Industry Training Fund

FAQs about the Fund

Here are some frequently asked questions about industry training and our answers to them. These will be updated regularly as industry training organisations (ITOs) raise queries and issues that apply across the industry training sector.

To have a question answered, ask your Investment Manager or email


Funding and payments

Learners and training

Reporting and data


Funding and payments

When are payments made to ITOs?

From 2016 monthly payments to ITOs will be made on the second Wednesday of each month. This enables both the TEC and ITOs to be more proactive in responding to changes in training volumes.

Other payments for industry training-related projects and participants in the direct funding scheme are milestone-based. Milestone-based payments are set out in the payment schedule of the funding confirmation.

When are funding recoveries made?

From 2016, the TEC will calculate funding recoveries for the previous year twice, once after January and again after March.

There will be an interim wash-up of the previous year's delivery based on data in the Industry Training Register as at 31 January. This interim wash-up will include the over-duration and over-enrolment offsets, but not the under-achievement offset. Any interim recoveries will be due at the beginning of March.

There will be a final wash-up based on data in the Industry Training Register as at 31 March for the previous year, which will include the under-achievement off-set. Following this wash-up in March, the TEC will refund payments if it turns out we have recovered too much from the interim wash-up. The TEC encourages organisations to make sure their data in the Industry Training Register is as up to date as possible.

How are funding recoveries calculated?

From 2015, the TEC will calculate recoveries for under-delivery using total STMs, rather than calculating these separately for industry trainees and apprentices.

In 2014, we only allowed over-delivery of apprentice STMs to be offset against under-delivery of trainee STMs, and not vice versa.

However, we will be concerned with any organisation where its delivery is significantly at odds with its approved mix of provision, and this would be subject to separate discussions.

What is flexible funding and how is it calculated?

Flexible funding is an additional amount of funding paid to organisations that deliver more training to apprentices than they were funded for. If an eligible organisation over-delivers in apprenticeships, the TEC calculates flexible funding on the allocated amount of funding and makes this available to the organisation. The amount is capped at 102% of the allocated funding or 10 STMs (whichever is greater), to the extent of the over-delivery.

The flexible funding is calculated before any offsets are applied, including offsetting against any under-delivery in industry training.

It is only calculated at final wash-up in April, for the previous calendar year. The regular reports uploaded to Workspace 2 each month do not include flexible funding.

Can ITOs still claim funding for a learner who transfers to a new employer?

If a learner transfers to a new employer and continues in their training programme, the ITO may claim funding for any period between employers for up to six weeks. The ITO must keep records that confirm the change of employment occurred within six weeks.

The learner must sign a new training agreement with the new employer.

Can ITOs receive any non-TEC funding?

ITOs may seek or receive other funds from the Government other than through the TEC. These include the following:

  • membership fees and grants from government departments and Crown agencies that are in the nature of industry contributions. This can be the case where an ITO is providing industry training services to such government departments and Crown agencies and their employees. These services include standard setting and managing the delivery of industry training
  • fees received from government departments or Crown agencies and/or their employees in return for providing them with industry training services. These fees are comparable to those received from private sector organisations and their employees for such services
  • grants and fees from government departments and Crown agencies for services and resources that do not relate to meeting the costs of setting standards and maintaining associated quality management systems and/or managing training arrangements for the training of trainees registered with the ITO, for which the ITO is being funded by the TEC
  • National Moderation payments received from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. 

Can overseas standard setting and training be funded?

ITOs may not use government funding to fund either standard setting or industry-based training to trainees who are employed overseas and will receive the proposed training outside of New Zealand.

Will all limited credit programmes be approved for funding?

Limited credit programmes are packages of unit standards from qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Limited credit programmes should be entry level training programmes that support employees into industry training.

Limited credit programmes must meet the criteria in the funding conditions, as well as:

   a) up to 30% of the credits of the limited credit programme may be drawn from elective unit standards from the qualification or an NZQA approved programme leading to the qualification

   b) the limited credit programme must be no more than 50% of the credit value of the qualification to which it leads, and

   c) progression from the limited credit programme to the completion of the qualification to which it leads must average 50% over a five-year period.

