Delivery Classification Guide

Aratohu Whakarōpū Whakapuaki

Last updated 1 December 2023
Last updated 1 December 2023

The Delivery Classification Guide (DCG) supports providers to correctly assign delivery classifications to their micro-credentials, courses and programmes. Below you will find key information on who needs to use this document, when to use it and how to use it.

2024 Delivery Classification Guide (PDF 1 MB)

2024 Delivery Classification Guide changes

What are delivery classifications?

A delivery classification is a numeric code and title as provided in Appendix 1 of the Delivery at Level 7 (degree) and above on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (DQ7+) Funding Mechanism. Delivery classifications are based on the subject matter of study, eg, #42: Mātauranga and Te Reo Māori.

To receive funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) you must assign a delivery classification to each micro-credential, course or programme that sits within the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF), and is funded through:

  • Delivery at Levels 1 and 2 on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (DQ1-2) Fund
  • Delivery at Levels 3–7 (non-degree) on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework and all industry training (DQ3-7) Fund
  • Delivery at Level 7 (degree) and above on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework Fund
  • Youth Guarantee (YG) Fund.

What is the Delivery Classification Guide?

The Delivery Classification Guide supports you to assign the right delivery classification for the micro-credentials, courses and programmes you provide. It lists all the available classifications, and important things you need to know about them.

For more information on how classifications work please see the Delivery Classification Guide (PDF 1 MB).

When do I need to use delivery classifications?

You need to classify your micro-credentials, courses and programmes when you:

  • use Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO)
  • submit through the Single Data Return (SDR)
  • submit data to the Industry Training Register (ITR).

For more information on how to submit through these applications see the Delivery Classification Guide.

Changes to the Delivery Classification Guide for 2024

We reviewed the Delivery Classification Guide in 2023. It has been updated to:

  • stay current
  • incorporate changes announced through Budget 2023
  • include more specific guidance.

Significant changes for 2024 are:

  • the removal of Classifications #40 Te Reo Māori and #41 Tikanga Māori
  • the introduction of new Classification #42 Mātauranga and Te Reo Māori to implement the Budget 2023 increase of funding for courses that promote the learning of mātauranga Māori.

Read a summary of the changes to the Delivery Classification Guide for 2024.

Selecting the correct delivery classification

Select the delivery classification and associated funding category that best fits your micro-credential, course or programme. Important points to remember:

  • At least 90 percent of delivery content must fit into the classification assigned to a course, unless the programme basis rule applies.
  • The classification is determined by the content of the course, not the course name. For example, a course may be called “Environmental Science” but could be classification #01, #03 or #18 depending on the content.
  • In some disciplines, you need to consider the level of the course when choosing the appropriate classification for component parts or courses. Some courses are funded at different rates or under different codes, depending on the year of study. For example, Years 2 and 3 of an undergraduate medical degree are classified as #15, while Years 4 to 6 are classified as #37.
  • Read the notes below each classification. These tell you more about the types of courses that fall under the classification and add extra guidance.

Legal requirements to use the correct delivery classification

Funding for tertiary education provision is allocated based on the Education and Training Act 2020. The funding mechanisms are published as secondary legislation to provide the policy settings of tertiary education funding.

According to the funding mechanisms, tertiary education organisations (TEOs) must accurately assign each of their micro-credentials, courses and programmes to the relevant delivery classifications and associated funding categories.

If we consider the delivery classification or funding category assigned to a micro-credential, course, or programme could be incorrect we may contact you for clarification and amendment.

If you would like further support to accurately assign delivery classifications to your provision, or if you have any questions, please contact us on 0800 601 301 or at

For further details on legal requirements see the current funding mechanisms for the relevant fund.

The programme basis rule

In some cases, the we have approved a “programme classification”. This allows a single classification code to be assigned to all the components that are specifically relevant to the subject matter of a programme of study. A programme classification means all specified components are funded at the applicable funding rate for that classification.

A programme classification has been approved for specific programmes of study in the Delivery Classification Guide. See the Guide for more information about how the programme basis rule applies to those classifications under their individual entries.

Exceptions to the programme basis rule

These types of courses cannot use the programme basis rule:

  • Elective, non-specialist courses: Some programmes and qualifications include both specialist courses and elective courses in other subject areas. These courses do not fall under the programme basis rule, which applies only to the core subject matter of the programme of study. TEOs must still classify non-specialist, elective courses undertaken by a learner (eg, an elective language paper within an architecture degree) with the appropriate classification.
  • Postgraduate programmes: Postgraduate programmes cannot use the programme basis rule. They must disaggregate courses and classify them each in the appropriate delivery classification, based on course content.

Note: A learner may enrol in courses within a programme classification, but each course needs to be classified and funded at the appropriate delivery classification and funding category for the qualification the learner is completing, rather than the programme classification qualification the course is within.

Current funding rates

For current funding rates, including Unified Funding System (UFS) rates (DQ3-7), see Funding rates by year.

Previous guides

Classification guides from previous years: