Adult and Community Education in Communities

Adult and Community Education in Communities

Last updated 7 May 2018
Last updated 7 May 2018

Adult and Community Education (ACE) in Communities funding is for informal, community-based education provided by private training establishments (PTEs), rural education activity programme (REAP) providers and community organisations. 

ACE in Communities funding supports:

  • achievement of Tertiary Education Strategy priorities
  • re-engagement of learners in education, and
  • provision of foundation skills development and pathways to other learning opportunities that meet community needs (including further education or the workplace). 



TEO eligibility

See Condition: Organisation eligibility for tertiary education organisation (TEO) eligibility requirements.

Programme eligibility

See the following conditions for programme (including course) eligibility requirements.

Learner eligibility

See Condition: Learner eligibility for learner eligibility requirements.

Verifying learner eligibility

TEOs must ensure that learners are eligible to enrol in ACE funded provision. It is recommended that TEOs use one of the following methods to confirm learners are eligible for ACE funding. 

Type of student

Verification methods

A New Zealand citizen

A TEO can:

(a)  confirm the student's citizenship status using the student’s NSN, or

(b)  receive an assertion through RealMe® that the student was born in New Zealand (prior to 2005), or

(c)  sight an original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:

       (i)  a New Zealand birth certificate, or

       (ii)  a New Zealand passport, or

       (iii)  a New Zealand certificate of citizenship, or

(d)  if a student is unable to obtain a birth certificate for the purposes of (c)(i) above, contact the TEC to confirm that a whakapapa statement signed by both the student and a kaumātua is acceptable evidence of citizenship.

A New Zealand resident

A TEO must sight an original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:

(a)  a passport with a current returning residency class visa (a passport with a visa label), or

(b)  a passport, and letter or email, confirming current returning residency class visa (label-less visa, followed by confirmation with Immigration New Zealand, where appropriate), or

(c)  a certificate of identity from Immigration New Zealand if the student is a refugee.

Note: For more information see Immigration New Zealand

Investment Plans

TEOs are required to work with local organisations, peak bodies, groups, and communities, including other TEOs that are involved in ACE, to identify and meet community learning needs.

See Condition: Your responsibilities.

Each TEO must have an approved Investment Plan (Plan) that sets out how its funded ACE programme will:

  • address the needs of target learner groups (including the priority learner groups set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy, and
  • deliver the following types of ACE provision – one or more of:
    • literacy, digital literacy, and/or numeracy
    • English language, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
    • New Zealand Sign Language, and/or Te Reo Māori, and
  • primarily focus on:
    • acquisition of foundation skills
    • re-engaging learners whose previous learning was not successful, and
    • ensuring the progression of learners into formal tertiary education.

Funding and payments

The Adult and Community Education funding mechanism is issued by the Minister responsible for tertiary education. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for us to allocate the funding and what the funding can be used for, and details how we administer the fund.

Funding is agreed through a tertiary education organisation's (TEO’s) Investment Plan (Plan).

A TEO that receives ACE Fund funding is required to:

Funding rate

There is no fixed rate for ACE in Communities funding as the funding allocation, course funding rate, mix of provision (MoP) and contracted volume of delivery is agreed with each TEO through the Plan process. 

We determine the amount of ACE in Communities funding for a TEO.


We pay funding for ACE provision in monthly instalments on the first banking day of each month.

Payment amounts are equal from January to June, and equal from July to December.   

Funding recoveries

Recovery of unused funding is based on the volume of delivery reported by the TEO in its full year Actuals Report.

Volume of delivery is calculated using, for each course, the number of learner enrolments compared to the number of planned learner enrolments in the programme (as agreed through the Plan MoP).

Where a TEO has not enrolled the number of learners agreed to, we recover the unused funding at the course rates agreed to in the Plan MoP.

See Condition: Repayment of ACE (Communities) Fund Funding.

Where the TEO has enrolled more learners than the number agreed to in the Plan MoP, the over-delivery is off-set against under-delivery in another course agreed to in the Plan (up to the value of the TEO’s approved ACE in Communities funding allocation).

For example:

A TEO’s agreed MoP includes a course called ‘Beginner’s Sign Language’, which is intended to run for 10 weeks at 8 hours per week for 15 learners. The hourly rate is $12/hour, so the value of the planned delivery is $14,400. If only 10 learners enrol, the value of the actual delivery is $9,600. Therefore, the value of the under-delivery is $4,800. 

A second course in the agreed MoP is called ‘Te Reo Intermediate’, which is intended to run for 20 weeks at 12 hours per week for 10 learners. The hourly rate is $10/hour, so the value of the planned delivery is $24,000. If 12 learners enrol, the value of the actual delivery is $28,800. Therefore, the value of the over-delivery is $4,800.

The value of the over-delivery in the ‘Te Reo Intermediate’ course will offset the value of the under-delivery (which would otherwise be recovered) in the ‘Beginner’s Sign Language’ course. The recovery amount will be the value of any overall under-delivery in the ACE programme of courses in the agreed MoP.  


TEOs are required to submit a final report to us for each calendar year (the full year Actuals Report).

The TEO must report on each ACE course in its MoP, including recording demographic data about learners. The TEO must submit the completed full year Actuals Report (using the template provided) through Workspace 2 by 31 January of the following year.

See Condition: Reports.

In the report we require collated data for all courses that were approved for delivery through the Plan approval process (i.e. before the delivery took place), and any additional and substitute courses, as follows:

  • number of learners and hours of delivery (contracted and delivered)
  • hours of learner attendance
  • region of delivery
  • gender of learners
  • ethnicity of learners
  • English language status of learners
  • number of learners with low or no qualifications
  • number of migrants
  • number of refugees, and
  • age of learners.

Individual learner data

TEOs must collect and retain accurate data on each learner enrolment, including demographic information at the time of enrolment, and up-to-date records of learner attendance. This data is required for audit purposes, but does not need to be submitted to us with the full year Actuals Report.

TEOs should also collect and retain learner outcomes data for each course, including in relation to the outcomes that the TEO intended to achieve (which includes outcomes identified in the TEO’s funding application).


We monitor tertiary education organisation (TEO) performance and practices to understand TEO performance in the sector, and to inform our decisions about future funding a TEO may receive.

We monitor TEOs funded through ACE against the following commitments:

  • number of learners and hours of delivery (contracted and delivered)
  • hours of learner attendance, and
  • regions of delivery.

Principles for 2019 funding allocation

We will calculate your indicative allocation using prior performance data

This will include:

  • actual delivery volume (by learner hours)
  • attendance, and
  • priority group participation in line with ACE priorities.

Your previous performance against these measures will determine your indicative allocation.

Your eligibility to receive funding is subject to criteria outlined in the relevant funding mechanism.

Please note, your indicative funding allocation is not a guarantee of your final funding allocation.

Your final allocation will be based on your Investment Plan, performance and other strategic considerations

We will consider your performance information alongside strategic priorities as outlined in Plan Guidance, the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES), the Focus Area Briefs and Investment Briefs.

Based on these considerations your allocation may stay the same or decrease. Alternatively, you may receive a nil allocation.

We will only consider an increase to funding where the tertiary education organisation (TEO) has requested it and they are high-performing. We will address requests for funding increases as part of our engagement process following the submission of draft Investment Plans or proposal if you are Plan exempt.

We may take into account any other measures that we determine to be appropriate when allocating funding.  

We will recover for under-delivery or for funding you weren’t entitled to receive

See Funding recoveries.