Training scheme approval

NZQA quality assures training schemes, using the Training Scheme Rules 2021, to make sure they meet the criteria for approval.

The sections below tell you who can apply and how.

Training schemes that include assessment standards

If your training scheme includes unit or achievement standards, you must have consent to assess for these standards before we can approve your training scheme application.

You’ll need to apply for consent to assess separately, but you can do this at the same time as applying for training scheme approval.

See Consent to assess for more information.

What is a training scheme?

A training scheme is study and training that leads to an award but does not, of itself, lead to a qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (PDF, 606KB) (NZQF).

A training scheme can be at any level on the NZQF.

It can provide learning opportunities in a range of academic or vocational areas.

Who can apply for a training scheme?

You must be a legal entity to apply for approval of a training scheme.

These education organisations can apply for approval of a training scheme:

  • Te Pūkenga and its subsidiaries
  • Wānanga
  • private training establishments
  • government training establishments
  • universities
  • relevant schools.

When do I have to apply for approval of a training scheme?

If your training scheme is for domestic students only, you don’t have to get NZQA approval, but you might want to (i.e. to maintain registration, for funding purposes).

If your training scheme will enrol international students, you must apply for NZQA approval, unless the training scheme meets the exemption criteria (see the section below).

If your training scheme is designed to meet regulatory requirements for occupational registration, occupational licensing, or health and safety in the workplace, you must apply to NZQA for approval. There is no exemption for this.

What are the criteria for an exemption?

You can find the Exempt Training Schemes Notice, published on 8 November 2012 at New Zealand Gazette Online.

To be exempt from approval, training schemes need to be less than three months in duration and one of the following:

  • recreational in nature
  • corporate training – study or training arranged for personnel of one or more organisations, where the study or training is paid for by the organisations, and it is not open for participation by the general public
  • less than ten credits – ie total learning hours less than 100 hours (1 credit is equivalent to 10 notional learning hours).

What does recreational in nature mean?

A training scheme that is recreational in nature:

  • is for the pursuit of recreation, pleasure or leisure (including in the nature of a hobby), and
  • the skills gained are not designed to lead to further or higher study, or entry into employment.

Rules and guidelines

The Training Scheme Rules 2021 apply to all institutions seeking approval.

Requirements under the Education and Training Act 2020

NZQA quality assures training schemes under section 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

For public tertiary education institutions, section 525(2) of the Act requires you to seek approval for training schemes.

For private training establishments, or private institutions, this requirement is under section 445.

Guidelines

See the Guidelines for applying for approval of a training scheme or a micro-credential for detailed guidance on:

  • our criteria for approving training schemes
  • the evidence and documentation you need to supply
  • how to apply for approval.

How do I apply for approval of a training scheme?

First check that you have followed the guidance in the Guidelines for applying for approval of a training scheme or a micro-credential.

Then download and complete the Application for approval of a Training Scheme form (DOC, 92KB).

Make sure the form addresses all the criteria in the Training Scheme Rules 2021.

What do I need to include?

Applications for training scheme approval must include:

  • Training scheme application form
  • A record of the institution’s internal approval of the training scheme
  • A self-assessment report that addresses the key evaluation questions for training schemes (not required for Category 1 organisations)
  • Details of any sub-contracting arrangements (including a copy of the sub-contracting agreement) if applicable.

Provide all these documents in PDF format.

Apply online

Submit the completed application form, along with all associated documents, using the TEO login page on the NZQA secure site.

Access the online application process

Accessing the online application process requires a TEO login for the online Education Sector Services.

If your organisation does not have a login or sufficient access to complete the online application, contact the Ministry of Education Service Desk on 0800 422-599 or email moe.servicedesk@minedu.govt.nz or find the forms to apply at the ministry's Education Sector Logon page.

Getting a login may take a few days, so check your access before you first try to apply online.

How to submit an application online

1. Select the LOGIN button in the top right corner of this web page.

2. Select the appropriate organisation type and complete your login details.

3. Choose 'TEO Applications'.

4. Create an application.

5. Select 'other' (you may need to click 'more' to see 'other'). This takes you to an application overview.

6. Click on contact details. The contact details page will be pre-populated with your organisation’s contact details. You should make any changes necessary to ensure the details are appropriate for the training scheme.

