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Initial Teacher Education providers

All providers of teacher education programmes in New Zealand must meet specific requirements set out and managed by the Teaching Council.

Find ITE providers

There are 156 approved ITE programmes in New Zealand, delivered as 80 qualifications by  25 providers. Find them below

Programme approval requirements

Providers need to meet each requirement in the documentation they present to the Teaching Council and, in the case of the joint panels, to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Programme applications are also required to show how the Standards for the Teaching Profession (the Standards) (in a supported environment) are met in programme delivery and assessment.

New ITE Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review Requirements (Requirements) were released by the Teaching Council on 10 April 2019.

Read the new Requirements here

The Requirements contain, as appendices:

  • an assessment framework for assessing whether a student teacher in an ITE programme meets the Standards (in a supported environment), and 
  • an exemplar for unpacking the Standards.

Both of these documents were developed by Graeme Aitken and Claire Sinnema from University of Auckland, with the assistance of an assessment working group.


Review of currently approved programmes

A transitional ITE programme review and monitoring process has been put in place for programmes due for review between now and the end of 2021.  This is part of the lead up to having all programmes approved under new ITE Programme Approval Requirements by 1 January 2022.  The transitional process aims to minimise time and cost for ITE providers so that they can focus on designing their programmes under the new Requirements.  

If your programme is due for a panel review between now and the end of 2021, you have two choices:

  • To undergo a panel review as you would normally
  • To apply for a light-handed review as the time for the programme review approaches. A light-handed review is an option if programme monitoring is up to date (or if there are extenuating circumstances as to why this is not the case).  If you opt for a light-handed review, you will need to undertake a self-assessment and send it to the Teaching Council approximately six months prior to programme expiry.

The self-assessment will:

  • demonstrate that the programme is being delivered as it was approved, and in accordance with the existing Requirements
  • list any changes made to the programme since its last review (or initial approval if a review has not yet occurred)
  • provide evidence about the actions that have been taken in response to any recommendations or concerns raised by the monitor in their last report
  • outline what future changes are planned to the programme over the transition period to the new Requirements
  • outline how they will ensure a smooth transition to a new programme, such as the current plan and timeline for the final intake of students for their existing programmes.

The template for a self-assessment can be found here.

The Teaching Council will consider the above information, and where we have any concerns about the delivery of the programme, a review panel will be convened as per the current review process.  This action will only be undertaken after discussion with the provider. The panel will focus on what actions need to be taken to ensure that the programme is delivered in accordance with the existing Requirements through the transition period.

If, as a result of the light-handed review, the Teaching Council is satisfied that the programme is meeting expectations, it will continue to be approved until approval is withdrawn by the Council as part of the transition to having all programmes approved under the new published ITE Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review Requirements.

Monitoring will continue as scheduled on existing programmes, except for in the last year that a programme is being delivered, at which point monitoring will not be required.  If you have a programme that is overdue for a monitoring visit, you need to arrange to have one as soon as reasonably possible.


Approval of all programmes

To meet the new Requirements, all current programmes need to be approved by 1 January 2022. To receive approval under the new Requirements you will need to follow the steps below.

1. Contact us

Please contact your Teaching Council Lead/Senior Advisor if you have any questions prior to submitting your application for programme approval.

If you are a non-university institution/organisation, please submit your programme documentation to both NZQA and the Teaching Council.

If you are a university, please submit your programme documentation to the Teaching Council only. Following a panel, it will then be considered by the universities' quality assurance body, the Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP). You will also need to contact your Lead/Senior Advisor at the Teaching Council, to schedule a date for a panel visit.

If you are a non-university institution/organisation you will need to arrange a panel date with your quality assurance body (NZQA) and the Teaching Council.

2. Approval panel 

The approval process is conducted by an approval panel.  This is likely to consist of academic peers, sector representatives, a Māori representative, a Pacific peoples representative, a person with expertise in assessment, and a person with expertise in curriculum design.  A representative from the provider seeking approval may be an observer.  A Council representative will assist the panel as an advisor and will provide secretarial services. 

3. Panel process

At the ITE provider's campus, the panel meets with appropriate provider representatives, and key partners of the proposed programme(s).  The provider will be invited to justify to the panel why a programme should be approved, and defend the approach used to design the programme and the associated assessment framework, and the approach to then deliver the programme.  The panel will test whether the evidence given provides assurance that the programme will comply with Part 1 of the Requirements – in particular, whether the provider has sufficiently justified how the proposed assessment framework will ensure that graduates will meet the Standards (in a supported environment).

Approval of a new programme in the non-university sector is likely to be a two and a half day process as it will be conducted in conjunction with NZQA.

Following panel consideration, a report is written and sent to the appropriate quality assurance body/bodies recommending the approval, or otherwise, of the programme. The report will include conditions that should be imposed (if any), and a date by which the programme should be reviewed.  The panel may also make suggestions on how the programme could be further strengthened. 

The Teaching Council then considers the report to make a final decision as to granting approval (or not) for recognition that the programme's graduates will be eligible for teacher certification.

Learning Approval Process 1 July 2019 – 31 December 2019

During the period 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019, the Teaching Council will be offering providers the opportunity to take part in a multiple-provider shared panel learning approval process.  Providers who volunteer for this process will come together in one location and have their applications for programme approval tested by one approval panel over the course of several days.  This process seeks to get real-time feedback on the approval process so that improvements can be made, if required.  Providers who want to volunteer for this shared panel process should contact their Council Lead/Senior Advisor.

National Moderation of Assessment

All providers of approved programmes will be required by the Council to participate in a national moderation process of decisions on graduates meeting the Standards (in a supported environment).  More information will be available late 2019.

4. External monitoring

A suitable external monitor is appointed by the Teaching Council to be responsible for evaluating the ongoing delivery of the programme as it is implemented, following up any conditions imposed on the programme, and checking on any specific matters requested by the Council.

Monitoring will occur annually for the first three years of one to three-year programmes, and for the first four years of a four-year programme.  Subject to satisfactory monitoring reports, monitoring will then occur every second year, unless that year coincides with a programme review. 

5. Programme review

Programmes are reviewed periodically by a review panel to consider whether a programme should continue to be approved.  The first review will be after the second cohort of student teachers has graduated for 3-year programmes or longer, or the third cohort for shorter programmes.  Reviews will then occur up to every five years depending on programme performance. 

Māori medium programmes

The same set of Requirements will apply to both Māori and English medium programmes (with a handful specific to each medium).

The Requirements and associated assessment framework have been developed with the input of a wide range of parties, including Māori medium providers. Through this development process Council has concluded that there is merit in developing a specific Māori medium assessment framework, and programme approval framework.

The Māori medium programme approval framework will be available from 1 July 2020 but in the meantime Māori medium programmes can still be approved under the English medium programmes approval process.

Māori Medium Working Advisory Group – Te Ohu Kaupapa Māori

We are currently working with a Māori Medium Working Advisory group to provide advice, guidance and undertake a range of activities that will support the implementation of the new ITE Requirements across the Māori medium sector.  If you would like to know more please refer to our hui updates below:

Te Ohu Kaupapa Māori OKM Update

Find out more

Further details of the approval, monitoring and review processes can be found in part 2 of the ITE Programme Approval, Monitoring and Review Requirements. Read the new Requirements here