However, the TEC may still decline to fund limited credit programmes that do not encourage employees to achieve full qualifications.

Will the TEC grant exemptions to the 10% cap on training at level 5 and above?

In considering whether an organisation's request for an exemption should be granted, the TEC takes into account the:

   a) educational performance of current training at level 5 and above

   b) extent to which higher level training supports participation and achievement of priority learners

   c) need to support new or expanding areas of training

   d) value of industry training programmes offered at level 5 and above alongside similar provider-based programmes, and

   e) total volume of training at level 5 and above across all industry training organisations.

Do conditions for other funds apply to the Industry Training Fund?

All conditions are now specific to a particular fund. Only the legislative requirements and conditions listed on this website under Industry Training Fund apply to the use of the funding.

Funding conditions for industry training are identifiable by their first three letters "ITF". Any other conditions do not apply to the Industry Training Fund and must not be used to determine or assess compliance.

The TEC includes all of the conditions that apply to the Industry Training Fund as part of the Plan funding approval letter or funding confirmation.

Learners and training

What are the TEC's requirements of information in training agreements?

A training agreement must contain:

   a) the details of the training programme

   b)  the details of the parties (trainee, employer, or principal contractor for self-employed trainees)

   c) the signatures of the parties (trainee, employer, or principal contractor)

   d) a training agreement signed date, and

   e) the trainee's National Student Number.

The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992 refers to training contracts and apprenticeship training agreements. However, we refer to both training contracts and apprenticeship training agreements as training agreements. Training agreements are part of the employment agreement between the employee and employer.

Electronic signatures may be used on the training agreement, as long as the use of electronic signatures meets the legal requirements for electronic signatures. Refer to the Electronic Transactions Act 2002 for guidance.

Where the date the training agreement was physically signed is later than the actual date the training started, the training agreement signed date entered into the Industry Training Register may be backdated to match the participation start date. To do this, the ITO must have evidence that the training actually started on the participation start date. Such evidence may include credit achievement and/or contractual agreements with the employer.

What is the minimum number of years an ITO needs to keep learner records?

The TEC does not have any specific requirements about record retention. However, seven years is consistent with the period for retaining employment records of which the training agreement forms a part; so that would be our recommendation.

The TEC expects that records of completed New Zealand Apprenticeships are held permanently so people can access evidence of their apprenticeship completion in the future.

ITOs can keep electronic or hard copy versions of learner records.

ITOs also need to comply with NZQA requirements.  Please refer to the information on NZQA’s website regarding its requirements, specifically “8.1(b): there is a permanent and accurate record kept of trainee enrolment and achievement.” 

Does an ITO need to sight a learner's employment agreement?

An ITO no longer needs to sight a learner's employment agreement. However, an ITO is accountable for ensuring learners meet the employment criteria set out in the funding conditions.

When using the learner’s NSN to verify identity, what data fields are required to be matched on the NSI?

In order to use the NSN to verify a learner’s identity for industry training, the learner must provide the following information and these must match exactly against the same data fields in the National Student Index:

  • Surname
  • Forename(s)
  • Date of birth
  • Gender

In addition:

  • the status of the Name and Date of Birth fields must be “Verified”, and
  • the learner must declare they are the “owner” of the NSN.

If the NSN is not “Verified” and/or one or more of the fields do not match, you cannot use the NSN to verify the learner’s identity. You must then use the additional verification requirements (see legislative requirements for more information).

For example, if the learner provides correct forenames, correct date of birth but an incorrect surname (say, because they got married), then the fields do not match and additional identification is required. 

What are the minimum number of hours of employment needed for industry training?

There is no minimum number of hours of employment for trainees or apprentices.

Part-time employees and trainees who undertake seasonal work are eligible for funded industry training, provided they meet eligibility requirements in all other regards.

Generally, the TEC expects that the duration of the training programme is aligned to the hours of employment.

Can a learner be enrolled with an ITO and another tertiary education organisation at the same time?

A learner can be enrolled with an ITO and another tertiary education organisation (such as a polytechnic) at the same time, providing the enrolments are in different qualifications. A learner cannot be enrolled in the same qualification at two different tertiary education organisations at the same time.

