Frequently asked questions about the new Code of Practice

Following consultation with the sector in 2015, a revised Code of Practice was published on 10 March 2016. For more information on the changes, please see the Ministry of Education website.

The 2016 Code of Practice came into effect on 1 July 2016. It immediately applies to international students enrolled after that date. From 1 January 2017, the 2016 Code of Practice also applies to international students enrolled before 1 July 2016.

What is self-review attestation and when do I have to do it?

Self-review is a requirement under the 2016 Code of Practice. Signatories need to review their pastoral care practices and procedures to see if they meet the outcomes of the Code of Practice.

Signatories should keep a record of this review to show what they did and any adjustments they made as a result.

After a signatory has completed this self-review, they need to submit an attestation form to NZQA. This indicates the process has been completed.

For 2016, signatories need to submit their self-review attestations by 1 December 2016. NZQA will notify signatories of the appropriate date for upcoming years.

Are there resources to help me meet the outcomes of the 2016 Code of Practice?

Yes. NZQA, with sector input, has developed a Code of Practice toolbox. The material is supplied as examples only, and NZQA encourages signatories to adapt the material to fit their situation and needs.

This toolbox will develop over time, reflecting the material submitted by the sector.

You can contribute to the toolbox by sending relevant materials to code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz. NZQA will check that the material meets quality criteria before publishing it.

Will the 2016 Code of Practice be available in different languages like the previous Code was?

Yes. The 2016 Code of Practice text is available in several languages, as is a pamphlet for international students and their families. The pamphlet summaries the Code of Practice and the rights of international students while they are studying in New Zealand.

These resources are available in pdf format and can be printed as needed.

Who do the changes apply to?

The changes apply to all Code of Practice signatories.

Do I need to re-apply for Code of Practice signatory status?

No, your signatory status will continue under the new Code of Practice.

What do I need to do to ensure that I am compliant with the new Code of Practice?

The new Code of Practice contains both outcomes sought for international students and key processes to support their well-being, achievement and rights.

Signatories must achieve the required outcomes and comply with the key processes.

Please note that the Code of Practice outlines key processes that are the minimum requirements. Signatories may need to establish their own additional processes that suit their circumstances, in order to achieve the outcomes sought.

As a first step, you must familiarise yourself with the new Code of Practice. You should then ensure that your policies and procedures are updated accordingly and that you abide by the new Code of Practice.

Do I need to re-write all my policies and procedures for the new Code of Practice?

No, you do not. However, you do need to review your current policies and procedures to ensure that you comply with the requirements of the new Code of Practice.

What information do I need to give students enrolled before 1 July 2016 who will remain enrolled after 31 December 2016?

The previous Code of Practice will apply to those students until 31 December 2016. It is recommended that you inform them of the changes to the Code of Practice and how the new Code of Practice will apply to them after 31 December 2016.

You will need to make arrangements before 31 December 2016 to ensure that after that date, the students’ enrolments will comply with the new Code of Practice. This includes having the specific insurance that meets the requirements of the new Code of Practice.

Your review of your current policies and procedures for new Code of Practice may identify more information that you need to give those students.

Do I need to issue new enrolment agreements to students who enrolled before 1 July 2016 and will continue to study here after 31 December 2016?

That would depend on the content of the existing enrolment agreements, and these vary between providers.

If the review of your policies and procedures identifies concerns about existing contracts, it is recommended that you seek legal advice based on your specific circumstances.

Do I need to make changes to the wording of the Offer of Place?

That would depend on the wording each provider uses. You can identify any changes required during your review of your policies and procedures.

In terms of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) requirements, please refer to INZ advice.

Will the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA) continue to exist?

The IEAA will remain in place beyond 1 July 2016 to finish dealing with all cases submitted to it before 1 July 2016. Once all of those cases are resolved, the IEAA will be disestablished.

All complaints and/or disputes after 1 July 2016 will be dealt with by NZQA and/or the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) under the new Code of Practice. For more information see the iStudent Complaints website.

When will the DRS commence?

The DRS will commence on 1 July 2016. Students (or their advocates) can  contact NZQA in the first instance with their complaint or if it is contractual or financial, they can go direct to the DRS, iStudent Complaints.

What should I advise students to do if they have a complaint about the Code of Practice?

NZQA suggests that you update the complaint process information you give to students by removing references to the IEAA and inserting the following:

If you have a complaint about <name of provider/school> breaching the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, follow <name of provider's/school’s> formal complaint process first.

If this does not resolve your complaint, you can contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) by phone on 0800 697 296 or email qadrisk@nzqa.govt.nz.

Or, if it is a financial or contractual dispute, you can contact iStudent Complaints by phone on 0800 00 66 75. More information is available on the iStudent Complaints website: http://www.istudent.org.nz/istudent-complaints.

NZQA has produced a brochure for international students about the complaints process (PDF, 147KB). It is recommended that you distribute this brochure to your students.

Where can I find the new Code of Practice?

The new Code of Practice is available on the New Zealand legislation website.

Are there any guidelines for the Code of Practice to assist me in implementing it?

Yes, NZQA has published two sets of guidelines specific for schools and tertiary education organisations.

Will I receive a pack of supporting documents for the new Code of Practice?

No, all relevant supporting information is available on the NZQA website as specified above. You can download or print the material.

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