Publishing statutory actions on the NZQA website - feedback summary and decision

Closed 05 May 2017

Between 22 March and 5 May 2017, stakeholders gave feedback on NZQA’s proposal to publish, on NZQA’s website, information on statutory actions taken by NZQA in relation to tertiary education organisations (TEOs).

The proposal was a move towards greater transparency and accountability of education organisations.

Publishing this information would provide domestic and international students, and the wider public, with more complete and accurate information on the performance and any regulatory decisions made by NZQA in relation to the activities of a non-university tertiary education organisation or a Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) signatory.

Consultation information

What are statutory actions?
When does NZQA use statutory actions?
Why make statutory actions public?
How will publishing statutory actions affect organisations?
NZQA proposal: Publishing statutory actions on the NZQA website

Feedback summary and decision

NNZQA received 73 responses, but only 71 responses were able to be used and 2 excluded (one blank response, and one replica response).

NZQA has analysed the feedback from this survey and the key findings and decisions are below.

Key findings of the consultation survey

Who was represented?

  • Forty-three responses were personal views (61 per cent).
  • Twenty-eight responses were the views of the organisation the respondent represented (39 per cent).
  • Most of both personal and organisational views came from private training establishments (PTEs).

Who responded?

The majority of respondents (58) were from the education sector. The rest of respondents were either students, parents, or teachers/tutors.

Respondents included people in leadership, administration, academic, quality assurance, management roles.

Did respondents support the proposal?

A clear majority of respondents (71 per cent) supported the publication of statutory action information on NZQA’s website.

The main reasons for respondents supporting the publication were transparency and accountability.

Another key reason noted by respondents was the need for increasing confidence in TEOs and NZQA processes for monitoring and dealing with issues.

Respondents also wanted students and parents to be able to make informed decisions, and to be increasingly aware of issues within TEOs.

Some respondents saw the publication of statutory actions information as a way to deter behaviour that breaches the Education Act, NZQA Rules, and the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (Code of Practice).

One respondent comment was typical of comments received from a number of respondents: “This proposed change will allow greater transparency with regards to compliance of the education sector and allow stakeholders and students to make informed decisions regarding enrolment at institutions.”

What arguments were there against publication?

A small number of respondents (30 per cent) did not agree with the proposal to publish statutory action information. The main reason or basis for this approach was that these respondents wanted further consultation with the sector before any publication takes place.

Others noted that public quality assurance systems and information were already in place, such as external evaluation and review (EER) reports.

A small number noted the potential for reputational damage if statutory actions were published.

Respondents also suggested that NZQA should take individual circumstances into consideration: for example, a one-off breach versus repeat offences.

What did respondents want published?

Most respondents (57 per cent) preferred that NZQA publish only summaries of statutory actions.

Fifteen per cent of respondents wanted full notices only, while 28 per cent selected both summary and full notices.

How long did respondents think the statutory actions should remain on NZQA’s website?

The length of time respondents considered notice of a statutory action should remain on NZQA’s website before removal depended on the type of action. Timeframes varied from immediately upon resolution, to seven years.

Some respondents suggested that compliance notices should remain on NZQA’s website until they are complied with, then should be removed as soon as possible.

A number of respondents made similar suggestions about conditions imposed; i.e. they should be removed once revoked.

For withdrawal, removal of Code signatory status, or cancellation of registration, most respondents recommended removal upon revocation, plus an additional timeframe such as:

  • 12 months or
  • seven years or
  • until the organisation’s status changes or
  • permanently.

What else did respondents say?

Commonly noted comments were:

  • the need to weigh the risks against the benefits
  • making terminology and language clear
  • defining the statutory actions process and the differences between the different actions
  • ensuring the process is robust and works with valid information
  • the importance of allowing TEOs the opportunity to provide feedback and consult before an action is finalised.

NZQA to publish summaries of statutory actions

NZQA has taken the above feedback into consideration in making the below decisions.

NZQA will publish summaries of statutory actions NZQA has taken against TEOs, including current compliance notices, on NZQA’s website, from Monday 3 July 2017:

  • These summaries will include the organisation name, description and context of the statutory action, and the status of the action.
  • The duration that the summaries remain on NZQA’s website will depend on the status of the action. Further information will be available on the statutory actions web page from Monday 3 July.
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