Guidelines for approving and maintaining degrees and related qualifications

These guidelines outline quality assurance processes for tertiary education organisations (TEOs) other than universities that provide programmes of study leading to degrees and related qualifications listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF):

  • bachelor’s degrees
  • graduate certificates and diplomas
  • bachelor honours degrees
  • postgraduate certificates and diplomas
  • master’s degrees
  • doctoral degrees.

Degrees and related programmes are defined in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

The guidelines

The Guidelines for approving and maintaining degrees and related qualifications (PDF, 1.3MB) explain how tertiary education organisations (other than universities):

  • apply for approval of programmes of study leading to degrees and related qualifications at Levels 7–10 of the NZQF
  • list qualifications on the NZQF
  • apply for accreditation to deliver an approved programme of study leading to a qualification listed on the NZQF
  • maintain approval and accreditation to provide a programme of study leading to a qualification listed on the NZQF.

The regulatory authority for NZQA Rules is under section 253 of the Education Act 1989 (the Act). Approval and accreditation is required under sections 249 and 250 of the Act.

The role of research in degrees and related qualifications

Section 253(B) part (3) of the Act requires that the award of a degree must recognise the completion of a programme of advanced learning that is “taught mainly by people engaged in research”.

The type of research people engage in will be relevant to the nature of the degree. A professional or applied degree may have a greater focus on applied research, while a theory-based degree could result in more theoretical, strategic and scholarship type of research.

Quality assurance

NZQA’s quality assurance integrates ‘front-end’ quality assurance with the ongoing self- assessment activities an education organisation undertakes to assure itself of the quality of graduate outcomes. NZQA uses an evaluative approach to reach judgements on a transparent, robust and credible basis, underpinned by the following principles:

  • strategic and needs-based
  • focused on outcomes
  • quality as a dynamic concept – including ongoing improvement
  • flexibility
  • accountability.

Each TEO has the responsibility for demonstrating how its graduates will meet qualification requirements and outcomes through a programme of study. A TEO can show this through its self-assessment processes.

Te Hono o Te Kahurangi Evaluative Quality Assurance

TEOs can choose to have a degree or related qualification evaluated through the Te Hono o te Kahurangi Framework. If a TEO chooses this, the application (s) will be evaluated by the Quality Assurance Maori team.

Te Hono o Te Kahurangi is the quality assurance approach used for qualifications and programmes leading to qualifications that are distinctively based on kaupapa Māori principles. This approach also includes programmes leading to qualifications specific to wānanga.

The following kaupapa underpin Māori programmes quality assured using Te Hono o Te Kahurangi:

  • Rangatiratanga
  • Manaakitanga
  • Whanaungatanga
  • Kaitiakitanga
  • Pūkengatanga
  • Te reo Māori.

Each education organisation has the responsibility for demonstrating how graduates will meet qualification requirements and outcomes through a programme of study, through the organisation’s Whare Whakairi Kōrero framework.

For more information see Te Hono o Te Kahurangi quality assurance.

1. Using the evaluative approach

The decision to approve a programme of study leading to a degree or related qualification, or to accredit a TEO, is based on the quality and sufficiency of evidence provided in an application.

The application should meet criteria set out in part 4 of the NZQF Qualification Listing and Operational Rules 2016, and parts 1 and 2 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013.

The evaluative methodology enables decisions about quality and value to be reached on a consistent and reliable basis, and requires NZQA to:

  • be explicit about the information and evidence on which judgements are made as well as the logic of its interpretation, and
  • write the outcome in a clear, concise report which explains the key factors and reasons for the final decision.

1.1 Decision to list a qualification and approve the programme

The decision to approve a degree or related qualification for listing on the NZQF and approve the programme leading to the qualification is made by meeting the criteria and by answering the evaluation question:

How well does the qualification and programme meet the stated purpose and outcome?

NZQA reviews the information and the evidence provided in the application.

Rubric one (below) sets out the expected levels of performance in relation to the evaluation question.

