Eligibility – 2016

Eligibility – 2016

Last updated 9 February 2017
Last updated 02/09/2017

We are in the process of updating these fund pages for 2017.

For the 2017 conditions for SAC levels 1 and 2 (competitive) funding (SAC(C)), refer to:

Generic conditions that relate to all on-Plan funds

Specific conditions that relate to this fund only


This page sets out the eligibility criteria for Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding for provision at levels 1 and 2, competitive allocation (SAC(C)).

It outlines TEO eligibility, programme eligibility and student eligibility.

TEO eligibility

To be eligible to receive Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding for provision at levels 1 and 2 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), competitive allocation (for this website page, referred to as SAC(C)), a tertiary education organisation (TEO) must be:

  • an institute of technology and polytechnic (ITP)
  • a wānanga
  • a university, or
  • a private training establishment (PTE).

The TEO must be quality assured by:

See Condition SACC002 and Condition SACC003 for more information. 

Programme eligibility

To be eligible for SAC(C) funding, a course must meet the objectives of foundation level tertiary education, and lead to the award of:

The qualifications (except those in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or Te Reo Māori) must include embedded literacy and numeracy, and use the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool to assess students’ literacy and numeracy gains.

For qualifications in ESOL, we require TEOs to use “Starting Points” to assess literacy and numeracy needs and measure progress. See Condition SACC007 and for more information about Starting Points see the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults resources page.

The qualifications must be delivered by tutors who hold an appropriate qualification such as the National Certificate in Adult Literacy Education (Vocational).

Programme eligibility – qualifications that the TEC has agreed to purchase

As part of the competitive process, we published guidance that outlined the provision that we were seeking to purchase. We considered the types of qualifications and the intended outcomes for students.  TEOs must only use the SAC(C) funding for qualifications approved by us. See Condition SACC005.  

Programme eligibility – restrictions on fees

TEOs providing SAC(C)-funded qualifications must not charge students a fee.  See Condition SACC022 for the full details what the term “fee” includes.

Student eligibility

Confirmed student enrolment

TEOs must provide the TEC with information about each “confirmed student enrolment”. A confirmed student enrolment for fees-free SAC(C) provision means:

  • the student and a TEO have entered into an enrolment or tuition contract or arrangement, and
  • the student has not withdrawn from a course, programme or training scheme by the withdrawal date.

See Condition SDR001 and Condition SDR001 (PTE) for more information. 

Valid domestic enrolments

As well as being a confirmed student enrolment, to claim SAC(C) funding for students, each student must be a "valid domestic enrolment". The amount of SAC(C) funding that a TEO consumes is determined by the number of valid domestic students enrolled at the TEO. The number of valid domestic student enrolments is measured in EFTS and only valid domestic enrolments are able to attract SAC(C) funding.

For the purposes of calculating the amount of SAC(C) funding, a “valid domestic enrolment” refers to the enrolment of a student who is:

Students aged under 16 years old

A student aged under 16 years old at the time that the programme of study or training begins is considered a valid domestic enrolment if:

  • the TEO is satisfied that the student is capable of completing the academic requirements of the programme
  • the TEO has ensured that the student has a school exemption certificate from the Ministry of Education.

Invalid domestic enrolments – inducements

Even if the student meets the criteria above, the enrolment is not valid if it has been secured by way of an inducement.  An inducement is where a student is motivated to enrol at a TEO by the prospect of a physical item, financial benefit, or personal advantage not directly related to the attainment of that qualification. See Condition SACC018 and information on the Enrolment page for further definitions about scholarships and inducements.

We recommend that TEOs contact us before offering items or activities to students for enrolling with them. 

Limits on the number of students with prior achievement at level 2 or higher

To ensure that foundation learning is delivered to those who need it most, it is government policy that the number of students who can receive SAC(C)-funded provision at foundation levels, who have already achieved at foundation levels, is limited.

A TEO must only enrol a student in SAC(C)-funded provision if they do not already hold a qualification at level 2 or higher on the NZQF, unless they are participating in a qualification in ESOL or Te Reo Māori or the TEO has not reached the threshold of enrolments of students with prior attainment.

For qualifications other than ESOL or Te Reo Māori:

  • for all enrolments in provision at levels 1 and 2 at any TEO, except for enrolments in mātauranga Māori qualifications at wānanga, students who already hold a qualification at level 2 or higher on the NZQF (or equivalent) may comprise no more than 10% of enrolments at each TEO, and
  • for enrolments in mātauranga Māori qualifications at wānanga, students who already hold a qualification at level 2 or higher on the NZQF (or equivalent) may comprise no more than 10% of enrolments at each wānanga.

See Condition SACC019 for more information.

Recording and reporting of valid domestic enrolments and confirmed student enrolments

TEOs are required to keep records about students and enrolments. See the Enrolment page for more information, and Condition SACC015, Condition SACC016 and Condition SACC017.

The TEC and the Ministry of Education obtain information about all confirmed students, regardless of the funding source. 

For more information, please see Condition SDR001 and Condition SDR001 (PTE).

If you have any doubts as to whether a student should be included in the SDR, please contact the Sector Helpdesk.