Provider categories after external evaluation and review

After an external evaluation and review (EER), NZQA places non-university tertiary education organisations (TEOs) into one of four categories based on their EER statements of confidence.

The categories are 1 (highest) to 4 (lowest).

Each category has appropriate incentives or sanctions associated with it, showing trust in high performers and restricting the activities of poor performers to protect learners.

Who does it apply to?

These categories apply to:

  • New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology and subsidiaries
  • wānanga
  • private training establishments
  • government training establishments
  • transitional industry training organisations (transitional ITOs).

Two different approaches

NZQA offers two different approaches to EER: standard or Te Hono o Te Kahurangi. The TEO choses the approach.

Why does NZQA use provider categories?

Encouraging high quality and high performance

Improving educational quality and performance is a central outcome of the evaluative approach to quality assurance.

NZQA encourages TEOs to make improvements by giving them quality assurance incentives based on the statements of confidence achieved in the last EER.

Better performers require less NZQA oversight

This approach builds an environment of trust and accountability that gives confidence to learners and the public.

If NZQA is very confident about a TEO’s educational quality, NZQA’s quality assurance processes will be more flexible.

Poor performers require more NZQA oversight

If a TEO has not demonstrated enough educational quality, or if NZQA has concerns about the TEO’s capability to monitor its own performance, NZQA increases the level of oversight.

NZQA then limits the TEO’s activities until they improve.

If a TEO’s category does not improve enough after a new EER, NZQA can take regulatory action to further restrict the TEO’s activities.

How does NZQA determine the provider categories?

NZQA has two EER processes, each with different approaches and terminology. These are the standard process and Te Hono o Te Kahurangi process.

Although they have different approaches, they both measure the same aspects of a TEO and produce a comparable result.

EER produces two NZQA statements of confidence for a TEO:

Standard processTe Hono o Te Kahurangi process

- Organisational performance (for transitional ITOs)/Educational performance (for all other TEOs)

- Capability in self-assessment

- Ngā Hua o te Whare Ako (education performance)

- Te Whakairinga Kōrero (self-reflective practice)

The statements of confidence from the most recent EER determine the TEO’s category (see Section 11.1 of the Quality Assurance Rules (External Evaluation and Review) 2016).

NZQA determines the category by combining the two statements of confidence:

 

Ngā Hua o te Whare Ako (education performance)

Educational performance/Organisational performance

Kahurangi

Highly Confident

Whakairo

Confident

Hukihuki

Not Yet Confident

Pounamu

Not confident

Te Whakairinga Kōrero

(Self-reflective practice)

Self-assessment

Kahurangi

Highly Confident

1 2 3 4

Whakairo

Confident

1 2 3 4

Hukihuki

Not Yet Confident

3 3 3 4

Pounamu

Not confident

4 4 4 4

What happens when a TEO’s category changes?

The TEO takes on the incentives or sanctions of the new category.

If the outcome is category 3 or 4, NZQA will require the TEO to undertake an improvement plan to raise its performance and/or its capability in self-assessment.

NZQA may impose other activities, according to the Quality Assurance Rules (External Evaluation and Review) 2016.

Incentives for category 1 TEOs

Frequency of EERs

Category 1 TEOs will have a new EER within four years of the previous EER report being published.

Enrolling new students

Category 1 TEOs can enrol domestic students and international students (if they are a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice with 2019 amendments).

Making new applications

Category 1 TEOs can make all applications, including for offshore programme delivery.

They may not have to provide as much evidence in their applications. See below for details.

Applying for programme accreditation at levels 1-6

If the TEO has a successful history of delivery in the subject area at the level of the application, they only need to submit evidence of internal programme approval.

They do not need to submit a self-assessment report answering key evaluation questions.

Applying for consent to assess at levels 1-6

NZQA waives the site visit for additional domains in a subfield if the TEO already holds consent to assess at that level.

This only applies to standards developed and managed by NZQA.

Applying for training schemes and micro-credentials at levels 1-6

The TEO does not need to submit a self-assessment report.

Delivery sites

Category 1 TEOs can notify NZQA of permanent and temporary delivery sites instead of applying, with some limitations.

Adding permanent delivery sites

If a category 1 TEO plans to deliver at a new delivery site in the next calendar year, they can submit a Permanent Delivery Site Form (DOCX, 180KB) to NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz. They must do this by the end of January in the year they will use the new delivery site.

They do not need to apply for the new delivery site unless they want to add the delivery site after January of that year. After this time, the TEO needs to apply using the standard application process.

Adding temporary delivery sites

Category 1 TEOs can notify NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz before they use a temporary delivery site. They need systems to make sure the temporary site is suitable for teaching and meets all legal and health and safety requirements.

See the Approval of delivery sites page for what to include in this notification and when a temporary site becomes a permanent one.

Turnaround times for applications

NZQA prioritises applications for programme approval and accreditation from category 1 TEOs.

If the TEO has consistently and successfully delivered training in the subject area, at the same level, NZQA will process the application within 30 working days.

The 45 working day turnaround time applies to incomplete applications or applications where it is a subject area or level the TEO has not delivered before.