“Good evidence”:

  • is relevant to answering the evaluation question
  • comes from more than one source (i.e. is corroborated or triangulated)
  • is of more than one type (e.g. quantitative and qualitative data)
  • makes sense in the context of the question.

Rubric one: Criteria for rating answers to the evaluation question to list a qualification

 

Criteria

Qualification approved

ALL of the following:

  • Good evidence that there is a distinct need for the qualification and programme.
  • Good evidence that the qualification and programme purpose and outcomes meet the evidenced need.
  • No significant gaps or weaknesses in the qualification and programme.

Qualification not approved

ANY of the following:

  • The nature, quality and integrity of the information and evidence does not convincingly demonstrate a distinct need for the qualification and programme.
  • Insufficient evidence that the qualification and programme purpose and outcomes meet the evidenced need.
  • Significant gaps or weaknesses in the qualification.

1.2 Decision to accredit an education provider

A decision to accredit a TEO is reached by meeting the criteria and by answering the evaluation question:

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

NZQA reviews information and evidence using rubric two. Rubric two (below) sets out the expected levels of performance in relation to the evaluation question to decide whether to accredit the TEO.

Rubric two: Criteria for rating the answers to the evaluation question to accredit an education provider to provide an approved programme

 

Criteria

Education organisation accredited

ALL of the following:

  • 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.
  • Good evidence of satisfactory and appropriate research that is adequately resourced.
  • No significant gaps or weaknesses in the self-assessment report, and/or the underlying capability and resources of the organisation.

Education organisation not accredited

ANY of the following:

  • Insufficient evidence the education organisation has the capability and resources to provide the programme.
  • Insufficient evidence that the education organisation can manage the impacts of any specific programme requirements.
  • Formal arrangements with the programme owner where these are required are insufficient to manage the provision of the programme.
  • Insufficient evidence of satisfactory and appropriate research that is adequately resourced.
  • Significant gaps or weaknesses in the self-assessment report, and/or the underlying capability and resources of the organisation.

2. Programme approval of degrees and related qualifications

NZQA uses the criteria in Rule 4.1 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 and the following evaluative question to determine whether an application will be approved or not.

How well does the qualification and programme meet the stated purpose and outcome?

2.1 Understanding the criteria

Criterion 1: Qualification to which the programme leads

The programme meets the definition published on the NZQA website of the applicable qualification type listed in the second column of the Table in the Appendix to the NZQF Listing and Operational Rules 2016.

The TEO must demonstrate that the level and credit value of the qualification to which the programme leads meets the requirements in the qualification type definitions published in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

The graduate profile of the qualification must clearly describe what the graduate will do, be and know if they successfully complete the qualification.

Criterion 2: Title, aims, learning outcomes and coherence

The title, aims, stated learning outcomes, and coherence of the whole programme are adequate and appropriate and clearly meet the graduate profile and specification for the qualification as listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

TEOs must demonstrate the purpose of the qualification through the graduate profile statement, as well as how the programme's aims and outcomes will be fulfilled through the subjects, delivery modes and practical components (e.g. what gives the degree programme its unique focus).

The stated programme aims must be clearly defined, and be appropriate to the nature and the level of the qualification the programme leads to.

The aims of the programme must clearly match the qualification’s purpose and the graduate profile statement. The qualification’s use and relevance to learners, industry and communities are clearly developed from a need for the programme. The learner group is identified and the programme clearly articulates the purpose of the programme and the qualification to which it leads.

Coherence

The programme structure must integrate the aims and learning outcomes in order to form a coherent programme. The programme must demonstrate that:

  • the progression and integration of learning through the programme and its components meets the purpose statement, graduate profile, level and credit value of the qualification
  • the combination of components is consistent with and supports the aims and learning outcomes of the degree programme.

Criterion 3: Delivery modes and methods

The delivery modes and methods are adequate and appropriate, given the stated learning outcomes for the programme. Where specific resources are necessary for the programme to be provided, those resources are clearly outlined.

