Pursuant to section 253(3) of the Education Act 1989 ("the Act"), notice is given that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, having undertaken the consultation required by section 253(2), has replaced the criteria established under sections 253(1)(d) and (e) of the Act and published in the New Zealand Gazette, 4 December 2008, No. 188, page 4962, with the criteria set out below.
It continues to be expected that organisations will, in the development and delivery of programmes, give effect to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi as expressed in business plans and/or quality management documentation.
These criteria refer to "programme approvals" as part of the alignment with practice in the tertiary sector and introduction of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
A "programme", "programme approval" and "approved programme" are respectively a "course", "course approval" and "approved course" in terms of section 258 of the Act.
Similarly "accreditation to provide an approved programme" is an "accreditation to provide an approved course" in terms of section 259 of the Act.
The replacement criteria align with the recent introduction of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework to replace the
New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.
Applications for programme approval are based on a qualification meeting the listing requirements on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
(Refer to the Requirements for listing and maintaining qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework).
Note that qualification and programme approval may occur simultaneously.
These criteria apply to all applications submitted on or after 1 August 2011.
All organisations that are granted programme approval are required by section 258A(1) of the Act to continue to comply with the criteria that relate to programme approvals.
All organisations that are granted accreditation to provide an approved programme are required by section 259A(1) of the Act to continue to comply with the criteria that relate to accreditation.
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority or any body exercising powers of approval and accreditation under the provisions of section 260(2) of the Education Act 1989, or the New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Committee in exercising the power of approval and accreditation under the provisions of section 260(1) of the Education Act 1989, shall satisfy itself as to the standard and quality of every course for which approval and/or accreditation is sought in regard to the following criteria.
Category (a)-All Applications Under Section 258 of the Act for Programme Approval
1. Qualification to which the programme leads The programme meets the definition of the applicable qualification type.
2. Title, aims, learning outcomes and coherence The title, aims, stated learning outcomes and coherence of the whole programme are adequate and appropriate and meet the graduate profile and specification of the qualification being listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
3. Delivery methods The delivery methods are adequate and appropriate, given the stated learning outcomes for the programme.
Where specific resources are necessary for the programme to be provided, those resources are clearly outlined.
4. Acceptability of the programme The programme is acceptable to the relevant academic, employer, industry, professional and other bodies or communities in terms of meeting its stated aims and learning outcomes, nomenclature, content and structure.
5. Regulations The regulations that specify requirements for admission, credit for previous study, recognition of prior learning, programme length and structure, integration of practical and work-based components, assessment procedures and normal progression within a programme are clear, relevant, and appropriate.
6. Assessment Assessment methodology is fair, valid, consistent and appropriate, given the stated learning outcomes.
7. Self-assessment, and external evaluation and review As part of the organisation’s participation in self-assessment and external evaluation and review, there are adequate and effective processes for the ongoing review of the programme, taking account of any review of the qualification; for monitoring the quality of outcomes for learners and other stakeholders; and for reviewing programme regulations and content.
Special Requirements Where Applicable
8. Degrees and related qualifications The links between research and the curriculum are clear, adequate, and effective.
Category (b)-All Applications Under Section 259 of the Act for Accreditation to Provide an Approved Programme
1. Assessment The organisation has the capability and capacity to ensure that assessment and moderation policies and processes are fair, valid, consistent and appropriate, given the stated learning outcomes.
2. Resources The organisation has the capability and capacity to support sustained delivery of the programme, in all delivery modes, with regard to appropriate academic staffing, teaching facilities, physical resources and support services.
3. Self-assessment, and external evaluation and review As part of the organisation’s participation in self-assessment, and external evaluation and review, there must be adequate and effective review of programme performance, and organisational capability to support the programme; monitoring improvement following evaluation and review; and processes for determining whether the programme shall continue to be delivered.
Special Requirements Where Applicable
4. Degrees and related qualifications Research facilities and the support of staff involved in research are adequate, the levels of research activity of staff involved in the programme are satisfactory, and the ways by which the research-teaching links are made in the curriculum are appropriate.
Dated this 28th day of July 2011.
SUE SUCKLING, Board Chairperson, New Zealand Qualifications Authority.