SAC levels 3 and 4 (competitive) pilot

SAC levels 3 and 4 (competitive) pilot

Last updated 4 November 2016
Last updated 11/04/2016

This page provides information on a new competitive pilot to allocate a portion of SAC levels 3 and 4 funding.


Who applies:  ITPs, PTEs, universities, wānanga

Agreed through:  Investment Plan (on plan)

As a part of the 2016 investment round, we are piloting a new competitive process to allocate up to $35 million of Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding at levels 3 and 4 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).  

The pilot builds on the success of the previous competitive processes for SAC-funded provision at levels 1 and 2 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).  It was also signalled as one of the Investment Approach “quick win” initiatives in the 2017 and 2018 Plan Guidance (released November 2015).

The aim of the pilot is to:

  • direct investment towards higher quality delivery of provision in these areas
  • increase responsiveness to industry needs in the primary sector
  • improve outcomes for learners (better stair-casing and clearer pathways into higher levels or into employment)
  • provide greater certainty that they reflect the costs of delivery at levels 3 and 4.   

Primary sector focus

The new competitive pilot will focus on agriculture, horticulture and viticulture education provision (identified using New Zealand Standard Classification of Education (NZSCED) narrow fields 0501 and 0503).  

These areas have been identified as areas of national importance and recent changes within primary sector education provision have created an opportunity for the TEC to strengthen the quality and delivery of agriculture, horticulture and viticulture education provision at sub-degree level.   

The competitive process will enable the TEC to direct investment towards higher quality delivery that focuses on the skills required by employers in the primary sector and provide strong pathways for learners into skilled employment or further study at a higher level.

How to apply

Applications closed at 5.00 pm, Wednesday 24 August 2016.

We anticipate being able to advise applicants of the outcome of the competitive pilot in mid-November 2016.  

This is later than we previously indicated, and reflects our commitment to undertaking a comprehensive process that results in investment in high-quality provision within the pilot focus areas.   

TEOs that receive an indicative allocation will have their funding confirmed later in the year through a funding letter.


If you have any questions about SAC levels 3 and 4 competitive pilot please email

Who is eligible to apply?

To be eligible to receive funding through the new SAC 3 and 4 competitive pilot, a TEO must:

  1. be a university, institute of technology and polytechnic (ITP), wānanga, or a private training establishment (PTE) and
  2. have been funded by the TEC for Youth Guarantee or SAC provision in 2015 (at any NZQF level and doesn’t have to be in agriculture, horticulture or viticulture) and
  3. have New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) (or Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP)) programme approval and
  4. have an NZQA external evaluation and review (EER) rating of 1 or 2.

A TEO that has not yet had an EER is eligible.

In addition, PTEs funded must meet the TEC's prudential financial standards for PTEs.  

More information

For more information about the competitive process, refer to: 

Application documents