Qualifications and courses

Qualifications and courses

Last updated 13 June 2018
Last updated 13 June 2018

To deliver a programme funded through Student Achievement Component (SAC) levels 1 and 2, approval from us must be obtained for both the qualification and the courses comprising the programme that leads to the qualification(s). 

A tertiary education organisation (TEO) must only use SAC levels 1 and 2 funding for approved qualifications (see Condition: Programmes and qualifications for competitively allocated funding, and Condition: Programmes and qualifications for non-competitively allocated funding).

This means that, for a qualification that we fund, the TEO must deliver the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) approved components of the programme that lead to that qualification.

Each qualification, and the courses within the qualification, must be submitted to us to be approved for access to SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

Please review the Loan Entry Threshold (LET) table (in Approving a qualification for student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme below) for information about ensuring qualifications can be approved for student loans and allowances.

Qualification and course approval is carried out through our section of the Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO) website. Through this website each TEO:

  • registers and maintains qualifications and courses for funding
  • updates qualification, course and delivery site details, and
  • submits its Single Data Return (SDR).

The STEO User Guide provides technical information on using STEO to obtain approval for qualification eligibility to access funding.

Non-qualification based components of a programme

See Condition: Programmes and qualifications for competitively allocated funding, and Condition: Programmes and qualifications for non-competitively allocated funding.

The condition states ‘You must only use SAC1&2 (Competitive) Fund Funding to deliver qualifications and courses that have been approved by us’. This means any agreement from us to fund provision for an NZQA approved programme, is agreement to fund the components of the programme that contribute directly to a qualification.

In the rare instance that a component of an NZQA approved programme does not contribute directly to a qualification, that component cannot be entered in STEO, or funded. Please contact our Sector Helpdesk about this.

An exception to the two points above is if the programme is a training scheme (which includes short awards) that we have agreed to fund. 

Approving a qualification for access to funding

2018

SAC levels 1 and 2 (competitive) funding

A TEO approved to receive SAC levels 1 and 2 (competitive) funding in 2018 must deliver the qualifications approved for funding through the competitive process and listed in its mix of provision (MoP).

SAC levels 1 and 2 (non-competitive) funding

A TEO approved to receive SAC levels 1 and 2 (non-competitive) funding in 2018 may request to deliver alternative or additional qualifications to those listed in its MoP.

When submitting a new qualification, we recommend that you:

  • consider whether the qualification aligns with:
    • the strategic direction outlined in your organisation’s Investment Plan (Plan), and
    • the Tertiary Education Strategy
  • consider whether the qualification meets the eligibility criteria for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, and
  • complete the external quality assurance body requirements in a timely manner (this will ensure that each student who is enrolled in the approved qualification will have timely access to student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme, if eligible).

Resources

Process

When you submit the qualification through the STEO website, remember to provide the approval documentation from the external quality assurance body. Please see the SDR Manual  for more information.

Once we have received the necessary information, we will decide whether or not the qualification meets the eligibility criteria for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

If we approve a qualification as eligible for funding, you need to request a significant Plan amendment to add the qualification to your SAC levels 1 and 2 MoP. We will release your MoP so you can revise and submit it to us for approval.

Enrolling learners in a newly approved qualification

You can start enrolling learners in the programme leading to the new qualification, and access funding, after the qualification has been:

  • listed in your SAC levels 1 and 2 MoP with regions of delivery and equivalent full-time student (EFTS), and
  • we have approved the MoP for funding.

Information about qualifications

To enable us to determine whether or not to approve a qualification as eligible for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, we require the following information when the qualification is submitted for approval through the STEO website:

  • the provider code (EDUMIS number) of the TEO seeking the approval
  • the qualification code used on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)
  • the title of the proposed qualification
  • the number of learning hours each week in the qualification 
  • the number of full-time teaching weeks each year required to complete the qualification
  • the equivalent full-time student (EFTS) value of the qualification calculated using the following methods:
    • credits
    • learning hours
    • full-time weeks, and
  • approval documents from the relevant quality assurance body.