The applicant TEO must:

  • demonstrate the appropriateness of the programme delivery modes (e.g. face-to-face, online, distance, blended) and methods
  • ensure that academic integrity will be maintained through the delivery process
  • demonstrate consideration of cultural safety and ethical practice.

It is important that the delivery methods do not place learners or the public at risk. The TEO must identify any potential risks, and demonstrate how they will be addressed.

Practical or work-based components

The TEO must identify and describe any practical, field-based or work-based components in the programme (including research and the supervision of research) that are based away from the stated delivery site.

Research components

In the case of degree programmes with research components, the TEO must provide evidence of the level and scale of the research involved in the programme.

Criterion 4: Acceptability of the programme and consultation

There is a written summary of the consultation undertaken, the views expressed, and consideration of the views. The consultation and summary must cover the acceptability of the programme to the relevant communities (including whānau, hapū, iwi, or hapori Māori) and other key stakeholders (including any relevant academic, employer, industry, professional and other bodies).

The TEO needs to provide evidence of consultation that considers the needs of stakeholders. This evidence must demonstrate that the TEO has appointed a designated advisory group within the specified subject area prior to or during development of the programme, and that this group has contributed to and supported the development of the programme.

The advisory group should be composed primarily of external representatives of industry, academics in relevant disciplines and tangata whenua. Evidence of this should be included in the application.

The application should provide evidence of the depth and breadth of consultation undertaken, the feedback received, and evidence of how feedback was used in decision making processes.

Criterion 5: Regulations

There are clear, relevant, and appropriate regulations that specify requirements for:

  • admission
  • credit recognition and transfer
  • recognition of prior learning
  • programme length and structure
  • integration of practical and work-based components
  • assessment procedures, including authenticity of student work
  • normal progression within the programme.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) and credit recognition and transfer (CRT)

The TEO’s application must demonstrate how the provisions and procedures for the awarding of recognition of prior learning, and credit recognition and transfer, will be applied to the programme. TEOs should refer to the NZQA website for guidance on CRT and RPL.

Criterion 6: Assessment and moderation

Assessment methodology is fair, valid, consistent, and appropriate given the stated learning outcomes.

There is an effective system for moderation of assessment materials and decisions.

The TEO must detail the assessment rationale and methodologies to explain:

  • how a learner will demonstrate the meeting of learning outcomes and/or the graduate profile and graduate outcomes
  • modes of assessment (e.g. online; classroom-based, work-based, project-based), including culturally appropriate methodologies
  • where appropriate, assessment policies and practices which allow learners to request assessment in te reo Māori.

Assessment of research

The TEO must ensure:

  • research components exceeding 60 credits will be assessed by at least one external assessor, who is suitably qualified in research and the discipline. Normally the assessors will be academics, engaged in a similar field of research, and employed by a university, polytechnic, wānanga or private training establishment delivering in that discipline. The assessment of research components is paired with an effective moderation system that examines assessment materials, processes and decisions for fairness, equity, validity and consistency
  • it provides evidence of any systems for implementing improvements as a result of moderation.

Criterion 7: Self-assessment and review

The TEO:

  • assesses the currency and content of the programme
  • has adequate and effective processes for the ongoing review of the programme, taking account of the results of any review of the qualification
  • has adequate and effective processes for monitoring the quality of outcomes for learners and other stakeholders, and for reviewing programme regulation and content
  • updates the programme accordingly.

TEOs must demonstrate the procedures used to ensure that the programme remains relevant and quality outcomes continue to be delivered to learners and stakeholders.

Criterion 8: Research required for degrees and post-graduate qualifications

The links between research and the curriculum are clear, adequate, and effective.

The TEO needs to demonstrate that teaching staff conduct research within their area of expertise and that this research advances knowledge and/or supports the continued development of the programme and its delivery.

TEOs should be able to demonstrate the link between staff research and the degree programme.

3. Accreditation to provide a degree programme

NZQA uses the criteria in Rule 6 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 to analyse applications for programme accreditation.

