Monitoring update: March 2023

Monitoring update: March 2023

Last updated 6 March 2023
Last updated 6 March 2023

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

This update includes information about:

Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF)

The end of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund

The TTAF came to an end on 31 December 2022. For more information, see our guidance for TEOs on the end of the TTAF.

Learners cannot be charged fees about which they were not informed prior to enrolment

TEOs must ensure that learners are aware that the TTAF ended on 31 December 2022, and that from 1 January 2023 TTAF does not cover fees for previously eligible course or programmes. If you did not advise learners about a fee (or partial fee) when they enrolled, then you are not entitled to retrospectively charge a fee, even where a portion of the course or programme fee is no longer covered by the TTAF. This includes that you cannot claim Fees Free payments for Fees Free eligible learners if you did not advise them that a fee would apply.

Fees Free eligibility information for former TTAF learners

Any tertiary education and training for which the fees were covered by the TTAF between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022 will not be counted towards a learner’s Fees Free entitlement use, nor will it be included when determining a learner’s eligibility for Fees Free. This means that a learner who has previously only undertaken study covered by TTAF may be able to access Fees Free in 2023.

  • Learners who started accessing Fees Free before accessing the TTAF will only be able to access Fees Free in 2023 if they have remaining Fees Free entitlement.
  • Learners who wish to access Fees Free for the first time for their study will need to meet the Fees Free eligibility criteria for 2023. This includes if they are enrolled in a course that is partially covered by the TTAF (i.e. in a course that started in 2022 and finishes after 31 January 2023).

As a reminder, TEOs will need to report any provider-based courses that started before 31 December 2022 and continue past 31 January 2023 in their 2022 Fees Free returns. Any courses that start after 31 December 2022 can be reported in your 2023 Fees Free returns as usual.

Work-based learning is reported and paid based on the fees for each month only, so TEOs reporting work-based learning will start using Fees Free returns from January 2023.

Finalising TTAF funding and ensuring reporting is accurate

The majority of courses or programmes that started prior to 31 December 2022 and end in or after 2023 are only partially covered by the TTAF. Further information on the allocation rules for the end of TTAF is available on the TEC website.

Most funding wash-ups will be calculated in March 2023, with recovery or payments occurring 3 April 2023. Where delivery is reported in the Industry Training Register (ITR), wash-ups will be calculated in April 2023, with recovery or payments occurring 1 May 2023.

If TEOs identify any errors in their TTAF reporting, the final date for correcting their returns is 31 August 2023. Following this date, any fees reported by a TEO will not be covered, and the TEO will also not be allowed to charge these fees to the learner. It is therefore vital that all fees have been reported to us correctly before this date.

If you have any questions regarding the TTAF, please refer to the TEC website or contact your relationship manager, advisor or email

Student Services Fees (previously known as CSSF)

From 1 January 2023, student services fees (previously known as compulsory student services fees or CSSF) are regulated through funding determinations. This change sees existing student services fee regulations, previously regulated through a Ministerial Direction, made into funding conditions administered by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). These funding conditions outline the rules that providers must follow when receiving funding from the TEC.

The funding conditions that relate to student services fees help to ensure that providers are transparent when setting these fees and are accountable to students for their use. The funding conditions provide a clear framework for providers and students to work together to set the fee and ensure access to services that students need. 

Our website has been updated to reflect these changes, which will provide you with information on how to comply with these conditions.

Entering withdrawal dates in the Single Data Return (SDR)

In recent audits, we have identified several TEOs that have failed to enter a withdrawal date into the SDR. A “withdrawal” means the withdrawal of a confirmed learner enrolment from a course, programme or training scheme, by notice from the learner to the TEO or as a result of non-attendance or non-participation by a learner at the TEO for any reason, and whether or not the learner has been refunded any fees. 

A TEO should have well documented policies about identifying non-attendance and non-participation.

The “withdrawal” field assists in the analysis of attrition of confirmed learner enrolments, by providing an important distinction between those learners who stay until the end of the course and are not successful, and those who withdraw before the end of the course. Correctly identifying withdrawals will also ensure that the correct funding has been attributed to each enrolment. 

It is a condition of funding that you must accurately report enrolment information, including withdrawals, to the TEC. You should contact your Student Management System (SMS) provider if you are having any issues in populating this field.

Advising the TEC of incorrect learner Fees Free eligibility determinations  

The key aim of the Fees Free policy is to provide an opportunity to first-time learners who have not previously undertaken study or accessed industry training. This is to ensure the policy is effective and that government funds are used responsibly.

We have recently undertaken monitoring work to check TEO compliance with the terms and conditions of their Fees Free agreement, in particular checking learners who may be accessing Fees Free tertiary education for study at higher levels of the New Zealand Qualification and Credentials Framework.

Your Fees Free agreement includes the following terms:

  • You must immediately notify us if you become aware of information that indicates that an eligible student should not have been determined by us to be eligible.
  • You must provide us with any information we request, by the time we specify, to enable us to determine whether you are complying with the terms and conditions specified in this agreement.

The TEC is required to act in accordance with its delegated authority when determining learners’ Fees Free eligibility. We are required to change a learner’s eligibility status if we become aware of other information which changes what we had previously known about their eligibility status, or if we determine that the information, we relied on is incorrect.

As a reminder, if a TEO becomes aware of information that indicates that a learner should not have been determined by us to be eligible, the expectation is that this information will be passed onto the TEC immediately. 

This supports us to advise learners of their correct eligibility status as early as possible, so they can make fully informed choices about what they study – including what fees they may need to pay.

TEOs can report these learners through the Fees Free TEO Change Eligibility Status report available through Workspace2, which can be done at any time or by contacting the TEC by phoning 0800 601 301 or emailing