-assessment material

Not an annual requirement; only required before external evaluation and review for ITOs, ITPs, GTEs and wānanga

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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