7. On the application/request detail page complete the following fields as indicated:

  • Name: training scheme name (Training Scheme) [the name of the training scheme followed by 'Training Scheme']
  • Detailed description: enter the purpose of the training scheme. If you’re applying for consent to assess standards at the same time, please also note this in the detailed description.

8. On the supporting documents page, attach and upload the following:

  • A PDF version of the application form
  • Your organisation’s internal approval
  • Any other supporting documentation (e.g. sub-contracting arrangements)

9. Submit.

We will send you an automatic email acknowledging that we received your application.

How do I make changes to an approved training scheme?

If you’re making significant changes to training schemes we need to approve those changes.

Significant changes include any changes to the title, level, purpose or credit value of the training scheme.

In your application for changes to an approved training scheme make sure you include:

  • The NZQA reference number for the approved training scheme
  • A summary of the proposed changes
  • A record of the institution’s internal approval of the training scheme
  • Any other relevant documentation.

How to apply for a change

You must apply online for the change.

1. Select the LOGIN button in the top right corner of this web page.

2. Select the appropriate organisation type and complete your login details.

3. Choose 'TEO Applications'.

4. Create an application.

5. Select 'other' (you may need to click 'more' to see 'other'). This takes you to an application overview.

6. Click on contact details. The contact details page will be pre-populated with your organisation’s contact details. You should make any changes necessary to ensure the details are appropriate for the training scheme.

7. On the application/request detail page complete the following fields as indicated:

  • Name: training scheme name (Training Scheme) [the name of the training scheme followed by 'Training Scheme']
  • Detailed description: write a summary of the changes to the training scheme.

8. On the supporting documents page, attach any required documentation and evidence in PDF format.

9. Submit.

We will send you an automatic email acknowledging that we received your application.

What if I am using a sub-contractor?

If you want to deliver a training scheme through a sub-contractor, we have specific requirements.

If you’re applying for a new training scheme that includes sub-contracting, you need to apply online.

If you’re adding a subcontractor to an approved training scheme, you may need to notify us or make an online application for approval. Check the sections below to work out which.

When do I have to notify NZQA?

If you and the sub-contractor both have approval for the same training scheme, you must notify us of the sub-contracting arrangement before the sub-contractor starts delivering the training scheme.

Send sub-contracting information to qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz and indicate which training scheme is being sub-contracted.

When do I have to make an online application for approval?

If you have approval for a particular training scheme, but the sub-contractor does not have approval for the same training scheme, you must apply to us for approval to engage the sub-contractor.

See the Guidelines for what information we need and the criteria we use for approving you to engage a subcontractor.

Submitting your application online

We will acknowledge your application by email and provide updates on our progress in assessing your application.

1. Select the LOGIN button in the top right corner of this web page.

2. Select the appropriate organisation type and complete your login details.

3. Choose 'TEO Applications'.

4. Create an application.

5. Select 'other' (you may need to click 'more' to see 'other'). This takes you to an application overview.

6. Click on contact details. The contact details page will be pre-populated with your organisation’s contact details. You should make any changes necessary to ensure the details are appropriate for the training scheme.

7. On the application/request detail page, complete the following fields as indicated:

  • Name: training scheme name (Training Scheme)
  • Detailed description: provide a summary of the sub-contracting arrangement. Include any NZQA reference numbers for the approved training scheme involved.

8. On the supporting documents page, attach any required documentation and evidence in PDF format.

9. Submit.

For help with the online process, email Client Services.

How much does it cost?

We charge $190 per hour (GST exclusive) for analysing your application.

There may be additional costs if we need to get an external specialist (i.e. industry or sector experts) to review your application.

How long will it take?

We will process your application within 45 working days.

This does not include the time when we have asked for more information (i.e. requests for further information (RFIs)). During an RFI, the application is on hold.

Further information

For more information on this quality assurance process, contact your organisation’s liaison person or the Approval and Accreditation team.

 
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