We will not backdate approval for access to student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme. Therefore, we require this information from you at least four weeks before the start of tuition for the qualification. This will ensure that each student who is enrolled in an approved course or programme can access financial support if eligible.

If more than one qualification is included in the programme, enter them separately as concurrent qualifications.

A detailed description of the required information is set out below.

TEO/Provider code

You must give us the four digit code assigned by the Ministry of Education to uniquely identify your TEO.  A list of the four-digit codes assigned to each TEO is set out in Appendix 1 of the SDR Manual.

Qualification code

Before we can approve a qualification as eligible for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, you must supply the qualification code.  The format of the qualification code is alphanumeric, usually two letters followed by four numbers.  The two letters are a standard code, for example NZ (New Zealand Certificate), ND (National Diploma), or PC (programme code – for local qualifications).

If you intend to offer a New Zealand Certificate, National Certificate or National Diploma listed on the NZQF, use the NZQF code for all references to the qualification.

Qualification codes for trades and non-trades (and NCEA)

If you have NZQA programme approval for a trade programme and a non-trade programme for the same qualification (i.e. one learner is enrolled on 50% of P1, C1, L1 courses while another is enrolled on 50% A1, J1), you need to set up two separate local qualification codes to reflect these different programmes.

Note: where the qualification will only be delivered as either trade or non-trade, only the relevant qualification code needs to be set up. 

If you have recently been approved to deliver the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) level 2 with a Vocational Pathway and need to set this up in STEO, use the qualification codes below.

Code Titile Level Description
NCEP1T Construction and Infrastructure Trade L2 L02 Trades
NCEP1N Construction and Infrastructure Non-trade L2 L02 Non-Trades
NCEP2T Manufacturing and Technology Trade L2 L02 Trades
NCEP2N Manufacturing and Technology Non-trade L2 L02 Non-Trades
NCEP3T Primary Industries Trade L2 L02 Trades
NCEP3N Primary Industries Non -trade L2 L02 Non-Trades
NCEP4T Service Industries Trade L2 L02 Trades
NCEP4N Service Industries Non-trade L2 L02 Non-Trades
NCEP5T Social and Community Services Trade L2 L02 Trades
NCEP5N Social and Community Services Non-trade L2 L02 Non-Trades
NCEP6T Creative Industries Trade L2 L02 Trades
NCEP6N Creative Industries Non-trade L2 L02 Non-Trades

Title of qualification

You must give us the title of the qualification for which you are seeking approval for funding. 

Note: This does not mean the title of the programme that NZQA approved, unless the programme title and qualification title are the same.

Duration

You must provide us with information about the duration of the programme, specifically the learning hours and full-time teaching weeks.

Learning hours

NZQA defines ‘learning hours’ as all planned learning activities leading toward the achievement of programme or qualification learning outcomes.

Types of learning activities include but are not limited to:

  • lecturer and tutor contact hours, including workshops and tutorials
  • tests and assignments
  • supervised practical placements
  • study time
  • self-directed learning activities that you expect the student to engage with/participate in, and
  • examination periods.

The STEO website provides three fields for types of learning activities. We acknowledge that three fields is a limitation in light of the various learning activities that TEOs employ with students. However, a TEO should break down its learning activities, and enter hours in the STEO fields below as accurately as possible, based on the guidance below. The three fields are:

  • teaching hours each week – include, for example, face-to-face classroom/on-line/field trip/simulation time, tutorials, on-site assignments, assessments and examinations
  • work experience hours each week – include, for example, time the student spends practising or learning skills relevant to their study programme in a workplace; this includes a teaching workplace, which may be on-site, as long as it operates as a commercial enterprise, and
  • self-directed study hours each week – ‘self-directed study’ means only TEO-directed study carried out by the student; include, for example, time the student spends on off-site assignments (such as homework assignments), and TEO-directed reading and study hours, that the student must complete in their own time. Note: self-directed study does not include self-directed activities that the student initiates.

Note: A TEO will need to use a rationale applied consistently, in terms of which activities constitute what programme learning hours in STEO for each of the three fields above.

