Monitoring update: December 2021

Monitoring update: December 2021

Last updated 10 December 2021
Last updated 10 December 2021

This update includes information about Correct reporting of SoF 31, Fees Free statutory declaration process terms and conditions, and Clarification on compulsory course costs.

At the TEC, we gather a range of information about common issues through our monitoring activities. We’re committed to partnering with tertiary education organisations, and sharing learnings from our monitoring work to help the sector build capability so we can all achieve better outcomes for learners.

Correct reporting of Source of Funding code 31 (SoF 31)

In recent audits, we have identified that several TEOs incorrectly claimed funding for students who should have been reported under SoF 31 as non-funded confirmed student enrolments.

Student Achievement Component – Provision at Level 3 and above (SAC3+) funding may only be claimed for a course enrolment in which a student has completed 10% or one calendar month of the course, whichever is the earlier. In some cases, students withdraw after the student fee refund period, but before the enrolment becomes eligible for TEC funding. In such instances, if the TEO retains some or all of a student’s fees upon their withdrawal, we require the enrolment to be reported under SoF 31 and no TEC funding can be claimed.

Some TEOs, mainly PTEs, enrol students in all the courses of a programme (or qualification) up front. If a student withdraws after the fee refund period for the programme, the TEO may be able to retain all of the student’s fees for that programme. This applies even where the start date for all course enrolments making up the programme have not been reached.

However, while a TEO may retain student fees upon  a student’s withdrawal from a programme, enrolments in courses that were part of that programme that have not surpassed the 10% or one calendar month threshold must be reported under SoF31 and TEC funding cannot be claimed for these.

We will continue to monitor the use of SoF 31 through SDR submissions and our routine audits. Not correctly reporting enrolments under SoF 31 may result in you needing to resubmit your SDR as well as potential funding recoveries.

If you have any questions regarding SoF 31, please contact your relationship manager, relationship advisor or email

Terms and conditions added to the Fees Free statutory declaration process

Where the TEC does not have enough information available to determine a learner’s eligibility for Fees Free, the learner’s status will be ‘Unknown’ (also known as ‘Maybe’) on the Fees Free website. The statutory declaration process enables such learners to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria to access the Fees Free scheme.

As part of updates made for 2022, we have added terms and conditions to this process to provide learners more clarity on the eligibility criteria and ensure they understand their obligations before making a statutory declaration.

As part of completing their Fees Free statutory declaration, learners will now need to confirm that they have read, understand and agree to the terms and conditions of declaring their eligibility for Fees Free.

The terms and conditions will be provided to the learner upon generating their statutory declaration on the Fees Free website and can also be viewed in the website FAQs.

As a reminder, learners should generate the statutory declaration themselves on the Fees Free website. TEOs should generally not generate a statutory declaration on behalf of any learners. If you do need to generate a statutory declaration for a learner, you must ensure that the terms and conditions are provided to the learner along with the declaration form, in order for them to complete their statutory declaration appropriately.

If you, or your learners, have questions regarding the statutory declaration process, or the terms and conditions, please contact the TEC by phoning 0800 601 301 or emailing

Compulsory course costs clarification

Following consultation, the Minister of Education confirmed fee regulation settings for TEOs in 2022 which included clarifying which additional fees are considered to be compulsory course costs.

The updated settings make clear that providers cannot charge administrative fees for enrolment, exams and the award of NZQA credits from 1 January 2022. These costs must be included within the compulsory course costs component of your fees, which are regulated by the Annual Maximum Fee Movement (AMFM).

For those TEOs that receive TEC funding through the SAC3+ fund, your funding conditions for 2022 specify that fees:

  1. mean tuition fees;
  2. mean compulsory course costs that are charged to all students enrolled in a course, which includes (but is not limited to) the following: any compulsory costs associated with enrolment, examinations (including reporting of credits to the NZQA), field trips, and any compulsory purchase of equipment or books through you; and
  3. exclude any administrative fees or charges (other than tuition fees of compulsory course costs) for additional services that are payable as a result of the specific circumstances of a student, which includes (but is not limited to) the following: reassessment or remarking of examination results, examination relocation fees, fees associated with recognition of prior learning or fees associated with an application for selected entry programmes.

We encourage you to double check the fees you are charging to learners as soon as practical. This will help to ensure the clarified costs are being included within your compulsory course costs component, and not as separate fees, and that you are complying with your conditions of funding for 2022.

If you have any questions regarding compulsory course costs, please contact your relationship manager, relationship advisor or email