Our statutory functions and legal framework

Tā mātou anga ā-ture

Last updated 31 May 2021
Last updated 31 May 2021

The Tertiary Education Commission (the TEC) is a Crown entity established under section 159C of the Education Act 1989 and continued under section 401 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Our functions include funding and monitoring the performance of the tertiary education sector, providing advice to the Minister and providing career services from education to employment.

Tertiary Education Strategy and other government commitments 
Minister of Education

Our statutory functions

TEC’s statutory functions, as stated in section 409 of the Education and Training Act 2020, are:

(a) to give effect to the tertiary education strategy issued under section 7 by—

(i) prescribing and publishing guidance on the content of, and processes associated with seeking funding approval for, proposed plans; and

(ii) prescribing and publishing guidance on the criteria TEC is to use to assess proposed plans; and

(iii) assessing proposed plans and deciding whether they are to receive funding approval by applying the relevant assessment criteria; and

(iv) determining the amount of funding payable to organisations by applying the appropriate funding mechanisms; and

(v) allocating funding to organisations that have plans; and

(vi) allocating funding to organisations that are not required to have plans in order to receive funding; and

(vii) prescribing what plan summaries must contain for the purposes of public inspection; and

(viii) building the capability of organisations; and

(b) to provide advice to the Minister about the activities and performance of tertiary education organisations and the tertiary education sector generally; and

(c) to develop details of how to implement funding mechanisms; and

(d) to implement funding mechanisms; and

(e) to provide a publicly available careers information service that includes a database of information about occupations and tertiary education and training; and

(f) to facilitate and strengthen the connections between schools, employers, and tertiary education organisations to ensure that students are prepared for employment and further education or training, or both; and

(g) to provide advice to the Minister on the implementation of policy and on the operational implications of new policy initiatives; and

(h) to monitor the performance of organisations that receive funding from TEC, including by measuring performance against specified outcomes; and

(i) to undertake any functions directed by the Minister under section 416; and

(j) to undertake any functions delegated to TEC, including (without limitation) functions relating to the funding of organisations other than under section 425 or 428; and

(k) to ensure the availability within industry of high-quality vocational education and training; and

(l) to promote the availability of vocational education and training to people of a kind or description specified in TEC’s statement of intent as people to whom that training has not traditionally been available (whether within a particular industry or industries, or generally); and

(m) to develop and recommend to the Minister an apprenticeship training code for the purposes of section 378; and

(n) to make the apprenticeship training code available as required by section 379; and

(o) to monitor the performance of persons carrying out apprenticeship training activities (whether or not under a plan) to ensure that they comply with the apprenticeship training code; and

(p) to exercise the powers and perform the functions of TEC under sections 381 to 385 (which relate to work-based training levies); and

(q) to undertake any other function conferred on it by this Act or any other enactment.

(2) In addition, TEC may provide information and other tertiary-related services to the Crown, provided that those functions are consistent with TEC’s statement of intent and are consistent with, and do not displace, any of its functions under subsection (1).


Legislation relevant to the Tertiary Education Commission include the following

Education and Training Act 2020

Education Act 1989

The Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017

Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992
Official Information Act 1982
Privacy Act 2020 
Crown Entities Act 2004
Public Service Act 2020

State Sector Act 1988 
Public Finance Act 1989
Public Records Act 2005 

Other instruments

Other instruments relevant to our activities include New Zealand Gazette notices.