Programme endorsement

Requesting Ohu Ahumahi support for programmes

Levels 1–6 programmes of study

From 1 June 2022, all Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) will be required, under the Education and Training Act, to consider provider programmes for endorsement, prior to NZQA approval.

As the industry representative and standards setting body, a WDC is well placed to consider programmes from equity, academic outcome, quality assurance and industry need perspectives, while also contributing to an education system that honours te Tiriti o Waitangi and supports Māori–Crown relations.

If you are developing a programme that leads to a qualification listed on the NZQF, the Education and Training Act requires you to get the programme approved by NZQA. If you are interested in delivering a programme, you also need to be accredited as a provider of that programme.

More information on programme approval and accreditation is available on NZQA’s website.

Our role in programme approval

Once you have finalised your programme, you will need a letter of endorsement from Toi Mai before seeking approval from NZQA.

Please email us at [email protected] while you are developing your programme so we can advise you of any new rules, regulations, specifications or conditions since the qualification was listed.

You can also find programme guidance information for some of our qualifications here.

A principled approach to WDCs endorsing unified and transformative programmes

WDCs support providers through our programme endorsement function. Ohu Ahumahi, the collective of the six Workforce Development Councils (WDC), has identified shared principles that will help providers to develop programmes. WDCs support providers through our programme endorsement function.

The principles have been identified in line with WDC advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) with regards to funding under the Unified Funding System (UFS) and are detailed in the TEC Supplementary Plan Guidance for investment 2023.

The principles are directly related to how WDCs can support and advise Te Pūkenga, private training establishments (PTEs) and Wānanga in the development of unified and/or transformative programmes:

  • A collaborative approach in the development and delivery of vocational education
  • A shift to more in-work vocational education into the workplace
  • An improvement in equity of outcomes in vocational education provision
  • Increased evidence and analysis supporting provision in vocational education.

WDCs want to signal how we can best support these principles through our programme endorsement function by:

  • continuing to collaborate and engage with Te Pūkenga and other providers as programmes are unified, transformed and developed
  • supporting the use of skill and unit standards in workplace and work-based learning programmes where they are available
  • supporting and endorsing programmes that provide equity and enable learners and industry to access learning in their preferred way
  • supporting programmes flexible enough to meet the changing circumstances of the learners
  • gathering and providing research and data on current and future workforce skill needs to assist providers to development programmes.

Guidance and support for programme endorsement

Toi Mai is committed to providing guidance for providers to develop and gain approval for high quality programmes. Ohu Ahumahi considerations for programme endorsement differ from NZQA approval criteria and look to meet both industry and learner vocational education and training needs.

We focus on six considerations:

  •  programme content
  •  equity for learners
  •  programme engagement and consultation
  •  te ao Māori
  •  Pacific languages and learners
  •  tāngata whaikaha (disabled people).

Read the full details of these six considerations.

We check that the submitted programme application aligns with qualification outcomes. If we have concerns about the programme, we will work with you to help resolve those concerns.

If your organisation requires consent to assess for any unit or skills standards included in the programme, you will need to submit a separate consent to assess application.

Type two changes will still require a completed programme endorsement application form, with evidence of specific changes made to the programme.

How to request endorsement for programmes

As part of the NZQA programme approval process, you need to supply a letter of endorsement from the relevant WDC.

If you need endorsement for a NEW programme, please complete the form below titled Programme endorsement application – NEW, which requires details about the rationale of the programme and how all six considerations listed above have been addressed.

If your endorsement relates to an already established programme with a TYPE TWO change, please complete the form below titled Programme endorsement application – TYPE 2, which requires details of the proposed change and how any impact on the considerations listed above has been addressed.

We may require further evidence from you to satisfy some of our considerations. Once we are satisfied the proposed programme meets all the considerations, we will issue a letter of endorsement to submit to NZQA alongside the approval application. This letter will be valid for six months.

There is no fee for us to review and provide endorsement for your proposed programme.

Please email us at [email protected] with the following information to request our endorsement for your NEW programme:

  • A completed application form for a new programme
  • A copy of your proposed programme
  • An overview of industry and/or community input into the programme development, e.g. advisory group composition and process
  • A programme overview (delivery of practicum/theory, assessment and moderation approach)
  • An outline of the resources required to deliver the programme
  • Evidence that any guidance in the qualification document has been considered when developing the programme.

Please email us at [email protected] with the following information to request our endorsement for your TYPE TWO change to an approved programme:

  • A completed type two change application form
  • Supporting evidence.

Please allow 20 working days for us to process your request for programme endorsement.