July 2020
- 1 Jul 2020

Thank you for partnering with us during the COVID-19 lockdown

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major challenge for providers and learners. We are very encouraged by the way the sector has responded.

I want to draw your attention to the package of relief and assistance measures for TEOs experiencing difficulty due to the impact of COVID-19 we announced in June. Detailed information about these measures can be found on the NZQA website.

While we are operating at Alert Level 1, it is critical to maintain our ability to be flexible so we can all respond quickly should new cases of community transmission be detected. 

Thank you for working with us to make sure learners are safe and well, and can continue their studies. We greatly value the support you’ve given your learners and the effort you’ve put into new and flexible teaching and learning arrangements.

We look forward to capturing your ideas and innovation to further strengthen our education sector and create more opportunities for learners.

Eve McMahon
Deputy Chief Executive, Quality Assurance

Reminder to notify Immigration New Zealand and NZQA of course closures or becoming inactive as a PTE

Tertiary education providers intending to suspend or stop delivery of any programmes/training schemes for international students, or applying to to become inactive due to COVID-19, are requested to notify Immigration New Zealand by email to educationproviders@mbie.govt.nz.

The information will assist Immigration New Zealand to ensure visa holders maintain their lawful status. Private training establishments are required to notify NZQA of course closures by email at risk@nzqa.govt.nz.

Guidance issued on domestic Interim Code of Practice

We have released guidance on the Interim Code of Practice for domestic tertiary students.

The Implementation Guidance for the Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice 2019 aims to help your organisation put the Interim Code into practice and achieve its outcomes.

While you must comply with the Interim Code, using the guidance material is optional.

The guidance:

  • introduces the Interim Code
  • provides the principles for implementing the Interim Code
  • suggests key factors to keep in mind when implementing the Interim Code
  • describes NZQA’s role as the Code administrator
  • gives information on the development of an ongoing Code
  • provides detailed guidance for understanding and applying each outcome (and the processes within).

This guidance will be updated as required to remain current and fit for purpose.

Key messages for providers implementing the Interim Code:

  • Consider how to include students’ perspectives when making decisions about services, practices and student accommodation.
  • Complaints processes should be clear and easy for students to follow. You also need to be able to explain follow-up processes for students who feel their complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily, including how to contact NZQA.
  • Providers are responsible for ensuring that student accommodation complies with outcomes 7 to 10 of the Interim Code.

If you have any further questions, please contact code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz.

QAD on the web

  • The guidelines for most quality assurance processes under Te Hono o Te Kahurangi now have their own web page.
  • Implementation guidance for the domestic Code of Practice is now available.
  • The training scheme pages have been updated to make the information easier to access.
  • The student fee protection pages have been updated to make the information simpler and clearer.
  • The external evaluation and review schedule for 2020 has been revised and republished to take account of the disruption caused by COVID-19. The 2021 schedule is also under review and will be republished in due course.
  • For other COVID-19 related information, see Information regarding COVID-19.

Revised due date for PTE annual returns

The open-ended extension previously granted to some PTEs for submission of their annual returns due to the COVID-19 lockdown has been reviewed. These PTEs are now required to submit their returns by 30 September 2020.

The extension was for PTEs with the following financial year-ends:

  • 31 October 2019
  • 30 November 2019
  • 31 December 2019
  • 31 January 2020

The returns are:

(PTEs with a financial year end of 31 March 2020 must submit their returns by the original due date of 31 August 2020. If you cannot meet this deadline, please email qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz as soon as possible to seek an extension.)

Pastoral care of international students

Annual self-review attestation due date

All signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the international Code) attest annually that they have completed their self-review of performance against the international Code. This attestation is usually due in October each year. 

We have deferred the international Code self-review attestation date to 1 December 2020. This recognises the significant impact COVID-19 has had on international Code signatories. 

This change is also reflected at Annual self-review and attestation.

Sampling of 2019 self-review reports

As part of our routine monitoring, we request self-review reports to see how well a signatory is managing its processes of self-review, and therefore its performance under the Code.

We postponed gathering samples of self-review reports from Code signatories due to COVID-19. Reports from a select sample of international Code signatories were requested in June.

