Governance of ITOs

He pārongo kaitiakitangamō ngā whakahaere whakangungu ahumahi

Last updated 3 November 2016
Last updated 11/03/2016

Industry training organisations (ITOs) are a category of organisation in New Zealand’s tertiary education sector.

ITOs are formally recognised under the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992. Once recognised, ITOs are eligible for funding from us.

ITOs are not owned or governed by the Crown. Unlike universities, polytechnics and wānanga, the Crown does not appoint an ITO’s board or board members.

They are essentially private industry-based organisations, with no legal structure prescribed in legislation except that they must be a ‘body corporate’. Incorporated societies, registered charitable trusts and companies are all body corporates.

The legal context and governance arrangements for ITOs have some features in common with other tertiary education organisations (TEOs) because they also have a funding relationship, through their Investment Plan, with us.

The critical distinction between ITOs and other TEOs is that ITOs do not themselves deliver training. Their functions under section 11B of the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992 are to:

  • develop and maintain skill standards for their particular industries that can be registered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and used in the assessment of trainees
  • develop and maintain arrangements for the delivery of industry training that will enable trainees to achieve the relevant skill standards.

ITOs are expected to receive cash contributions from the industries they represent. The value of this contribution is expected to be at least 20 percent of the total funding an ITO receives (depending on its mix of trainees and apprentices). Businesses may also contribute to the cost of training in other ways.

Government expectations of industry training organisations

The Government expects ITOs to:

  • enable people in work to complete nationally recognised qualifications
  • create clear pathways towards advanced trade qualifications at levels four and above
  • build and maintain strong support from the industries they serve.

To give effect to these expectations, ITOs' statutory functions are to:

  • set skill standards for their industries
  • develop arrangements for the delivery of training.

Current ITOs

Starting in 2011 with 40 ITOs, there was a significant period of consolidation in the ITO sector. A number of ITOs merged with each other or exited industry training, resulting in 11 funded ITOs at the beginning of 2015.