Training Scheme Rules 2012

If you prefer, you can download these rules as a PDF (PDF, 48KB).

1. Authority

1.1 These Rules are made under section 253 of the Education Act 1989.

2. Commencement 

2.1 These Rules commence on the day after the date of approval by the Minister under section 253(5) of the Act.

3. Interpretation

3.1 In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires:

“Act” means the Education Act 1989:

“Category 1 institution” means an institution (other than a university) that has received, in the most recent external evaluation and review carried out by NZQA in respect of that institution, either a;

(a)   Highly Confident judgement in both educational performance and organisational capability in self assessment; or

(b)   Highly Confident judgement in educational performance and a Confident judgement in organisational capability in self-assessment:

“Credit value” means the number of credits, with each credit representing ten notional learning hours:

“Directory” means the Directory of Assessment Standards provided for in section 248A of the Act:

“External evaluation and review” means the quality assurance system set out in rules made under section 253 of the Act:

“Institution” includes universities, polytechnics, wānanga, government training establishments, registered private training establishments, relevant schools, industry training organisations, and other bodies:

“Level” means any of levels 1 to 10 on the NZQF:

“Level descriptors” means the descriptors used by NZQA to determine levels (the descriptors are available on the NZQA website):

“NZQA” means the New Zealand Qualifications Authority:

“NZQF” means the New Zealand Qualifications Framework:

“Recognition of prior learning” means a process that involves formal assessment of a student’s relevant and current knowledge and skills (gained through prior learning) to determine achievement of learning outcomes of a qualification for the purpose of awarding credit towards that qualification; and for the avoidance of doubt it does not include credit recognition and transfer:

“Training scheme” has the meaning in section 159(1) of the Act, which is study or training that—

(a) leads to an award; but

(b) does not, of itself, lead to an award of a qualification listed on the NZQF:

“Universities New Zealand” means the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee established under section 240 of the Act.

Part 1

Approval criteria

4. Criteria for approval of training schemes

4.1 The following are the criteria for the granting of approval to an institution to provide a training scheme under section 251 of the Act.

 Criterion 1       Structure of the training scheme

It has a coherent structure in terms of its learning outcomes, content, level and credit value, which is appropriate for its purpose.

 Criterion 2       Delivery methods

Delivery methods are clearly identified, appropriate to the needs and level of the intended students and support achievement of the learning outcomes.

 Criterion 3       Resources and staff

There are adequate and appropriate teaching staff (with appropriate qualifications and/or experience), facilities, physical resources, and student support systems to enable sustained delivery. 

Criterion 4       Information for students

Adequate information is available to students including where applicable information on entry and selection requirements, recognition of prior learning, reassessment and appeals, student progress, requirements for completion, and the availability of assessment in te reo Māori.

Criterion 5       Assessment and moderation

Assessment methodologies provide fair, valid, consistent and appropriate assessment of student achievement, given the stated learning outcomes. There is an effective system for moderation of assessment materials and decisions.

Part 2


5. Details to be provided in applications for training scheme approvals

5.1. Institutions (other than universities) must provide the following details in their applications to NZQA to provide a training scheme under section 251 of the Act:

(a)   the name and contact details of the applicant:

(b)   a title for the training scheme that properly reflects its subject area and level:

(c)   credit value and level (consistent with the level descriptors):

(d)   the assigned six digit code from the New Zealand Standard of Classification of Education (NZSCED) system:

(e)   the purpose of the training scheme in relation to the needs of intended students, and relevant industry, community, and employer needs:

(f)    clear identification of any standards from the Directory that are used in the training scheme:

(g)   a summary description of how the training scheme meets the criteria set out in Rule 4.1, along with a copy of the institution’s:

(i)  record of internal approval of the training scheme prior to the application to NZQA for approval; and

(ii) a full self-assessment report addressing the key evaluation questions for training schemes that are published on the NZQA website.

6. Assessment standards in training schemes

6.1 Where the training scheme for which approval is sought includes, or incorporates substantial content from, assessment standards listed on the Directory, the applicant must also either hold consent to assess against those standards or make application for consent to assess against those standards.

