Our role in monitoring the performance of the tertiary sector

Our role in monitoring the performance of the tertiary sector

Last updated 8 February 2018
Last updated 02/08/2018

We monitor the performance of tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and report the results to the Minister of Education. This section includes information on how we monitor TEOs’ performance and compliance, governance capability, the performance consequences framework, and guidelines for providing financial performance information.

One of our key roles is to monitor the performance of TEOs and the tertiary education sector generally. 

We have specific functions relating to the monitoring of TEOs we fund and use a number of frameworks and functions to fulfil these obligations. We operate a continuum of monitoring and investigation activities that respond to the level of risk, and provide guidance to the sector to help strengthen performance. Intelligence from all of our monitoring work informs our advice to the Minister of Education and other agencies on the performance of the tertiary education system more broadly.

We use audits and investigations to monitor individual TEOs and help them to address specific issues. We also undertake reviews of system-level trends and issues and share our findings with the sector to help TEOs improve their performance and compliance.

The TEC also has specific functions relating to the monitoring of tertiary education institutions (TEIs), industry training organisations, and the financial performance of the tertiary sector, and supporting TEI governance. This is to ensure the public can have confidence in the stability of the tertiary education sector in New Zealand and to minimise risks to the Crown.

The pages below provide further information about some of our specific monitoring activities.

Financial monitoring of tertiary education institutions

One of our core functions is to monitor tertiary education institutions (TEIs) and report to the Minister of Education. The Crown has an ownership interest in TEIs, which are universities, institutes of technology, polytechnics and wānanga. Read more...

Financial monitoring of industry training organisations

This page sets out our requirements for financial reporting by industry training organisations (ITOs). Read more...

Governance capability

Governing bodies in the tertiary education sector are expected to take a strategic and leadership role in guiding the organisation to continually improve performance and effectively respond to change and opportunity. In our monitoring activities, we use a good governance framework that focuses on council capability, strategic leadership and accountability – supported by best practice council operations. Read more...


This page sets out information about our audit processes, which looks at procedures, processes, accuracy of records and how a TEO manages its statutory obligations and conditions of funding. Read more...


This page provides information about the TEC’s investigation process. We undertake an investigation if we become concerned about practices or behaviours that may be in breach of statutory requirements or funding conditions, or which place the interests of learners or public funding at risk. Read more...

Performance consequences framework

The performance consequences framework is a process that assists us to define performance expectations and manage individual tertiary education organisation.

Complaints about TEOs

Do you have a concern about a TEO? Find out the process for making a complaint.

TEC monitoring updates

We routinely share intelligence and learnings from our monitoring activities with the sector, to help TEOs improve their performance and compliance.  

Read our Monitoring Update: Issue One.