Quality assurance of education in New Zealand

Each education organisation in New Zealand is responsible for the quality of the education outcomes of their learners.

The New Zealand government has processes to ensure the quality of education, so that learners get the skills they need and education organisations provide qualifications that are relevant and good value for money.

The government monitors the quality of learning outcomes and the systems and processes education organisations use to achieve learning outcomes. It does this through its agencies, including NZQA.

This is called ‘quality assurance’ (QA) and ensures that students get quality education and appropriate support from their education organisation.

Quality assurance of secondary schools

The Ministry of Education develops the educational goals and curriculum for primary and secondary schools. They also write the achievement standards used in secondary schools.  To find out more about what the Ministry of Education does, see Ministry of Education.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) checks the quality of assessment tools and materials used in secondary schools. This includes achievement standards and unit standards.

The Education Review Office (ERO) checks the quality of education and student support in secondary schools, primary schools and early childhood education centres.  To find out more about how ERO works, see Education Review Office.

Quality assurance of non-university tertiary education organisations

NZQA checks the quality of education provided by non-university tertiary education organisations in New Zealand.

The tertiary education organisations NZQA quality assures are:

  • New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
  • Private training establishments (PTEs)
  • Wānanga (tertiary education delivered in a Māori cultural context)
  • Transitional Industry training organisations (transitional ITOs)
  • Government training establishments (for example, New Zealand Defence Force).

NZQA uses rigorous processes and systems, based on an evaluative quality assurance framework.  For more information, see NZQA's quality assurance system for tertiary education organisations.

Quality assurance of universities

Universities New Zealand ensures all universities provide quality qualifications and education. Universities must meet all the same requirements as other tertiary education organisations. For more information, see Universities New Zealand.

Universities New Zealand approves degrees and qualifications offered by universities through the Committee on University Academic Programmes.  See also Committee on University Academic Programmes.

The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities does checks (audits) of universities to ensure the degrees and qualifications offered are good quality and well taught.  For more information, see Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities.

Caring for international students at all levels of education

The Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students ('the Code') describes the fair and ethical practices and support systems an education organisation in New Zealand must have to enrol international students.

The Code covers international students at all ages and levels of education.

NZQA administers the Code of Practice and ensures that education organisations are meeting the requirements of the Code.  

For more information about The Code, see Caring for International Students - The Code of Practice.

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