Code resources for tertiary providers

We have created the following resources to support tertiary education providers:

Code implementation guidance

We have developed implementation guidance to support your understanding on how to put the Code into practice in your organisation.

The guidance sets out NZQA’s expectations for interpreting and applying the new Code, including for learners based offshore and in workplaces.

It is pan-sector guidance that aims to address immediate information needs about applying the Code, with further tailored supplementary resources planned for this year.

We recommend reading the guidance, section by section, using the tool on the right of the document to navigate between the sections.  

  • Sections 1-3 are new as they focus on Outcomes 1-4.
  • Sections 4-5 are a reformatted version of previous Code guidelines (for student accommodation and international tertiary learners) and have minor updates from the previous guidance documents.

If you are reviewing your practice, we recommend reading the guidance in conjunction with the Code and the gap analysis toolkit. You can find both on this page.

Download the implementation guidance for the Code (PDF, 1.5MB)

Complaints and critical incidents guidance

The Code requires tertiary providers to record and report complaints and critical incidents to key stakeholders, including learners and NZQA.

In 2023, we will require 2022 complaints and critical incident data to be included in 2023 self-review reports.

We have published guidance to support you through this requirement, which can be found here (PDF, 320KB).

Code-to-code comparison tools

We created these tools to support you, if your organisation is a provider with student accommodation and/or enrols international learners, to match the clauses of the outgoing two Codes (international Code (2016) and interim domestic Code (2019)) with those of the Code (2021). 

Click on the links below for a pdf of each separate reference document:

Student Accommodation (PDF, 139KB)

International Tertiary Learners (PDF, 167KB)

Education agents 

Education agents can play a key role in recruitment and support of international learners at your organisation, as they are often the first point of contact with international tertiary learners and families and can greatly influence their enrolment decisions.

Under the Code, signatory tertiary education providers are responsible for managing and monitoring the performance of their education agents.

There are minimum process requirements for Code signatory tertiary education providers for managing and monitoring their education agents.

We also recommend some good practice to help a signatory tertiary provider meet or exceed the Code outcome.

Learn more about the requirements and recommendations for tertiary providers that are Code signatories

Emergency procedures - death of a learner

In the event of a critical incident or unexpected situation involving the death of a learner, providers need to have plans in place for dealing with the situation.

Critical incident - death of a learner contact list  (PDF, 145KB)

Critical incident response plan - death of a learner (DOCX, 56KB)

Critical incident response plan diagram - death of a learner (PDF, 138KB)

Self-review toolkit

We have developed this optional toolkit to support tertiary education providers' self-review of current practices against the requirements of the Code. 

This toolkit contains:

Download the full self-review toolkit for tertiary education providers in a zipped folder. (ZIP, 27MB)


International learners and their education providers may have obligations regarding insurance.

Find guidance on the insurance obligations of international learners and education providers

International learner profile

When enrolling and supporting international learners, your organisation must obtain some essential learner information to comply with the Code (Clauses 22 and 48) and ensure that your international learners will be well informed, safe and properly cared for.

This profile template contains examples of some of the information that you may like to gather from your learners.

It is important that you are clear with your learners and (where applicable) their parents and/or legal guardians, about why you are collecting this information and how it will be used, stored and disposed of when it is no longer necessary. 

See an example form of an international learner profile (DOCX, 33KB)

Safety checks and appropriate checks

The Code requires tertiary signatories to ensure that any accommodation they arrange is safe, is in acceptable condition and meets all regulatory and legislative requirements (Cause 55 (1)(a)). The Code also requires tertiary signatories to ensure that a safety check has been completed and up-to-date for all residential caregivers of international learners under the age of 18 (Clause 53 (1)(b)). Use the links below to see examples of forms which can be used as part of a safety check and appropriate check process for accommodation and residential caregivers.

See an example form for an application to be a residential caregiver (DOCX, 32KB)

See an example of interview questions for assessing accommodation for international learners (DOCX, 27KB)

See an example of an accommodation visit checklist for homestay accommodation (DOCX, 26KB)

Further information

If you have any questions or concerns email the Code team

Code News is our dedicated newsletter about quality assurance of pastoral care under the Code. It is released regularly. 

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