The degree programme approval and accreditation application process

There are more steps in the NZQA analysis of a degree programme approval and/or accreditation application than for an application for a programme at levels 1-6.

The steps in the application and analysis process

  1. The applicant informs NZQA of their intention to submit at least 3 months before submitting the application.
  2. The applicant submits their degree application for approval and accreditation, including panel nominations.
  3. NZQA evaluates the documentation and may send a request for information (RFI).
  4. NZQA evaluates the RFI response and may seek further minor clarifications.
  5. NZQA sets up a panel for further analysis and a site visit.
  6. Panel confirms findings/requirements and recommendations.
  7. If there are any panel requirements, the applicant must typically provide a response within 20 working days. The panel will evaluate the response before an outcome is decided.
  8. NZQA collates feedback from the panel members and compiles an evaluation report.
  9. The applicant receives the evaluation report to check for factual accuracy.
  10. NZQA informs the applicant of the outcome.

The evaluation panel

The panel provides expert knowledge and skills to analyse the application. Panellists must have relevant skills, knowledge and/or experience at the level of the proposed degree.

When applying the applicant must provide NZQA with:

  • two nominations for each position on the evaluation panel (other than the positions of evaluator and independent chair)
  • contact details for each nominee (address, phone, email)
  • a complete curriculum vitae of each nominee, including contact details and any other supporting information as to how they contribute to the panel characteristics and endorsements from relevant bodies.

Nominees should not have been involved with the development of the degree programme; nor should they have an association with the applicant that may be a potential conflict of interest. If clarification is required, please contact the Approvals and Accreditation contact person (listed under the 'NZQA Degree Contacts' on the TEO profile).

The Guidelines for degree panels (PDF, 555KB) outline the process undertaken for establishing a panel.

Timelines for degree programme approval and accreditation applications

Contact NZQA at least three months before submitting your application for additional guidance.

NZQA aims to complete the programme approval and accreditation process within six months of receiving the application, but this depends on:

  • the quality of the application
  • the availability of panellists
  • the timing of panel visits
  • the time it takes for applicants to respond to and meet any panel requirements after the panel visit.

Costs for analysing a degree programme approval and accreditation application

For Te Pūkenga, the costs of the NZQA evaluation are covered by the Infrastructure Fee.

For degree and related qualifications applications from PTEs and Wānanga, the following costs apply:

NZQA analysis of application $190 per hour (GST excl)
Degree panellist's fee $80 per hour for each full hour (for an eight hour day)/for a maximum of 4 days (GST excl)
Degree panel chair fee $120 per hour for each full hour (for an eight hour day)/for a maximum of 5 days (GST excl)
Travel and accommodation Actual costs for panellists and panel chair
Travel time $40 per hour (GST excl) for travel time when the distance is above 30 kilometres

The above charges apply to bachelor degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas, post-graduate certificates and diplomas, honours degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.

Total charges for approval and accreditation of degree programmes may be more than $20,000.

Costs for travel and accommodation for panellists and the panel chair are charged directly to the applicant.

Return to Degree approval, accreditation and monitoring

Go to Applying for degree approval and accreditation

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