2023 PTE Strategic Fund

2023 PTE Strategic Fund

Last updated 9 March 2023
Last updated 9 March 2023

The Private Training Establishment (PTE) Strategic Fund uses an open, contestable process to select proposals that will enable the vocational education system to best serve the needs of learners and adapt to ongoing and future challenges.

Funding is through two elements of the strategic component – national and regional skills priorities (NRSP) and the programme development and maintenance fund (PDMF).

  • NRSP funding is intended to support PTEs to respond to national and regional skills priorities, informed by advice from the Workplace Development Councils (WDCs) and Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs).
  • The PDMF is intended to support programme development and maintenance aligned with the Government’s Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) objectives.

Unified Funding System Strategic Component


2023 PTE Strategic Fund – Targeted approach for remaining $3.6m

In 2022, TEC ran the first Private Training Establishment (PTE) Strategic Fund round which was for 2023 funding.

Of the $16.8 million available, we allocated $13.2 million, leaving $3.6 million still unallocated.

TEC will run a short, targeted round in March 2023 for eligible PTEs to submit a proposal that aligns with national and regional skills priorities (NRSP) that will enable the vocational education system to best serve the needs of learners and adapt to ongoing and future challenges.

This targeted round will not include the programme development and maintenance fund (PDMF).

Who can apply?

For proposals to be eligible for the 2023 PTE Strategic Fund targeted approach, they must:

  • be made by one or more New Zealand Qualifications Authority-registered PTE
    • with an External Evaluation and Review (EER) provider category of either 1 or 2, and
    • that have received a 2023 indicative allocation from TEC to deliver vocational education and training under the UFS
  • be for responding to national and regional skills priorities
  • be for activities, delivery of provision, or capital expenditure within the specified organisation(s), or subcontracted
  • not be for the development of qualifications, as we expect WDCs will be responsible for this
  • meet any applicable timing, formatting, or other requirements outlined here or in the application form
  • meet at least three of the national and regional skills priorities and show how you are helping to support underserved learners.

Please note there will not be a right of response process for this targeted round.

Key dates for the 2023 PTE Strategic Fund targeted approach



Submission period for proposals

Friday 10 March 2023 until 5pm, Friday 24 March 2023

Funding decisions communicated

By 30 April 2023

Contracts begin

1 January 2023

Application and assessment process

We have prepared the following documents to support the development of proposals for the 2023 PTE Strategic Fund:

PTEs may submit their proposal by completing the proposal template available above along with any additional documentation or evidence and sending to customerservice@tec.govt.nz with the subject line: [Your EDUMIS] – 2023 PTE Strategic Fund Proposal – Targeted Approach

For any additional evidence, please name and number each document with the following [Your EDUMIS] – Evidence #1, [Your EDUMIS] – Evidence #2.


What funding is available in 2023?

Funding element

Indicative total funding available ($ per year)

Contract term


$11.4 million

1 year in 2023


$5.4 million1*

1 year in 2023

Funding available per proposal: We would expect funding would be no more than 25 percent of your existing TEC UFS funding for 2023, up to a maximum value of $1 million.

1 PTE Transitions Funding for 2023 and 2024 comes from the PDMF funding.  As a result, the total available PDMF funding for PTEs in 2023 is reduced by approximately $6 million*. This figure will be confirmed once Indicative Allocations are finalised. Any adjusted additional funding from Transitions Funding will be made available and allocated under the PDMF.

These figures were updated in October 2022.


2024 PTE Strategic Fund

Information will be made available soon regarding the 2024 contestable round of strategic component funding for the PTE sector.

Please note that it will be run in conjunction with the On Plan Investment Round in 2024.

More information

TEC awards $13 million strategic funding to 69 PTEs for vocational education initiatives

PTE Strategic Fund Q&As

Proposal form and application process

Do we need to provide any particular information to support our proposal where we are a PTE without an EER rating due to being a new provider?

No, if you are a PTE without an EER rating due to being a new provider, you do not need to provide any additional information as part of your proposal. As long as you meet other eligibility criteria, you can still apply for this funding.

Can you explain the 25% of indicative 2023 UFS funding guideline?

The 25% guideline is to give PTEs an indication of the amount of funding you could apply for. We are suggesting that you look to apply for funding equivalent to 25% of your indicative 2023 UFS funding (delivery and learner components combined) when applying for funding under the PTE Strategic Fund.

Where a single PTE submits more than one proposal, the 25% guideline applies across a PTE’s combined proposals.

The 25% guideline does not mean that you should anticipate automatically receiving 25% of your UFS Funding from the strategic component.

Will you provide feedback on the reasons a proposal was or was not successful?

We will provide feedback where a proposal is not funded as part of the Right of Review process.

Can additional information be added to a proposal following its submission?

