Maintaining PTE registration

Once a private training establishment (PTE) is registered, it is required, under section 348(1) of the Education and Training Act 2020, to comply with the rules made under section 452 of the Act.

The PTE must continue to meet all the criteria of its NZQA-approved:

  • programme approval and accreditation
  • New Zealand qualifications
  • training schemes
  • micro-credentials
  • consent to assess unit standards.

NZQA also has some annual and ongoing requirements that monitor the quality and compliance of PTEs and support NZQA’s quality assurance of PTEs.

It is important that your PTE delivers at least one NZQA-approved programme or training scheme each year. Otherwise your registration could lapse.

Relevant NZQA Rules

Guidelines for maintaining PTE registration

NZQA has Guidelines for maintaining registration as a PTE to help PTEs continue to meet NZQA criteria and requirements.

The guidelines outline what NZQA expects and how to ensure you are meeting all ongoing criteria and NZQA rules.

Automatic lapse of registration

There are three situations where your PTE’s registration could automatically lapse:

  • If your PTE does not deliver at least one NZQA-approved programme or training scheme to enrolled students per year.
  • If your PTE does not pay NZQA’s annual fee after two reminder notices (registration lapses one month after the second reminder notice is issued).
  • If the PTE ceases to be a body corporate.

For more information email NZQA at

Annual requirements

Your PTE may need to submit the following annually:

Requirement Which PTEs? Due to NZQA
Annual statutory declaration form (PDF, 153KB) All PTEs Within five months following the end of the PTE’s financial year
Annual Fee All PTEs that were registered during that year (including part of the year) 30 June each year

Annual financial return:

- Independent Assurance Practitioner's Review Report  or

- Auditor's Report

Those not funded by the Tertiary Education Commission

Within five months following the end of the PTE’s financial year

Category 1 PTEs only need to submit this once every two years.

Annual financial return

If your PTE is not funded by the Tertiary Education Commission, you must submit an annual financial return to NZQA to remain registered as a PTE.

This annual financial return must be completed by an independent chartered accountant. This cannot be the same independent chartered accountant who complies your financial statements.

Two options to choose from

Either of the options below will meet NZQA’s requirements for financial monitoring:

  • A review - submit an Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Report, prepared using the appropriate template specified under ISRE (NZ) 2400
  • An audit - submit an Auditor's Report


You must submit the Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Report or Auditor's Report to NZQA within five months following the end of your PTE’s financial year.

Submitting the review or audit to NZQA

When it is complete, send the report or audit to Client Services.

Ongoing requirements

Requirement When?
Continue to be a body corporate Ongoing
Apply to NZQA for new permanent delivery sites Before using a new permanent delivery site
Apply to NZQA for new temporary delivery sites Before using a new temporary delivery site
Advise NZQA of any changes of director Before any changes of director
Advise NZQA of any changes of ownership Before any changes of ownership

Advise NZQA of any changes to governing members or to the conflicts of interest of current governing members

- Submit a new Statutory Declaration as a fit and proper person and of conflicts of interest form (DOCX, 845KB)

Before the PTE appoints any new governing members

When a current governing member has a change in conflict of interest

Pay NZQA fees for quality assurance and monitoring As invoiced by NZQA
Pay credit reporting and qualification completion fees When reporting credits or qualification completion
Ensure your Tertiary Education Organisation Profile is current and correct When there are any changes to your PTE or the staff who interact with NZQA
Ensure public information about your PTE is correct, clear and not misleading Ongoing
Provide NZQA with information about PTE facilities As requested (i.e. during visits or external evaluation and review)

Requirements for student fee protection

Your PTE will need to confirm with NZQA an arrangement for storing and accessing student fees. This includes the type of trust you will use and deciding on a trustee.

Depending on the type of trust your PTE uses, NZQA will check quarterly and/or annually that your PTE is maintaining the arrangement. Check on the table below:

Requirement Who? When?
Quarterly Student Fee Protection Attestation PTEs using static or bank bond trust arrangements Submit to trustee within five business days of the end of each quarter (Feb, May, Aug, Nov)
Annual Student Fee Protection Audit PTEs using the following trust arrangements:
• insurance or standard
• static
• bank bond
Within five months following the end of the PTE’s financial year

Requirements for PTE facilities

You PTE must ensure that the premises and sites you use, (including for any off-site learning) remain safe and adequate for the study or training you provide, for your staff, the number of students enrolled, and for meeting students’ specific needs.

You must operate a safe environment that complies with all legal requirements. This includes the equipment you use.

The Private Training Establishment Registration Rules 2018 5.1.1 (e) and (f) require training premises to be fit for purpose.

For the purposes of delivery site approval, these requirements apply to all tertiary education organisations.

Classroom space

An important aspect of this is that students have sufficient classroom space.

Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment guidelines state:

  • There should be a minimum of two metres squared per person in classrooms without fixed seating.
  • In rooms set out like a lecture theatre, with fixed tiered seating, there should be one and a half metres per person.
  • Each room should have a designated maximum occupancy that should not be exceeded. The maximum occupancy should take other relevant persons, like teachers, into consideration and not be limited to students.

You can find further information in Appendix A: Occupant Densities in the Visibility in Escape Routes compliance document on the Building Performance website.

Sufficient toilets

You must ensure you have sufficient toilets for all students, staff and any expected visitors.

To determine the required number of toilet pans, basins and urinals, you can use the calculator for toilet pans on the Building Performance website.

You should take into consideration the required number of female, male or unisex toilets that are appropriate. If there are significantly more students of one sex, then adjust the calculation to reflect that.

Further information

If you have any questions, contact the Client Services team on

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