WDC endorsement required for NZQA programme approvals

We are pleased to share the news that the programme support process is changing in line with our matawhānui to give industry a greater leadership role in the way programmes are developed for community, health, education, and social services qualifications. From the 1st of June, new or redesigned programmes will be endorsed by WDCs.


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.

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

Programme endorsement process

The process will require the provider to complete a form with details of the qualification in question and the contact details of the person responsible for submitting the application. The evidence that you attach to your submission will need to confirm all six considerations have been addressed. These documents will include the programme outline and details that will be submitted to NZQA.

We may require further evidence 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.

We understand this process is new to everyone, be assured we will provide you guidance and clarity on what types of evidence are required. For more information on programme endorsement, please email us with any questions.

For more information please see the FAQs.