Providers and partners

Agreements between organisations


It is not expected that sub-contracting arrangements as described in this section will apply to transitional industry training organisations.

An education organisation can arrange for another organisation or individual to provide all or part of an approved programme on their behalf. This is deemed to be a sub-contracting arrangement under the NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2021.

There are different requirements when an education organisation engages a sub-contractor depending on whether the sub-contractor involved has accreditation to provide the approved programme.

Both the education organisation and the sub-contractor have accreditation

If the education organisation proposes to use a sub-contractor, and both have accreditation, then the education organisation must notify NZQA of the arrangement prior to the delivery of the programme.

The education organisation has accreditation, but the sub-contractor does not

If the education organisation has accreditation for the programme, but the sub-contractor does not, the education organisation must apply to NZQA for approval to engage the sub-contractor and provide NZQA with the following information:

  • the name of the sub-contractor
  • identification of the programme(s) (or part(s)) to be provided under the arrangement
  • the reason for the proposed sub-contracting arrangement
  • a signed copy of the sub-contracting arrangement between the education organisation and the sub-contractor
  • evidence of internal quality assurance approval by the education organisation, through an Academic Board or similar group.

The sub-contracting arrangement must specify:

  • the names of the parties to the arrangement
  • the term of the arrangement
  • procedures for resolving any differences about the agreement that might arise between the parties
  • compliance with the arrangement and NZQA rules
  • the ongoing monitoring of the arrangement and delivery
  • assessment, moderation and monitoring arrangements
  • how physical and human resources will be provided
  • how student academic records will be maintained and reported
  • clear processes for the review of the arrangement and for the termination of the arrangement
  • procedures for the protection of learners if the arrangement is terminated.

Criteria for approving sub-contracting arrangements

NZQA will grant approval of an application if the applicant meets the requirements of the relevant rules in all sub-contracting arrangements:

  • The education organisation remains responsible for the sub-contractor meeting all of the obligations for the accreditation. This includes all relevant obligations in the Education and Training Act 2020 and rules made under section 452 of the Act.
  • There is a formal documented arrangement between the education organisation and the sub-contractor. This should include provisions to ensure that NZQA can fulfil its quality assurance role and exercise its powers and functions in relation to the sub-contractor’s provision of the programme.
  • All information and advertising about the programme of study or training programme must clearly state that it is provided through a sub-contracting arrangement.
  • All student enrolments are through the education organisation. The education organisation must also maintain the academic information for the learners in the programme.

Collaborative or commercial relationships

For any collaborative or commercial relationships there must be a written formal agreement between the parties. The agreement should clearly and accurately record how the education organisations will work together to develop and/or maintain the programme. The agreement must be signed by the legally recognised signatories of all parties.

Partner education organisations need to identify who is responsible for all relevant aspects of the programme and its management. This includes maintaining the quality of the programme.

What is in the collaborative or commercial agreement?

The agreement must specify:

  • the names of the parties to the agreement
  • who is responsible for the quality of the programme and the management of quality systems
  • procedures for resolving any differences that might arise between the parties to the agreement
  • who is responsible for seeking programme approval
  • procedures and responsibilities for managing the programme, its ongoing monitoring, and implementing changes to the programme
  • assessment, moderation and monitoring arrangements
  • who is responsible for communication of all necessary reports and other information to NZQA
  • who is responsible for all administrative arrangements, such as decisions relating to progress through the programme, assessment, appeals, and remuneration of monitors and moderators (if applicable)
  • a clear process for reviewing and terminating the agreement.
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