3.1 Understanding the criteria

Criterion 1: Assessment and Moderation

The TEO has the capability and capacity to ensure assessment materials and decisions are fair, valid, consistent and appropriate, given the stated learning outcomes.

The TEO must demonstrate:

  • that assessment requirements are clearly specified for each component of the programme. Sample assessments for each level of the programme, reflecting different assessment methods should be available
  • that staff are experienced in teaching, assessment and moderation
  • that there are effective and documented systems for both internal and external moderation, pre- and post-assessment. This must include identifying external arrangements for post-assessment moderation.

Criterion 2: Resources

The TEO has the capability and capacity to support sustained delivery of the programme through appropriate academic staffing, teaching facilities, educational and physical resources, and support services.

The TEO must demonstrate that:

  • it has the financial infrastructure and administrative systems in place to support the implementation and sustained delivery of the programme
  • the programme will be taught mainly by teaching staff engaged in research
  • appropriately qualified and experienced teaching staff (normally qualified at a minimum of one NZQF level higher than the component they deliver, assess, and/or supervise) or have demonstrable relevant and suitable professional experience
  • teaching staff hold a tertiary teaching qualification; where teaching staff do not hold a tertiary teaching qualification, the TEO must commit to teaching staff enroling in such a programme
  • the programme is staffed sufficiently to ensure effective delivery across the range of content
  • evaluation of any additional staffing has taken place, and that the application includes a detailed recruitment plan, staff development plan, and research plans appropriate to the programme implementation timetable
  • the programme will be taught by teaching staff who are engaged in research, in a discipline that supports delivery of the programme, and underpins its theoretical framework
  • teaching staff supervising learner’s research are experienced, and have expertise in supervision of research at the appropriate level. Where teaching staff are developing such experience, it is expected they will work under the guidance of a lead academic, and that the TEO will employ a sufficient number of teaching staff who are capable of delivering and assessing learners research
  • a range of resources necessary for the implementation and sustained delivery of the programme, in all proposed modes of delivery
  • there is a commitment to provide any additional resources and facilities required for the ongoing delivery of the programme.

For programmes with practical, field or work-based components, TEO must formalise the roles and responsibilities of the learner, supervisory staff from the TEO and the host and, where relevant, a registration body.

In some situations, TEOs will need to demonstrate experience in Māori language and culture, appropriate knowledge, skills and tikanga Māori.

Support staff

The TEO must demonstrate that:

  • there is a sufficient number of appropriately qualified and/or experienced support staff that enable the outcomes of the programme to be met. These include support systems and staffing for learner enrolment, pastoral care, learning support, and support for Māori, Pasifika and international learners
  • learners have access to adequate and appropriate degree programme information, guidance and support systems.

Financial and administrative infrastructure

The TEO must demonstrate that they can support the implementation and sustained delivery of the degree programme.

This includes adequate:

  • financial infrastructure
  • administrative systems
  • resource management practices.

Quality management system

The TEO must demonstrate that their quality management system (QMS) includes policies and procedures which:

  • ensure the recruitment of appropriately qualified and experienced staff
  • support staff to develop professionally as teachers and/or supervisors
  • support staff engagement with research and the development of a robust research culture, including the supervision of staff developing their research and supervision of research expertise
  • ensure academic supervision, examination of thesis and the management of intellectual property
  • evidence of structured processes associated with an academic board or equivalent (with delegations to faculty or programme committees as appropriate).

Criterion 3: Support for delivery

If the applicant TEO is not the holder of the programme approval, there is support from the holder of the programme approval.

Where a TEO does not hold degree programme approval, it must demonstrate that there is a formal agreement between itself and the TEO that holds the degree programme approval.

An agreement between the parties is required, and must include provision for dispute resolution, managing changes to the programme and arrangements if the programme ceases to be delivered.

Criterion 4: Assessment and review

There must be adequate and effective review of programme performance and the TEO’s capability to support the programme.