Unlocking the domestic Interim Code for your organisation – three workshops for PTEs and wānanga

Are you a PTE or wānanga with domestic students? Do you have questions about how to apply the domestic Interim Code in your organisation?

We are hosting three workshops to help you understand and familiarise your organisation with the domestic Interim Code.

Ensure student fee protection is aligned with your delivery

We advise PTEs to check that the amount protected in their student fee protection trust matches the remaining course duration for each student. COVID-19 may have affected delivery and therefore trust arrangements.

For more information see Private training establishments and student fees.

Supporting materials for distance assessment

Evidence required for unit standards

In response to the impact of COVID-19 on assessment, we have published support materials for distance assessment for some unit standards for which we are the standard-setting body.

These resources are available at: COVID-19: Distance assessment support materials.

NZQA processes

Cut-off dates for submitting applications in 2020

Below are the cut-off dates for submitting applications for programme approval and/or accreditation or programme change (Type 2 change) for programmes to be delivered in 2020.


Final date for submission to NZQA

New degree approval and accreditation; or Type 2 programme changes to existing degree-level programmes

Friday 31 July 2020 (as previously communicated)

Sub-degree programme approval and/or accreditation applications; or Type 2 programme changes to approved programmes (levels 1-6 and Level 7 Diplomas)

Friday 9 October 2020

These timelines do not apply when an application is subject to a Request for Further Information.

The cut-off dates are intended to allow enough time for providers to prepare and market for the incoming academic year, and provide an opportunity to plan and implement the new or changed programmes. You can apply at any time. If you are planning a commencement date in early 2021, please submit your application before the relevant final date.

If you have any questions about programme applications, contact the Approvals and Accreditation team.

Permanent delivery sites – what to apply for

If you are a category 1 or 2 TEO intending to deliver a programme at level 1-6 or a Level 7 Diploma, please complete the Permanent Delivery Site Approval Form (DOCX, 181KB).

If you are a category 1 or 2 TEO intending to deliver a degree (levels 7-10) at a new delivery site, please submit a Type 2 change application to NZQA for that degree programme.

Our website has information about approving delivery sites: see Approval of delivery sites.

If you have any questions about programme applications, contact Approvals and Accreditation.

Keeping your registration status current

Private training establishments (PTEs) must deliver at least one approved programme or training scheme within a 12-month period to avoid their registration lapsing.

If you anticipate not providing a programme or training scheme for 12 months or more, you can apply for an extension of time to stop your registration lapsing.

Apply for this extension before the 12 months of non-usage ends by emailing qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

For more information about PTE registration see:

Coming up this quarter

Send NZQA your…


By when?

Applications for degree programme approval or accreditation, or Type 2 changes to existing degree programmes (levels 7-10) 

All TEOs 

31 July 2020 

Annual Registration Fee Return Form

All registered PTEs and wānanga

31 August 2020

Annual statutory declaration

Different forms for PTEs and TEIs

TEOs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2019

31 August 2020

Independent Assurance Practitioner's Review Report or
Auditor's Report

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2019

31 August 2020

Audit of Student Fee Protection arrangements

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2019

TEOs not exempt

31 August 2020

Quarterly student fee protection attestation  – quarter ending 31 May 2020

TEOs not exempt:
- static trusts
- bank bond trusts 
Not required for standard trusts

To trustee by 7 September 2020
To NZQA by 14 September 2020

Annual statutory declaration

Different forms for PTEs and TEIs

TEOs with a financial year-end of:

- 31 October 2019
- 30 November 2019
- 31 December 2019
- 31 January 2020 

30 September 2020 – extension due to COVID-19 lockdown 

Sub-degree programme approval and/or accreditation applications; or Type 2 programme changes to approved programmes (levels 1-6 and Level 7 Diplomas)

All TEOs 

9 October 2020 

Code of Practice self-review attestation (international students) 

All signatories to the Code of Practice (international) 

1 December 2020 

Fit and Proper Person and Conflict of Interest declarations

Submit a new or amended declaration:
- before any new governing member starts
- if an existing governing member has a new or changed conflict of interest
- if an existing governing member has a change in their fit and proper person status

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

PTEs only:
- applying for registration
- registered PTEs

As needed

Forwarding information and queries

Forward the above documents and any queries to: qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz.

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