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Managing a closure event
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".
No two closure events are the same. The parties involved, the actions required and how they are carried out, will vary with each closure.
Below are some guidelines for actions to be taken in a closure event.
Before the closure event
NZQA may decide to take early action, to ensure the interests of students are protected. These are in addition to any regulatory action and may include:
- contacting the private training establishment to make arrangements to secure student records
- advising government agencies as appropriate, such as:
- contacting the student fee protection supplier and, if appropriate, requesting that funds be frozen
- advising Government Ministers.
The closure process
From this point, NZQA initiates a defined process to manage the closure event, as follows:
- NZQA confirms the programme closure event.
- NZQA contacts stakeholders to establish a working group. Meetings are held by conference call or in person. A list of key contacts is compiled, including:
- the private training establishment (PTE)
- student representative(s)
- student fee protection supplier
- education organisation representative group
- representative from staff of closed PTE
- NZQA staff
- Tertiary Education Commission
- Ministry of Education/Code of Practice
- liquidator/receiver/statutory manager
- homestay host representative.
- The PTE, in conjunction with the student fee protection supplier, calculates/determines the amounts due to students.
- NZQA representatives visit students on site as soon as possible to provide information about available options. This involves:
- establishing whether accommodation/living expenses are affected
- placing updates on the NZQA website
- advising the 0800 Helpline
- establishing email and phone/text trees
- identifying student representative(s).
- It is vital that PTEs and government agencies are informed about the closure event and its impact on students. Communication is established with/through:
- representative groups used as conduit for PTEs
- updates on the NZQA website
- email and/or meetings with appropriate government agencies.
- The Working Group, appoints a spokesperson from within the working group and provides a media plan for communication with all stakeholders.
- NZQA in consultation with the PTE and working group establishes a list of potential education providers and agrees on a final list based on the following criteria:
- location (least disruption for students)
- appropriate course approvals and/or accreditations already in place
- no financial concerns.
- The PTE provides student records to the working group to handle alternative placement. Steps include:
- arranging access to buildings for students to uplift private property (usually will need to be supervised)
- transferring records to alternative PTE or other storage
- following up learner credit reporting on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
- The working group undertakes the following placement activities:
- Match students to the most appropriate providers, using student records where possible.
- Hold on-site meetings.
- Update Immigration New Zealand, where appropriate.
- Deal with recognition of prior learning, student welfare, proximity to existing homestay, etc.
- The working group gathers appropriate documentation. This includes receipts, enrolment records, student fee protection and student loan records, passport numbers, dates of birth. It will then transfer funds to PTE, student, Studylink or other, as appropriate, and with student agreement.
- NZQA follows up with students one to two weeks after placement, to ensure alternative placement is satisfactory. This may include:
- checking ongoing student fee protection (NZQA to advise depending on nature of arrangements)
- identifying prospective (international) students still to arrive
- dealing with any records not transferred to new education organisation
- potential use of NZQA staff or regional facilitators, Tertiary Education Commission, Ministry of Education or Ministry of Social Development regional staff
- monitoring well-being of students.
- NZQA will also:
- advise Police/Serious Fraud Office, if criminal activity potentially involved
- arrange debrief meeting of participants - evaluate process and refine