We will be in touch where we believe further information is needed for clarification to support the assessment and decision-making process. This engagement will be particularly targeted at those proposals that are close to being successful and for which additional information is needed to support the final decision to be taken. This would not be an opportunity for people to rewrite their proposal.

The Customer Contact Group (CCG) and Relationship Managers are your first points of contact. To support the process, a representative from the UFS team will be involved in substantive discussions. 

Can we submit more than one proposal?

Yes, you can submit multiple proposals (i.e. more than one completed proposal template), if you think that will best enable you to build your case.

You can also tailor the proposal template if that will help you tell your story. Just be sure to capture all relevant information. We recommend looking to the assessment criteria to see what you need to cover.

How much should we write?

Write as much as you need to in order to convey your idea, make your case for funding and address the assessment criteria. This could mean a short proposal or a more detailed one. Reference the assessment criteria matrix as well as the guidance in the proposal template.

What should milestones look like, can you please give us some examples?

A milestone is a significant stage or event in the development of something. You will know best what your proposal will need in order to be implemented and what will need to be done to make it happen.

We are open to what makes a meaningful milestone (so long as it is not simply to provide us with a report). We do not necessarily need to see a completion milestone, just milestones that reflect work to that point.

So, we are open to what this could look like. We suggest, as a rule of thumb, aiming for between two/three and six milestones, which link to when you would be looking to get payments.

Can you explain what TEC would like to see written for the public statement?

We are looking for a high-level summary of what you intend to do with the funding and what will be achieved by the funding being used in this way. We have asked for a statement of up to 200 words, but this is a guide rather than a target.

Public statements for successful proposals, will be published alongside the amount of funding received.

What – in TEC’s view – makes for a good proposal? What does ‘good’ look like?

A good proposal is one that responds to the purpose of the funding and successfully meets the assessment criteria, including giving confidence that the proposal will meet intended outcomes and can be implemented in practice.

What should a proposal that is seeking both NRSP and PDMF funding look like?

We anticipate receiving proposals seeking funding for both elements of the Strategic Fund. You may propose a project that integrates them both.

The form is designed so you can respond to both funding elements in the same document, should you wish to do so. Separating out the costs and milestones will give us an indication of what aspects of a proposal and/or project relate to the NRSPs and what aspects relate to the PDMF. You could also indicate where you have flexibility about which funding pot your proposal relates to.

Is there a review process if our proposal is declined?

Yes, there will be a Right of Response (RoR) process.

What will happen if you receive more applications than you have funding?

We are using the government procurement process and that is based on a weighting exercise for the criteria, as well as a value-for-money assessment. So, every proposal will be weighted against the Fund’s assessment criteria and then we will move into a value-for-money assessment. We have not set an explicit cut-off point in terms of scoring.

This is why we are looking to be flexible across the two appropriations of funding available here. It may be that we look across both elements of the funding and have more demand for, and much better proposals for, one element over another.

Whether we would look to partially fund more providers, over fully funding fewer providers, will depend on many factors, including viability of proposals if not fully funded.

Are funding payments connected to milestones? 

Yes, payments are connected to milestones.  

It is important to note that, should your proposal be successful, the final schedule of milestones will be determined following proposal submission, so that they can be aligned with business cycles.

Are we required to get a letter of support or endorsement from WDCs or RSLGs?

There is no requirement or need to obtain letters of support or endorsement from WDCs or RSLGs to include as part of your proposal.

Do we need to get our proposal in before the 9 September deadline to ensure the Strategic Funding pool isn’t used up?

No, you don’t. You have until 5pm, 9 September to submit your proposal. You can submit at any time up to this deadline. If we receive proposals before 9 September, then we may start assessing that proposal. However, no final finding decisions will be made until all applications are received and assessed.

Funding amounts and eligibility

What happens if TEC is looking to partially fund a proposal, but a PTE does not have sufficient funds to make up the difference?

We will have a conversation with you where we would look to partially fund a proposal.

If we were looking to partially fund a proposal, we would look to engage with you around your ability to implement a reduced version of your proposal.  A provider’s ability to deliver on a proposal and achieve its outcomes is a key aspect to realising the purpose of this funding, and we appreciate that partial funding could impact a proposal’s viability.

How does TEC view proposals that are about ‘preparing the ground’ for a further application (in 2023 for 2024 funding) to offer work-based learning in 2024?

We encourage proposals that are about ‘preparing the ground’ as this goes to the purpose of this funding to support the strategic shifts being sought through this work.

That said, it is important to remember for the 2023 round, funding is only available for one year. While we cannot guarantee future funding, you can come back for funding in out years if you are looking to apply for funding for the same or a similar initiative in subsequent years.

What is the current amount of funding available?

At present, $4.4million is a suitable estimate of how much funding is available for programme development and maintenance. Our intention is to spend all available funding.

