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NZAPEP Quality Commissioner Scheme for PTE Sector

NZAPEP Quality Commissioner Scheme for PTE Sector

Sandra McKersey, the President of the NZAPEP, today announced that the Executive has taken an in principle decision to establish a Quality Commissioner for the PTE Sector.

“Our Association represents providers who cater for over 60% of the students in the sector. We think it is time to take personal responsibility and to be proactive. We have been disturbed by recent events concerning Carich and Modern Age. We think those providers are the exception. In general, PTE providers are of high quality”.

“This scheme will help PTEs meet quality provider standards. We understand that a critical aspect of quality provision is good financial management and solvency”.

The Association is delighted to be in discussions with Nadja Tollemache as the Project Co-ordinator to take the Quality Commissioner scheme forward.

“Nadja has previously been a Statutory Ombudsman and was the inaugural Banking Ombudsman. We can think of no better person to help us establish a quality scheme, with sound credibility”.

The Association hopes to have a Code of Conduct and the Scheme up and running by the middle of 2004.

Sandra McKersey said that “we have had constructive and helpful meetings with key Government agencies such as the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education, and the NZQA, and the international education peak body, Education New Zealand.”

“We will continue to work with these organisations to ensure that the Scheme we devise will assist providers to meet the quality standards in the Code, and to remedy any concerns that students may have. We are confident that providers that sign up to the Quality Commissioner scheme will be viewed by students as good institutions to study at. We are excited to be taking leadership in this area. We know that quality provision is what all of our members aspire to”.


There will be a press conference on this Release by the NZAPEP President and Executive at 3.30pm in the Chen Palmer & Partners, Boardroom, Level 6, 22 The Terrace, Wellington. Christmas pies and some Christmas cheer will be provided during the briefing.

Attachment: Further information on the NZAPEP
The New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers

The New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers (NZAPEP) is the largest national association of registered private training establishments (PTEs), with its members enrolling over 60% of the equivalent full time students in the private sector.

NZAPEP stands for quality and members are expected to adhere to a Code of Ethics towards the Association, other members and students.


A PTE is a private training establishment which is defined in the 1989 Education Act as “an establishment other than an institution, which provides post-school education or vocational training”.

There are more than 600 PTEs registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

PTEs are spread throughout the country. Most of those in smaller towns are providing lower level courses, while the larger PTEs are mostly in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Some PTEs provide Diploma and Degree level courses.

PTEs developed to meet specific industry and community needs, often starting due to a skill shortage or a need to get people into work in a community. They welcomed the National Qualifications Framework, which gave them the opportunity to offer their students recognised qualifications.

In the 1990s when polytechnics moved more towards degrees, it opened up gaps in the sector in vocational education, which PTEs filled. As the economy and society became more diverse, PTEs also filled a number of new niches. Many PTEs started compressed courses where students spent more time studying each week, but got into the workforce earlier.

There were approximately 76,500 students in PTEs in 2001, of which approximately 21,000 were Maori and over 7,000 were Pacific Island.


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