November 2016
- 28 Nov 2016

Review of tertiary evaluation indicators

NZQA is currently undertaking a review of the tertiary evaluation indicators. 

The indicators are a core component in NZQA’s evaluative quality assurance framework and, in particular, are directly relevant to how external evaluation and review (EER) teams arrive at their conclusions. 

The indicators serve two broad purposes for evaluators: first, they provide a ‘mind-map’ of all the things that might be relevant to think about when answering the EER key evaluation questions; secondly, they suggest the possible prompts and specific sources of evidence when answering the evaluation questions. 

The indicators show what the evidence of good performance in relation to the question might be. They are not prescriptive and they are not evaluated ‘against’. Rather they assist the key task of the evaluators: reaching evaluative conclusions about the quality and value of what is happening in terms of meeting important learner and stakeholder needs (such as employers and other important community interests). 

The indicators also provide a rational base for reaching judgements, beyond the thinking, knowledge and competencies of individual evaluators. The indicators help to make transparent to all involved in the evaluation process how teams reach their conclusions. They help evaluators to explain ‘what they think; why they think it; why it matters’.

Although primarily intended for use in the EER process, they can also be used by tertiary education organisations to inform what they think about when considering the key evaluation questions as part of their self-assessment.

Review timely

The review is timely as it is some years since the indicators were last reviewed (2010). Two additional reasons for a review are: 1) There are ‘new’ indicators relating to the new compliance accountabilities question (although the accountabilities themselves are not new), 2) Some of the existing key evaluation questions have been fine-tuned with consequential implications for the indicators. 

To view the current indicators see: Tertiary evaluation indicators – an overview.

The indicator review is being led by Syd King, Chief Advisor Quality Assurance, who can be contacted at syd.king@nzqa.govt.nz. Syd is working with a group of approximately 20 people from the sector including PTEs, ITPs, ITOs, and wānanga, as well as some NZQA evaluators. If you have any thoughts or comments on what the review group should bear in mind during this work, please email them to Syd. 

Changes to record-keeping requirements

Please note that as part of the suite of recent NZQA Rule changes, Rule 6.2 of the PTE Enrolment and Academic Records Rules 2012 has been updated. It now states:

‘PTEs must keep all student assessment materials generated from education or training in which students are enrolled, or full copies of them, for at least 12 months from the date of completion of that education or training (for the avoidance of doubt, this includes assessment materials of education or training provided by sub-contractors of the PTE).’

In some cases, students would have multiple enrolments with a provider in order to complete a qualification. For example, a three-year degree may comprise three separate enrolment periods. Each enrolment period (and completion of study within it) is separate for the purposes of this Rule. Therefore assessment materials will need to be kept for 12 months from the end of each completed enrolment period.

The records can be kept in hard copy or electronically.

To view the suite of recent Rule changes, see Changes to NZQA Rules.

Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016

The new Education (Pastoral care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 (the Code) came into force from 1 July 2016.

Education providers that are signatories of the Code have until 1 December 2016 to ensure that their policies and procedures meet the requirements of the Code.

Self-review attestation form

Each year, signatories must undertake and document self-review of their performance against the required outcomes and processes set out in the Code.

This year, signatories must submit their self-review attestation to NZQA by 1 December 2016.

The  self-review attestation form along with a supporting self-review template co-developed with Code signatories are available at Annual self-review and attestation.

Online resources for Code signatories

Feedback received from signatories on the Code Guidelines indicated strong support for the development of supporting resources. NZQA is committed to assisting signatories in implementing the new Code and is currently working with schools and tertiary education organisations to develop an online resource meeting their needs.

The resource could include, for example, scenarios of good practices, short videos, templates, useful contacts and website links, pop-up news, etc.

The initial online resource will be available early December.

If you would like to contribute or make suggestions, please email code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz.

Responding to requests for advice on immigration

What qualifies as immigration advice?

Immigration advice includes using your knowledge or personal experience in any way to advise, assist, direct or represent a person, including advising a person on what visa they qualify for, what pathway they could take to work or residence in New Zealand, or how best to answer a question in an application form. 

It does not include providing people with publicly available information, like the information on the Immigration New Zealand website, or providing clerical help to fill out and upload a form under their direction.

