Monitoring PTEs

In a ‘high-trust’ environment, private training establishments (PTEs) must take responsibility for ensuring that they are compliant with all applicable NZQA requirements. NZQA expects PTEs to have, and implement an adequate quality management system (QMS).

NZQA carries out a range of support, education, monitoring and intervention activities in order to provide external assurance that the system as a whole is running smoothly. This includes activity in relation to a PTE’s particular educational delivery, as well as the general requirements for maintaining registration.

Validation visits to newly registered PTEs

NZQA conducts a validation visit to each newly registered PTE six months after registration.

The purpose of the validation visit is to check that the PTE is meeting registration requirements by operating as stated in its application for registration. If the PTE is not operating within six months of registration, NZQA can agree to postpone the validation visit until delivery has begun.

Review of annual return documents and other documents

To maintain their registration, PTEs are required to submit annual return documents. NZQA staff review all annual return documents and other documents periodically submitted by PTEs. These include (where applicable):

If these documents raise any concerns, NZQA will contact the PTE to discuss these with them.

Investigation of complaints

NZQA has a formal complaints procedure that is available to students and members of the public wishing to raise concerns about a PTE.

When NZQA receives a complaint, it carries out an initial assessment to determine whether the concerns fall within NZQA’s jurisdiction, and to evaluate the credibility of the allegations. NZQA then decides whether there are sufficient grounds to conduct further investigation.

If NZQA proceeds with an investigation, the PTE is given the opportunity to respond to the concerns that have been raised. In some cases, a visit may be necessary in order to view or gather evidence to inform the investigation.

If a complaint investigation identifies that a PTE has breached NZQA requirements, NZQA will work with the PTE to ensure that the appropriate corrective action is taken.

External evaluation and review

Periodic external evaluation and review provides an independent judgement of the educational performance and capability in self-assessment of all PTEs.

Monitoring visits

NZQA visits PTEs for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • validation visits (carried out on a random or targeted basis to confirm that the PTE is complying with the registration requirements)
  • targeted monitoring visits (to investigate a concern that the PTE may not be compliant with NZQA’s requirements)
  • compliance visits (to follow up confirmed breaches of NZQA’s rules)
  • visits to co-ordinate a course or PTE closure.

Requests for an action plan/improvement plan

NZQA may require a PTE to develop and implement an action plan that will result in the necessary improvements being made. Action plans are always requested when a PTE receives an external evalution and review rating of Category 3 or 4, and may be requested in other circumstances too.

Statutory intervention

Wherever possible, NZQA works informally with a PTE in the first instance to identify what action can be taken to address identified non-compliance. If an informal approach is unsuccessful, or the non-compliance is more serious or poses an immediate risk to students or the public, NZQA can use one of a number of statutory pathways:

  • Issuing a compliance notice requiring a PTE to either take or stop a particular action.
  • Imposing a condition on a PTE’s registration.
  • Imposing a condition on a PTE’s programme approval or accreditation, training scheme approval or consent to assess against standards.
  • Withdrawing a PTE’s programme approval or accreditation, training scheme approval or consent to assess against standards.
  • Cancelling a PTE’s registration.

Fees charged by NZQA monitoring activities

NZQA charges fees for the following activities at a rate of $150 per NZQA staff member, per hour (GST exclusive):

  • validation visits to newly registered providers
  • external evaluation and review
  • compliance visits and follow-up activity required as a result of confirmed breaches of NZQA requirements.


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