March 2022
- 23 Mar 2022

Transitioning training schemes to micro-credentials

Legislation is being amended to replace training schemes with micro-credentials, as part of NZQA’s work simplifying New Zealand qualifications and other credentials to enable the intent of RoVE.

This means that from around August this year all current training schemes will be treated as micro-credentials. Training schemes will no longer be an education product which NZQA can approve.

The change to the legislation will also separate the approval and accreditation of micro-credentials. This means providers will be able to be accredited to deliver approved micro-credentials developed, for example, by a WDC.

What are micro-credentials?

A micro-credential is currently defined by NZQA Rules as a kind of training scheme which:

  • certifies achievement of a set of skills and knowledge
  • has a statement of purpose and clear learning outcomes
  • has demonstrable support from the relevant industries, employers or communities
  • has a credit value from 5-40 credits (inclusive)
  • would typically not duplicate current quality assured learning approved by NZQA
  • will be reviewed annually to confirm the micro-credential continues to meet its intended purpose.

NZQA will consult on updated micro-credential Rules once the legislation is passed.

What does this mean for my existing training scheme?

All training schemes will automatically become micro-credentials once the legislation is enacted. You do not need to apply for this to happen.

Once your training scheme becomes a micro-credential it will need to be reviewed to ensure it meets micro-credential rules. NZQA will communicate with you about this and provide further guidance later this year.

If we are developing something now, should we apply for a new training scheme or micro-credential?

We strongly recommend you apply for a micro-credential approval rather than a training scheme. This will help ensure your new offering better aligns with the updated legislation and NZQA Rules.

For more information on the transition from training schemes to micro-credentials, please visit our micro-credentials page.

Major rebuild for NZQA website – International section first release 

We are rebuilding the NZQA website for a more accessible, equitable and user-friendly experience for all our users.

This involves a complete refresh of NZQA’s website including a brand new design, updated and new content, and new functionalities to help users access the information they need.

The identities of NZQA’s different audiences will be reflected in a new set of patterns by a creative agency specialising in indigenous design. The rauponga pattern (see above) represents our international learners. The long strips filled with niho taniwha patterns represent their journey to reach New Zealand from all directions.

The new website will be released in sections and will be rolled out over the next few years. The first release will cover the section under the ‘International’ tab and is expected to be live by the end of April. The section includes information about using New Zealand qualifications overseas, and having overseas qualifications recognised for work or further study here. 

We’ve refreshed content on the International pages to make it easier to understand for our learners, their family and international audiences. The new International section covers the full website experience, including a new ‘look and feel’ and website development.

We will keep you updated as we release other sections of the website.

Please note: There will be temporary redirects in place to take you to updated pages on the new website if you currently have bookmarks or links to International pages.

COVID reporting for PTEs

NZQA needs to know the number of active COVID cases at PTEs to update the Minister and Ministry of Health.

To ensure we have accurate case numbers, please report the following figures to NZQA at SPOC@nzqa.govt.nz by 2pm each Thursday:

  • The weekly total number of new positive cases from your PTE community (i.e. staff and students).
  • (If applicable) the weekly total number of new positive cases in tertiary accommodation, as a subset of the number of above.

Only report if you have had new cases reported to you that week. You do not need to report to NZQA if your total number of new cases that week is zero.

For our reporting purposes, positive RAT tests should be considered as positive cases.

If you have any questions about reporting case numbers, or the process for your PTE under phase 3, please email SPOC@nzqa.govt.nz.

Submitting applications to NZQA for delivery in 2023

To help with your planning and processes for internal quality assurance, below are the cut-off dates for submitting applications for programmes of study you want to deliver in 2023.

Level 7 Diplomas and degrees

You can submit degree applications to NZQA at any time. Informing NZQA three months before submitting the degree application will help us meet your intended timelines.

If you want new degree approvals and/or accreditations or Type 2 changes to existing degrees ready for Semester One of 2023, please submit the application to NZQA before 29 July 2022.