In relation to the number of learning hours in the qualification, we need all of the following information. The:

  • number of teaching hours each week (see teaching hours each week above)
  • number of hours each week of work experience (see work experience above)
  • number of self-directed learning hours each week (see self-directed study above)
  • total number of learning hours each week
  • total number of learning hours in each year
  • number of years it will take to complete the qualification, and
  • total number of learning hours in the qualification (number of learning hours in each year multiplied by the number of years).

Total learning hours in STEO must be the same as the total programme/qualification learning hours approved by NZQA. We expect actual delivery to align with the total learning hours and the learning activities approved by NZQA. This means we expect each TEO to regularly review the delivery of its programme(s) to ensure they are ‘right sized’ for the majority of students (recognising that some students take more or fewer learning hours to achieve a qualification than others).

Note: During audits and investigations we may check whether a TEO’s delivery reflects our and NZQA’s approvals. To do this we triangulate NZQA approval documentation, STEO data, and your information for learners, and compare the information to actual delivery.

Full-time teaching week

A full-time teaching week includes the types of learning hours outlined above.

In relation to the number of teaching weeks in each year of the qualification, you must give us all of the following information. The:

  • number of full-time equivalent teaching weeks
  • number of weeks of recess in each year
  • total number of full-time teaching weeks and recess weeks in each year – full-time equivalent (FTE) gross
  • number of credits on the NZQF contained in the qualification, and
  • number of credits that a student must achieve each year to complete the qualification.

We generally will not approve a qualification for funding that is longer than 34 weeks in a year, although we may fund an individual student’s enrolment for more than 1.0 EFTS in a year.  See Student centred provision on the Enrolment page.

EFTS value of the qualification

We require the EFTS value of each qualification in order to determine whether a qualification is eligible to access SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.  See Condition: Assigning EFTS values to qualifications for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, and Condition: Assigning EFTS values to qualifications for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

The EFTS value of each qualification must be specified to no more than four decimal places. The EFTS value determines the workload involved in each qualification and is required so that we can appropriately fund you to deliver the qualification.

This information must be determined using the following methods:

  • credits
  • learning hours, and
  • full-time weeks.

Each of the three methods should produce the same result. If they do, we can be confident that a student who is studying for a qualification is undertaking a normal and reasonable workload.

Each method is set out in more detail below.

Note: The New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Living for Supported Learners (Level 1) with an optional strand in Skills for Working [Ref:2853] is listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). We calculate funding for this qualification using only the learning hours. We do not require convergence of the three methods below for funding that qualification.

Credits

A credit measures the average amount of learning that is required to complete the qualification or part of the qualification. 

The EFTS value can be calculated using the credits method by dividing the number of credits for the qualification by 120 (the standard number of credits that equate to one full-time year of study). 

Example: If a qualification has 60 credits: 60 divided by 120 = 0.5 EFTS.  

Learning hours

The EFTS value can be calculated using the learning hours method by dividing the qualification's total learning hours by 1,200 (the standard number of learning hours that equates to a full-time year).

Example: If the total learning hours for one semester in a qualification is 600 hours: 600 divided by 1,200 = 0.5 EFTS.

Full-time weeks

The EFTS value can be calculated using the full-time weeks method, by dividing the length of tuition for the qualification in weeks by 34 (the standard number of weeks that equate to one full-time equivalent teaching or tuition year). 

Example: If the qualification has a length of 17 weeks: 17 divided by 34 = 0.5 EFTS.

EFTS value when qualification has strands

A qualification may have a range of options or electives with variable credit combinations. These are called strands. Each strand is likely to have a different total EFTS value.

If a qualification has two or more strands, you should determine the EFTS value for each strand. We require the EFTS value of the strand that has the highest EFTS value for our calculations.

You must calculate the EFTS factor of each course in the strand in order to calculate the EFTS value of the strand. The EFTS factor of a course can be determined in the following ways.