Can learners access support funded through the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Fund?

Industry trainees and apprentices can receive TEC-funded support through the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Fund. We have advised providers who receive this funding that industry trainees and apprentices are eligible learners.

Please be aware that funding is limited, so support cannot be guaranteed. ITO staff need to familiarise themselves with the literacy and numeracy skill threshold and the minimum level of support that must be provided. This support may not be suitable for all learners.

Can learners access support funded through the Workplace Literacy and Numeracy Fund?

The learner eligibility criteria for Workplace Literacy and Numeracy programmes apply. In addition to those criteria, industry trainees must be:
  • enrolled in a level 1 or 2 industry training programme, and
  • assessed at step 3 or below for reading and/or step 4 or below for numeracy using the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool.

Please be aware that funding is limited, so support cannot be guaranteed.

ITOs will need to fund specialist support for industry trainees and apprentices enrolled at level 3 and above from their own revenue.

Can school students be enrolled in industry training?

School students may enrol in industry training provided the school and the ITO each only claim funding to the extent that the school student

is engaged with each party.

Can non-New Zealand citizens enrol in industry training?

Non-New Zealand citizens (who meet the criteria for trainees under the funding conditions) can enrol in industry training and be eligible for funding. They must have a legal right to reside and work in New Zealand for the anticipated duration of the training programme specified in the training agreement.

However, we may decline to fund the training agreement of a non-New Zealand citizen if doing so would be to the detriment of the Tertiary Education Strategy and/or any New Zealander who wants to enrol in industry training.

Can any training be delivered overseas?

Learners may access training outside of New Zealand, provided the learner is employed in that industry in New Zealand.

An ITO may be involved in standard setting for, and the delivery of, industry-based training of employees outside of New Zealand provided that:

   a) no government funding is used for these activities

   b) these activities are self-funded and fully cost-recovered, and

   c) these activities do not interfere with the obligations and requirements of the ITO.

Does a learner need to have a qualification before being enrolled in a supplementary credit programme?

Learners must have completed either the qualification from which the supplementary credit programme is drawn or an equivalent qualification to be eligible to enrol in the supplementary credit programme.

Supplementary credit programmes should enable learners to extend their existing qualifications in a changing work environment because of:

   a) technology changes

   b)  regulatory changes

   c) changes in the structure of qualifications 

   d) change in work focus, or

   e) the need to gain additional skills.

How many visits per year are required for New Zealand apprentices?

From 2016, there is no longer a requirement  for an apprentice to receive a minimum number of visits per year. We expect ITOs to provide tailored pastoral support to apprentices and employers. ITOs must ensure apprenticeship training is consistent with the Code of Good Practice for New Zealand Apprenticeships. We will monitor the achievement and completions of apprentices as part of our general monitoring activities.

ITOs are still required to record all visits to apprentices in the Industry Training Register. 

When will complex arrangements for apprenticeships expire?

The Minister has agreed to extend complex arrangements for apprenticeships to the end of 2017. 

Reporting and data

What are the TEC's requirements of data entered into the Industry Training Register?

The ITO must ensure all the information fields in the Industry Training Register have accurate and complete data entered.

When are data snapshots captured?

Data snapshots are taken from the Industry Training Register on 1January, 1April and 1September. This means data in the Industry Training Register needs to be up to date at these times. The TEC uses these snapshots in a variety of ways, such as informing conversations with ITOs about any necessary Plan amendments and informing the Minister on the demand across the whole of Vote Tertiary.

From time to time the TEC may advise of other data snapshot dates to help with funding decisions.

When are reports available on Workspace 2?

Reports are extracted from the Industry Training Register on the 1st and 15th of each month. The reports are then uploaded into Workspace 2 on the next available business day.  For example, in October 2016, data will be extracted on Saturday 1 October and the reports will be uploaded on Monday 3 October.

If ITOs do not receive any reports in Workspace 2 within the appropriate timeframe, please contact the Sector Helpdesk ( or 0800 601301).


  • Last changed: 14 July 2016
  • Last verified: 14 July 2016