Adult and Community Education


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TEO eligibility

To be eligible to receive Adult and Community Education (ACE) funding, a tertiary education organisation (TEO) must be:

  • an institute of technology and polytechnic (ITP)
  • a wānanga
  • a private training establishment (PTE) that specialises in foundation learning
  • a state school or state integrated school
  • a rural education activity programme (REAP) provider, or
  • a community organisation.

See Condition ACE002.


Quality assurance

Each TEO (other than a community organisation) must be quality assured.  ITPs, wānanga and PTEs need to be quality assured by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).  For schools, quality assurance is undertaken by the Education Review Office. See Condition ACE003.


Working with local organisations, groups and communities

A TEO must work with local organisations, groups, and communities to identify and meet learning needs. By working with the relevant communities, a TEO will ensure that its ACE provision meets the priorities specified under Programme eligibility below.

Each TEO should also work with other local ACE providers to avoid duplication.

In designing and providing ACE programmes, each TEO should:

  • consult the community, learners and stakeholders
  • ensure the information gathered informs:

       -  the design and development of specific activities to reflect the needs of target learner groups

      -  the longer-term direction of the organisation’s ACE programme. 

See Condition ACE006.

Programme eligibility

To be eligible for funding, ACE programmes must meet each of the following priorities:

  • target learners whose initial learning was not successful
  • raise foundation skills
  • strengthen social cohesion, enhancing a learner’s ability to participate in society and economic life.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo Māori ACE programmes do not have to meet all of the programme eligibility criteria. See Condition ACE005.

ACE funding cannot be used to provide professional development courses for ACE teachers and tutors. See Condition ACE013.

For further information about the priorities for ACE programmes, see the pages for ACE in schools, ACE in communities and ACE in ITPs and wānanga

Learner eligibility

To be eligible to enrol in an ACE programme, a learner must be:

  • a New Zealand citizen or resident
  • 16 years of age or over
  • not a full-time secondary school student.

Learners under 16 years of age

A learner under the age of 16 may be eligible to receive ACE provision, if they participate with adults in family-based provision.

Learners who are at secondary school

A learner who is a full-time secondary school student may be able to receive ACE provision if they:

  • are 16 years of age or over
  • attend ACE provision outside of normal school hours
  • have obtained approval from the relevant school principal and
  • have obtained approval from the TEC to enrol.

To seek approval from the TEC, please contact the Sector Helpdesk. See Condition ACE004.

Verifying learner eligibility

TEOs must ensure that learners are eligible to enrol in ACE funded provision. It is recommended that TEOs use one of the following methods to confirm learners are eligible for ACE funding.

Type of student

Verification methods

A New Zealand citizen

A TEO can:

a)    confirm the student's citizenship status using the student’s NSN; or

b)    receive an assertion through RealMe® that the student was born in New Zealand (prior to 2005); or

c)    sight an original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:

       i)      a New Zealand birth certificate; or

       ii)     a New Zealand passport; or

       iii)    a New Zealand certificate of citizenship; or

d)    if a student is unable to obtain a birth certificate for the purposes of (c)(i) above, contact the TEC to confirm that a whakapapa statement signed by both the student and a kaumātua is acceptable evidence of citizenship.

A New Zealand resident:

A TEO must sight an original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:

a)    a passport with a current returning residency class visa (a passport with a visa label); or

b)    a passport, and letter or email, confirming current returning residency class visa (label-less visa, followed by confirmation with Immigration New Zealand, where appropriate); or

c)    a certificate of identity from Immigration New Zealand if the student is a refugee.

Note: For more information see Immigration New Zealand.

  • Last changed: 2 March 2016
  • Last verified: 2 March 2016