Adult and Community Education in Communities

Adult and Community Education in Communities

Last updated 1 July 2020
Last updated 1 July 2020

Adult and Community Education (ACE) in Communities funding is for informal, community-based education provided by private training establishments (PTEs), rural education activity programme (REAP) providers and community organisations. 

ACE in Communities funding supports:

  • achievement of Tertiary Education Strategy priorities
  • re-engagement of learners in education, and
  • provision of foundation skills development and pathways to other learning opportunities that meet community needs (including further education or the workplace). 


TEO eligibility

See Condition: Organisation eligibility for tertiary education organisation (TEO) eligibility requirements.

Programme eligibility

See the following conditions for programme (including course) eligibility requirements.

Learner eligibility

See Condition: Learner eligibility for learner eligibility requirements.

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

Investment Plans

TEOs are required to work with local organisations, peak bodies, groups, and communities, including other TEOs that are involved in ACE, to identify and meet community learning needs.

See Condition: Your responsibilities.

Each TEO must have an approved Investment Plan (Plan) that sets out how its funded ACE programme will:

  • address the needs of target learner groups (including the priority learner groups set out in the Tertiary Education Strategy, and
  • deliver the following types of ACE provision – one or more of:
    • literacy, digital literacy, and/or numeracy
    • English language, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
    • New Zealand Sign Language, and/or Te Reo Māori, and
  • primarily focus on:
    • acquisition of foundation skills
    • re-engaging learners whose previous learning was not successful, and
    • ensuring the progression of learners into formal tertiary education.

Funding and payments

The Adult and Community Education funding mechanism is issued by the Minister responsible for tertiary education. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for us to allocate the funding and what the funding can be used for, and details how we administer the fund.

Funding is agreed through a tertiary education organisation's (TEO’s) Investment Plan (Plan).

A TEO that receives ACE Fund funding is required to:

Funding rate

There is no fixed rate for ACE in Communities funding as the funding allocation, course funding rate, mix of provision (MoP) and contracted volume of delivery is agreed with each TEO through the Plan process. 

ACE in Communities allocations for 2020 have increased to accommodate a 1.8% increase in course funding rates.

We determine the amount of ACE in Communities funding for a TEO.


We pay funding for ACE provision in monthly instalments on the first banking day of each month.

Payment amounts are equal from January to June, and equal from July to December.   

Funding allocations

2021 ACE in Communities indicative allocations

Purpose of ACE in Communities funding

The purpose of the ACE in Communities is to purchase provision that provides adults with community-based education foundation skills, and pathways into other learning opportunities which meet community learning needs.

How we calculated your 2021 indicative allocation for ACE in Communities

The information below provides a summary of how your indicative allocation was calculated. For more details regarding your specific allocation, please contact or your Relationship Manager.

Your prior performance information was used to calculate your 2021 indicative allocation.

Starting point

To determine the starting point for calculating your 2021 indicative allocation we compared your 2019 actual ACE in Communities delivery with your 2020 allocation.

Note: Your 2019 actual delivery has been adjusted for any additional funding provided (including flexible funding), funding rate increases, and significant policy changes. Your reviewed 2020 allocation includes plan changes and excludes one off adjustments. We make these adjustments to ensure we are accurately comparing your 2019 actual delivery with your 2020 allocation, in dollar terms.

If your 2019 actual delivery was below 100%, we used the lesser of either your:

  • 2019 actual delivery, or
  • 2020 allocation

If your 2019 actual delivery was 100% or above, we used your:

  • 2020 allocation

If you delivered ACE in Communities for the first time in either 2019 or 2020, we used your:

  • 2020 allocation

Determining your final 2021 funding allocation

To determine your final 2021 allocation and Plan approval, we will consider the following information in our assessment and/or engagements with you:

  • Your actual delivery volumes as submitted through Workspace2.

Key changes to our approach for 2021

In previous years, the starting point was calculated using actual delivery and was not adjusted based on whether delivery was below or at 100%. Further plan increases or in-year adjustments were not accounted for.

We will now take into account if delivery volume was at or below 100% and will include in-year Plan adjustments where necessary.



TEOs are required to submit a final report to us for each calendar year (the full year Actuals Report).

The TEO must report on each ACE course in its MoP, including recording demographic data about learners. The TEO must submit the completed full year Actuals Report (using the template provided) through Workspace 2 by 31 January of the following year.

See Condition: Reports.

In the report we require collated data for all courses that were approved for delivery through the Plan approval process (i.e. before the delivery took place), and any additional and substitute courses, as follows:

  • number of learners and hours of delivery (contracted and delivered)
  • hours of learner attendance
  • region of delivery
  • gender of learners
  • ethnicity of learners
  • English language status of learners
  • number of learners with low or no qualifications
  • number of migrants
  • number of refugees, and
  • age of learners.

Individual learner data

TEOs must collect and retain accurate data on each learner enrolment, including demographic information at the time of enrolment, and up-to-date records of learner attendance. This data is required for audit purposes, but does not need to be submitted to us with the full year Actuals Report.

TEOs should also collect and retain learner outcomes data for each course, including in relation to the outcomes that the TEO intended to achieve (which includes outcomes identified in the TEO’s funding application).


We monitor tertiary education organisation (TEO) performance and practices to understand TEO performance in the sector, and to inform our decisions about future funding a TEO may receive.

We monitor TEOs funded through ACE against the following commitments:

  • number of learners and hours of delivery (contracted and delivered)
  • hours of learner attendance, and
  • regions of delivery.