Programmes of study at levels 1-6

You can submit applications at any time. Providers seeking new approvals and/or accreditations for programmes of study at levels 1-6, or Type 2 changes to existing level 1-6 programmes ready for Semester One of 2023, please submit the application to NZQA before 7 October 2022.

Please call or email your Approvals and Accreditations contact if you require further information.

Code of pastoral care

Promote the Code to learners

It is important for tertiary learners to know about the Code of Practice to understand what support and services are available to them during their studies.

We have published a Digital Toolkit for promoting the Code, with optional resources to help you ensure students know and understand the Code. Take a look at the webpage to access the materials and feel free to use them during orientation and throughout your learners’ enrolment period.

If learners would like to know more about the Code, you can direct them to this webpage: Know the Code: tertiary learners.


We will be facilitating Code 101 workshops for tertiary providers and Code signatories on the second Tuesday of each month throughout the year. You can register via the links below:  

Note: if there is not a minimum of 10 registrations, we will invite attendees to come to the next scheduled workshop.

What providers need to do

Please see our 2022 Plan for Code Administration (PDF, 445KB) for an outline of our activities and expectations of providers this year.

Any questions about the Code?

Please see our website for further information about the new Code: Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email: code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz or call 0800 697 296 and ask for the Code team.

QAD on the web

Guidelines for approval and accreditation of level 1-6 programmes

Approvals and Accreditation have updated the programme approval and accreditation guidelines.

The guidelines provide detailed information for programme developers on the requirements for programme applications.

The guidance includes clarification of each criterion, suggestions for ‘supporting documents’ for an application, and links to useful resources on the NZQA website. You can download sample templates from Guidelines for approval and accreditation of Level 1-6 programmes.

NZQA processes

Change of ownership

Registered private training establishments planning a Sale of Shares, Transfer of Shares or Introduction of new Shareholders must apply for NZQA approval pursuant to Rule 6.1.1(b) of the Private Training Establishment Registration Rules 2021.

Applications must be made no less than 30 working days before the proposed transaction completion or settlement date.

An application form (DOCX, 58KB) outlines the information that a PTE must provide to NZQA; the application must be submitted online.

For more information see Change of ownership.

Permanent delivery sites – what to apply for

If you are a Category 1 or 2 TEO intending to deliver a programme at levels 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.

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

If you have any questions about programme applications, please email to: approval_accreditation@nzqa.govt.nz.

Keeping your registration status current

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:


New guide to external evaluation and review published

There is an up-to-date set of external evaluation and review (EER) guidelines on the NZQA website.

NZQA worked closely with sector representatives to produce these guidelines. They explain the EER process in a straightforward way, in plain English, and will be useful in helping you prepare for your own EER, or explain what happens in an EER, how and why.

If you have any suggestions for further changes to this document, please send us your ideas. Write to paul.stone@nzqa.govt.nz.

The guide is available at: Guide to external evaluation and review for TEOs.

Assuring Consistency workshops

Check the 2022 Assuring consistency schedule on the NZQA website for the upcoming Assuring Consistency review dates.

When preparing for an Assuring Consistency review, it is important to have information about graduates from all the reporting years. To achieve this, gather this information after each cohort rather than just before the review meeting.

This allows you to collate and analyse the data to provide conclusions about whether your programme is producing graduates with the skills aligned with the graduate profile outcomes.

For any queries or assistance, contact the team at Consistency@nzqa.govt.nz or register on one of our Consistency review workshops.

Coming up this quarter

Send NZQA your…


By when?

Annual statutory declaration

Different forms for PTEs and TEIs

TEOs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2021

31 May 2022

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

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2021

31 May 2022

Audit of Student Fee Protection arrangements

PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2021
TEOs not exempt

31 May 2022

Quarterly student fee protection attestation

Quarter ending 28 February 2022

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

To trustee by 7 June 2022
To NZQA by 14 June 2022

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 10 of the Education and Training Act 2020 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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