 7. Exemptions for applications from Category 1 institutions

7.1 Category 1 institutions are not required to provide a copy of the self assessment required in Rule 5.1(g)(ii).

8. Applications for training scheme approval that will not be approved

8.1 Approval will not be granted to any institution for applications for training schemes where the training scheme has:

 (a)  a credit value of 40 or more credits and either -

(i) is substantially similar to a qualification on the NZQF, or

(ii) has outcomes that are more suited to being listed as a qualification on the NZQF; or

(b) included in the title any of the words “New Zealand”, “national”, “diploma”, “degree”, “bachelor”, “master”, “doctor”, “undergraduate” or “postgraduate” where it may cause confusion with a qualification on the NZQF; or

(c) included in the title the name of a person, organisation, or product unless the applicant satisfies NZQA (or Universities New Zealand in relation to university applicants) that there is a sound justification for the inclusion.

9. Approval of applications for training scheme approval from institutions other than universities

9.1 NZQA will advise applicants if any of the details in the application require further work.

9.2 NZQA may carry out a site visit.

9.3 Where NZQA is satisfied with the details in the application, and it is not an application to which Rule 8.1 applies, NZQA will approve the application and advise the applicant.

9.4 Where NZQA is not satisfied with the details in the application, NZQA will not approve the application, and will advise the applicant.

9.5 NZQA will publish on its website up to date and appropriate details of training schemes it has approved.

10. Approval of applications for training scheme approval from universities

10.1 Applications by universities for training scheme approval will be decided by Universities New Zealand under section 253A of the Act, in accordance with any procedures set up for inter-university course approval and moderation under section 241(a) of the Act.

Part 3

Maintaining training scheme approval

11. Requirements to be met to maintain approval

11.1 Institutions holding training scheme approvals must continue to:

(a)   meet the criteria set out in Rule 4.1: and

(b)   participate in quality assurance (for institutions other than universities the quality assurance consists of carrying out self-assessment and participating in external evaluation and review conducted by NZQA).

Part 4

Use of sub-contractors

12. Use of sub-contractors to provide training schemes

12.1 Rules 12.2 to 12.5 apply to institutions other than universities.

12.2 Where an institution proposes to use a sub-contractor to provide a training scheme on the institution’s behalf, and the institution and the sub-contractor have both been granted approval to provide the training scheme, the institution must notify NZQA of the sub-contracting arrangement prior to the training scheme being provided.

12.3 Where an institution proposes to use a sub-contractor to provide a training scheme that the institution has been granted approval to provide, and the subcontractor has not itself been granted approval, the institution must apply to NZQA for approval to engage the sub-contractor.

12.4 Applications under Rule 12.3 for approval to engage the sub-contractor must include the following information:

(a)  the name of the sub-contractor:

(b)   identification of the training scheme(s) to be provided under the arrangement:

(c) the rationale for the proposed sub-contracting arrangement:

(d) a copy of the sub-contracting arrangement between the institution and the sub-contractor.

12.5 NZQA will grant approval to an application under rule 12.3 where it is satisfied that:

(a)   the institution remains responsible for the sub-contractor meeting all of the institution’s obligations that are relevant for the training scheme:

(b)   the sub-contractor will meet all relevant obligations in the Act and in rules made under section 253 of the Act in relation to the provision of the training scheme:

(c)   there is a formal documented arrangement between the holder and the sub-contractor that includes provisions to ensure that NZQA is able to exercise its quality assurance and enforcement powers and functions in respect of the acts or omissions of the sub-contractor relating to the provision of the training scheme:

(d)   the information and advertising for the training clearly states that it is provided through a sub-contracting arrangement:

(e) all student enrolments are through the institution, and the institution maintains all student enrolment and academic information.

12.6 The use of sub-contractors by universities will be governed by decisions of Universities New Zealand under Rule 10.1 and under other powers it may exercise under section 253A the Act.


Note: These Rules were approved by the Minister on 29 October 2012 and commenced on 30 October 2012. 

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