February 2016
- 26 Feb 2016

Changes to Annual Return reporting requirements

NZQA and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) have agreed that the TEC will take over responsibility for the collection of the Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review (IAPR) Report or Auditor’s Reports from TEC-funded PTEs during 2016.

The new process will begin for financial statements dated 31 December 2015 onward. The reports are due to the TEC by 31 May 2016. The TEC is providing details to individual PTEs about the process for submitting the reports.

Non-TEC funded PTEs will continue to submit their IAPR Report or Auditor’s Report to NZQA. The IAPR Report replaces the previous NZQA customised Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation (CAPA) form.

For background and further information, see: New review engagement standard: update.

If you have any questions relating to TEC process changes, please email teifm.info@tec.govt.nz.

Data collection begins for UIP project

Late last year there was a change to the Private Training Establishment (PTE) Registration Rules around the collection of data from Unfunded International Education Providers (UIPs).

The Amended Rules come into effect on 1 March 2016. As a result, the data is due to be submitted to the Ministry of Education from 31 March 2016.

A temporary exemption has been granted to PTEs that provide only English Language training.

If you require assistance with setting up the data return, or need clarification on whom the exemption applies to, please email UIP.Datacollection@education.govt.nz.

Background information

The Ministry of Education, Education New Zealand and NZQA have been working on a project to gather better information from UIPs using an automated data collection system.

The Amended Rules make it a condition of PTE registration to submit specific data from UIPs to the Ministry of Education.

The change only affects PTEs that do not receive Student Achievement Component and/or Youth Guarantee funding from the Tertiary Education Commission, and are also signatories to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

See Private Training Establishment Registration Amendment Rules 2015 for details of the change.

Complaints/refunds information for students

Both new and returning students should be made aware of your processes for receiving and responding to student complaints, and also of the availability of NZQA’s complaints process.

Under the Private Training Establishment Registration Rules (2013), PTEs are required to inform students of complaints processes.

You will best know how this information should be provided to students, although methods could include: student handbook, posters around the premises, and discussion during induction. 

For ideas on information to include about the NZQA complaints process, see: Make a complaint about a provider.

Refund entitlements for international students

International students should be made aware of their refund entitlements. For courses longer than three months, if an international student withdraws within 10 working days after first being required to attend, the PTE may retain up to 25 per cent of the fees. However, the amount deducted must be justified.

For more information on withdrawals and refunds, see: Student withdrawals and refunds.

Student Funds Trust Deposit Exemption Rules 2016

The Student Funds Trust Deposit Exemption Rules 2016 have now been finalised and approved by the NZQA Board and the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, with effect from 13 February 2016.

The new rules exempt courses (i.e. programmes and training schemes) where the total student fee is $500 or less (including GST) from the requirement to deposit student fees with an independent trustee.

These rules supersede any historical exemptions granted under the Student Fee Protection Policy (2005). Exemptions that were granted under that policy will be revoked on 30 June 2016.

PTEs should check their current Student Fee Protection (SFP) arrangements, and make any necessary changes.

  • By 31 March 2016, all PTEs should check their arrangements, notify NZQA of their status, and (if necessary) apply for NZQA approval of new SFP arrangements
  • By 30 June 2016, all PTEs must have appropriate SFP arrangements in place, and all fees must be appropriately protected.

For more information, see: Exemption from student fee protection arrangements, and Consultation on Student Fee Protection Exemption Rules, or email qadrisk@nzqa.govt.nz.

Student Fee Protection attestation form due 14 March 2016

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 29 February 2016 is due to your trustee by 7 March 2016. The trustee attestation needs to be lodged with NZQA by 14 March 2016.

Forward the document to: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz. For any queries about these requirements, contact Yvonne Collins, 04 463 3256, email: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

‘Universal’ Record of Achievement: what is coming this year?

In 2015, NZQA engaged with learners, the education sector and employers to explore how a ‘Universal’ Record of Achievement would better meet learners’ needs now and in the future.

In 2016, NZQA will increase the quality and breadth of learners’ achievement information to be recorded and, where possible, the timeliness by:

  • redesigning the record to make it more learner-friendly (e.g. learners will be able to customise their record so that their relevant and/or most up-do-date qualifications and components are displayed)
  • expanding progressively what information can be displayed (including the new New Zealand qualifications) for a more comprehensive record
  • improving access to learners’ achievement data, with learners having the ability to share an electronic version of their RoA with a third party of their choice (e.g. employer, education organisation, parents, etc).

NZQA will also look at recording quality-assured and recognised international qualifications, recognised prior learning, and recognised non-New Zealand Qualifications Framework qualifications.