Example:

Calculating the EFTS value of a qualification with strands
Strand 1      Credits Course EFTS factor Strand 2      Credits Course EFTS factor
 Course 1      15  0.1250   Course 1       15  0.1250
 Course 2       15  0.1250   Course 2       15  0.1250
 Course 3      26  0.2167  Course 3       26  0.2167
 Course 4       10  0.0833   Course 6       10  0.0833
 Course 5      6  0.0500  Course 7       5  0.0417
       Course 8       4  0.0333
 Totals   72  0.6000     75  0.6250

In this example, if we approve the qualification for funding, it will be approved as 75 credits as this is the credit value of the longest strand. The EFTS value of the qualification is therefore 0.625 (75 credits/120 = 0.625 EFTS).

If an approved qualification in STEO has a value of 1.0 EFTS but more than 120 credits, the credit value of the longest strand is used to determine the course EFTS factor for each strand. This ensures that courses common to both strands have the same EFTS factor.

Example: In this example, the credit value of 150 is used to divide the credits, not 120:

Calculating course EFTS factors in a qualification of more than 120 credits in one year with strands
Strand 1      Credits Course EFTS factor Strand 2     Credits Course EFTS factor
 Course 1    30  0.2000   Course 1    30  0.2000
 Course 2   30  0.2000   Course 1    30  0.2000
 Course 3    52  0.3467  Course 1    52  0.3467
 Course 4    20  0.1333   Course 1    20  0.1333
 Course 5    12  0.0800  Course 1    10  0.0667
       Course 1    8  0.0533
 Totals   144  0.9600     150  1.0000

Extra courses within a qualification

If an extra course within a qualification is optional, it will usually be eligible for additional SAC levels 1 and 2 funding. In these circumstances, a student’s enrolment may generate more than 1 EFTS in a 12 month period.

For example, a student takes an:

  • additional course in an academic year towards a qualification that requires more than one year of study, or
  • an optional summer school course towards the qualification.

If an extra course becomes the norm for all students undertaking a qualification, we will consider the change a significant change to a qualification, which requires approval from the relevant quality assurance body and us (see below). 

Quality assurance requirements

See Condition: Organisation eligibility for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, and Condition: Organisation eligibility for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, for quality assurance requirements for TEOs to be eligible for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

In addition, to be eligible for SAC level 1 and 2 funding, a course must be part of a programme or training scheme that has been quality assured. For TEOs that receive SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, the quality assurance body is the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

To determine whether to approve a qualification for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding as part of your mix of provision in your Investment Plan (Plan) we require evidence that NZQA has approved the programme leading to the award of the qualification.

Under section 139AE of the Education Act 1989, the New Zealand Teachers Council is responsible for conducting, in conjunction with quality assurance agencies, approvals of teacher education programmes and qualifications that lead to teacher registration.

Defining a qualification

You must give us the following information that defines the qualification:

  • the award category (recognised qualifications are awarded qualification codes - refer to Appendix 9 of the SDR Manual)
  • the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) level, and the ISCED code of the qualification (refer to Appendix 9 of the SDR Manual)
  • the level of the qualification on the NZQF (refer to Appendix 9 of the SDR Manual)
  • the outcome of completing the qualification (for example, whether the qualification is designed to lead the student directly into the labour market)
  • the New Zealand Standard Classification of Education (NZSCED) of the qualification (refer to Appendix 8 of the SDR Manual), and
  • whether distance learning is available.

Concurrent qualifications

If more than one qualification is included in the programme, discuss this with the Sector Helpdesk when you enter each qualification in STEO. After the qualifications have been separately approved in STEO as eligible for SAC level 3 and above funding, contact the Sector Helpdesk to request that they be made concurrent in STEO.

Making a change to a qualification

If you make a change to a programme leading to award of a qualification, you must meet the requirements of Condition: Making changes to qualifications for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2, and of Condition: Making changes to qualifications for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2.

In addition, see NZQA’s information about making changes to a programme leading to award of a qualification.

 

Information about courses

NZQA approves a programme leading to a qualification, and the TEO then submits the qualification to us through STEO for approval as eligible to access SAC levels 1 and 2 funding. We may then agree to fund the qualification.