We understand the UFS relates to Level 3-7, is this correct?

The UFS relates to levels 3 -7 (non-degree) and to level 1 and 2 work-based industry training (i.e. level 1 and 2 industry training that is provider based comes under SAC).

Is the funding for one (1) year?

For 2023, funding is for one (1) year.

Can you please give some guidance on your expectations for Capital Maintenance or Expenditure?

Examples of evidence for this could include quotes for developing a programme on a learning management system followed by invoices for work that has been completed.

Does all development work need to take place in 2023 or can work start now for 2023 delivery? 

All payments will be made in the 2023 calendar year aligned to milestones, so it will be about presenting a schedule of milestones in your proposal that align with how you wish to spend the funding. Work can begin in 2022 as part of preparation if the milestones are in 2023.

Can funding be used for staff training to improve programme teaching and outcomes?

A funding proposal for programme development and/or maintenance can be for operational or capital expenses, or both.

Is TEC expecting all PTEs to get some slice of the Strategic Fund? Or do you expect a certain percentage of PTEs to receive funding under the PTE Strategic Fund?

We have not set, or made any predictions, on the percentage or number of PTEs that will receive Strategic Funding.

This funding opportunity is open to all eligible PTEs, and all PTEs that submit a proposal will be assessed based on the assessment criteria and funding decisions made following assessment.

I see that Strategic Fund funding can be used for delivery. Can you give an example of how this would work? 

We are interested in supporting PTEs to respond to the identified national and regional skills priorities. How PTEs respond to these priorities can be done in a variety of ways, and delivery can be one means of doing so (subject to satisfying the Fund’s established assessment criteria).

National and Regional Skills Priorities

Could you provide some guidance on what WDC and RSLG advice we should be reflecting in our proposal?  

As you draft your proposal, refer to the assessment matrix to see exactly how we will be assessing proposals. This should give you a really good idea about what to include.

This funding is for responding to the national and regional skills priorities and/or programme development and maintenance, so make sure what you are proposing aligns to these in some way.

Do we have to meet all of the National and Regional Skills Priorities (NRSPs)?

No, you do not need to satisfy each and every one of the national and regional skills priorities. You have to respond to at least one for your proposal to be considered. It may be that you decide to respond to only one and present a really strong proposal for that particular one.

PTE Transitions funding

Will a bigger pool of funding be available in 2024 have a bigger pool of funding available with no transition funding for that year?

There is still PTE Transitions funding in 2024, but it will be less than in 2023.

So, yes, there will be additional funding available for the Strategic Fund round in 2024.

The full amount will be available for the Strategic Fund in 2025.

Programme Development and Maintenance Funding

What could the PDMF funding cover?

PDMF funding relates to programmes and micro credentials. This funding is specifically available to providers to support the development and/or maintenance of their programmes, including extramural ones. 

This funding does not cover qualification development and/or maintenance. Programmes and qualifications are distinct from each other. Programmes (developed by providers) lead to qualifications (developed by qualification developers). As defined within the Education and Training Act 2020, a programme “…means a programme of study or training that leads to a qualification listed on the Qualifications [and Credentials] Framework”.

Do we need to deliver a new programme in 2023?

You do not need to begin the delivery of a programme in 2023 to seek PDMF funding. However, you do need to be doing work towards the development or maintenance of a programme in 2023 to receive PDMF funding.

Do programmes need to be approved by the relevant WDC and NZQA to apply for funding?

No, you do not need to seek or receive any kind of endorsement (e.g. a letter of endorsement from a WDC) to apply for funding. We would expect to see milestones relating to NZQA approval, but this is not a compulsory requirement when applying for PDMF funding.

Once a programme is developed, it will need to be put before the relevant WDC and NZQA for endorsement and approval ahead of delivery, but we do not need to see this as part of the Strategic Fund funding process.

What about if programme development takes place in 2022 and delivery is in 2023?

Strategic component funding is for 2023 only. UFS funding rates and categories only start from 1 January 2023. Similarly, strategic component funding starts then too. 

If you have started developing a programme in 2022, then a case could be made for maintenance funding. While we cannot fund retrospective activity, work can start in 2022 as part of preparation if the milestones are in 2023.

The key thing is that this funding relates to applicable milestones for next year (2023) with the final milestone needing to be 31 December 2023 or earlier.

What type of maintenance are you expecting we should apply for, i.e. consistency review costs, NZQA costs? 

We consider PTEs will know best what it will cost to maintain existing programmes. A PTE can seek PDMF funding for any, or all, of the programmes they are presently delivering.

In terms of what maintenance looks like, please refer to the initiative examples and assessment criteria resource. Maintenance could include ongoing costs for hosting a learning management system or updating an existing programme to better meet the needs of learners.

Note that PTE Strategic Fund funding cannot be used for NZQA provider costs.