Previous Quality Evaluation rounds

Previous Quality Evaluation rounds

Last updated 30 April 2019
Last updated 30 April 2019

This page provides information on the previous three Quality Evaluation rounds held in 2003, 2006 and 2012.

It includes background, reports on PBRF reviews, as well as information about the 2012, 2006 and 2003 Quality Evaluations.

PBRF 2018 Quality Evaluation processes and outcomes


In November 2001, the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission recommended the introduction of a performance-based research fund for tertiary education organisations (TEOs).  The Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF) Working Group was established in July 2002. It gave advice to government on the detailed design and implementation of a performance-based system for funding research in New Zealand’s degree-granting organisations. Cabinet endorsed the PBRF Working Group’s recommendations in December 2002. These recommendations are in the report, ‘Investing in Excellence’, and are the basis for the PBRF.

The origins of PBRF funding lie in the funding provided to tertiary education organisations for teaching, specifically the portion of funding they received as a ‘top-up’ for teaching research degrees.  These funds were not intended as a source of funding for research, but to enable tertiary education providers to provide research-based teaching. While the Government has invested additional money over time, the majority of the fund comes from these top ups. 

Previous Quality Evaluation results

The TEC reports on the results of PBRF Quality Evaluations as part of its commitment to encouraging and rewarding excellent research in the tertiary education sector.

The below infographic shows TEO participation across the four Quality Evaluation rounds (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2018).

In addition, as part of reporting the interim results for the 2018 Quality Evaluation we have released the final results of the first three Quality Evaluation rounds (2003, 2006 and 2012) and the interim results for the 2018 Quality Evaluation in two interactive charts. The charts allow TEOs and other stakeholders to see changes over time.

Learn more: Interactive charts for Quality Evaluation rounds. For more information about individual Quality Evaluations see the other sections on this page.

Reports on the PBRF reviews

When the PBRF was introduced in 2002, a three-phase evaluation strategy was also put in place. 
  • Phase one started in August 2003 and focused on early indicators of the impacts of the design and implementation of the PBRF and the results of the 2003 Quality Evaluation.
  • Phase two started in February 2008 and was an independent strategic review of the positive effects and unintended consequences of the PBRF on the sector. Its main focus was on how well the PBRF was accomplishing its primary goal, to encourage and reward research excellence in the tertiary education sector, and included information from the results of the 2006 Quality Evaluation.
Phase three was a review by the Ministry of Education. It sought to build on the existing performance of the PBRF to identify ways in which it could be improved and included information from the implementation and results of the 2012 Quality Evaluation.
Here are the evaluation reports:

The 2012 Quality Evaluation

The 2012 Quality Evaluation final report was published in October 2013. The final report incorporates changes made based on the results of the complaints process, administrative corrections, and the presentation of information as requested by the sector. An overview of the results of the complaints process was included (Appendix 1). Indicative funding for 2013 PBRF allocations was also updated (Table 9.1).

Peer review panel and expert advisory group reports

Reports were developed by each of the 12 peer review panels and two expert advisory groups following the completion of the 2012 Quality Evaluation. The reports provide information on their assessments and recommendations for the TEC.

Peer review panel-specific guidelines

The panel-specific guidelines were developed by each panel to assist researchers in the development and submission of their Evidence Portfolios for the 2012 Quality Evaluation.

Expert Advisory Group (EAG) criteria

The EAG criteria outline the processes and principles of the EAGs

2006 and 2003 Quality Evaluations

Most of the historical resources and publications relating to earlier PBRF cycles have been archived and are available on request. The following documents are available to download.

2006 Quality Evaluation

2003 Quality Evaluation

Requesting your individual results from previous rounds

Individual researchers may request information on the assessment of their own Evidence Portfolios from the previous Quality Evaluation rounds (2003, 2006 and 2012).

For all requests for 2003 and 2006 Quality Evaluation results, email For 2012 Quality Evaluation results, request a 2012 form from the Customer Contact Group.

To ensure confidentiality, if we have any concerns related to your identity, the information will not be released.

TEOs cannot request this information on behalf of staff.