FAQs for TEOs

FAQs for TEOs

Last updated 11 May 2020
Last updated 11 May 2020

Are international students eligible?

Generally no. Exceptions to this may include dependants of diplomatic personnel, exchange students taking part in a New Zealand Government approved exchange programme at a TEO, or an international student involved in postgraduate research. See fund-specific conditions for further details on exceptions.

How have you calculated my TAFL allocation?

Our approach for the initial allocation is based on the overall number of learners enrolled at each TEO as reported in through the Single Data Return (SDR) or Industry Training Register (ITR), but with a weighting to provide additional funding to priority learners.  This weighting has been calculated using the proportion of learners who were previously enrolled in a decile 1-3 secondary school as a proxy, and extrapolated across all learners at the TEO to take into account learners for whom we don't have prior school information (e.g. adult learners).

How can we apply for TAFL/additional funding?

TEOs can apply for TAFL by completing the TAFL application form and sending it to customerservice@tec.govt.nz with the subject line: [Your Edumis] – Technology Access Fund Application.

How did you decide which TEOs received TAFL as part of the initial allocation?

Phase one of funding allocations was based on TEO learner numbers. The allocation methodology meant that TEOs with fewer than 200 learners reported through the SDR or ITR would receive a very small allocation (less than $5,000). We decided that it was likely that the cost to those TEOs of administering this funding would outweigh the benefits.

We have retained a portion of additional funding to allocate on a case by case basis according to demonstrated high need. TEOs which did not receive Phase one funding are able to apply for this funding through the TAFL application process. 

If we buy devices with TAFL, who owns the device?

TEOs retain ownership of any device purchased with TAFL. However, we expect these devices to be provided to learners as soon as reasonably practicable. Once a learner has completed/finished their studies, the device must be returned to the TEO so that it can be re-distributed.

You must assign a unique serial number to each device distributed to a learner.  Using these serial numbers, you must maintain a fixed-asset register to record the devices distributed to each learner.

What happens with the internet connection once the learner has completed/withdrawn from the course? And who is liable for any additional costs?

It is up to each TEO to decide how they will provide internet connections to their learners.

There is no expectation that you continue to pay for a learner’s internet connection once they have completed/withdrawn from the course. However, you must not create ongoing costs for learners, such as by paying for a portion of a fixed term contract.

Is there a limit on what we can spend per learner?

There is no cap on how much can be spent on one learner. However, we have an expectation that TEOs spend the funding responsibly, to adequately support the largest number of learners who need support, and within the bounds set out in this document and your funding conditions.  As noted above, your total spend and the number of learners funded will be published on the TEC website.

Can we use TAFL to provide mobile data for learners?

Yes. If a mobile internet connection is the most appropriate way of enabling a particular learner to access technology-enabled learning, then TAFL can be used to assist with this.

My organisation has already implemented a similar initiative with our own funding – can we retrospectively use the TAFL funding for this initiative?

Yes. If an existing initiative was announced on or after 23 March 2020 (the date the alert level 4 plan was announced) and it meets the conditions and guidance in this document, then you may use the funding to support your own initiative. However, the use must be reported as per the reporting guidelines.

Does TAFL cover the direct costs associated with providing support e.g: courier costs, maintenance of devices?

Yes. However, you must keep a record of the costs.

We are struggling to source devices due to a stock shortage. What do we report?

Unfortunately due to current events you may experience difficulties in sourcing devices. We understand that this may mean it takes longer than anticipated to provide a device to your learners and recognise that there may be little to include in early reports. However, we still require that these reports be submitted to us, even if there is not much to report.

In case you are having difficulty sourcing devices, you may want to contact Network for Learning (N4L) - a Crown company which provides managed internet services to 97% of New Zealand’s schools. N4L has worked with Spark to develop two core propositions for digitally-disadvantaged tertiary students for the supply of devices, device security, unlimited mobile data, and helpdesk support for TEOs and TITOs. 
Please contact Sandy Brown at N4L for further information: sandy.brown@n4l.co.nz or 0800 LEARNING.

We may be able to assist if you require additional support to source devices. Please contact us at customerservice@tec.govt.nz if you need help.


What is the purpose of the Learner Technology Support Strategy?

The purpose of the LTSS is to help us to understand how you intend spend your TAFL allocation, and ensure that assistance is provided to your learners which need it the most.  We will review your prioritisation approach and will only get in touch if we have questions or identify opportunities.

My organisation is not going to use all of its TAFL allocation – can we return it?

Yes. As there is only limited funding available, if you do not think you are going to use all of your TAFL allocation please contact us at customerservice@tec.govt.nz so we can re-allocate the funding to help other learners at other TEOs.

Are students who are funded under Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) eligible to receive support?

Yes, as at the MPTT funding comes from either Student Achievement Component – Level 1 and 2, or Student Achievement Component – Level 3 and above, these students would eligible.

Does the TEC have any other resources to support online delivery?

The TEC has gathered resources and tools, from New Zealand and overseas, to build and enhance the quality of your online teaching resources and best practice. The information is now available on our website. We are also exploring supporting these resources with interactive learning webinars with experts sharing their knowledge and answering your questions.

To help us understand the level of interest you have for these sessions and possible topics please complete this survey by 5:00pm Friday 8 May.

How much TAFL funding is available?

The total size of the TAFL fund is $20 million. Approximately half of this funding was allocated in phase one, with remaining funding available for distribution through the application process.

How should we treat depreciation of assets (devices) purchased with TAFL?

TEOs should treat the devices purchased with TAFL as they would any other asset. Devices should be assigned a unique identification number, be recorded on the fixed asset register, and depreciated.

Prior to TAFL, my organisation had already established an initiative to help learners access technology-enabled learning, but the initiative does not quite meet the TAFL conditions. Can we use TAFL funding for it?

TAFL funding can be used for costs incurred from 23 March 2020 that meet the conditions of the fund.  Prior to being aware of the TAFL conditions, if your organisation had already established an initiative to help learners access technology-enabled learning, but the initiative does not meet the TAFL conditions, we would happy to discuss whether TAFL funding can be used. Please contact us at customerservice@tec.govt.nz. 

What criteria does the TEC use to assess applications from TEOs to use TAFL funding for development of a technology-enabled delivery platform/capability or technology-enabled course materials?

[See Condition 4.2 of TAFL Funding Conditions (PDF, 472 KB)] Applications from TEOs to use TAFL funding to develop their capability are approved on an exceptions basis. Applications need to clearly demonstrate how funding will be used to support vulnerable learners impacted by COVID-19. In addition, because the Fund is designed to directly support learners, we would expect applications to use this funding for capability initiatives to be a relatively small proportion of a TEO’s overall TAFL allocation.