Following that, the TEO must disaggregate the qualification into component courses in STEO. You must give us all of the following information about each component course in the qualification:

  • provider code
  • course code
  • course title
  • qualification code
  • course classification
  • NZSCED field of study
  • level of the course on the NZQF
  • number of credits of the course
  • funding category of the course
  • EFTS factor of the course
  • if the course is part of a pre-service teacher education qualification, the stage of the course
  • the course tuition fee
  • whether the course has an internet component, and
  • whether the course has embedded literacy and numeracy skill development in the provision.

The key fields required for SDR submission are detailed below.

TEO/Provider code (INSTIT)

The four-digit code assigned by the Ministry of Education to uniquely identify each TEO.

Course code (COURSE)

The internal code for the course. The code must uniquely identify the specific course regardless of the period, location and year in which it is taught.

Course title (CTITLE)

This is the title that you will use to prescribe or publish the course.

The title of a course should indicate the content of the course as the title is used by the Ministry of Education and us to ensure that similar courses are classified in a similar way.

Qualification code (QUAL)

For information on qualification codes see Information about qualifications above.

Course classification (CLASS)

Before a qualification can be approved for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, we require information about the classification of each course that forms part of the qualification. See Condition: Assigning Course Classifications for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, and Condition: Assigning Course Classifications for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

Note: the “Course Classification Prescription” referred to in the funding condition is in Appendix Two of the funding mechanism named Student Achievement Component – provision at level 3 and above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

You are required to classify your courses using the current 1-39 Classification Prescription available in the SAC 1-39 Course Classification Guide.

A summary is provided below.

  • At least 90% of the content or subject matter must fit into the classification you have assigned to a course.  We have provided some additional information about the course classifications in the SAC 1-39 Course Classification Guide.
  • The classification of a course may also depend on the qualification level. 
  • To ensure that each course is classified correctly, we recommend that you choose a name of a course that correctly describes the major content of the course.
  • Contact us if you are unsure about an appropriate classification. 

Note: Courses in some disciplines are funded at different rates depending on the year of study.

Classification Description
#01 Agriculture; Horticulture
#02 Architecture; Quantity Surveying
#03 Arts; Advanced Studies for Teachers; Health Therapies; Humanities; Languages; Social Sciences
#03.1 Osteopathy; Acupuncture
#04 Business; Accountancy; Office Systems/Secretarial; Management
#05.1 Non-formal Education
#05.2 General Education
#05.3 Short Awards
#06 Computer Science
#07 Dentistry
#11 Engineering; Technology
#11.1 Priority Engineering
#11.2 Pilot Training
#12 Fine Arts; Design
#13 Health Sciences (excluding classifications #07, #15, and #17)
#13.3 Optometry
#14 Law
#15 Medicine (excluding intermediate/first year)
#16 Music and Performing Arts
#17 Health-Related Professions
#17.3 Dental Therapy
#18 Science
#19.1 Teaching: Early Childhood Education
#19.2 Teaching: Primary
#20 Teaching: Secondary
#21 Trades 1
#22 Trades 2
#22.1 Vocational Training for Industry
#23 Veterinary
#23.3 Veterinary Science Undergraduate (Years 3, 4, and 5)
#24 Comprehensive Nursing
#25 Medical Imaging
#26 Midwifery (1 year)
#27 Midwifery (3 year Undergraduate)
#28 Occupational Therapy
#29 Physiotherapy
#30 Medical Radiation Therapy
#31 Pharmacy Professionals
#32 Speech Language Therapy
#33 Medical Laboratory Science
#34 Clinical Psychology
#35 Audiology
#36 Dietetics
#37 Medicine (Years 4, 5, and 6)
#38 Foreign-Going Nautical
#39 Specialist Large Animal Science

New Zealand Standard Classification of Education (NZSCED)

The NZSCED is a subject-based classification system that contributes to international reporting, and in some cases may be used to describe the mix of provision in your Plan.

All courses must be classified using the NZSCED classifications on a ‘best fit’ basis according to the predominant subject matter of the course. This means that the chosen NZSCED classification reflects the largest part of the subject matter of a course.

