Programme endorsement

Requesting Workforce Development Councils’ support for programmes

From 01 June 2022, all Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) will be required, under the Education and Training Act, to consider provider programmes for endorsement, prior to New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) approval.

As the industry representative and standards setting body, a WDC is well placed to consider programmes from equity, academic outcome, quality assurance and industry need perspectives, while also contributing to an education system that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi and supports Māori-Crown relations.

Any changes to existing programmes, or new development requiring NZQA approval will need to be submitted to the relevant WDC for endorsement, this includes Type 2 changes. The letter of endorsement WDCs provide will be required as evidence in the approval application to NZQA.

More information on programme approval and accreditation is available on NZQA’s website.

WDC endorsement considerations

Toitū te Waiora are committed to providing guidance for providers to develop and gain approval for high quality programmes. WDC considerations for programme endorsement differ from NZQA approval criteria and look to meet both industry and learner vocational education and training needs.

We focus on six considerations:

  • Programme content
  • Equity for learners
  • Programme engagement and consultation
  • Te ao Māori
  • Pacific languages and learners
  • Disabled people

Read the full details of these six considerations.

We check that the submitted programme application aligns with qualification outcomes.  If we have concerns about the programme, we will work with you to help resolve those concerns.

If your organisation requires consent to assess for any unit or skills standards included in the programme, you will need to submit a separate consent to assess application.

Type 2 changes will still require a completed programme endorsement application form, with evidence of specific changes made to the programme.

How to request programme endorsement

As part of the NZQA programme approval process, you need to supply a letter of endorsement from the relevant WDC.

If you need endorsement for a NEW programme, please complete this application form, which requires details about the rationale of the programme and how all six considerations listed above have been addressed.

If your endorsement relates to an already established programme with a TYPE TWO change, please complete this application form, which requires details of the proposed change and how any impact on the considerations listed above has been addressed.

We may require further evidence from you to satisfy some of our considerations. Once we are satisfied the proposed programme meets all the considerations, we will issue a letter of endorsement to submit to NZQA alongside the approval application. This letter will be valid for six months.

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

Please email us at [email protected] with the following information to request our endorsement for your NEW programme:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of your proposed programme
  • An overview of industry and/or community input into the programme development, e.g. advisory group composition and process
  • A programme overview (delivery of practicum/theory, assessment and moderation approach)
  • An outline of the resources required to deliver the programme
  • Evidence that any guidance in the qualification document has been considered when developing the programme.

Please email us at [email protected] with the following information to request our endorsement for your TYPE TWO change to an approved programme:

Please allow 20 working days for us to process your request for programme endorsement. 

For more information, please see our FAQs below.

Guidance notes for the Graduate Profile Outcomes


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?

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.

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:

  • Programme content
  • Equity for learners
  • Programme engagement and consultation
  • Te ao Māori
  • Pacific languages and learners
  • Disabled people

Read the full details of these six 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.

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.

Yes, we encourage you to do this. Email us at [email protected].


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.

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

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