There must be monitoring of improvement following review, and processes for determining whether the programme should continue to be delivered.

The TEO must demonstrate that there is an effective system for:

  • the regular monitoring, evaluation and review of the programme, including structured processes associated with an academic board (or equivalent), and mechanisms for ensuring that the views of learners and representatives of relevant industries, professions, academic and research communities, Māori and other stakeholders are taken into account
  • monitoring the efficacy of any improvements made to the programme as a result of any review
  • making changes to the approved programme, and that those changes are managed consistently with any external requirements, such as those mandated by professional registration bodies
  • determining whether the programme should continue to be delivered.

Criterion 5: Research activity required to deliver degrees and post-graduate qualifications

Research facilities and the support of staff involved in research are adequate, the levels of research activity of staff involved in the programme are satisfactory, and the ways by which the research-teaching links are made in the curriculum are appropriate.

The TEO must demonstrate that the quantity and quality of research outputs of the staff teaching on the programme are monitored. The collective output must be consistent with the development and maintenance of an ongoing research culture.

NZQA’s expectations of research

It is expected that there will be an appropriate balance between pedagogical and discipline-specific research, and that the collective research outputs will be appropriate to the nature of the degree programme.

If the TEO is already engaged in the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF), its rating should be included in the application. If the TEO is not engaged in PBRF, an alternative way of measuring research output should be included with the application.

Systems and facilities

The TEO must demonstrate that organisational systems and facilities provide appropriate support for teaching staff involved in research, including access to an appropriate ethics committee.

4. The process for application and evaluation

The process has four steps:

  1. TEO notifies NZQA of intent to submit application (three months prior to submission).
  2. TEO submits application to NZQA.
  3. NZQA evaluates application - pre-assessment, evaluation, draft report circulated, application outcome (approved or declined).
  4. If application is approved, the qualification is listed on the NZQF.

For further details, see this diagram of the high level process for evaluation of degree applications (PNG, 161KB).

4.1 Panel membership

NZQA panels generally comprise of either five or six individuals. Where possible, Māori and Pasifika representation at a panel is combined with either the academic or industry representative. Therefore, NZQA tries to ensure that panels comprise of five individuals in total. Where it is impossible to combine Māori or Pasifika roles in the panel, a sixth panellist representing Māori or Pasifika interests will be appointed.

Applications for Level 10 programmes involve a larger panel. Where TEOs are planning to apply for a Level 10 programme they should approach NZQA to discuss panel requirements prior to making an application.

Applications for programmes that involve registration body approval (e.g. Nursing Council of New Zealand, Social Workers Registration Board, Education Council New Zealand) will involve panellists nominated by those bodies. Where TEOs are planning to apply for a programme that requires registration body approval they must approach NZQA to discuss panel requirements prior to making an application.

Panel members

(Note: panel members may have combined roles, i.e. Māori and Industry or Māori and Academic)

Panel members

Independent chairperson

Yes

NZQA representative; usually a senior evaluator with overall responsibility for the evaluation process

Yes

University, ITP, Wānanga, or PTE academic from the area of specialisation appertaining to the application

Yes

Senior academic from the applicant TEO, but from a different discipline

Yes

Industry representative relevant to the subject area to which the degree programme relates or relevant professions, endorsed by relevant stakeholder groups

Yes

Māori and, where appropriate, a representative of Pasifika or other relevant communities, who has knowledge of the discipline to which the application relates.

Yes

5. Post-approval

5.1 Maintaining degree programme approval

Ongoing approval of a programme is conditional on the TEO demonstrating that it continues to meet all relevant criteria. The most effective ways to ensure that the programme does so is to:

  • ensure there is ongoing monitoring of the quality of the programme and the educational outcomes for learners. This includes reviewing data on graduate outcomes, e.g. employment outcomes and student engagement with further study
  • undertake regular and comprehensive reviews of the programme to ensure that the approved programme remains relevant and current.

Accredited TEOs are required to undertake a comprehensive review of a degree programme at least once every five years. This evaluation should include input from the relevant professional and academic communities.

