Training scheme approval

A training scheme is defined in section 159 of the Education Act 1989 as study and training that leads to an award but does not, of itself, lead to a qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

A training scheme can be at any NZQF level and can provide a range of academic or vocational learning opportunities.

Unless the training scheme meets exemption criteria, approval is mandatory for institutions that propose to enrol an international student on a training scheme.

(For public tertiary education institutions, the obligation to seek training scheme approval is set out under section 224 (8) of the Act, while for private training establishments, or private institutions, it is under section 232A (2).)

Institutions can choose whether they wish to apply for approval of training schemes that enrol only domestic students.

Training scheme rules

NZQA has made Training Scheme Rules that apply to institutions seeking approval under section 251 of the Education Act 1989.

Institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga, private training establishments, government training establishments, relevant schools, industry training organisations and other bodies are eligible to apply to NZQA for training scheme approval. Industry training organisations must apply jointly with an education provider.

Training scheme guidelines

NZQA Guidelines to the approval of training schemes (PDF, 380KB) provide guidance to non-university tertiary education institutions and schools seeking training scheme approval.

Deemed training schemes (historical)

When the Education Amendment Act 2011 came into force on 31 August 2011, any existing approved programmes that did not lead to a qualification listed on the NZQF were deemed to be approved training schemes.

These would have been identified by the tertiary education organisation or NZQA, and the necessary steps taken to change the status of the programme to a deemed training scheme. 

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