Work-based mode

Aratau ā-wāhi mahi

Last updated 19 July 2023
Last updated 19 July 2023


The learner is an employee, contractor or volunteer. They are enrolled with a provider and acquire skills in their workplace. Learning is typically work-based with supported self-directed learning.

Learners are supported in all aspects of their training by both the provider and employer. Providers are responsible for the learner’s health and wellbeing support, in combination with the employer, and in accordance with their obligations under employment legislation and, where applicable, the Code of Good Practice for New Zealand Apprenticeships.

The following formal agreements are required for this mode: 

  • an agreement between the provider and employer outlining the arrangements to support learners in a work-based learning environment
  • an enrolment agreement between the learner and provider
  • a training agreement, which forms part of the employment agreement or relevant equivalent, between the employer and employee/learner.

The required agreements must cover all relevant learner and programme information and clarify provider and employer responsibility. We have not prescribed a specific format or template for these, but they should cover: 

  • learner, employer and provider obligations
  • the learning programme for the relevant mode or modes and the learning outcomes to be achieved
  • a structured programme so the learner can achieve their learning outcomes and to support their transition from one mode of delivery to another
  • enrolment and withdrawal processes
  • variation and termination processes.

The provider is funded to:

  • deliver programmes for credentials that meet regional and national skills priorities
  • determine the credits that need to be completed before the learner is eligible to undertake work-based learning with the employer
  • work with the employer to:
    • develop or amend the required agreements
    • identify relevant training needs
    • develop the learner pathway, and
    • provide the learner-specific training agreement

The employer is required to:

  • work with the provider to ensure learners have the necessary skills to undertake work-based learning
  • provide regular learning and supervision during work hours and support to attend any campus-based course
  • ensure there are relevant formal agreements
  • provide all learning support and pastoral care in relation to the learner’s needs and, where applicable and when learning is undertaken at the workplace, in accordance with the Code of Good Practice for NZ Apprenticeships
  • work with the provider to ensure all work-based learning defined in the relevant agreement is completed
  • support the provider with the assessment and verification of the learner’s skill acquisition
  • support the learner’s relevant skill acquisition and any self-directed learning through resource provision.

* Assessment activities include verification and moderation and can include purchasing and using assessment resources from an external source.

More guidance

This mode is intended to cover much of what has previously been delivered and funded as industry training. It is likely to be most accessible to providers with existing connections and operational arrangements with the sectors and workplaces concerned.

Documented agreements that outline the responsibilities of the learner, employer and provider are a requirement for this mode of delivery.

Group Training Schemes and providers training their own employees

For the purposes of the modes of delivery, we will recognise and fund Group Training Scheme (GTS) learners enrolled with TEOs that have secured TEC funding for 2023 under the work-based mode. This approach recognises the unique learner pathway that they facilitate.

Where a GTS becomes a provider, or where a provider is also the employer, we expect you to fully document any distinctions between your roles as an employer and provider for transparency to the learner. Employment agreements between the provider (as the employer) and learner (as the employee) are still required in these scenarios.


Provider D arranges to support learners who are “learning while they’re earning” as trades apprentices. The learner, employer and provider all understand the learning content delivered, how to collect evidence and any gaps in learning that can be covered within the workplace.

Learners go to their workplace most of the time. They participate in work-based activities designed to help them achieve the expected learning outcomes in their training plan. During that time they have some of their skills formally assessed by a visiting tutor. Learners may also undertake relevant block-courses at a TEO’s site during their programme.