A full list of NZSCED classifications is provided in the SDR Manual Appendices

For more information on NZSCED classifications, see Education Counts.

Level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQFLEVEL)

This is for the level of the credits on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) contained in a course or paper that contributes to the qualification.  For more information on the NZQF see NZQA’s website.

Credit (CREDIT)

The number of credits on the NZQF contained in a course or paper that contributes to the qualification.

Funding category (CATEGORY)

The funding category includes:

  • an alphabetic code that relates to the course classification, and
  • a numeric code that reflects the level of study.

Funding for 2018 that was competitively allocated

As the funding rates to be paid for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 provision were agreed as part of the competitive allocation process, funding rates for this provision are not calculated using funding categories.

However, categorisation by alphabetic and numeric codes (collectively known as the funding category) below is nevertheless needed for reporting in the SDR.

Funding for 2018 that was non-competitively allocated

Categorisation by alphabetic and numeric codes (collectively known as the funding category) is needed for reporting in the SDR, and for determining the funding rate for the qualification. Refer to the Calculating payments section of Funding and payments.

Alphabetic code

The alphabetic code (based on course classification) is used to record SAC levels 1 and 2 funded course subjects. The alphabetic code is set out in the table below.

Take care to identify the correct alphabetic code, particularly where there are multiple options (such as Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1].

Category Relevant discipline and course classifications
A  Arts [#03], Social Sciences [#03], General Education [#5.2], Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1]
B  Architecture (non-degree) [#02], Computer Science [#06], Fine Arts, Design [#12], Music and Performing Arts [#16], Health Related Professions [#17], Vocational Training For Industry [#22.1], Medical Imaging [#25], Occupational Therapy [#28], Clinical Psychology [#34]
C  Architecture (degree) [#02], Engineering, Technology [#11], Health Sciences [#13], Vocational Training For Industry [#22.1], Midwifery (3 year) [#27], Physiotherapy [#29], Speech Language Therapy [#32], Medical Laboratory Science [#33], Audiology [#35]
G Dentistry (postgraduate only) [#07], Medicine (postgraduate only) [#15]
H Agriculture and Horticulture (degree) [#01], Specialist Large Animal Science [#39]
I Teaching [#19.1, #19.2, #20]
J Business, Accountancy [#04], Law [#14], Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1]
L Agriculture and Horticulture (non-degree) [#01], Osteopathy, Acupuncture [#03.1], Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1], Nursing [#24]
M1 Pilot Training [#11.2], Optometry [#13.1], Dental Therapy [#17.3], Pharmacy [#31]
N Priority Engineering [#11.1], Dietetics [#36]
O Medical Radiation Therapy [#30]
P Trades 2 [#22], Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1]
Q Veterinary Science [#23], Veterinary Science (years 3-5) [#23.3]
R Dentistry (undergraduate excluding intermediate – years 2-5) [#07]
S Foreign-Going Nautical [#38]
T Medicine (years 2-3) [#15]
U Medicine (years 4-6) [#37]
V Science [#18]

Numeric code

The numeric code (based on the level of study of the qualification of which the course forms part) is determined by the level of study of the qualification that the course is part of. Determine the numeric code of a course using the following table.

Category

(numeric)

Classification by level and content of study
1 Courses designed for non-degree qualifications with no research requirement, including certificates and diplomas
2 Courses designed for undergraduate degree qualifications, including bachelors degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas
3 Courses designed for taught postgraduate qualifications, including postgraduate certificates and diplomas, bachelors degrees with honours, and taught masters papers
4 Research-based postgraduate qualifications, including masters' theses/dissertations of 1.0 EFTS or more for masters and doctoral study
5 Foreign student enrolments in research-based postgraduate qualifications

EFTS factor of courses (FACTOR)

The EFTS factor of a course equates to the course size that is a portion of the total EFTS value of the qualification of which the course is part. In STEO the field name is ‘Qualification’, which means programme leading to award of the qualification.

As a guideline, we recommend that the size of the smallest course should not have an EFTS factor of less than 0.1. 

