Inactive PTEs

The Education and Training Act section 352 sets out that registration of a Private Training Establishment (PTE) lapses if the PTE does not deliver at least one approved programme, training scheme of micro-credential within a 12-month period, unless an exemption is given by NZQA under this policy (PDF, 171KB).

PTEs impacted by a force majeure may seek to become inactive, while remaining registered (‘Hibernation’).

A force majeure is a natural disaster, fire, flood, or other similar unexpected and extraordinary major event

Please note that with the re-opening of the borders and under the current settings, COVID-19 is not a sufficient reason for ‘hibernation’.

Inactive PTEs may be able to suspend delivery of accredited programmes and approved training schemes for any period up to 2 years, without affecting their registration. External quality assurance activities and any associated fees will cease for inactive PTEs. 

The Annual Fee will still be payable, however PTEs can request for a flexible payment plan, if required.

A request to be inactive may be granted for an initial period of up to 12 months (or less if requested and agreed to by NZQA), with a further extension available to a maximum period of 2 years in total. PTEs can apply to NZQA at any point to re-open and resume delivery.

If you wish to make a request to be inactive, please complete this application form (DOCX, 138KB) and email it to:

Applying to be inactive

NZQA’s expectation is that 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 a pro-rata refund, as set out in the Student Fee Protection (SFP) Rules. Students who have not yet begun their studies are entitled to receive a full refund.

Any outstanding compliance matters with NZQA need to be resolved prior to a PTE becoming inactive. Flexible payment plans are available for those PTEs with fees owing to NZQA.

To apply to become inactive, a PTE needs to:

NZQA will issue a letter confirming the PTE is inactive. This will be for an initial period of up to 12 months (or less, as requested by the PTE and agreed to by NZQA).

If a further extension is to be requested, the PTE must notify NZQA at least 2 weeks prior to the expiry date.

What happens when a PTE is inactive

  • A PTE remains responsible for the maintenance of any approved programme, including if another TEO holds accreditation for the approved programme. 
  • External quality assurance activities conducted by NZQA will not occur while a PTE is inactive. This includes EERs, validation visits, and programme monitoring and review. 
  • A PTE’s Annual Statutory Declaration is not required if it falls due during the inactive period.
  • No student fees should remain in an inactive PTE’s trust account.
  • The SFP Audit due for the year ending prior to becoming inactive must be completed and submitted to NZQA.
  • Quarterly Attestations (if applicable) are not required for inactive PTEs.
  • The NZQA Annual Fee for PTEs will remain, however PTEs can request for a flexible payment plan, if required.
  • An inactive PTE must seek NZQA approval for any change of ownership during this time. 
  • A PTE that is inactive should develop a recovery plan to resume provision of its programmes or training schemes, this includes applying for any programme changes before resuming delivery.
  • All Unfunded International Providers (UIPs) should contact Ministry of Education (MOE) for submitting the international student enrolment data.
  • NZQA will publish a current list of inactive PTEs on its website.

Ending the period of inactivity

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

  • submit a PTE Annual Return Statutory Declaration, confirming their readiness to comply with all applicable Rules on re-opening; and
  • advise NZQA of their recovery plan and delivery intentions i.e. the programmes and training schemes they will deliver, and relevant staff and site information. Where there are significant changes, NZQA may request further information.
  • advise INZ of their intention to re-open (if intending to offer places to international students).

A PTE will retain its prior EER Category rating once the period of inactivity formally comes to an end.

NZQA fees and external quality assurance will resume once a PTE is active.

NZQA validation visits will occur, where appropriate.

Please read this policy (PDF, 171KB)

You can use this checklist (DOCX, 140KB) to plan for re-opening.

List of inactive PTEs

Name MoE number Inactive - start Inactive - end
Communications International Education Limited (trading as Tasman International Academies (Tasman)) 7805 1/11/2021 31/10/2023
Kaplan International NZ Ltd 8682 12/07/2021 15/07/2023
New Horizon College 8546 02/12/2021 30/11/2023
Unique New Zealand Education Services Ltd 9799 01/04/2021 31/03/2023
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