Online programme approval and accreditation application for secondary schools

This user guide is intended to support online users during the application process for programme of study approval and accreditation, which is where a school is applying for approval of its own programme and approval to deliver it.

About the application

The online application form provides detail to populate the NZQA database. A full application includes documentation that demonstrates how your application meets the requirements set out in the Guidelines.

You can upload documents electronically if they are converted to .pdf format first.

There are eight sections in the application form. You must complete each section in order before progressing to the next, even if zero is inserted. Each section must be fully completed before submitting the application to NZQA for analysis.

  • Section 1: Contact details
  • Section 2: Programme overview
  • Section 3: Assessment standards
  • Section 4: Qualifications
  • Section 5: Delivery and assessment
  • Section 6: NZQF Consent to assess
  • Section 7: Programme documents
  • Section 8: Comments

At any time, you can delete the application or return to School applications. If you return to School applications, any sections you have completed will not be lost. You can resume filling out the application later.

Where to make the application

Applications for programme approval and accreditation are made online through the school's NZQA home page:

  1. Open school's administration under the high security section.
  2. Open application.
  3. Open create application.
  4. choose programme approval and accreditation.

The application process

When you submit this application, you will receive an auto generated email quoting an NZQA reference number. Use this number if you need to email or speak to a member of staff about the application.

You will be notified when your application has been assigned to an evaluator. You should expect this to happen within ten working days.

You will be invoiced on a regular basis for ongoing work on your application at a rate of $150 per hour plus GST.

Please direct any queries about this application to our client services team. Remember to include the NZQA reference number on all correspondence.

Before you get started

Before you begin this application, check you have:

  • finished the development of the programme; and
  • the necessary consent to assess for any assessment standards that may be included in the programme, and
  • made an application for consent to assess extension for any assessment standards you don’t have consent to assess for.


Throughout this guide, two booklets are regularly referenced. You should have these handy when filling out your application form. They are:

Navigation hints

Click the Return to application overview link to leave the section you are in and return to the application summary screen.

Click the Return to School applications link to leave the application and return to your School applications summary page. Any sections you may have completed will be saved and you can resume filling out the application later.

Complete all fields marked with an asterisk (*), as these fields are mandatory.

Filling out the form

Section 1:

Contact details

Enter the name of the key contact person for this application.

If NZQA requires more information, this is the person they will contact. An email address is required because auto-generated communications will be sent there.

Section 2:

Programme overview

Enter the details of the programme being applied for. These details may be amended throughout the application process and will provide a record of the approved programme.

Title: The title of the programme must provide an accurate indication of the subject area.

Type: For an explanation of the types of programme, see Section 3 of the Framework.

Level: This is the level of the qualification(s) to which the programme leads.

Credits: Populate the DAS credits and Total credits fields.

DAS credits relate to the number of credits related to any assessment standards.  If there is no assessment against assessment standards populate the field with ‘zero’.  Total credits relate to the total number of credits for the programme.  This should equal the credit value of the qualification(s) to which the programme leads (including any strands).

Aim: The aim should be appropriate to the nature and level of the qualification to which the programme leads, and to the identified target group of learners.

Content: In this section, you should describe the content of the programme. This could include component titles or similar.

Outcome: The programme outcome should summarise the learning of the programme. See Section 5 of the Guidelines for more information.

Entry requirements: Entry requirements should be appropriate to the level of study.

At the end of this section there is a choice of two boxes that can be checked. These are optional and should only be checked if the proposed programme leads to one of the registration types.

Section 3:

Assessment standards

In this section, the information required relates to assessment standards only. If assessment standards will be used in the programme list all the assessment standards.

Section 4:


This section asks you to identify the qualification(s) the proposed programme leads to.

All you need to do is search for the appropriate qualification(s).

Section 5:

Delivery and assessment

This section is about delivery mode and methods, and assessment methods. For delivery mode, choose one or more of the following:

  • Face-to-face
  • Distance
  • Blended

Examples of delivery methods are classroom, lecture, tutorial, workshop, fieldwork, work-based, distance, blended and online

Examples of assessment methods are open book test, written assignment, oral presentation, and practical observation.

Section 6:

NZQF consent to assess

This section allows you to check that you have included the correct assessment standards. If you need to make any changes, go back to Section 3 Assessment Standards.

Section 7:

Programme documents

You must supply the two types of documents mentioned below. These documents must demonstrate that your application meets the evaluation questions for programme approval and accreditation, and are essential before an application can be evaluated.

Evaluation question for programme approval:

How well does the programme design match the qualification outcomes and strategic purpose?

Evaluation question for accreditation:

To what extent does the education provider have the ongoing capability and resources to support sustained delivery of the approved programme?

1. Programme documentation:

You must provide a document that includes:

  • Good evidence the programme matches the strategic purpose and requirements of the qualification
  • Good evidence that the programme enables learners to achieve the qualification outcomes
  • Good evidence the programme is made up of learning outcomes structured in a coherent way to achieve the qualification outcomes and addresses the relevant needs of learners
  • Good evidence the programme is acceptable to the relevant communities and key stakeholders
  • Good evidence the education organisation has the capability and resources to provide the programme
  • Good evidence that the education organisation can manage the impacts of any specific programme requirements
  • Good evidence of formal arrangements with the programme owner where this is required.

2. Supplementary Evidence:

This refers to the self-assessment report as well as any further supplementary evidence you may wish to supply following guidance in sections 5 and 6 of the Guidelines.

Section 8:


Please add any comments about the programme or process here.

Submitting your application

Before submitting your application you will be asked to review the full application form. Please note that all sections of the application form will appear even if they are not applicable to the application to be submitted.

You are now ready to submit your application. Before you do, check:

  • The documents requested in Section 7 have been attached to your application; and
  • You have consent to assess for any assessment standards that are included in the programme, or have applied for consent to assess.


When you click Submit Application, your application will appear in the School applications table. You can View your completed application, or Withdraw your completed application until an outcome has been reached.

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