Consultation on proposed NZQA Rule changes

Closed 31 May 2017

From 19 April-31 May 2017, The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) consulted on proposed changes to NZQA Rules. These changes sought to ensure that the Rules are clear, reflect operational changes, address emerging risks and enable NZQA to effectively perform its quality assurance functions.

Consultation feedback on the proposed changes

The proposed changes were in three main areas:

Te Hono o Te Kahurangi quality assurance

Rule 18, English language proficiency requirements

Other NZQA Rules

Part A - Proposed Rule changes for Te Hono o Te Kahurangi quality assurance

NZQA consulted on proposed Rule changes to further integrate the Te Hono o Te Kahurangi whare ako framework into NZQA processes.

For detailed information on the proposed changes, see Te Hono o Te Kahurangi quality assurance proposed Rule changes. (PDF, 393KB)

Part B – Proposed changes to Rule 18, English language proficiency requirements

Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 sets out the English language proficiency requirements for enrolling international students in programmes.

After an amendment to Rule 18 in October 2015, NZQA identified opportunities to strengthen the Rule further in response to sector feedback and emerging risks.

For detailed information on the proposed changes, see Proposed changes to Rule 18. (PDF, 314KB)

Part C – Other changes to NZQA Rules

NZQA also consulted you on proposed Rule changes to the following:

  • Quality Assurance (including External Evaluation and Review (EER)) Rules 2016
  • NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013
  • Training Scheme Rules 2012
  • NZQF Qualification Listing and Operational Rules 2016
  • Private Training Establishment Registration Rules 2013
  • NZQF Industry Training Programme Approval Rules 2012
  • Directory of Assessment Standards Listing and Operational Rules 2011
  • Consent to Assess against Standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards 2011
  • Student Fee Protection Rules 2013

The attached draft consultation document outlines each proposed change, reason for the change and the anticipated impacts. See Other proposed changes to NZQA rules (PDF, 349KB)

Consultation feedback on the proposed changes

NZQA consulted the non-university tertiary education sector from 19 April to 31 May 2017 on proposed changes to NZQA Rules. The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Hon Paul Goldsmith, has approved the proposed changes, which will come into effect on 18 August 2017.

There is a detailed summary of consultation feedback in consultation feedback on proposed changes to NZQA Rules (PDF, 99KB).

Summary of the consultation feedback

NZQA received 44 submissions, detailed below:

Submission author type Number of responses
Peak Body 3
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) 10
Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) 2
Private Training Establishments (PTEs) 27
Individual 1
Other stakeholders 1
Total 44

Te Hono o Te Kahurangi (THOTK) quality assurance

All submissions that responded to this question supported the proposed changes to further incorporate THOTK into standard quality assurance process. No comments were made against the proposals.

English language entry criteria for international students

Overall, the sector supported the proposed changes. Feedback was mainly focussed on the requirement for Category 1 tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to apply for approval of their internal testing. It was suggested that introducing this Rule would undermine the evaluative framework and external evaluation and review incentives associated with Category 1 status.

Ensuring that international students have the appropriate English language proficiency for the level of study they are enrolling in is vital for their academic success and positive learning experience in New Zealand.

NZQA does not consider that the external quality assurance of English language proficiency tests erodes the evaluative framework. The incentives for high performance applicable to both Category 1 and 2 TEOs will continue to apply, including the ability to carry out internal English proficiency testing. English language testing is a specialised and technical area requiring expertise that is not always correlated to overall TEO performance. TEO incentives must not disadvantage students.

NZQA will put in place appropriate arrangements to ensure that TEOs have sufficient time to prepare their applications and students are not disadvantaged.

General changes to other NZQA Rules

The majority of submissions support the proposed changes. Submissions that opposed the changes primarily disagreed with the proposal to introduce a Rule allowing for changes to the scope of an EER, before, during and after the visit.

NZQA has encountered situations where information obtained prior, during or after an EER visit indicates concerns about a TEO’s performance in an area that was not part of the agreed scope. NZQA has an obligation, in terms of quality assurance and the public interest, to consider and fully evaluate these aspects even if they were not part of the original scope.

In cases where a change in scope is warranted, NZQA will work with the TEO to explain clearly why and how the scope needs to be modified.

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