Qualifications and courses

Qualifications and courses

Last updated 24 April 2017
Last updated 04/24/2017

To deliver a programme funded through Youth Guarantee, approval from the TEC must be obtained for both the qualifications and the courses comprising the programme that leads to the qualifications. 

A tertiary education organisation (TEO) must only use Youth Guarantee funding for approved qualifications (see Condition: Youth Guarantee programmes). Each qualification, and the courses within the qualification, must be submitted to us to be approved for access to Youth Guarantee funding.

Please review the Loan Entry Threshold (LET) table 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 (PDF, 7.7 Mb) explains how approvals are obtained.

Qualifications and courses are assigned an equivalent full-time student (EFTS) factor as part of the approval process.

Note: When classifying courses within the TEC section of the STEO website, the system will return a funding rate based on the current SAC classifications. These SAC rates are not applicable to Youth Guarantee and can be ignored.

Process for approving a qualification for access to funding

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
    • the Tertiary Education Strategy
  • consider whether the qualification meets the eligibility criteria for Youth Guarantee funding, and
  • complete 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).

When you submit the qualification through the Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO) website, ensure that you provide the:

  • approval documentation from the external quality assurance body, and
  • the information specified below.

Please see the SDR Manual for more information.

When we receive the information, we will decide whether or not the qualification meets the eligibility criteria to access Youth Guarantee funding. 

If we approve the qualification as eligible for funding, you need to request a minor Plan amendment to add the qualification to your Youth Guarantee mix of provision (MoP). We will release your MoP so you can revise and submit the revised MoP 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 Youth Guarantee MoP with regions of delivery and EFTS, and
  • we have approved the MoP.

Information about qualifications

To enable us to determine whether or not to approve a qualification as eligible to access Youth Guarantee 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
  • the 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.

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 code 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 Youth Guarantee 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), or NC (National Certificate).

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

See also qualification code information under Funding calculation on the Youth Guarantee Funding and payments page.

Title of qualification

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

Duration

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

Learning hours

A learning hour or a full-time week of learning includes:

  • lecturer and tutor contact hours, including workshops and tutorials
  • tests and assignments
  • supervised practical placements
  • study time
  • self-directed learning with tutorial support available, and
  • exam periods.

In relation to the number of learning hours in the qualification, you must give us all of the following information:

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

Full-time teaching weeks

A full-time week of learning is known as a teaching or tuition week (and includes the type of learning 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
  • the number of weeks of recess in each year
  • the total number of full-time teaching weeks and recess weeks in each year (FTE gross)
  • the number of credits on the NZQF contained in the qualification, and
  • the 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.   

EFTS value of the qualification

We require the EFTS value of each qualification in order to determine whether a qualification is eligible to access Youth Guarantee funding. The EFTS value of each qualification must be specified to not 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.

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 of study).

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 a 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:

  • dividing the course credits for a qualification that has up to 120 credits by 120, or
  • for a qualification that has more than 120 credits, and we have not agreed to fund more than 1 EFTS per learner per year, by dividing the course credits by 120.

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  

0.0500

Course 7  

0.0417

 

 

 

Course 8 

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 2  

30

0.2000

Course 3  

52 

0.3467

Course 3

52 

0.3467

Course 4  

20 

0.1333 

Course 6  

20

0.1333

Course 5  

12

0.0800

Course 7  

10

0.0667

 

 

 

Course 8 

8

0.0533

Totals 

144

 0.9600 

 

150 

1.0000

Making a change to a qualification

If you make a significant change to a qualification, you must meet the requirements of Condition: Making changes to qualifications

Quality assurance requirements

See Condition: Organisation eligibility for quality assurance requirements for TEOs to be eligible to access Youth Guarantee funding.

In addition, to be eligible for Youth Guarantee funding, a course must be part of a programme that has been quality assured by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

To determine whether to approve a qualification for Youth Guarantee funding as part of your mix of provision in your Investment Plan we require evidence that NZQA has approved each course in 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 qualification award category code (recognised qualifications have an award category code - refer to Appendix 9 of the SDR Manual)
  • the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) level 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), and
  • the New Zealand Standard Classification of Education (NZSCED) of the qualification (refer to Appendix 8 of the SDR Manual). 

 

Information about courses

Before an external quality assurance body approves a programme leading to a qualification, and before we will approve a qualification as eligible to access Youth Guarantee funding as part of the mix of provision agreed in your Investment Plan, you must disaggregate the qualification into component courses. 

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, 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 the 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 like manner. 

Qualification code (QUAL)

For information on qualification codes see Information about qualifications above.

Course classification (CLASS)

Before a qualification can be approved as eligible to access Youth Guarantee funding, we require information about the classification of each course that forms part of the qualification. 

You are required to classify your courses using the current 1-39 Classification Prescription available in the Course Classification Guide (PDF, 324 Kb).

