Programme Endorsement Questions

What is the difference between WDC programme endorsement and NZQA approval?

WDCs are the qualification developers for the industries we represent. Providers require WDC endorsement before NZQA will approve a programme that leads to a qualification.

WDC considerations focus on specific industries and reflect WDC functions as detailed in Section 366 of the Education and Training Act 2020  Education and Training Act 2020 No 38 (as at 01 January 2022), Public Act 366 Functions of workforce development councils – New Zealand Legislation and each WDC’s Orders in Council.

NZQA has the legal responsibility for programme approval under section 439 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

In considering the programme:

WDC asks: How well does the programme meet industry need?

NZQA asks: How well does the programme design match the qualification outcomes and strategic purpose?

When do I need to request endorsement from a WDC for my programme?

For any new, or Type 2 change to an existing programme providers need to request programme endorsement from a WDC before submitting it to NZQA to seek approval. We encourage providers to engage with us at the earliest opportunity so we can better support and progress the application.

What are the programme considerations?

The considerations are the factors your application should address. The WDC will use these to measure or consider your programme for endorsement. The consideration questions differ from the old programme ‘support’ questions.

The six considerations encompass:

  • Programme structure
  • Equity – does the programme influence equitable outcomes for all learners
  • Engagement and consultation – is there evidence of industry involvement and support in the development of the programme
  • Te ao Māori – does the programme encompass Te ao Māori in its approach
  • Pacific Learning and Languages – does the programme support the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030
  • Does the programme support the individual access needs of Disabled Learners

Read the full details of these six considerations.

Is there a transition period to get from the old ‘support’ to the new ‘endorsement’ considerations?

WDCs understand there will be a transition to the new considerations. We encourage early engagement to work through these and identify these considerations in your programme.

Do I need to meet all the considerations?

We understand that some considerations may not be applicable to your programme. Please contact us to check or ask for clarification before you start to develop your programme.

Can I contact the WDC if I have a question?

Yes, we encourage you to do this.

My programme has already been approved by NZQA, do I now need to request endorsement from a WDC for it to continue?


How do I know which WDC to submit my request for programme endorsement to?

You must submit your request to the WDC that is the qualification developer for the qualification that your programme leads to. Search for the qualification by keyword or qualification number on the NZQF(external link).  Click on the qualification to view the name of the current WDC qualification developer.

What happens if the WDC has concerns about my programme and won’t endorse it?

The WDC will be in touch directly to help resolve any concerns about the programme.

How much does it cost to apply for programme endorsement?

There is no fee for us to review and provide support for your proposed programme.