Providers and partners

Accreditation to provide Level 7 diplomas

NZQA will accept applications for accreditation to provide an approved programme from NZQA-recognised education organisations.

The following types of education organisations can be accredited to provide programmes of study:

  • private training establishments
  • Te Pūkenga and its subsidiaries
  • government training establishments
  • wānanga
  • schools.

Applications for programme approval and accreditation can be made concurrently.

Applications for accreditation must be made online through the secure extranet.

Applications for accreditation

Applications from category 1 tertiary education providers

  • Where the tertiary education organisation can demonstrate a successful history of delivery in the subject area and at the level, full programme details need to be submitted to meet NZQA criteria requirements.
  • For delivery in a new area, or at a level above current approvals and accreditations held in the area, then the application requires full programme details to be submitted to meet NZQA criteria requirements, and a self-assessment report of the application for programme approval using the key evaluation questions.

Applications from Category 2 and 3 tertiary education providers

  • Full programme details need to be submitted to meet NZQA criteria requirements, and a self-assessment report of the application for programme accreditation using the key evaluation questions.


NZQA uses the criteria in Rule 6.1 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2021 to determine whether or not to approve an application.

Capability, capacity and resources

Tertiary education providers need to prove they have the capability, capacity and resources to provide the programme to learners. Applicants must submit the following required evidence, as relevant to the proposed programme.

Financial and administrative infrastructure

Evidence that the organisation’s financial infrastructure, administrative systems and resource management practices will be adequate to support implementation and sustained delivery of the Level 7 diploma programme.

Teaching and learning resources

The physical, teaching and learning resources are comprehensive and sufficient for the proposed programme and appropriate to the methods of delivery (including the experience of the teaching staff, teaching and learning facilities, and learner support services).

Teaching staff will normally be qualified at a minimum of one level higher than the component of the programme they will deliver, assess, and/or supervise or have relevant professional experience.

When a member of the teaching staff does not hold a ‘plus one’ qualification, industry experience in the discipline and/or higher education teaching experience and/or standing within their indigenous community must be demonstrated as professional equivalency, and/or a timeframe for the completion of the qualification be included.

If practical, field or workplace training is a component of the programme include:

  • the arrangements for practical, field or workplace training needed to meet the requirements of the programme
  • the roles and responsibilities of the supervisory staff and the organisation
  • if relevant, the roles and responsibilities of the registration body
  • risk mitigation strategies in relation to practical, field or workplace training.

Evidence that learner support services are adequate and cover learner enrolment, pastoral care, learning support, Māori, Pasifika and international learner support as appropriate.

Quality management system

Include in the application any changes to the tertiary education organisation’s quality management system to support the delivery of the programme.

Structure of the programme

Teaching and learning approach

Include a brief description of the teaching and learning approaches used to meet learning outcomes.

Practical and workplace requirements

A description of how the education organisation intends to:

  • meet any practical and workplace requirements
  • provide support to learners during a work placement
  • formalise arrangements with employers and other organisations to meet requirements
  • mitigate any risk.

Assessment, moderation and review

The organisation needs to demonstrate it has the capacity and capability to ensure assessment materials and decisions are fair, valid, consistent and appropriate given the stated learning outcomes. This includes mechanisms to detect academic misconduct and instances of academic fraud.

The application must include evidence that:

  • assessment schedules are appropriate for the programme
  • learners are provided with clear information of what is required to pass each component part of the diploma programme
  • learners are provided with timely and appropriate feedback on their progress through the programme
  • internal and external moderation processes are appropriate to the programme and its delivery
  • an external moderation plan is in place with named moderation partners and an ongoing moderation schedule
  • an external NZQA monitor is to be agreed upon and appointed (see the Guidelines for monitoring programmes leading to diplomas,degrees and related qualifications at levels 7 to 10 (PDF, 339KB))
  • an effective system for reviewing and monitoring of any improvements made to the Level 7 diploma is in place. 

Other programme-specific requirements

The application may also include specific requirements that relate to the provision of the programme by the applicant (e.g. entry criteria, management of a particular strand or strands).

Formal arrangements

Where the applicant does not hold approval to offer the Level 7 diploma, and is seeking accreditation for a programme approved to another education organisation, evidence of the signed formal arrangements must be included in the application.

These arrangements cover:

  • programme changes and reviews
  • dispute resolution
  • moderation and monitoring of outcomes
  • managing complaints about quality of delivery
  • involvement in ongoing programme review
  • arrangements if the diploma programme ceases.

For further guidence, see Guidelines for programme approval and accreditation of Level 7 Diploma programmes for tertiary education organisations others than universities.  (PDF, 438KB)

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