May 2019
- 30 May 2019

Changes to NZQA Rules for English language proficiency

English language proficiency requirements for international students have been strengthened following consultation with the sector. The new requirements involve changes to Rule 18 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018:

  • The student visa decline rate has been removed as a measure for assuring English language proficiency
  • Prior schooling where the student was taught using English as the language of instruction may continue to be accepted as evidence when that schooling was completed in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada and South Africa
  • Pacific students who have been granted a New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarship funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to be able to use prior schooling where English was the language of instruction as evidence of English language proficiency
  • International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International A level qualifications may be accepted as evidence of English language proficiency when the student was taught and assessed in English
  • The structure of Rule 18 has been simplified into clear and concise sections.

These changes are set out in the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Amendment Rules 2019 (PDF, 290KB).

The changes will come into effect on 1 August 2019. We encourage education organisations to review their policies against the new settings for English language proficiency, to ensure compliance when they come into effect.

For more information on the consultation process, see Changes to NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2018.

If you have any questions, email qadstrategy@nzqa.govt.nz.

Cut-off dates for submitting programme applications for delivery 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

Monday 12 August 2019


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

Friday 11 October 2019


To help with planning, TEOs are asked to notify NZQA of their intent to submit a degree application at least three months prior to submission of the application.

Providers who intend to submit degree applications on or before 12 August 2019 should confirm their intentions by email to the Approvals and Accreditation team (approval_accreditation@nzqa.govt.nz) or by phone to Mick Geraghty at 04-463 3314.

Change to reporting on micro-credentials

TEOs can now report the completion and achievement of micro-credentials and New Zealand qualifications directly to NZQA. This means learners will be able to see the achievement of their micro-credential or New Zealand qualification displayed on their New Zealand Record of Achievement (NZRoA) sooner than previously.

Until now, learner achievement has been recorded on the NZRoA mainly based on results reported to the Tertiary Education Commission.

Please note, TEOs that receive funding from the Tertiary Education Commission are required to continue reporting completions through the Single Data Return.

The functionality can be accessed through a TEO’s login. For each learner, a TEO must enter:

  • the learner’s NSN number
  • the date of the achievement
  • the name of the micro-credential or qualification achieved.

There will be a charge of $5.10 (GST inclusive) for the achievement of each micro-credential or qualification reported directly through this mechanism to support the administration of the system.  

Assuring consistency – update

The schedule for consistency reviews between July 2019 and December 2019 is now available on the NZQA website: Schedule for assuring national consistency.

We have also updated the template (DOCX, 89KB) for education organisations to use when preparing their self-assessment.

Proposal to prohibit offshore NCEA

The Ministry of Education has begun public consultation on a proposal to prohibit (with some exceptions) the offshore awarding of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). This will close a legislative loophole which allows private schools and tertiary education providers to award NCEA offshore.

There are currently exceptions for awarding NCEA to Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu domestic students based offshore, and where government relationships exist to support it (such as in the Cook Islands and Niue).

If tertiary education providers are awarding standards that lead to other qualifications as well as NCEA, they could continue to award standards leading to those other qualifications.  

The Ministry would like to hear your views on this proposal. See the link below for a discussion document and information on how to make a submission: https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/consultation-on-legislation.

Consultation closes on Friday 14 June 2019 and will inform the advice to the Minister on final policy proposals.

If you would like to make a submission, have any questions about making a submission, or would like more information, please email legislation.consultation@education.govt.nz.

QAD on the web

New guidelines recently published on the NZQA website

Web pages recently updated

If you have any questions about PTE registration or maintaining your registration, contact the Approvals and Accreditation team.


Change of contact person for external evaluation and review

If you are due for an external evaluation and review and your contact person changes at any time, please notify the lead evaluator. This will ensure that NZQA communicates with the right person.

To find the name and contact details for the lead evaluator, check the confirmation letter NZQA sent to your organisation four to six weeks before the evaluation.

Transition to New Zealand qualifications

TEOs are reminded of the expiry of National and local qualifications and the need to have an approved programme leading to New Zealand qualifications.

You can find the expiry dates for qualifications on the NZQA website. Go to Qualifications – Advanced Search and enter the qualification number into the qualification overview page. This will bring up the qualification details.

Approvals and Accreditation TEO contacts

To support TEOs’ user experience and interaction with Approvals and Accreditation (A&A), we have recently updated our nominated staff member contact details for each TEO. Therefore, we are asking TEOs to login to their NZQA provider page and note this information so all staff know who their NZQA contact person is.

While you’re logged-in, we ask that you check your provider page to ensure that:

  • your organisation contacts are current
  • your list of approved permanent delivery sites is correct and shows the sites that are actively being used
  • the degrees, programmes and/or training schemes listed are those that have been delivered by your organisation within the past 12 months.

This will help us ensure that the qualifications, programmes and training schemes being delivered by each TEO are correctly and accurately displayed on the NZQA website against your organisation.

If you wish to make any changes to this information, please call or email your designated A&A contact.

Printing New Zealand qualification certificates

NZQA encourages TEOs to award and issue New Zealand qualifications listed at levels 1-6 on the NZQF.

When you are designing New Zealand Certificates and Diplomas, refer to the guidance at: TEO issue of New Zealand qualification documents.

Forms and attestations due

TEOs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018

TEOs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018 need to submit the following documents to NZQA by 31 May 2019:

Quarterly student fee protection attestation due 14 June 2019

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 31 May 2019 is due to your trustee by 7 June 2019. Lodge the trustee attestation with NZQA by 14 June 2019.

Annual Registration Fee Return Form due 30 June 2019

The Annual Registration Fee Return Form (AF01) is due at NZQA by 30 June 2019. After we receive the AF01 form, NZQA will send you an invoice for payment.

For more information, including forms and costs, see: Completing the Annual Registration Fee Return Form.

Forwarding information and queries

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

Subscribe to eQuate 

You can subscribe to eQuate through this ‘sign up’ link.

Compliance summary for May-June 2019

Annual Statutory Declaration

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

For all TEOs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018, due 31 May 2019

Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018, due 31 May 2019

Student Fee Protection audit

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 31 December 2018, due 31 May 2019

Student Fee Protection quarterly attestation – quarter ending 31 May 2019

To NZQA by 14 June 2019

Not required for standard trusts – only for static trusts or bank bond trusts

Code of Practice self-review attestation

To NZQA by 1 October each year

Annual requirement

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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