Although you may choose to deliver a smaller course, if the course is based on a single unit standard and has a course EFTS factor of less than 0.1, we do not require the TEO to further disaggregate the course in STEO.

You may report delivery for one qualification as one course.  However, that means that a student can only enrol in the one course (i.e. the whole programme) leading to award of the qualification.

After a programme has been disaggregated into courses and we have approved these as eligible for access to SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, you cannot retrospectively disaggregate the qualification further.

Calculation

If a qualification is measured in credits, we require the EFTS factor of a course to be calculated by:

  • dividing the number of credits in the course by the total number of credits in the qualification
  • multiplying that number by the EFTS value of the qualification. 

However, if you propose to deliver a qualification in one year for which the credits exceed 120, you must calculate the EFTS factor for that course using the total number of credits, not 120.

The EFTS factor must be expressed to four decimal places. 

Example: If a qualification has a total of 60 credits and an EFTS value of 0.5, the EFTS factors of the courses in the qualification are calculated as:

Courses Credits Qualification EFTS value Course EFTS factor
1 24 0.5 24 / 60 x 0.5 = 0.2000
2 20 0.5 20 / 60 x 0.5 = 0.1667
3 16 0.5 16 / 60 x 0.5 = 0.1333
  Credits = 60   EFTS value = 0.5

Course tuition fee (FEE)

Although qualifications and their component courses funded through SAC levels 1 and 2 funding are fees-free to students, this field needs to be completed. The course tuition fee is net of:

  • compulsory course costs (for example, administration charges, examination fees, material charges)
  • other charges such as student services levies, student association fees, health fees, record of prior learning fees.

Internet based learning indicator (INTERNET)

The TEO must indicate whether the teaching and learning in the course is currently available (in part or as a whole) through the internet.

Compulsory course costs fee (CCCOSTS Fee)

Complete this field only if the course will also contribute to a qualification funded through SAC level 3 and above, where fees may apply.

The compulsory course costs fee of the course. Compulsory course costs include:

  • administration charges
  • examination fees
  • other charges associated with a course or programme of study
  • material charges
  • costs of field trips, and
  • any compulsory purchase of equipment or books through the TEO.

Note: TEOs may charge only a compulsory student services fee (CSSF) to students who are enrolled in SAC levels 1 and 2 funded provision. CSSF is not relevant to either the FEE or the CCCOSTS Fee fields in STEO.

Approving the qualification for access to funding

When approving a qualification as eligible to access SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, we will:

  • check that the:
    • details of the qualification are consistent with your quality assurance approval for the qualification, and
    • components of the programme contribute directly to a qualification except where the programme is a training scheme (which includes short awards) that we have agreed to fund
  • consider whether the EFTS value of the qualification is correct
  • check that the course or qualification is eligible in accordance with the funding mechanism and/or funding conditions for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding and/or funding conditions for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding
  • consider whether a student enrolled in the course will be able to access a student allowance and/or the Student Loan Scheme, if the student is eligible, and
  • consider whether delivery of the qualification is desirable (e.g. that another TEO is not already delivering a similar qualification in the proposed delivery location), including when it is replacing an existing, similar qualification.

You can use the ‘qualification search’ or ‘course search’ in STEO to find a current list of qualifications and courses approved for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

Subcontracting

Subcontracting refers to a situation in which a TEO uses TEC funding to pay another organisation to deliver teaching or assessment on its behalf. This excludes:

  • teaching and learning activities contracted to individuals or organisations that are not TEOs (for example, an employee on a fixed-term contract, an honorary staff member, or a contract for teaching and learning services with a subject-matter expert for part of the programme such as for First Aid provision)
  • research activities or postgraduate research supervision, and
  • learning that occurs within vocational placements such a workplace placement or practicum.

You must not subcontract any SAC levels 1 and 2 funded activities without our prior written consent. See Condition: Subcontracting for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding and/or Condition: Subcontracting for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

Subcontracting can be agreed in two ways

Subcontracting can be agreed to within your Investment Plan (Plan). The subcontracting specified in the Plan is permitted for the period of the Plan. If the Plan expires then you need to obtain our approval again.

