July 2015
- 02 Jul 2015

Forms and attestations - early reminders

Annual Return and SFP audit opinions due 31 August 2015

Private training establishments (PTEs) with a financial year-end of 31 March 2015 need to submit the following documents to NZQA by 31 August 2015:

NB: NZQA has released a new version of the Annual Return Statutory Declaration form (SD01). The updated version includes all current compliance requirements for PTEs, as well as confirming that PTEs are continuing to maintain their registration by delivering at least one approved programme or training scheme within each 12-month period. The form is to be signed by the chief executive or chair of the governing body. 

Updated Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation

Please ensure your chartered accountant uses the updated Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation form. The updated form reflects new standards that came into effect from 31 December 2014.

NB: Category 1 providers who submitted the Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation in 2014 are not required to submit one in 2015.

Code of Practice attestation due 31 August 2015

The attestation form for Code of Practice signatories is due to NZQA by 31 August 2015.

The form is used to record signatories’ review of their performance and the accuracy and relevance of information provided to prospective and enrolled international students. This applies even when no international students are currently enrolled.

NB: The outcomes of the review are required to be recorded in a form that can be made available to NZQA on request.

Download information and resources for self-review at: Annual self-review procedures.

SFP attestation form due 14 September 2015

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 31 August 2015 is due to your trustee by 7 September 2015. The trustee attestation needs to be lodged with NZQA by 14 September 2015.

Download the forms at: Quarterly student fee protection attestation.

Forwarding information and queries

Forward the above documents to: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz. For any queries about these requirements, contact Yvonne Collins, 04 463 3256, email: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz, or your sector relationship manager.

New English language testing requirements for international students

The NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 have been amended to include two changes to the English language requirements for international students contained in Rule 18:

  • Category 1 providers and Category 2 providers (those that have had their internal tests approved) can now use internal English proficiency assessments only for international students from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent.
  • Category 1, 2 and 3 providers can now use previous study at schools where English is the medium of instruction as evidence of English proficiency only for international students from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent.

Providers can still enrol international students from countries with a student visa approval rate below 80 per cent. However, these students must use one of the other methods described in Rule 18 to demonstrate that they have the required level of English proficiency to study in New Zealand, such as an internationally recognised English language test.

The changes will apply to student visa applications submitted to Immigration New Zealand from 1 October 2015.

For more information on the changes, see: Changes to Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules.

Changes to Appendix 2 of Rule 18

There are two changes to the Table for Internationally Recognised English Proficiency Outcomes for International Students contained in Appendix 2 of Rule 18.

The first change makes more transparent a correction from 2013 relating to the proficiency level of the New Zealand Certificate in English Language required for certificates at level 4 and programmes at level 6 or 7.

The second change is to the proficiency scores for University of Cambridge English examinations, which now reflect the new scoring scale introduced by Cambridge English in January 2015. The table can found at: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/our-role/legislation/nzqa-rules/nzqf-related-rules/the-table/

New data collection pilot – non-Crown funded PTEs

A trial is underway to test a proposed new data collection system for non-Crown funded private training establishments. The system would help track international students’ educational progress and ensure data is managed safely and consistently.

It would also allow PTEs to access more timely and detailed information and give them the ability to benchmark themselves against the rest of the sector. The new system would replace two manual data collections with one electronic system that works alongside providers’ own student management systems.

Consultation on the proposal closed on 26 June. Decisions are expected in early August. See: Rule change consultation: New data collection requirements for non-Crown funded private training establishments.

The consultation page also has a link to a document explaining the system in detail: Information about the proposed new data collection system.

Consultation on Student Fee Protection Rule Change for Static Trust Provisions

NZQA is consulting on minor and technical changes to the Student Fee Protection Rules 2013 as a result of the Education Amendment Act 2015 (the Amendment Act) allowing the use of static trusts for the student withdrawal and refund period.

For more information, see: Consultation on Student Fee Protection Rule Change for Static Trust Provisions.

Refund entitlements for international students enrolled in courses of three months or more

NZQA has received an increased number of queries about refund entitlements from international students studying at PTEs.

Students who are enrolled in a course of study of three months or more are entitled to a refund of tuition fees if the student withdraws from this course within 10 working days from the course start date (being the first day on which the student is required to attend).

In such cases, the PTE may deduct up to 25 per cent of the fees paid, provided the PTE incurred costs to this amount and can justify these costs.

Providers must ensure that their published refund policy reflects this, and indicates that up to 25 per cent can be withheld with justification of the costs incurred by the provider.

Providers should be prepared to give students a breakdown of the actual costs incurred when deducting any money from a student refund, if requested.

For information about student refunds see: Student withdrawals and refunds.

The Education Gazette notice which sets the maximum percentage that a PTE may retain (section 5) is available at: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2012/0312/latest/whole.html

Industry Training Organisation Prescribed Quality Assurance Rules 2015 and Annual Fee Rules 2015

The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Act 2014, which came into effect on 22 April 2014, clarified the functions and powers of NZQA in relation to quality assurance of industry training organisations (ITOs).

