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Closures of an NZQA-approved course
Note: on this page, 'course' is used to mean 'programme or training scheme'.
The closure of a programme by a private training establishment (PTE) can occur for a variety of reasons and is referred to as a 'closure event'. The closure event is the process that begins with any of the following actions:
- NZQA determines that a PTE has ceased to deliver a programme for which students are enrolled, or is no longer capable of delivering such a programme; or a providers own refund policies have failed
- A receiver is appointed in respect of any part of the assets of a PTE, or the PTE is placed in statutory management (pursuant to the Corporations (Investigation and Management) Act 1989) and, in the opinion of NZQA, is no longer capable of delivering a programme; or
- A liquidator has been appointed in respect of the PTE. Or an order has been made or an effective resolution has been passed for the dissolution or liquidation of the PTE (or if the PTE is not a company it has been dissolved by any procedure); or
NZQA takes one or more of the following actions:
- cancels the registration of a PTE; or
- withdraws the accreditation of the PTE to deliver a programme in which students are enrolled; or
- withdraws approval for a programme or training scheme for which students are enrolled.
When a programme closes, as a PTE you are required to ensure that:
- students are kept well informed and understand the options that are available
- students who choose to transfer to an alternative education organisation will continue their tuition with minimal disruption
- students who discontinue tuition receive the appropriate refund of fees without undue delays. See Withdrawals and refunds
- risk to student welfare, including interruption of accommodation, is minimised
- disruption to other organisations involved is minimised
- New Zealand's reputation as a quality education destination is protected.
Student fee protection
Registered PTEs must have adequate protection of student fees in the event of insolvency, cancellation of registration by NZQA and/or loss of accreditation or approval. For more information, see Student fee protection.
NZQA's role in programme closure
In most cases, NZQA takes on a coordinating role, to ensure the interests of all parties are represented. NZQA representatives visit students on site as soon as possible to understand the implications of the programme closure. For more information on how a closure event is managed see Managing a closure event.
PTE's right to challenge a cancellation or accreditation decision
NZQA has the power to:
- cancel a provider’s registration (under section 233D of the Education Act 1989)
- withdraw programme approval (under section 249 of that Act)
- withdraw programme accreditation (under section 250 of that Act)
- withdraw training scheme approval (under section 251B of that Act)
- withdraw consent to assess against standards (under section 252 of that Act).
The NZQA Board has given the delegation of the cancellation and withdrawal powers only to the Chief Executive. As with all delegated powers, the Board can nevertheless decide to make any particular decision itself, should it feel the need to do so.
NZQA has in place a robust set of internal procedures to ensure a fair and just exercise of its powers. Affected providers have the right to challenge any decision in Court, should they feel aggrieved by a decision.