The classification tables are included in the SAC provision at levels 3 and above on the NZQF funding mechanism. A summary is provided below.

  • At least 90% of the content or subject matter must fit into the classification that you have assigned to a course. We have provided some additional information about the 38 course classifications in the Course Classification Guide (PDF, 324 Kb). When classifying a course, you should carefully consider the notes beside each classification and the content of the course. 
  • 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, and contacts us if you are not sure about an appropriate classification. 

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

#05.2

General Education

#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

Nursing

#25

Medical Imaging

#27

Midwifery (3 year)

#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 Undergraduate (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 Investment 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 the Education Counts website.

Level on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQFLEVEL)

This is for the level of the credits on the NZQF contained in a course or paper that contributes to the qualification.

For more information on the NZQF see the NZQA 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.

Alphabetic code

The alphabetic code (based on course classification) is used to record Youth Guarantee course subjects in STEO. It is also used to determine Student Achievement Component funding but not Youth Guarantee funding. The alphabetic code is set out in the table below.

Category (alphabetic code) 

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 [#12], Design [#12], Music and Performing Arts [#16], Health Related Professions [#17], Vocational Training For Industry [#22.1], Medical Imaging [#25], Occupational Therapy [#28], Trades 1 [#21], Clinical Psychology [#34]

C

Architecture (degree) [#02], Engineering [#11], 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], Veterinary Science [#23]

H

Agriculture (non-degree) [#01], Horticulture (non-degree) [#01], Specialist Large Animal Science [#39]

I

Teaching [#19.1, #19.2, #20]

J

Business [#04], Accountancy [#04], Law [#14], Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1]

L

Osteopathy [#03.1], Acupuncture [#03.1], Vocational Training for Industry [#22.1], Nursing [#24]

M

Agriculture (degree) [#01], Horticulture (degree) [#01], Pilot Training [#11.2], Optometry [#13.3], 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 (years 3-5) [#23.3]

R

Dentistry (undergraduate excluding intermediate – years 2-5) [#07]

S

Foreign-Going Nautical [#38]

T

Medicine undergraduate (years 2-3) [#15]

U

Medicine undergraduate (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 used to determine Student Achievement Component funding but not Youth Guarantee funding.  For Youth Guarantee courses the numeric category will always be 1, as set out in the table below.

Category (numeric code)

Classification by level and content of study

1

Courses designed for non-degree qualifications with no research requirement, including certificates and diplomas

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 programme leading to award 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 you 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 Youth Guarantee funding, you cannot retrospectively disaggregate the programme 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, and
  • multiplying that number by the EFTS value of the qualification. 

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

Embedded literacy and numeracy flag (EMB LIT NUM)

You must indicate whether the course includes embedded literacy and/or numeracy provision.

A course with embedded literacy and numeracy provision will deliver deliberate teaching of literacy and numeracy skills and will be part of a programme that has:

  • explicit literacy and numeracy statements, such as learning outcomes or teaching and learning statements within programme or course information
  • a literacy and numeracy diagnostic assessment for each student, and
  • assessment of each student's progress in literacy and numeracy skill development. 

 

Approving the qualification as eligible to access funding

When approving a qualification as eligible to access Youth Guarantee funding, we will:

  • check that the details of the programme leading to award of the qualification are consistent with your quality assurance approval for the programme leading to award of the qualification
  • consider whether the EFTS value of the qualification is correct
  • check that the course, programme and/ or qualification are eligible in accordance with the funding mechanism and/or funding conditions
  • consider whether a student enrolled in the qualification 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 (e.g. post Targeted Review of Qualifications).

You can use the ‘qualification search’ or ‘course search’ in the STEO website to find a current list of qualifications and courses approved for Youth Guarantee funding.

To access Youth Guarantee funding the qualification(s) must be included in your organisation’s approved Investment Plan (in the mix of provision) for that year. If you want to add a new qualification to your mix of provision, discuss this with your TEC Investment Manager/Advisor.

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. 

The qualification must be approved as eligible to access TEC funding before a student can access student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme in respect of the qualification. Youth Guarantee students are only eligible for some aspects of the Student Loan Scheme. For further information on eligibility visit the Studylink website.

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 the relevant quality assurance body to deliver the content of a qualification, or
  • 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.

Qualifications delivered full-time

We will only approve a Youth Guarantee-funded qualification for student access to both student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme if the programme:

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

A full-time Youth Guarantee programme must be made up of at least 60 credits or two or more qualifications of at least 40 credits each. Where there is recognition of prior learning (RPL) for some of the programme, the student’s individual programme following RPL must be made up of at least 60 credits.

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 programme for a qualification is not eligible for student access to student allowances.

For a Youth Guarantee-funded part-time programme leading to a qualification, we will only approve student 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 to access 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 Youth Guarantee. 

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.

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

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.