Subcontracting can also be agreed to outside of a Plan. Again, the subcontracting specified is permitted for the period agreed with us.

At any time, you can contact us to discuss proposed subcontracting.

Subcontracting TEO obligations

As specified in section 159YC (1) of the Education Act 1989, it is a condition of a TEO receiving funding under section 159YA that the TEO will supply to us, from time to time as required by us, and in a form specified by us, any financial, statistical, or other information that we require.

Therefore, at any time, we can request information regarding subcontracted activities from the TEO (that has subcontracted another party to carry out the activities).

In addition, a TEO that has subcontracted another party to carry out its activities:

  1. must comply with any conditions imposed by us within a consent to subcontract; and
  2. must ensure that the subcontracted party does not further subcontract any functions; and
  3. will be accountable to us for the use of the SAC levels 1 and 2 funding, including in respect to legislative and funding condition requirements.

See Condition: Subcontracting for competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding and/or Condition: Subcontracting for non-competitively allocated SAC levels 1 and 2 funding.

Approving a qualification for student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme

We are responsible for approving each qualification for student access to student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme.

A qualification must be approved for SAC levels 1 and 2 funding before a student can access a student allowance and the Student Loan Scheme in respect to the qualification. For more information on eligibility visit StudyLink.

Before we will approve a qualification for student access to student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme, you must be one of the following:

  • accredited by NZQA to deliver the content of a qualification
  • able to show that there is an arrangement in place with an accredited TEO to deliver any content for which you do not hold accreditation.

Note: As we will not backdate approval for access to student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme, we require this information at least four weeks before the start of tuition for the qualification. This will ensure that each student who is enrolled in an approved qualification can access financial support (if they are eligible).

Qualifications delivered full-time

We will only approve a SAC levels 1 and 2 funded qualification for student access to both student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme if it:

  • is delivered full-time
  • runs for a minimum of 12 weeks, and
  • has an EFTS value of at least 0.3 EFTS.

Qualifications delivered part-time

A programme for a qualification of less than 0.3 EFTS is classified as part-time regardless of the number of weeks over which it is delivered. A part-time qualification is not eligible for student access to student allowances.

For a SAC levels 1 and 2 funded part-time programme leading to the award of a qualification, we will only approve access to the Student Loan Scheme if the programme meets one of the following criteria:

  • runs for 32 weeks or more and has an EFTS value of at least 0.3 EFTS, or 
  • runs for fewer than 32 weeks with an EFTS value of between 0.25 and 0.3 EFTS.

Loan entry threshold

The loan entry threshold (LET) is used to identify the minimum EFTS value required for a student's individual study programme to be deemed full-time. This affects student eligibility for student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme. A qualification that is not deemed to be full-time (i.e. not approved for access to student allowances or the Student Loan Scheme) can nevertheless be funded through SAC levels 1 and 2 funding. 

The LET is determined by matching a range of gross weeks to a range of EFTS values.  A gross week is the total length of enrolment in a programme of study, including holiday weeks (recess).

The table below shows this relationship. Qualifications of less than 0.3 EFTS may still be eligible for student access to the Student Loan Scheme.

LOAN ENTRY THRESHOLD TABLE
Length of enrolment
(Gross weeks)
Loan entry threshold
(EFTS)

 12  0.3
 13  0.3
 14  0.3
 15  0.3
 16  0.4
 17  0.4
 18  0.4
 19  0.4
20  0.5
 21  0.525
 22  0.55
 23  0.575
 24  0.6
 25  0.625
 26  0.65
27 0.675
28 0.7
29 0.725
30 0.75
31 0.775
32-52 0.8
53 or more 1.0

Student allowances – paid practical work

Students who undertake paid practical work as part of their course of study are not entitled to any student allowance payments for the week(s) they undertake that work. It is important that you discuss this with your students.

For more information on student allowance entitlements and paid practical work please see StudyLink’s website.

 

Qualification close process

You can close a qualification that you no longer offer. This removes the qualification from the NZQA Register of Quality Assured Qualifications and your list of active qualifications.

The process can be found on the STEO website