Qualifications and courses

Qualifications and courses

Last updated 21 August 2017
Last updated 21 August 2017

This page sets out the information the TEC requires from a tertiary education organisation (TEO) to approve a qualification or course as eligible for DualPathways Pilot funding. 

To deliver a programme funded through the DualPathways Pilot, approval from us must be obtained for both the qualification(s) and the courses comprising the programme that leads to the qualification(s). 

A tertiary education provider may only use DualPathways Pilot funding for a programme of approved courses that contribute up to 0.35 equivalent full-time students (EFTS) towards award of an approved qualification.

Qualification and course approval is carried out through our section of the Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO) website. In many instances a tertiary education provider will already have the qualification approved in STEO.

Through the STEO website each tertiary education provider:

  • registers and maintains qualifications and courses for funding
  • updates qualification, course and delivery site details, and
  • submits its Single Data Return (SDR).

Approving a qualification for access to funding

Prior to submitting a qualification for funding in your DualPathways Pilot mix of provision (MoP):

  • consider whether the qualification meets the eligibility criteria for DualPathways Pilot funding, and
  • if the qualification is new, obtain:
    • NZQA approvals early (so students can enrol early in the school year and transition to employment during the school year if they wish), and
    • TEC approvals through STEO (see below).

New qualifications

If you want to add a qualification to your DualPathways Pilot MoP which is not already listed in your approved SAC level 3 and above and/or Youth Guarantee MoP, we can approve it via the Youth Guarantee qualification and course approval process.

See Youth Guarantee - Qualifications and courses. See also qualification code information under Funding calculation on the DualPathways Pilot Funding and payments page.

We require this process to begin at least four weeks before the start of tuition for the programme. This allows us time to determine whether the programme meets our DualPathways Pilot funding criteria (see Programme eligibility). If the programme is approved, we will release your MoP so you can revise and resubmit it for approval.

Enrolling students in a newly approved qualification

You may enrol students in the programme leading to the new qualification, and access funding, after the qualification has been:

  • listed in your DualPathways Pilot MoP with regions of delivery and EFTS, and
  • we have approved the MoP.


For information on qualification and course approval see the links below.

Information about qualifications

The DualPathways Pilot tertiary education provider’s goal is to transition the student into employment, where they can complete the industry qualification or transition to a higher level qualification whilst employed.

This means that, in most instances, DualPathways Pilot students will only complete a portion of the programme leading to award of the qualification (up to 0.35 EFTS).

Making a change to a qualification

Before making a minor change to a qualification, you must:

  • obtain approval for the minor change from the relevant quality assurance body (if required)
  • notify us of the change and provide the relevant information, and
  • obtain approval from us to update the course or qualification register.

Before making a significant change to a qualification, you must:

  • obtain approval from the relevant quality assurance body
  • provide the relevant information to us (including evidence of approval from the quality assurance body) to enable us to determine whether or not to approve the change, and
  • obtain approval from us to make the significant change.

A "minor change" to a qualification is a change that does not change the size, level, core content, or EFTS value of the qualification. A "significant change" to a qualification is a change to any of the following:

  • the EFTS value of the qualification
  • the total number of credits in the qualification
  • the timeframe to complete the qualification
  • the level of the qualification in the NZQF, or
  • in relation to ITPs, wānanga and PTEs:
    • the location or locations at which the qualification is delivered; or a change to the delivery mode of the qualification
    • the number of courses that each student is expected to undertake to achieve the qualification, or
    • pre-requisite requirements.

Approving the qualification as eligible to access funding

When approving a qualification as eligible to access DualPathways Pilot funding, we will:

  • check that the details of the programme leading to the 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 as applicable, and
  • consider whether delivery of the qualification meets the funding criteria (see Programme eligibility).

Student allowances and the Student Loan Scheme

Access to the Student Loan Scheme and student allowances is determined by a student’s full-time enrolment at secondary school. Their enrolment in the DualPathways Pilot has no bearing on this access.

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.