Providers and partners

Accreditation to provide Level 7 diplomas

NZQA will accept applications for accreditation to provide an approved programme from NZQA-recognised education organisations.

The following types of education organisations can be accredited to provide programmes of study:

  • private training establishments
  • Te Pūkenga and its subsidiaries
  • government training establishments
  • wānanga
  • schools.

Transitional industry training organisations are not granted accreditation, but need to maintain consent to assess for the assessment standards included in the Level 7 diploma they will assess. For more information refer to Consent to assess against standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards Rules 2021.

Where the programme of industry training includes components other than assessment standards, the tertiary education organisations delivering the programme of industry training will need to be accredited.

Applications for programme approval and accreditation can be made concurrently. Programmes of study approved by NZQA may only be provided by tertiary education organisations accredited to do so by NZQA.

Applications for accreditation must be made online through the secure extranet.

Applications for accreditation

Applications from category 1 tertiary education providers

This applies to category 1 providers:


there is a history of success in providing training in the same area at the same level


Supply a statement from the Chief Executive that confirms the provider can continue to provide and properly resource the programme for the long term


The provider wants to offer programmes in a new area or at a higher level than their current approvals


That provider must make a full application for accreditation as required for category 2 (see below for details)

Applications from category 2 and 3 tertiary education providers, and category 4 tertiary education providers (where permitted)

Category 2, 3 and 4 tertiary education providers should present evidence for the following criteria.

A self-assessment report that describes:

  • the capability, capacity and resources required to effectively and sustainably provide the programme (human, physical, and teaching and learning)
  • the overall structure of a programme as it will be delivered, including the assessment schedule
  • any specific programme requirements, including practical and workplace requirements
  • where relevant, evidence of the formal arrangements to provide the programme agreed with the programme owner (when this is not the applicant).

Capability, capacity and resources

Tertiary education providers need to prove they have the capability, capacity and resources to provide the programme to learners. Applicants must submit the following required evidence, as relevant to the proposed programme.

Financial and administrative infrastructure

Evidence that the organisation’s financial infrastructure, administrative systems and resource management practices will be adequate to support implementation and sustained delivery of the Level 7 diploma programme.

Teaching and learning resources

The physical, teaching and learning resources are comprehensive and sufficient for the proposed programme and appropriate to the methods of delivery (including the experience of the teaching staff, teaching and learning facilities, and learner support services).

Teaching staff will normally be qualified at a minimum of one level higher than the component of the programme they will deliver, assess, and/or supervise or have relevant professional experience.

When a member of the teaching staff does not hold a ‘plus one’ qualification, industry experience in the discipline and/or higher education teaching experience and/or standing within their indigenous community must be demonstrated as professional equivalency, and/or a timeframe for the completion of the qualification be included.

If practical, field or workplace training is a component of the programme include:

  • the arrangements for practical, field or workplace training needed to meet the requirements of the programme
  • the roles and responsibilities of the supervisory staff and the organisation
  • if relevant, the roles and responsibilities of the registration body
  • risk mitigation strategies in relation to practical, field or workplace training.

Evidence that learner support services are adequate and cover learner enrolment, pastoral care, learning support, Māori, Pasifika and international learner support as appropriate.

Quality management system

Include in the application any changes to the tertiary education organisation’s quality management system to support the delivery of the programme.

Structure of the programme

Teaching and learning approach

Include a brief description of the teaching and learning approaches used to meet learning outcomes.

Practical and workplace requirements

A description of how the education organisation intends to:

  • meet any practical and workplace requirements
  • provide support to learners during a work placement
  • formalise arrangements with employers and other organisations to meet requirements
  • mitigate any risk.

Assessment, moderation and review

The organisation needs to demonstrate it has the capacity and capability to ensure assessment materials and decisions are fair, valid, consistent and appropriate given the stated learning outcomes. This includes mechanisms to detect academic misconduct and instances of academic fraud.

The application must include evidence that:

  • assessment schedules are appropriate for the programme
  • learners are provided with clear information of what is required to pass each component part of the diploma programme
  • learners are provided with timely and appropriate feedback on their progress through the programme
  • internal and external moderation processes are appropriate to the programme and its delivery
  • an external moderation plan is in place with named moderation partners and an ongoing moderation schedule
  • an external NZQA monitor is to be agreed upon and appointed (see the Guidelines for monitoring programmes leading to diplomas,degrees and related qualifications at levels 7 to 10 (PDF, 311KB))
  • an effective system for reviewing and monitoring of any improvements made to the Level 7 diploma is in place. 

Other programme-specific requirements

The application may also include specific requirements that relate to the provision of the programme by the applicant (e.g. entry criteria, management of a particular strand or strands).

Formal arrangements

Where the applicant does not hold approval to offer the Level 7 diploma, and is seeking accreditation for a programme owned by another party, evidence of the signed formal arrangements must be included in the application.

These arrangements cover:

  • programme changes and reviews
  • dispute resolution
  • moderation and monitoring of outcomes
  • managing complaints about quality of delivery
  • arrangements if the diploma programme ceases.
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