Online programme approval and accreditation application for secondary schools

This user guide is intended to support online users during the application process for programme 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.

Guidelines for programme approval and accreditation of New Zealand Certificates Levels 1-6 and New Zealand Diplomas Levels 5-7

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: 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 email with 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 NZQA's current rate of $190 per hour plus GST for work on your application.

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.


The New Zealand Qualifications Framework (PDF, 606KB)

Guidelines for programme approval and accreditation of New Zealand Certificates Levels 1-6 and New Zealand Diplomas Levels 5-7

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.

Title: The title of the programme should clearly and accurately reflect the subject area of the programme and the qualification to which it leads.

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 Directory of Assessment and Skill Standards (DASS) credits and Total credits fields.

DASS 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: An aim statement should inform learners and other stakeholders of the programme’s purpose and the qualification to which it leads. The aim statement should reflect the programme’s unique aspects, the specific identified needs of learners and/or target learner group.

Content: In this section, you should describe the components of learning that make up the programme. They include courses, modules, papers, projects and work integrated learning.

Outcome: The programme outcome should summarise the learning of the programme: the skills, knowledge, abilities or attributes a graduate of the programme will have achieved. See Approval criterion 2 in 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. For delivery mode, choose the overall delivery style:, and assessment methods. For delivery mode, choose one or more of the following:

- Face-to-face (on campus, in a proximate manner)

- Distance (online or by correspondence, no site attendance required)

- Blended (both face to face and distance, online engagement is required)

See approval criterion 3 in the Guidelines for more information.

Section 6:

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

Upload the documents that support the application. This must include programme documentation such as a programme document, outcomes matrix and component descriptors. You must also supply supporting documents such as evidence of consultation. The Guidelines offer suggestions for each criterion.

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.

Note: After the application has been allocated to an Evaluator, please contact them if you need to make changes or withdraw the application.

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