Social studies

Guidelines and Audit Methodology published for PBRF Quality Evaluation 2026

Guidelines and Audit Methodology published for PBRF Quality Evaluation 2026

Last updated 30 November 2023
Last updated 30 November 2023

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has published the TEO and Assessment Guidelines for Quality Evaluation 2026, alongside the audit methodology.

Guidelines for Quality Evaluation 2026 published

We are pleased to announce the following guidelines are now available:

This completes the operational design phase of Quality Evaluation 2026 and is the culmination of two years’ work by the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Sector Reference Group (SRG).

The revised operational design of Quality Evaluation 2026 reflects Cabinet’s decisions on the PBRF following an independent review in 2019–20. Collectively, the changes recognise a broader understanding of research excellence and will make the outcomes of the assessment more equitable for all participants.

The TEC and the Co-Chairs thank the SRG for bringing their time, expertise and careful thought to this important mahi. We recognise the commitment, mātauranga and leadership that our Co-Chairs Professor Wiremu Doherty and Professor Wendy Larner have brought to the SRG and thank them for their service.

Professor Larner reflects, “The questions the SRG were asked to consider and consult on were at times complex and highly significant to the future of Aotearoa New Zealand’s research landscape. It’s been an honour to work with them to arrive at rigorous solutions that I believe will benefit the whole sector.”

Professor Doherty says, “Members of this group gifted an exceptional level of expertise and dedication to this process, and this created a foundation that will support improved outcomes for TEOs and staff members participating in Quality Evaluation 2026.”

TEC’s Deputy Chief Executive – Delivery, Gillian Dudgeon, adds, “As well as our SRG we also thank the TEOs, peak bodies, organisations, faculties, departments, and individuals that provided thoughtful feedback across the 12 consultation papers. Your engagement with the consultation process is critical for a robust and reliable outcome for TEOs and participating staff members. The Guidelines will support TEOs, panellists, and staff members participating in Quality Evaluation 2026 over the coming years.”  

TEO audit methodology confirmed

The Audit Methodology for PBRF Quality Evaluation 2026, developed by Deloitte, has also been published following public consultation. This supports the design changes made to the settings for Quality Evaluation 2026.

Staff Guidelines and Panel-Specific Guidelines

We will publish updated Staff Guidelines in mid-December 2023.

Consultation on the Panel-Specific Guidelines for Quality Evaluation 2026 closed on 10 November. Panels will consider this feedback and finalise their advice. We will publish the final Panel-Specific Guidelines in March 2024.

PBRF web page updates

With the publication of this information for Quality Evaluation 2026, we have updated the PBRF web pages and navigation structure.

This will make it easier to find relevant information and documents related to past and current fund information.