The TEO must report the findings of these reviews to NZQA.

5.2 Maintaining accreditation to provide a degree programme

Ongoing accreditation is conditional on a TEO demonstrating that the delivery of the degree programme continues to meet relevant criteria.

Degree monitoring

NZQA requires all degree programmes to be monitored annually.

Following approval and accreditation of a degree programme, NZQA and the TEO will agree on who is best placed to act as the degree monitor. In many cases the degree monitor will have been involved in the panel visit.

NZQA contracts an external independent degree monitor. The first monitoring visit will be undertaken after the first year of delivery. On the first visit, an NZQA representative accompanies the monitor.

On a recommendation from the degree monitor, NZQA may approve a request from the TEO to move to self-monitoring. The TEO then becomes responsible for ensuring that the programme is monitored annually by an independent external monitor.

The TEO will report back to NZQA on the degree programme using the yearly Annual Programme Evaluation Review (APER) process. The monitor’s report would generally be attached.

For more information see the Guidelines for monitoring programmes leading to diplomas, degrees and related qualifications at levels 7 to 10, available at Diplomas, degrees and related qualifications monitoring.

6. Changes to approved degree programmes

Changes to a programme may be a result of ongoing quality management and improvement, or changes in the industry or sector.

Type 1 change

Definition

  • Minor changes to programme components.
  • Do not have an impact on the total numbers of learning hours, credit values, or learning outcomes of the overall programme.
  • Do not have an impact on NZQA data requirements (as defined in Rule 3.1).

Examples of change

  • Content of a programme but not the learning outcomes.
  • Title of a component.
  • Pre or co-requisite that does not affect programme entry requirements.

Process

NZQA will acknowledge the notification of a type 1 change and will make contact with the TEO if the proposed changes are considered to be Type 2 changes.

Type 2 change

Definition

Type 2 changes relate to major changes to components that have an impact on the programme as a whole, and include change that will alter the programme approval and accreditation data held by NZQA.

A type 2 change must be approved prior to implementation.

Examples of change

  • Changes to programme aims, graduate profile outcomes and learning outcomes.
  • Requirements for practical, workplace and education provider learning.
  • Structure of the degree programme.
  • Regulations, including entry requirements.
  • Delivery methods (e.g. a move from face-to-face learning to online learning)
  • Changes have an impact on NZQA data requirements (as defined on Rule 3.1)

Change to the qualification to which the programme leads such as:

  • qualification type (e.g. graduate certificate, graduate diploma, postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma)
  • title
  • level
  • credit value

Process

NZQA will advise applicant if any of the details in the application for a Type 2 change require further work.

NZQA may establish a panel to assess the application. The following changes may require evaluation by a panel:

  • introduction of a new subject major
  • changes to the mode of delivery
  • delivery at another site (including an offshore site)
  • major change to an approved and accredited programme that has not been delivered by the TEO on a consistent basis (e.g. has historically enrolled small numbers of students, has experienced major staffing changes, the current programme is being 'taught out')
  • significant changes to the structure of the programme.

If there are a significant number of changes made to the programme NZQA may decline the application and require a new programme approval application to be submitted.

Where NZQA is not satisfied with the details in the application, NZQA will decline the application, and will advise the applicant.

The Tertiary Education Commission is copied into the Type 2 change outcome letter.

NZQA will publish details of the approved changes to the related qualification on its website.

7. Collaboration

This section provides guidance on how TEOs can work together to develop and provide programmes. This includes the information required from a TEO when a collaborative application is submitted.

7.1 Collaborative arrangements between institutions

Where TEOs collaborate to develop and or provide an approved programme, they will need to establish a formal agreement.

Establishing a written formal agreement

A written formal agreement that records how the TEOs will work together to develop and/or maintain and/or provide the programme must be established.

The written formal agreement:

  • sets out how the programme will be maintained
  • ensures that collaborative arrangements are clear and operate smoothly
  • identifies clear lines of authority and areas of accountability.

