Last updated 23 December 2022
Last updated 23 December 2022

This page has information about Youth Guarantee learner admission and enrolment, verification of learner identity and eligibility, payment and refund of fees, recognition of prior learning, and learner withdrawals.

Definition of an EFTS

From 1 January 2023, we are defining an EFTS of Youth Guarantee provision leading to:

  • a Level 1 or 2 qualification as 80 credits, and
  • a Level 3 qualification as 120 credits (no change).

This means that 0.5 EFTS (or 50% of a full-time, full-year learner workload) is equivalent to:

  • 40 credit workload for learners enrolled in Level 1 and 2 Youth Guarantee qualifications, and
  • 60 credit workload for learners enrolled in Level 3 Youth Guarantee qualifications.

No change to reporting systems or requirements

Mixes of provision, Single Data Return (SDR) reports and Ngā Kete information products will continue to calculate all Youth Guarantee funding and delivery volumes at the rate of 120 credits/EFTS.

Track learner consumption of EFTS carefully

We do not require tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to change their programmes for 2023.

However, TEO tracking of consumption using course enrolments starting on or after 1 January 2023 needs to reflect:

  • 80 credits per EFTS for Level 1 and 2 qualifications; and
  • 120 credits per EFTS for Level 3 qualifications.

Track learner consumption of their 2.5 EFTS per learner entitlement carefully

You should not enrol a learner in a programme if the enrolment will take them over the 2.5 EFTS per learner limit for Youth Guarantee. 

Consider course re-enrolments and learner EFTS consumption

Similarly, consider a learner’s course re-enrolments before you enroll them in a further programme. Where a learner does not complete a course successfully and you re-enrol them and claim funding, they consume additional EFTS towards their entitlements.


We recommend that a tertiary education organisation’s (TEO’s) admission and enrolment process for Youth Guarantee includes the steps below: 

Youth Guarantee process






Provides information on qualification programmes of study (including courses), the admission and enrolment process, and the withdrawal and fees refund process (including any impacts on learner eligibility for fees-free tertiary education in the future)



Applies to the TEO for admission and enrolment (separately or together)



Verifies the learner's identity



Confirms the learner's eligibility to study (and eligibility for provision funded through Youth Guarantee including prior achievement)



Recognises prior learning



Makes a formal offer to enrol the learner on a course or programme of study, excluding recognised prior learning



Formally accepts the offer



Records the enrolment



Invoices the learner for any charges for personal items



Pays any charges for personal items, or arranges for them to be paid



Records payment of any charges



Provides the learner with information about all planned learning activities in their programme



Provides refunds for learners who withdraw from courses within the defined withdrawal period for fees refund, and records these refunds



Records the learner as a confirmed learner enrolment once the fees refund period has passed



Records the learner as a valid domestic enrolment once the 10% or one month (whichever is earlier) period for eligibility for TEC funding has passed

Note: We expect the TEO to inform each learner during the enrolment process about all planned learning activities leading to the award of the qualification the learner has enrolled in. ‘Planned learning activities’ includes self-directed learning activities the TEO expects the learner to engage with/participate in. It does not include self-directed activities the learner initiates.

See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements when enrolling learners in YG provision.

Funding conditions by year


We expect you to publish admission information before the start of each programme. This information should include: 

  • admission requirements
  • criteria and process for selecting learners for entry into restricted entry courses (if relevant)
  • criteria and process for assessing and recognising a learner’s prior learning
  • criteria and process for cross-crediting courses across multiple qualifications
  • documents that a learner must submit (for example, a learner's academic transcript or record from another TEO)
  • the enrolment process
  • minimum attendance and code of conduct requirements
  • withdrawal requirements and process, including refunds
  • process for travel assistance funding, and
  • student support services available including pastoral care.


See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements when enrolling learners in YG provision.

Funding conditions by year

TEOs must:

  • not charge any fees (including student services fees) to learners enrolled in a course funded by YG Fund Funding;
  • pay for the necessary equipment, infrastructure and hardware required to deliver a particular programme; and
  • in relation to the provision of essential equipment, including computers, not require the costs to be met through the “course-related costs” component of the Student Loan Scheme.

Equipment, infrastructure and hardware means items that can be used by successive intakes of learners and does not include personal items that are provided for individual learners’ use and that you do not retain for the next intake of learners.


Inducement to enrol

See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements when enrolling learners in YG provision.

Funding conditions by year

An enrolment is not a valid domestic enrolment if the learner has been induced to enrol.

We recommend that you contact us to discuss this before offering items or activities to learners for enrolling with you.


See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements when enrolling learners in YG provision.

Funding conditions by year

Enrolment form

An enrolment form should collect all of the information that a TEO is required to report in the Single Data Return (SDR) and to determine whether the learner is eligible for YG.

To ensure an enrolment form collects all of the necessary information, you need to be familiar with the SDR Manual to identify the information that must be collected. You may also use the Ministry of Education's generic enrolment form.

We recommend that you publish your enrolment form.

Enrolment application

To enrol in a programme leading to award of a qualification, the learner needs to apply to the TEO by completing and submitting the TEO’s enrolment form, and providing evidence to enable the TEO to

  • verify the learner's identity, and
  • determine the learner's eligibility (see Youth Guarantee funding conditions)

Enrolment changes

If a learner's enrolment changes for any reason, you must update your records to reflect the changes.  We recommend you send updated enrolment information to the learner. 

