Change of ownership of PTEs

As part of maintaining registration and programme approval and accreditation, private training establishments (PTEs) must seek NZQA approval of any changes in ownership no less than 30 working days before the change of ownership takes place.

NZQA requirements for change of PTE ownership are outlined in the Guidelines for applying for registration as a PTE and on the online change of ownership application page, including the change of ownership form.

See also Guidelines for maintaining registration as a private training establishment.

Types of ownership change

There are different types of ownership change:

1. Sale of shares

A 'sale of shares' is essentially any change of ownership in which the registered entity that owns the PTE remains the same. This change includes Sale of Shares, Transfer of Shares or Introduction of new Shareholders.

In this situation, the seller must apply to have the PTE's current registration, and any approvals, accreditations, and consents to assess required.

2. Sale of assets

A 'sale of assets' is any change of ownership that occurs through the sale and purchase of a registered PTE's assets or operating activities comprising the business that is the PTE.

In this situation, the buyer (if not already a registered PTE) must apply for new PTE registration, programme accreditations, training scheme approvals, and consents to assess.

The vendor/seller would then request cancellation of the old PTE's registration.

If the intention is to change ownership through sale of assets, please contact NZQA for advice at

Submit application to NZQA with proposed new ownership information

A representative of the organisation's governing body must submit an application to NZQA with information about the proposed change of ownership. This application must include:

  1. Change of ownership application form (DOCX, 58KB)
  2. A signed sale and purchase agreement
  3. Proof of body corporate status
  4. Two organisational charts - one showing the organisational structure before the sale, the other showing the proposed organisational structure following the sale. This must include role titles and the names of people in the roles for all levels of the organisation
  5. Statutory declarations as a fit and proper person and of conflicts of interest for each proposed new governing member (which includes senior managers)
  6. A business plan for managing the transition of operations, students and staff, including future business development strategies
  7. A communication strategy including consultation with relevant internal and external stakeholders
  8. A copy of the current quality management system (QMS)
  9. A list of all current and proposed PTE delivery sites
  10. A student fee protection plan (where applicable)
  11. Other supporting documents.

To seek NZQA approval of the proposed change, make an online application via TEO Self Services:

  1. Log on to TEO Self Services using your ESL user ID and password
  2. Select TEO Applications > Create Application
  3. Choose Change of Ownership application
  4. Enter the details in the application wizard. Attach all supporting documentation to the application.

What happens next?

NZQA analyses the application and assesses the appropriateness of the change.

NZQA will, as needed:

  • confirm change of shareholding
  • confirm programme changes, if applicable
  • confirm site changes, if applicable.

Cost of change of ownership

NZQA charges $190 per hour (plus GST) for analysis of change of ownership applications.

Further information

If you have any questions, email

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