Who can provide immigration advice?

Only licensed immigration advisers who have been issued a licence by the Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA), or those exempt, can provide New Zealand immigration advice.

Who is exempt?

People such as New Zealand lawyers, Members of Parliament, and those working for Citizen Advice Bureaus are exempt from needing a licence to provide advice. See People exempt from licensing on the IAA website for the full list.

A special exemption allows people outside of New Zealand, such as education agents, to provide advice on student visas only, even if they do not have a licence.

NB: this special exemption does not apply to anyone living in New Zealand, including education agents – even if they are only advising on student visas.

How can a staff member at a school or TEO assist students seeking advice?

If you’re asked for immigration advice from a student, you can direct them to the Immigration New Zealand website, where there is plenty of information available, or you can direct them to the free online register of licensed advisers.

If you, or your staff, find yourself regularly being asked questions about immigration-related matters, it may be worth having someone in your office become a licensed adviser. More information on how to become a licensed immigration adviser is available on the IAA website.

Rule 18 – English language proficiency

In October 2015, NZQA published a Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) focused on the Rule 18 change, to assist tertiary education organisations during a period of transition. The FAQ is now outdated and it has been replaced by Guidance on English language entry requirements for international students, providing overall guidance on Rule 18.

Changes to the English language proficiency criteria were introduced in October 2016. Under criteria 2 – previous tertiary study in English, the qualification duration of a minimum of three years is no longer relevant, and offshore qualifications taught in English by tertiary education organisations from the listed countries are now included.

In the updated criteria, international students are eligible for enrolment in programmes at all levels of the NZQF when they can provide clear evidence of completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Bachelor Honours Degree, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s Degree, or Doctoral Degree with English as the language of instruction, from tertiary education organisations from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

Should you require any further clarification about the English language requirements, please email approval_accreditation@nzqa.govt.nz.

TEC advice on earthquake-prone education buildings

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has created a web page with information about a new legislative framework for identifying and managing earthquake-prone buildings.

The new legislation prioritises some earthquake-prone education buildings. As a result, the tertiary sector has shorter timeframes for the assessment and strengthening of any buildings identified by territorial authorities as being potentially earthquake prone in some areas of the country.

For further information, see Earthquake-prone education buildings - information for PTEs on the TEC website.

Update on trial and pilot of literacy and numeracy unit standards

The trial of an online assessment for two unit standards (see below) took place from 10 to 26 October 2016:

  • one for literacy - Level 1 US26624: Read texts with understanding
  • one for numeracy - Level 1 US26623: Use number to solve problems.

The information gathered from this trial will be used to calibrate the item bank. Valuable feedback was also received from students and teaching staff that will help NZQA to shape further developments for the 2017 pilot.

The pilot will take place from 23 March to 13 April 2017. Those who are registered for the pilot will be emailed in late November, with more information on the process and instructions for how to prepare for the pilot.

Any queries about the online assessment should be emailed to future.state@nzqa.govt.nz.

More information on the trial and pilot is available at Literacy and Numeracy unit standards – online assessment.

Data for Unfunded International Education Providers due at NZQA by 20 December 2016

Since 31 March 2016, Unfunded International Education Providers (UIPs) must electronically transmit specified information to the Ministry of Education as a condition of registration, under Rule 5.1.3 of the Private Training Establishment Registration Rules 2013.

UIPs that only provide English language training have a temporary exemption from having to submit the data listed in the Rule change, and must continue to use the current aggregated Export Education Levy (EEL) collection during the exemption period.

Comprehensive information for UIPs, including reference documents, list of current UIPs, questions and answers, UIP Compliant SMS vendors, etc can be found at: Services for Tertiary Education Organisations.

The required data must be submitted to NZQA no later than 20 December 2016, and then continue to be transmitted on a regular basis as stipulated in the Rules. NZQA may take compliance action against PTEs that do not provide the data, as it is a breach of these Rules.

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.

Sector Qualifications Register update

As well as delivering a single register that stores information about all quality assured qualifications listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, the Sector Qualifications Register (SQR) will provide users with mechanisms to capture and maintain the SQR data.

