Last updated 19 February 2019
Last updated 19 February 2019

This page has information about Youth Guarantee student admission and enrolment, verification of student identity and eligibility, payment and refund of fees, recognition of prior learning, and student withdrawals.

Each Youth Guarantee student must be enrolled in 0.5 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) units or more, and may be studying full-time or part-time.

This means tertiary education organisations (TEOs) have flexibility to decide which qualification(s) they believe best meet the needs of their students and how they should be delivered.

However, each student must be enrolled in a programme of learning that is at least 0.5 EFTS, and no more than 1.0 EFTS. One EFTS is the workload for a student enrolled in a full-time-full-year programme. 

Change to definition of an EFTS from 1 January 2019

Until 2019, we have defined an equivalent full-time student (EFTS) enrolled in Youth Guarantee as 120 credits of provision. However, we recognise that 100 credits is a more realistic workload for Youth Guarantee students at level 1 and 2.

So, from 1 January 2019, we are defining an EFTS of Youth Guarantee provision leading to:

  • a level 1 or 2 qualification as 100 credits, and
  • a level 3 qualification as 120 credits (no change).

This means that 0.5 EFTS (or 50% of a full-time, full-year student workload) is equivalent to:

  • 50 credit workload for students enrolled in level 1 and 2 Youth Guarantee qualifications, and
  • 60 credit workload for students enrolled in level 3 Youth Guarantee qualifications.

For example:

If you are offering a programme leading to a level 2, 80 credit qualification, and your academic year is 42 weeks, under the 100 credits per EFTS definition, the average student should complete the programme over an approximately 34 week full-time study period (0.8 EFTS x 42 weeks).

Prior to 2019, we would have expected the student to complete the programme over an approximately 30 week full-time study period (0.666 EFTS x 42 weeks).

No change to reporting systems or requirements

Mixes of provision, Single Data Return (SDR) reports and Ngā Kete information products will continue to calculate all Youth Guarantee funding and delivery volumes at the rate of 120 credits/EFTS.

Also see Funding and payments, and Monitoring and Reporting.

Track learner consumption of EFTS carefully

We do not require TEOs to change their programmes for 2019.

However, TEO tracking of consumption using course enrolments starting on or after 1 January 2019 needs to reflect:

  • 100 credits per EFTS for level 1 and 2 qualifications*; and
  • 120 credits per EFTS for level 3 qualifications.

*For level 1 and 2 qualifications, track courses that started on or before 31 December 2018 at 120 credits per EFTS, and courses that started on or after 1 January 2019 at 100 credits per EFTS.

Track student consumption of their two EFTS per student entitlement carefully

You should not enroll a student in a programme if the enrolment will take them over the two EFTS per student limit for Youth Guarantee.

This is particularly relevant for students progressing in Youth Guarantee from a level 1 or 2 qualification delivered in 2019 or after, to a level 3 qualification.

See Condition: Student eligibility under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

Consider course re-enrolments and student EFTS consumption

Similarly, consider a student’s course re-enrolments before you enroll them in a further programme. Where a student does not complete a course successfully and you re-enroll them and claim funding, they consume additional EFTS towards their entitlements.

See Condition: Student eligibility under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

Aligning programme duration with the new EFTS definition

Although we do not require TEOs to change Youth Guarantee programmes for 2019 as a result of our EFTS definition change, we encourage TEOs to consider aligning their programme with expected workload, if it isn’t aligned already.

The table below shows how to calculate programme duration changes using the 2019 EFTS definition.

Level Credits
EFTS value Expected programme duration for an average student
1-3 60 0.500

EFTS value x academic year in weeks

eg, for 120 credits
1.000 EFTS x 40 weeks = 40 weeks

80 0.666
100 0.833
120 1.00
1-2 60 0.600

EFTS value x academic year in weeks

eg, for 120 credits in a level 2 programme
1.200 EFTS x 40 weeks = 48 weeks

80 0.800
100 1.000
120 1.200
3 60 0.500

EFTS value x academic year in weeks

eg, for 120 credit in a level 3 programme
1.000 EFTS x 40 weeks = 40 weeks

80 0.666
100 0.833
120 1.000

You need to seek New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) approval to change your programme duration. See programme changes on NZQA’s website, and our Qualifications and courses information.


We recommend that a tertiary education organisation’s (TEO’s) admission and enrolment process for Youth Guarantee includes the steps below: 

Youth Guarantee process






Provides information on qualification programmes of study (including courses), the admission and enrolment process, and the withdrawal and fees refund process (including any impacts on student eligibility for fees-free tertiary education in the future)



Applies to the TEO for admission and enrolment (separately or together)



Verifies the student’s identity



Confirms the student’s eligibility to study (and eligibility for provision funded through Youth Guarantee including prior achievement)



Recognises prior learning



Makes a formal offer to enrol the student on a course or programme of study, excluding recognised prior learning



Formally accepts the offer



Records the enrolment



Invoices the student for any charges for personal items



Pays any charges for personal items, or arranges for them to be paid



Records payment of any charges



Provides the student with information about all planned learning activities in their programme



Provides refunds for students who withdraw from courses within the defined withdrawal period for fees refund, and records these refunds



Records the student as a confirmed student enrolment once the fees refund period has passed



Records the student as a valid domestic enrolment once the 10% or one month (whichever is earlier) period for eligibility for TEC funding has passed

Note: We expect the TEO to inform each student during the enrolment process about all planned learning activities leading to the award of the qualification the student has enrolled in. ‘Planned learning activities’ includes self-directed learning activities the TEO expects the student to engage with/participate in. It does not include self-directed activities the student initiates.