Verification of learner identity

See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements for verification of learner identity.

Funding conditions by year

To comply with the reporting requirements under Schedule 18, clause 13 of the Education and Training Act 2020, a TEO must verify the learner's identity when the learner enrols for the first time. 

Note: The TEO must sight either an original or a certified copy of the original.

  • Originals must be in hard copy format.
  • Certified copies can be either in hard copy format or digital format (photograph or scan).

Verification of learner eligibility

See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements for verification of learner eligibility.

Funding conditions by year

Tertiary education organisations (TEOs) must ensure that learners are eligible to be enrolled in Youth Guarantee funded programmes. 

For audit purposes, the TEO must retain copies of the Record of Achievement (ROA) that was used on first enrolment to determine eligibility.

Recognition of prior learning

See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full requirements when enrolling learners into Youth Guarantee provision.

Funding conditions by year

For information on the prior achievement requirements refer to Learner eligibility – Limit on qualification prior achievement.

Recognition of learning / prior achievement refers to previous study or experience (prior achievement) relevant to the programme the learner is about to enrol in or is currently studying. It enables a learner to proceed with their study without repeating aspects of the qualification previously studied, or re-learning skills the learner has already achieved through past work or other experience.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL), and credit recognition and transfer (CRT), are forms of recognising learning / prior achievement. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) provides information and guidelines on recognition of learning / prior achievement for TEOs.

It is the TEO’s responsibility to recognise each learner's prior learning and adjust the courses in their programme. A TEO cannot claim Youth Guarantee funding for RPL or CRT, or for delivering tuition where the learner already has prior learning (i.e. skills and/or knowledge).

This means the TEO is responsible for:

  • undertaking a preliminary evaluation of the learner and identifying whether they are likely to have the knowledge, skills, and attributes that can contribute to the graduate outcomes of the qualification
  • seeking evidence of prior academic achievement, including using an NZQA Record of Achievement, when each learner enrols, and
  • for level 3 qualifications, carrying out a National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualification check with NZQA to see each learner's full NCEA achievement and paid and unpaid credits.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the NZQA Qualifications Data and Data Analysis team on 0800 697 296.

Unpaid NZQA fees for credits

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) administers a process for clearing unpaid credits achieved at secondary school. We supply NZQA with enrolment information after each Single Data Return (SDR) and this information is used to match national student numbers (NSNs) with NZQA records.

To see a learner's paid and unpaid credits, NZQA recommends doing an NCEA qualification check prior to enrolment.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the NZQA Qualifications Data and Data Analysis team on 0800 697 296.

Student Loans and Allowances

A TEO that provides Youth Guarantee programmes must not charge tuition fees to any learner. 

A Youth Guarantee learner who is under 18 years old is not eligible for a Student Loan under the Student Loan Scheme. A learner who is 18 to 24 years old, however, may be eligible to access course-related costs and living costs as part of the Student Loan Scheme.

Note: Learners who turn 18 while enrolled in a Youth Guarantee funded qualification are not eligible for course-related costs or living costs until their next programme (qualification) enrolment.

TEOs must ensure that Youth Guarantee learners understand they need to confirm their eligibility for a Student Loan or Student Allowance with StudyLink as part of deciding to undertake study (using the tools on the StudyLink website). It is important that learners  make good study decisions based on all the relevant information. 


  • For learners to be able to access any part of the Student Loan or Student Allowances Schemes, the qualification(s) the learner is enrolled in must meet the loan entry threshold (LET) and be approved in Services for Tertiary Education Organisations (STEO) by the TEC.
  • TEOs must add the appropriate source of funding to the Verification of Study (VoS) to StudyLink. For all Youth Guarantee enrolments code 22 should be added to the VoS.
  • TEOs are no longer required to use concurrent qualifications to indicate to StudyLink the type and age of learners enrolled. Concurrent qualifications will only be used where a learner is enrolled in multiple qualifications simultaneously and the full study load (EFTS value of the qualifications) needs to be advised to StudyLink. 


See the YG funding conditions from the relevant year for the full withdrawal requirements.

Funding conditions by year

A 'withdrawal' is when a learner ceases to participate in a course, programme or training scheme, either:

  • by providing notice to the TEO that they wish to withdraw participation, or
  • as a result of non-attendance or non-participation for any reason.

Disengaged learners who have not formally withdrawn

A learner may have disengaged from the programme or training scheme but not have formally withdrawn. For example, they may not have attended face-to-face courses. 

Determine at the earliest opportunity if a disengaged learner is withdrawing from a course. If the enrolment continues to be reported and is unsuccessful, it will be counted as a course non-completion for the calculation of Educational Performance Indicators (EPIs). 

Setting a withdrawal date for a withdrawn learner

TEOs need to apply a “withdrawal date” to any enrolment in the Single Data Return (SDR) where a learner withdraws.

Advising StudyLink and other parties of learner withdrawal

When a learner in receipt of a loan and / or allowance withdraws from a programme, the date of withdrawal that the TEO must notify to StudyLink is the date the TEO determined that the learner had ceased to participate (e.g. for non-attendance or non-participation).