NZQA is currently testing the interface to create and maintain qualifications (primarily at NZQF Levels 1-6). This is a real-live test that will allow us to gather more feedback, enhance the interface where needed, and ensure it meets stakeholders needs when it is released externally in 2017.

NZQA is also working with education agencies to integrate business processes, deliver new functionality, and improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of sector data as well as simplifying the management of applications. This includes:

  • components of learning to be created, maintained and linked to one or more programmes or remain as stand-alone components
  • programmes to be created, maintained, and linked to the relevant qualification
  • a single source of programme and component data that is currently held in different forms by NZQA and the TEC and is not consistent between the agencies.

Record of Achievement – modernised, more comprehensive and learner-friendly

NZQA has finalised the design for the Record of Achievement.

An electronic, more comprehensive and user-friendly Record has been created alongside a refreshed home page interface. Learners will be able to access the redesigned home page and customise their Record from early March 2017.

The redesign of the home page interface will include new features allowing learners to:

  • organise their information the way they want, displaying their most relevant and/or most up-do-date qualifications and components of learning
  • access their contact details on a separate tab, update their contact details and choose whether they wish to display this information on their Record
  • add relevant tertiary education organisation information from where their learning took place
  • save, print, and email their Record directly in PDF format
  • request to have their Record emailed to a third party of their choice directly from an NZQA mailbox.

The Record will progressively display all NZQF Level 1-10 qualifications. As other education-wide projects progress, components of learning will be included in addition to assessment standards.

Statutory Declaration as a fit and proper person and conflict of interest form

All PTEs are requested to check that all their current governing members have submitted a Statutory Declaration as a fit and proper person and conflict of interest form. It is a requirement of the Education Act 1989 that all governing members of PTEs submit these declarations. For new governing members, this must be done prior to their commencing in the role.

Who is a governing member?

  • Directors or people in an equivalent position to that of a director
  • Trustees (if the establishment is a trust)
  • Partners (if the establishment is a partnership)
  • The chief executive officer (or person in an equivalent position)
  • Senior managers (any member of staff in charge of academic issues, marketing, administration, finance, student fee trust funds, or student services)
  • Shareholders with a controlling interest in the establishment.

For further information and to access the form, see: Statutory Declarations as a fit and proper person and of conflicts of interest.

Forms can be submitted to: Client Services, Quality Assurance Division, PO Box 160, Wellington 6140.

QAD on the web

New assessment and consent and moderation guidelines published

The new guidelines for listing assessment standards and consent and moderation requirements on the Directory of Assessment Standards have been published.

See: New guidelines for listing assessment standards and CMRs.

The  unit standard template and change report have also been updated and are available at: Listing assessment standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards.

The new guidelines and templates will apply to applications made after 1 January 2017.

Forms and attestations due

Annual Return and Student Fee Protection audit opinions (due 30 November 2016)

Private training establishments (PTEs) with a financial year-end of 31 June 2016 need to submit the following documents to NZQA by 30 November 2016:


  1. Annual Return Statutory Declaration – There is a new version of this form (SD01). The form needs to be signed by the chief executive or chair of the governing body.
  2. Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review Report or Auditor’s Report – NZQA’s customised Chartered Accountant Professional Attestation (CAPA) form was discontinued last year. A news release in November 2015 announced this change. If you receive Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding, you do not need to submit an Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review Report or Auditor’s Report to NZQA.

For further information on the requirements, see: Independent Assurance Practitioner's Review Report or Auditor's Report.

Quarterly student fee protection attestation (due 14 December 2016)

The quarterly attestation form for Student Fee Protection for the quarter ending 30 November 2016 is due to your trustee by 7 December 2016. The trustee attestation needed to be lodged with NZQA by 14 December 2016.

Download the form 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.

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Compliance summary for November-December 2016

Student Fee Protection audit

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 30 June 2016, due 30 November 2016

Annual Return – Statutory Declaration

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

For PTEs with a financial year-end of 30 June 2016, due 30 November 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 30 June 2016, due 30 November 2016

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

SFP quarterly attestation – quarter ending 30 November 2016

14 December 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.

Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice attestation

The revised Code comes into force on 1 July 2016

Under the revised Code, annual attestations need to be submitted by 1 December 2016

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