See all of the Youth Guarantee funding conditions for requirements when enrolling students in Youth Guarantee provision. This includes but is not limited to the following funding conditions.


We expect you to publish admission information before the start of each programme. This information should include: 

  • admission requirements
  • Compulsory Student Services Fees (CSSF) and charges for personal items
  • criteria and process for selecting students for entry into restricted entry courses (if relevant)
  • criteria and process for assessing and recognising a student’s prior learning
  • criteria and process for cross-crediting courses across multiple qualifications (see Condition: Funding for EFTS factor of a course under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students
  • documents that a student must submit (for example, a student's academic transcript or record from another TEO)
  • the enrolment process
  • minimum attendance and code of conduct requirements
  • withdrawal requirements and process, including refunds
  • process for travel assistance funding (see Condition: Travel assistance funding), and
  • student support services available including pastoral care.

Inducement to enrol

An enrolment is not a valid domestic enrolment if the student has been induced to enrol. See Condition: No inducing enrolment under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

We recommend that you contact us to discuss this before offering items or activities to students for enrolling with you.


Enrolment form

An enrolment form should collect all of the information that a TEO is required to report in the Single Data Return (SDR). See Condition: Enrolment records for eligible students under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students and Condition: Single Data Return (SDR).

To ensure an enrolment form collects all of the necessary information, you need to be familiar with the SDR Manual to identify the information that must be collected. You may also use the Ministry of Education's generic enrolment form.

We recommend that you publish your enrolment form.

Enrolment application

To enrol in a programme leading to award of a qualification, the student needs to apply to the TEO by:

Enrolment changes

If a student's enrolment changes for any reason, you must update your records to reflect the changes.  We recommend you send updated enrolment information to the student.  See Condition: Enrolment records for eligible students under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

Fees refund when the enrolment changes

You must make clear to the student at enrolment the period during which they may change their enrolment(s) or withdraw from a course or programme with a compulsory student services fee (CSSF) refund, if applicable (less any administration charge).

See Fees refund information under Condition: Withdrawal of enrolments.

You must process fee refunds in a timely manner for the student. Where the student is entitled to a refund, you may not hold the refund as a credit (for example, for the student enrolling/re-enrolling at your organisation in the future) unless you can demonstrate that the student has understood their refund entitlement and agreed to waive their entitlement.

Fees invoicing

We expect you to provide the student with an invoice that specifies the courses in which they have been accepted, and itemises the CSSF being charged (if any).

Fees receipting

After you have received payment (or confirmation that payment has been arranged), we expect you to issue a receipt to the student.

Verification of student identity

To comply with the reporting requirements under Schedule 18, clause 13 of the Education and Training Act 2020, a TEO must verify the student's identity when the student enrols for the first time. See Condition: Verification of student identity under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

Note: The TEO must sight either an original or a certified copy of the original.

  • Originals must be in hard copy format.
  • Certified copies can be either in hard copy format or digital format (photograph or scan).

In either instance the TEO remains responsible for verifying the student’s identity.

Certified copies

A certified copy is a photocopy or scanned copy that has been endorsed as a true copy of the original. To be certified, the document must:

(a)  be certified by an official of the issuing authority or a person authorised by law in New Zealand to certify documents, such as a Justice of the Peace, a lawyer, or a court official (Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar), and

(b)  have the official's signature on each page, with the name and title of the official shown clearly below his or her signature.

Verification of student eligibility

Tertiary education organisations (TEOs) must ensure that students are eligible to be enrolled in Youth Guarantee funded programmes. See Condition: Verification of student eligibility under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students.

For audit purposes, the TEO must retain copies of the Record of Achievement (ROA) that was used on first enrolment to determine eligibility.

Recognition of prior learning / prior achievement

Recognition of learning / prior achievement refers to previous study or experience (prior achievement) relevant to the programme the student is about to enrol in or is currently studying. It enables a student to proceed with his or her study without repeating aspects of the qualification previously studied, or re-learning skills the student has already achieved through past work or other experience.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL), and credit recognition and transfer (CRT), are forms of recognising learning / prior achievement. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) provides information and guidelines on recognition of learning / prior achievement for TEOs.

It is the TEO’s responsibility to recognise each student’s prior learning and adjust the courses in his or her programme. A TEO can not claim Youth Guarantee funding for RPL or CRT, or for delivering tuition where the student already has prior learning (i.e. skills and/or knowledge).