The Industry Training Organisation Prescribed Quality Assurance Requirements Rules 2015 are consistent with rules relating to quality assurance applied to the rest of the tertiary education sector.

The new rules require ITOs to participate in external evaluation and review. The Annual Fee Rules 2015 funding formula for ITOs is a similar funding formula to that used for PTEs, and so the Private Training Establishment Annual Registration Fee Rules 2011 has been revoked, and is now included in the Annual Fee Rules 2015.

Industry training organisations will be invoiced for the annual fee from June 2016, based on Standard Training Measure data for the 2015 year.

Universal Record of Achievement project underway

The Universal Record of Achievement (URoA) project has been established to expand the current Record of Achievement to include all qualifications a learner has obtained whether in New Zealand or overseas.

Phase I of the project to record all New Zealand certificates and diplomas at levels 1-6 is now underway.

The URoA will be an accessible, accurate, comprehensive and authoritative record of a learner’s qualifications and other quality assured learning recognised in New Zealand. 

Credit Recognition and Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

NZQA's Credit Recognition and Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (CRT/RPL) project is looking at ways to promote the recognition and transfer of learning already credentialed, and recognition of informal learning that has not been credentialed, such as skills and knowledge obtained through employment and life experience.

The CRT/RPL project is looking to create a quality assurance system that maximises the transferability of all learning so it can be credited towards future credentialed learning and used in employment. For more information, download: Credit Transfer & Recognition of Prior Learning.

The CRT and RPL working groups identified barriers to CRT and RPL and steps to address these barriers. A working group on the ‘role of regulatory agencies’ is addressing the regulatory framework needed to promote and support CRT and RPL.

Guidelines in the pipeline

NZQA will publish several guidelines in the near future:

  • Programme Approval and Accreditation Levels 1-6 – these guidelines have been reviewed and are due for publication soon.
  • Guidelines for Level 7 Diplomas – these guidelines have been written and will be released once the Programme Approval and Accreditation Levels 1-6 are published.
  • Consent to Assess – being reviewed.
  • Training Schemes – being reviewed.

Tertiary education well monitored

An independent review has found that oversight of tertiary education is sound.

The review was commissioned by the Chief Executives of NZQA and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and carried out by Deloitte. It included the quality assurance, delivery and financial monitoring activities carried out by both agencies and looked at any improvements that could be made.

NZQA and the TEC are working together to implement the small number of recommendations in the report, such as a joint approach to monitoring programmes and to data analysis to better identify risk factors.

New Zealand has a strong reputation for offering quality education and taking action, like recent investigations, when it is needed. This report, and the improvements being implemented as a result, will enhance that reputation.

Read the full report on the NZQA website.


Invoicing begins on consistency reviews

NZQA is invoicing those tertiary education organisations which have reported graduates of the new New Zealand qualifications since 1 July 2014. Further information on the process for assuring consistency of graduate outcomes and the fees is available at: Assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes of New Zealand qualifications.

The invoice has been based on data reported to NZQA and the Tertiary Education Commission.  If you have any questions about the invoice or the data please contact: consistency@nzqa.govt.nz.

Moderation now online

You can now submit materials online for NZQA national external moderation. We encourage you to submit online to streamline moderation processes, which should be easier and quicker.

To set up your 2015 moderation submission, follow the instructions available at: Viewing digital evidence for moderation online.

If you need any assistance, please contact: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

Tertiary Assessment and Moderation Workshops for 2016

Tertiary Assessment and Moderation will be offering a series of workshops from April to June 2016. The workshops build on those offered in 2015, and will focus on quality assessment and moderation practice for specific subjects, for example Adult Education and Training.

There will be a registration fee of $120 (GST inclusive) per person per workshop.

We will provide further details of the workshops and the registration process later in the year.

Insurance cover for international students

Code signatories are reminded that they must ensure that international students they enrol have appropriate current medical and travel insurance for the duration of their planned period of study in New Zealand.

Providers are also encouraged to remind their international students that under the terms of their student visas, students are required to have appropriate insurance cover for the entire duration of the visa, as per Immigration New Zealand requirements.

For any queries, please email: code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz.

QAD on the web

Transitioning to new qualifications

Information is available on the NZQA website explaining the process for transitioning from current qualifications to New Zealand qualifications as a result of reviews.

Transitioning from current Qualifications to New Zealand Qualifications shows the sequence of actions triggered once a New Zealand qualification has been approved and listed, and the process for discontinuing expiring qualifications.

Subscribe to eQuate 

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

Actions/information summary for TEOs July-September 2015


Action by


SFP audit

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 March 2015, due 31 August 2015

Annual Return (Statutory Declaration and Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation)

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 March 2015, due 31 August 2015

SFP quarterly attestation Quarter ending 31 August 2015

14 September 2015 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 the TEO’s 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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