Frequency of financial attestations for PTEs

Category 1 TEOs only need to submit an Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review Report or Auditor’s Report every two years.

This does not change any of the requirements for PTEs to provide audit and/or attestation information about Student Fee Protection arrangements.

Incentives for category 2 TEOs

Frequency of EERs

Category 2 TEOs will have a new EER within four years of the previous EER report being published.

Enrolling new students

Category 2 TEOs can enrol domestic students and international students (if they are a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice with 2019 amendments).

Making new applications

Category 2 TEOs can make all applications, including for offshore programme delivery.

Delivery sites

Category 2 TEOs can notify NZQA of permanent and temporary delivery sites instead of applying, with some limitations.

Adding permanent delivery sites

If a category 2 TEO plans to deliver at a new delivery site in the next calendar year, they can submit a Permanent Delivery Site Form (DOCX, 180KB) to NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz. They must do this by the end of January in the year they will use the new delivery site.

They do not need to apply for the new delivery site unless they want to add it after January of that year. After this time, the TEO needs to apply using the standard application process.

Adding temporary delivery sites

Category 2 TEOs can notify NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz before they use a temporary delivery site. They need systems to make sure the temporary site is suitable for teaching and meets all legal and health and safety requirements.

See the Approval of delivery sites page for what to include in this notification and when a temporary site becomes a permanent one.

Turnaround times for applications

NZQA processes applications from a category 2 TEO in 45 working days.

Frequency of financial attestations for PTEs

Category 2 TEOs need to submit an Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review Report or Auditor’s Report every year.

Sanctions for category 3 TEOs

Frequency of EERs

Category 3 TEOs will have a new EER within 12 to 24 months of the previous EER report being published.

Enrolling new students

Category 3 TEOs can enrol domestic students and international students (if they are a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice with 2019 amendments).

Making new applications

NZQA can apply restrictions to a category 3 TEO if NZQA has current concerns about their quality: i.e.,

  • A specific area of study or training where NZQA has detected lower quality.
  • Applications for study at a higher level then the TEO currently delivers.
  • Evidence that the TEO is not complying with the Education Act 1989 or NZQA Rules.

The TEO also cannot apply for offshore programme delivery.

Delivery sites

Category 3 TEOs need to apply to NZQA for permanent delivery sites and notify NZQA of any temporary delivery sites.

Adding permanent delivery sites

If a category 3 TEO wants to add a new permanent delivery site, they need to apply to NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz and get NZQA approval before using the site. Include a completed Site Attestation form (DOCX, 76KB) in the application.

Adding temporary delivery sites

Category 3 TEOs need to notify NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz before they use a temporary delivery site. They need systems to make sure the temporary site is suitable for teaching and meets all legal and health and safety requirements.

See the Approval of delivery sites page for what to include in this notification and when a temporary site becomes a permanent one.

Turnaround times for applications

If NZQA allows the TEO to make an application, NZQA processes it in the standard 45 working days.

Assessment and moderation of student work

Category 3 TEOs may have restrictions on assessing and moderating their students’ work.

NZQA may decide that the TEO needs the help of a Category 1 or 2 provider to pre-assess assessment material and verify assessment results. NZQA decides this on a case-by-case basis.

Frequency of financial attestations for PTEs

Category 3 TEOs need to submit an Independent Assurance Practitioner’s Review Report or Auditor’s Report every year.

Sanctions for category 4 TEOs

Frequency of EERs

Category 4 TEOs will have a new EER within six to 12 months of the previous EER report being published.

Enrolling new students

Category 4 TEOs cannot enrol domestic students or international students (even if they are a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice with 2019 amendments).

Making new applications

NZQA will not normally grant a category 4 TEO new approvals.

The TEO cannot apply for offshore programme delivery.

Delivery sites

Category 4 TEOs need to apply to NZQA for permanent delivery sites and notify NZQA of any temporary delivery sites.

Adding permanent delivery sites

If a category 4 TEO wants to add a new permanent delivery site, they need to apply to NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz and get NZQA approval before using the site. Include a completed Site Attestation form (DOCX, 76KB) in the application.

Adding temporary delivery sites

Category 4 TEOs need to notify NZQA at qaadmin@nzqa.govt.nz before they use a temporary delivery site. They need systems to make sure the temporary site is suitable for teaching and meets all legal and health and safety requirements.

See the Approval of delivery sites page for what to include in this notification and when a temporary site becomes a permanent one.

Assessment and moderation of student work

Category 4 TEOs have restrictions on assessing and moderating their students’ work.

Within six weeks of the relevant EER report being published, the category 4 TEO must appoint a category 1 or 2 TEO to:

  • carry out pre-assessment moderation of all assessment materials the TEO uses to assess students, before those materials are used for assessing students; and
  • either carry out the assessment and moderation of all student work or verify the category 4 TEO’s assessment and moderation of all student work.

The appointed category 1 or 2 TEO must have relevant experience in assessing the type(s) of study the category 4 TEO provides.

Frequency of financial attestations for PTEs

Further information

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact your NZQA liaison (listed as the sector relationship contact in each TEO’s online profile).

For information about the process of determining categories, email the Evaluation team.

 
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