See Condition: Recognised prior learning under Use of YG Fund Funding for eligible students

This means the TEO is responsible for:

  • undertaking a preliminary evaluation of the student and identifying whether they are likely to have the knowledge, skills, and attributes that can contribute to the graduate outcomes of the qualification
  • seeking evidence of prior academic achievement, including using an NZQA Record of Achievement, when each student enrols, and
  • for level 3 qualifications, carrying out a National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualification check with NZQA to see each student's full NCEA achievement and paid and unpaid credits.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the NZQA Qualifications Data and Data Analysis team on 0800 697 296.

See Recognition of learning / prior achievement on the Funding and payments page, under Funding calculation.

Unpaid NZQA fees for credits

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) administers a process for clearing unpaid credits achieved at secondary school. We supply NZQA with enrolment information after each Single Data Return (SDR) and this information is used to match national student numbers (NSNs) with NZQA records.

To see a student's paid and unpaid credits, NZQA recommends doing an NCEA qualification check prior to enrolment.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the NZQA Qualifications Data and Data Analysis team on 0800 697 296.

Student Loans and Allowances

A TEO that provides Youth Guarantee programmes must not charge tuition fees or compulsory course costs to any student. See Condition: Fees.

A Youth Guarantee student who is under 18 years old is not eligible for a Student Loan under the Student Loan Scheme. A student who is 18 or 19 years old, however, may be eligible to access course-related costs and living costs as part of the Student Loan Scheme.

Note: Students who turn 18 while enrolled in a Youth Guarantee funded qualification are not eligible for course-related costs or living costs until their next programme (qualification) enrolment.

TEOs must ensure that Youth Guarantee students understand they need to confirm their eligibility for a Student Loan or Student Allowance with StudyLink as part of deciding to undertake study (using the tools on the StudyLink website). It is important that students make good study decisions based on all the relevant information. 


  • For students to be able to access any part of the Student Loan or Student Allowances Schemes, the qualification(s) the student is enrolled in must meet the loan entry threshold (LET) and be approved in Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO) by the TEC.
  • TEOs must add the appropriate source of funding to the Verification of Study (VoS) to StudyLink. For all Youth Guarantee enrolments code 22 should be added to the VoS.
  • TEOs are no longer required to use concurrent qualifications to indicate to StudyLink the type and age of students enrolled. Concurrent qualifications will only be used where a student is enrolled in multiple qualifications simultaneously and the full study load (EFTS value of the qualifications) needs to be advised to StudyLink. 


A 'withdrawal' is when a student ceases to participate in a course, programme or training scheme, either:

  • by providing notice to the TEO that they wish to withdraw participation, or
  • as a result of non-attendance or non-participation for any reason.

Disengaged students who have not formally withdrawn

A student may have disengaged from the programme or training scheme but not have formally withdrawn. For example, they may not have attended a face-to-face courses. 

Determine at the earliest opportunity if a disengaged student is withdrawing from a course. If the enrolment continues to be reported and is unsuccessful, it will be counted as a course non-completion for the calculation of Educational Performance Indicators (EPIs). 

Setting a withdrawal date for a withdrawn student

TEOs need to apply a “withdrawal date” to any enrolment in the Single Data Return (SDR) where a student withdrawals.

See Condition: Withdrawal of Enrolments for more information.

Advising StudyLink and other parties of student withdrawal

See the following conditions.

When a student in receipt of a loan and / or allowance withdraws from a programme, the date of withdrawal that the TEO must notify to StudyLink is the date the TEO determined that the student had ceased to participate (e.g. for non-attendance or non-participation). For example: 

First date of non-attendance

Date the TEO determined that the student had stopped participating

Withdrawal date the TEO advises to StudyLink, and reports in the SDR

Date by when the TEO must have advised StudyLink of the withdrawal (five working days after the withdrawal date)

6 March 2019

11 March 2019

11 March 2019

18 March 2019

Withdrawal date and refunding compulsory student services fee (CSSF)

TEOs need to apply a fees refund period. If a student withdraws from a course or programme within this period, they must receive a refund of fees (or waiver of fee payment) and course costs (minus any administration fees). The refund period requirements are different for private training establishments (PTEs) and tertiary education institutions (TEIs).

Also see Enrolment changes information in Enrolment.

Requesting compulsory student services fee payment from StudyLink

If the student has arranged to pay the compulsory student services fee (CSSF) through the Student Loan Scheme, you should:

  • get the student's agreement to authorise the payment from their loan account
  • send a “Verification of Study” to the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) (StudyLink)
  • receive confirmation that StudyLink has accepted the student's loan application, and
  • inform the student in writing of arrangements concerning payment.

When requesting tuition fees from StudyLink ensure that the fees payment requested is for the:

  • student
  • reported programme(s), and
  • study period(s) listed in the ‘Verification of Study’ (VoS) response. 

Recognition of prior learning

CSSF fees requested from StudyLink, and equivalent full-time student (EFTS) the student is enrolled in, must reflect the ‘course of study’ that the student is required to pay for and study after both recognition of prior learning (RPL) and previously awarded credits have been recognised and removed from the student’s programme of study or training (i.e. not for the whole programme). 

Note: Payment of full CSSF fees may not be requested from StudyLink and subsequently refunded to the student after RPL.