Tertiary and International Code of Practice (from 1 January 2022)

The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 (the Code) supports the wellbeing of tertiary and international learners enrolled with New Zealand education providers.

It sets out the expectations that education providers must meet for the wellbeing and safety of their learners.

NZQA is the Code administrator, responsible for monitoring and supporting providers to give effect to the Code.

This Code applies from 1 January 2022

This Code of Practice will apply from 1 January 2022, replacing the current Codes of Practice.

Up to and on 31 December 2021, the following Codes of Practice apply:

Interim domestic Code of Practice 2019

International Code of Practice 2016

How do I get a copy of the Code?

Download the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 (DOCX, 145KB)

Who does the Code apply to?

If your organisation does either of the following, some or all of the Code applies to you:

  • enrols international students at a primary or secondary school or a tertiary provider
  • enrols domestic students at a tertiary provider.

You may need to become a signatory to the Code

Your organisation must be an approved signatory to the current Code before you enrol any international students.

You can apply to NZQA to become a signatory.

If your organisation is already a signatory, you do not need to apply again.

What do I need to do?

You need to ensure your organisation is giving effect to the new Code from 1 January 2022. 

This means you need to undertake a gap analysis by: 

  • reviewing current practices against the new Code
  • identifying any gaps and planning to address them.

In 2022, the focus will be on capability building.

January to June 2022

You will need to update your practices and upskill, to address any gaps identified and ensure compliance with the Code.

July 2022 onwards

You need to undertake ongoing review of and improvement to your practices, as required by the Code.

From July we will resume the following quality assurance processes:

  • Self-review attestation (due dates to be set in collaboration with each sub-sector)
  • 'Monitoring for insights,' to inform capability-building
  • Inclusion of the new Code in EERs.

Is there any support available?

To help you there will be:

  • implementation tools (early November)
  • guidelines (late November)
  • Code 101 Workshops (22 Nov-10 Dec 2021)

We will also put out a pastoral care survey in December 2021.

Code implementation guidance

We have developed implementation guidance to support your understanding on how to put the Code into practice in your organisation.

The guidance sets out NZQA’s expectations for interpreting and applying the new Code, including for learners based offshore and in workplaces.

It is pan-sector guidance that aims to address immediate information needs about applying the Code, with further tailored supplementary resources planned for next year.

We recommend reading the guidance, section by section, using the tool on the right of the document to navigate between the sections.  

  • Sections 1-3 are new as they focus on Outcomes 1-4.
  • Sections 4-5 are a reformatted version of existing Code guidelines (for student accommodation and international tertiary learners) and have minor updates from the previous guidance documents.

If you are reviewing your practice, we recommend reading the guidance in conjunction with the Code and the gap analysis toolkit, both of which can be found on this webpage.

Download the implementation guidance for the Code (PDF, 1.2MB)

Information session introducing the Code

See the information session recording

See the slides from the information session in Powerpoint (PPTX, 15MB) or pdf (PDF, 1.9MB)

Gap analysis toolkit

We have developed this optional toolkit to support tertiary education providers' gap analysis of current practices against the requirements of the Code. 

You do not have to use the toolkit, but it contains:

  • a gap analysis template
  • possible evidence examples
  • an action plan template.

Click on the links below to download the toolkit and any additional parts.

Code-to-code comparison tools

We created these tools to support you, if your organisation is a provider with student accommodation and/or enrols international learners, to match the clauses of the outgoing two Codes (international Code (2016) and interim domestic Code (2019) with those of the Code. 

Click on the links below for a pdf of each separate reference document:

Code 101 workshop

This workshop will provide you with an overview of Outcomes 1-4 of the new Code of Pastoral Care, which comes into effect on 1 January 2022.

Outcomes 1-4 are for all tertiary education providers, and includes providers that enrol international learners.

This workshop is designed for any staff members that support tertiary learners, and in particular staff members who work within pastoral care, or student support teams.

The same workshop will be run 6 times on Tuesdays and Thursdays over 3 weeks (22 Nov-10 Dec 2021).

Register for a Code 101 workshop

Further information

If you have any questions or concerns, email the Code team.

Code News is regularly released and is tailored to your sector - join our mailing list by filling out this form.

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