Inactive PTEs

Private training establishments (PTEs) may seek to become inactive, while remaining registered, for an initial period of 12 months and up to a maximum period of 18 months ("Hibernation").

This means PTEs will be able to suspend all delivery of accredited programmes and approved training schemes for up to 18 months, without affecting their registration or incurring most fees. 

The PTE Annual Fee is still payable, however PTEs can ask for a flexible payment plan, if required.

Unless there are serious outstanding compliance concerns, a request to be inactive will be granted. PTEs have until 31 December 2020 to apply to be inactive.

If you wish to make a request to be inactive, please contact us on

Applying to be inactive

NZQA’s expectation is that, where possible, PTEs applying to become inactive will see out their commitment to their current students. If it is unavoidable for the PTE to cease delivery before all current students have completed their full enrolment period, NZQA will work alongside the PTE in supporting students to make alternative arrangements. Affected students will be entitled to receive at least a pro-rata refund, as set out in the Student Fee Protection Rules. Students who have not yet begun their studies are entitled to receive a full refund.

On this basis, no further attestations or audits are required from the PTE during the period of inactive status, as there is an expectation that no student fees remain in the trust account.

Furthermore, any outstanding quality assurance fees owing to NZQA need to have been paid or a payment plan agreed.

When the PTE applies to be inactive, it will need to provide:

  • details of all current programmes and/or training schemes it seeks to suspend.
  • dates of the last provision of each programme and training scheme. Inactive registration status begins from the latest date of provision.
  • information about whether the PTE is responsible for maintenance of any approved programme on behalf of other accredited tertiary education organisations (TEOs).

NZQA will issue a letter confirming the PTE is inactive. This will be for an initial period of 12 months.

If a further 6-month extension is required, the PTE must advise NZQA two months prior to the expiry date.

What happens when a PTE is inactive

  • PTEs remain responsible for the maintenance of any approved programme. This requirement remains while other TEOs hold accreditation for the approved programme. 
  • External quality assurance activities would not occur during the period a PTE is inactive, including EERs and programme moderation. 
  • The NZQA Annual Fee will remain, however PTEs can ask for a flexible payment plan, if required.
  • A PTE that is inactive must still apply to NZQA for any change of ownership. 
  • A PTE that is inactive must develop a recovery plan to resume provision.

Ending the period of inactivity

A PTE intending to end its period of inactivity must advise NZQA at least two months prior to the planned re-opening date, and:

  • submit a PTE Annual Return Statutory Declaration, confirming their readiness to comply with all applicable Rules on re-opening.
  • advise NZQA of their delivery intentions i.e. the programmes and training schemes they will deliver, and relevant staff and site information.

The PTE’s prior EER Category rating will be retained once the period of inactivity formally comes to an end, NZQA fees and external quality assurance will resume, and NZQA validation visits will occur where appropriate.

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