TEO compliance declaration questions and answers

The following questions and answers address common queries relating to compliance declarations. Should you require any further advice or information, please contact your sector relationship manager or qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

1. How often must TEOs submit a compliance declaration? Is this an annual requirement?

Compliance declaration is not an annual requirement. Tertiary education organisations (TEOs) are only required to submit a completed compliance declaration prior to a scheduled external evaluation and review (EER).

A TEO will receive notification of the requirement to submit a compliance declaration at the same time that it receives written notification from NZQA of its scheduled EER. TEOs will be asked to submit the compliance declaration at the same time as their self-assessment summary and TEO Details form.

2. How do I complete the compliance declaration?

You can download a copy of the TEO compliance declaration (PDF, 330KB). Once you have completed and signed the declaration, send it to NZQA using the address provided on the second page.

To complete the declaration, you will need to indicate whether your TEO is compliant with various compliance requirements. Guidance is included as to which parts of legislation or rules are relevant and which compliance requirements apply only to particular types of TEO. TEOs are expected to be familiar with the requirements of each set of legislation or rules to which they are subject.

In addition, you will need to provide information about internal policies and any requirements set by other professional and regulatory bodies, relating to the provision of education and training, with which your organisation ensures compliance. For example, if your TEO grants credit based on the recognition of prior learning, the compliance declaration will provide NZQA with assurance that this is being done consistently and according to established processes.

In the event that you declare non-compliance with any requirements, use the second page of the form to explain the non-compliance and detail any actions that are being taken to address it.

3. What happens if I declare that my TEO is non-compliant?

TEOs are encouraged to declare non-compliance where it is identified. This shows that TEOs have actively reviewed their compliance requirements and are taking steps to rectify any issues, as well as providing an opportunity for the TEO to review the processes it uses to monitor and maintain compliance.

Where non-compliance is declared, NZQA may take the opportunity to engage with a TEO about its expectations with regard to particular compliance requirements. Unless the non-compliance identified poses immediate and significant risk, NZQA’s policy is to provide TEOs with an opportunity to address any issues before any risk management action is considered.

Where non-compliance is declared, a focus on compliance management may also be incorporated within the scope of the subsequent EER.

4. I understand that NZQA will conduct visits to validate compliance declarations. How often will these occur and what will they involve?

The validation of compliance declarations will occur during the EER site visit, as this process already affords evaluators access to TEOs. Where non-compliance is observed during an EER site visit, the evaluation team will refer back to the compliance declaration.

NZQA also has the ability to conduct separate validation visits to verify some or all of the content of compliance declarations. These may be undertaken randomly, as a means of ensuring ongoing compliance, or in response to specific issues identified through the compliance declaration or EER. In most cases, these visits will be undertaken following a reasonable period after the EER visit.

If your TEO is selected to receive a validation visit, you will receive notice in writing and an NZQA staff member will contact you to arrange the visit.

5. What is the relationship between compliance declaration and a PTE’s Annual Return Statutory Declaration?

Registered PTEs must submit an Annual Return Statutory Declaration to NZQA each year within five months of the end of their financial year. The Annual Return Statutory Declaration provides NZQA with regular assurance that PTEs are continuing to comply with the requirements for maintaining registration as a PTE.

The compliance declaration form also requires PTEs to declare their compliance with the requirements for maintaining registration as a PTE, but must only be submitted prior to an EER, which in some cases occurs only once every four years.

In order to avoid any duplication of compliance requirements, where a PTE’s financial year ends within four months of its scheduled EER (where the date of the EER refers to the EER site visit), the PTE need not submit an Annual Return Statutory Declaration to NZQA as part of its annual return documentation for that financial year-end.

This is because the declaration of compliance with the requirements for maintaining registration as a PTE will be covered by the PTE’s compliance declaration.

6. Who has the authority to sign the compliance declaration?

All compliance declarations must be signed by the Chief Executive of the organisation making the declaration.

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