Progress on Sector Qualifications Register

The Sector Qualifications Register (SQR) will deliver a single register that stores information about all quality assured qualifications listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

Currently there are multiple qualification repositories held across the sector by a range of agencies. This leads to confusion and data mismatches that can create doubt about the accuracy of qualifications information reported for funding purposes or to be recorded on learners’ records of achievement.

The groundwork for SQR has been laid. Next developments will involve co-creating with tertiary education organisations and other agencies a register that:

  • supports effective, efficient and integrated cross-agency approval processes for tertiary education organisations
  • enables easier life-cycle management (approval and maintenance) of qualifications, programmes, components and related information
  • improves the information at the source to create a quality data-sharing system for all stakeholders, from the education organisation to the learners.

2016 Tertiary Assessment and Moderation workshops for tertiary education organisations

Want to know more about effective assessment material? Want to learn how to increase your moderation agreement rates?

Registrations are now open for subject-specific assessment and moderation workshops for tertiary education organisations.

The workshops will be held in various locations around the country between 1 April and 30 June 2016. Each workshop is $120 per person. This includes morning tea and lunch.

Only 30 places are available at each workshop, so register now. Registrations are limited to three staff per organisation per workshop.

To find out what workshops are being offered, where they are being held, and how to register, see: 2016 Tertiary Assessment and Moderation workshops for tertiary education organisations.

Assessor support options

For the following subjects: Literacy, Numeracy, English for Academic Purposes, Computing, English Language, Supported Learning and all field Māori, NZQA provides assessor support options to inspire and encourage good assessment practice through engaging in practical activities and discussions with fellow participants. The options include:

  • Online or face-to-face workshops aimed at increasing assessor confidence when making assessment judgements;
  • 10-week online programme aimed at modifying existing resources to better meet the needs of learners and exploring diverse and valid ways of collecting evidence
  • Request for a facilitator to attend a meeting to speak on a topic related to external moderation.

More information can be found at Assessor Support – Assessment and Moderation.

Consistency workshops fully subscribed

NZQA recently offered workshops on assuring consistency. Thank you for your fantastic response to these workshops, which are now full.

Assuring consistency of graduate outcomes and that programmes are achieving the same outcomes at an equivalent standard is an important part of our quality assurance activities.

All tertiary education organisations will be involved in assuring consistency once they have graduates from a New Zealand qualification.

We will be looking to offer more workshops and will confirm these in due course.

QAD on the web

Credits for Class 1 driver licence standards

From 1 April 2016, Class 1 driver licence standards will be available to students enrolled in a school or registered tertiary education organisation. This means that students will be able to have credit for these standards count towards their achievement of NCEA and other qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Students can gain a total of eight credits:

  • Obtain a Learner’s Class 1 driver licence = 2 credits, NZQF Level 1
  • Obtain a Restricted Class 1 driver licence = 4 credits, NZQF Level 2
  • Obtain a Full Class 1 driver licence = 2 credits, NZQF Level 2.

The process for awarding and reporting credits is being finalised following consultation in February, and will be notified to providers in mid-March.

For background and further information, see: Driver licence standards for credits on the NZQF- Feedback on the process for awarding and reporting of credits.

Updated Immigration New Zealand approval rates for student visas

The 2015 approval rates for student visas are now available on the Immigration New Zealand website. Tertiary organisations had until 2 March 2016 to adjust their enrolment policies.

For further information and links to the approval list, see: Updated Immigration New Zealand approval rates for student visas.

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You can subscribe to eQuate through the ‘sign up’ link on the eQuate section of the website.


How can we improve the eQuate newsletter to better meet your needs? We’d love to hear from you. Send your feedback to eQuate@nzqa.govt.nz.

Compliance summary for March-May 2016

Student Fee Protection audit

To NZQA within five months of PTE’s financial year-end

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2015, due 31 May 2016

Annual Return – Statutory Declaration

To NZQA within five months of PTE’s financial year-end

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2015, due 31 May 2016

Annual Return –chartered accountant’s attestation

To NZQA within five months of PTE’s financial year-end

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2015, due 31 May 2016

Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review (IAPR) Report replaces NZQA’s customised Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation (CAPA)

SFP quarterly attestation – quarter ending 29 February 2016

14 March 2016 to NZQA

No longer required for standard trusts – only for static trusts or bank bond trusts

Compliance declaration

Submission of self-assessment material

Not an annual requirement; only required before external evaluation and review

Fit and Proper Person and Conflict of Interest declarations

With new applications for registration; also, for proposed new governing members* of registered PTEs


*See Section 232 of the Education Act 1989 for the definition of governing member

Must be completed by all new governing members before commencing in the role, and at any time when an existing governing member has a new conflict of interest or change in fit and proper status.

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