Contents of the written formal agreement

The written formal agreement must be signed by the legally recognised signatories of the parties to the agreement. It must specify, as appropriate to the application:

  • the names of the parties to the agreement
  • who bears ultimate responsibility for the quality of the programme
  • the location of delivery
  • who is responsible for managing the different parts of the quality systems to oversee and maintain standards
  • procedures for resolving any differences which might arise between the parties to the agreement
  • procedures and responsibilities for securing programme approval and accreditation to provide the programme
  • procedures and responsibilities for managing the programme and its ongoing monitoring, and implementing changes to the programme
  • assessment and moderation arrangements
  • procedures for agreeing on all necessary financial arrangements and the provision of resources, both physical and human
  • responsibility for communication of all necessary reports and other information to NZQA
  • an indication of the wording on certificates awarded to learners who have met all the requirements of the programme
  • responsibility for all administrative arrangements, in particular assessment, monitoring and moderation
  • a clear process for the review of the agreement and for the termination of the agreement, and
  • procedures for the protection of learners if the arrangement is terminated.

7.2 Collaboration between a university and a non-university

The information below should to be provided with an application for a joint degree programme.

The following procedures have been agreed between NZQA and Universities New Zealand (UNZ).

There are three possibilities with three different requirements:

(a). If the qualification is awarded solely in the name of a university, Universities New Zealand’s Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) procedures would apply, as set out in the CUAP booklet.

(b). If it is awarded solely in the name of another TEO, the relevant procedures would apply, as set out in NZQA policy.

(c). For a degree awarded in the name of two TEOs, one of which is a university, a combination of the procedures will apply (e.g. negotiated between the institutions).

One set of documentation

If the application involves a university and an ITP, wānanga or PTE, the applicant TEOs should submit only one set of documentation. The documentation needs to go to NZQA first.

After initial evaluation, and only if it addresses all requirements, the application will be sent to CUAP by one of the due dates (see below).

One approval process

  1. When NZQA receives the application, they will do an initial analysis of the documentation to ensure that the application can meet the relevant criteria.
  2. If the documentation is incomplete or not to a suitable standard, NZQA will consult with the applicant TEOs and return the documents for the required improvements or amendments through a request for further information (RFI).
  3. When the documentation has been satisfactorily amended, it should be sent to CUAP in time to fit in with CUAP cycles, i.e. by 1 May or 1 September.
    • NZQA will attach any comments to the documentation so that they can be considered by CUAP, in the same way that comments from any university will be considered.
    • If there are concerns, CUAP will discuss these with NZQA.
  4. When the application meets the relevant criteria, CUAP will recommend approval and notify NZQA.
  • If CUAP does not approve the application, it will advise NZQA and applicant TEOs.

Visit for site approval

The site where the programme will be delivered must be approved by NZQA as part of the accreditation to deliver the programme. This may or may not require a site visit: this will be decided when the application is submitted.

If a site visit is required it may take place while the CUAP process is under way. The outcome of the accreditation visit will be reported to CUAP.

7.3 Collaboration between TEOs that are not universities

TEOs may wish to form partnerships for:

  • the development and maintenance of a programme approval; and/or
  • the delivery of a programme.

Applying for a joint degree programme

Before applying, TEOs need to determine that the application meets the relevant criteria.

Joint arrangements

Joint arrangements may include:

  • provision for a joint degree programme coordinating committee
  • a written formal agreement covering any issues raised by the application and arrangements for the joint development of material, research and intellectual property ownership.

7.4 Sub-contracting

A TEO can arrange for another TEO to provide approved degree programmes or part of approved degree programmes on their behalf.

There are different requirements when a TEO engages a sub-contractor depending on whether the sub-contractor involved has accreditation to provide the approved degree programme (see Rule 17 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013).

The requirements for applying for NZQA approval for a sub-contracting agreement, and the criteria for the evaluation of an application are detailed in Rule 17 of the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013.

 
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