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Statutory Declarations as a fit and proper person and of conflicts of interest
There are two types of statutory declarations that governing members of private training establishments (PTEs) must submit to NZQA:
All governing members of PTEs must submit a conflicts of interest statutory declaration and a fit and proper person statutory declaration.
These statutory declarations must be submitted to NZQA as part of the application for PTE registration and when an existing PTE has a new governing member.
Under section 233B(3) of the Act it is a condition of ongoing PTE registration that:
- any new governing member submits a Conflict of Interest Statutory Declaration before commencing as a governing member of the establishment
- existing governing members keep their Conflict of Interest Statutory Declaration up to date.
The conflicts of interest statutory declaration must:
- disclose any material conflicts of interest arising from the person’s role as a governing member of the establishment
- disclose any interests in organisations in the education or immigration sector that provide goods or services to tertiary students
- include any arrangements to manage or mitigate the potential conflicts identified
- be updated if circumstances change.
What is a conflict of interest/an interest?
Proposed and current governing members should disclose where they, or a close relative, have an interest in a transaction that is not aligned with the PTE’s interest (i.e you or a relative have an involvement in a transaction that might disadvantage the PTE that you also have an interest in, or benefit you or your close relative). This is likely to be a situation where a material conflict exists between the governing member’s own interests and that of the PTE.
Proposed and current governing members must disclose any interest they have in organisations in the education or immigration sector that provide goods or services to tertiary students. The reason for this lower disclosure threshold is the likelihood of a conflict of interest in this situation between the governing member/PTE and the interests of students.
Examples of situations where interests must be disclosed include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The governing member has loaned money to the PTE
- A close relative of the governing member has entered into a significant contract with the PTE
- A company owned by the governing member is the PTE’s landlord
- The governing member is a shareholder or director in an immigration consultancy that offers immigration services to prospective students of the PTE.
NZQA will evaluate each declaration on a case-by-case basis. If they are uncertain whether their position could be considered a conflict of interest, governing members are advised to take a conservative approach and make a disclosure.
A set of questions and answers (PDF, 36KB) is available with more information about this requirement.
The Education Amendment Act 2011 introduced the requirement that all governing members of PTEs are fit and proper persons for the role.
PTEs must submit a fit and proper person statutory declaration and satisfy NZQA that each governing member is a fit and proper person.
Use the Statutory Declaration as a fit and proper person and of conflicts of interests form (DOCX, 72KB) to submit this information to NZQA.
What is a fit and proper person?
NZQA needs to be satisfied that a governing member of a PTE is appropriately qualified and has no history that would make them unsuitable for the role.
Factors that may make a governing member unsuitable are:
- previous bankruptcy under the Insolvency Act 1967 or the Insolvency Act 2006
- involvement with a registered PTE that was closed down or taken over
- criminal convictions for fraud, dishonesty or violence, or being a current defendant in criminal proceedings
- being prohibited from being a director or promoter of, or taking part in the management of, a company (under sections 382, 383, 385, and 386A of the Companies Act 1993).
NZQA will evaluate each declaration on a case-by-case basis. Proposed governing members need to supply all relevant information so NZQA can make an informed decision about who is a fit and proper person to be a governing member of a registered PTE.