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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

Enrolment information

This section is a useful reference guide. It outlines our enrolment process and provides answers to questions around fees and eligibility.

For corporate businesses

What's the difference between a Training Agreement and a Training Plan?

What is a Training Agreement?

A Training Agreement is a required legal document signed by the employer, a Primary ITO staff member, and trainee. By signing the agreement:

  • The employer agrees to provide training at work, and to allow staff to attend off job training or to study by distance. They also agree to make time available for formal assessment.
  • Primary ITO commits to coordinating the enrolment and to support the trainee and employer.
  • The trainee agrees to learn the skills required for the job and participate in the training and assessment for the programme to the best of their ability.

Download the Corporate Training Agreement 

A Training Agreement is terminated when:

  • The trainee ceases to be employed by the employer named in their Training Agreement.
  • The training ceases or is completed.
  • The opportunity for training no longer exists due to the actions of either party.
  • Legal entitlement to work in New Zealand ceases.

A Training Agreement should be placed on hold when an employee is not actively training but intends to resume their training programme at a later date. This could include situations such as:

  • A worker has been laid off but expects to return to the same employer and resume their training in the following season.
  • A trainee or apprentice is unable to continue with the training due to workload but intends to resume training on the off-season.
  • A trainee or apprentice is unable to continue with training due to personal matters but intends to resume training in the future.
  • A trainee is on ACC for an extended period.

What is a training plan?

A Training Plan shows the breakdown of unit standards and credits an employee needs to undertake to meet the requirements of a programme. If an employee has already been awarded one of the selected units, the Training Plan and Training Programme will be adjusted accordingly. Training plans can be found in "Our Programmes" page, for your team. Simply go to the sector you are interested in and expand the course tile.

How do I enrol someone?

1. Ensure employees are eligible for TEC funded training. To be eligible for industry training subsidies, trainees must be employed and be actively progressing through a training programme.

2. Agree staff training requirements in the form of a Training Plan.

3. Complete a Training Agreement.

4. Ensure they have relevant identification (ID) and provide evidence of this. If an acceptable form of ID can’t be provided we will attempt to source and verify the trainee’s identification via a National Student Number (NSN) enquiry. There will be an administration fee charged to your organisation of $50 + GST per trainee.We must receive all documentation within 90 days of the trainee start date. Call 0800 350 035 if you have any questions. Accepted forms of ID include a:

  • Birth certificate (issued after 1 January 1998); or
  • Certificate of identity; or
  • New Zealand certificate of citizenship; or
  • Current passport (or an expired passport that has not been cancelled); or
  • Current New Zealand Firearms Licence; or
  • Current New Zealand photo driver licence; or
  • Copy of work visa where relevant.

5. Send all enrolment-related documents to our Centralised Customer Service Team based in our Hamilton Office:

  • Email: 
  • Post: Enrolments, PO Box 488, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240.

We must receive all documentation within 90 days of the trainee start date. Call 0800 350 035 if you have any questions.

What's the difference between a Qualification and a Training Programme?

Qualifications are registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and achieved when a Training Programme is completed. They outline the graduate profile and what a person will learn and be able to skilfully perform upon completion.

A Training Programme outlines the learning pathway towards achieving a Qualification. They are built through the assembly of compulsory and elective unit standards that make up the specified credit value and duration. A Training Programme can’t be made up of more than 75 enrolled credits per calendar year.

What are Limited and Supplementary Credit Programmes?

Limited Credit Programmes (LCPs) and Supplementary Credit Programmes (SCPs) are short training programme variants. LCPs are "taster" courses and provide a pathway toward a full Certificate (great for entry level employees) while SCPs are for staff who have already completed a New Zealand Certificate, but require further training in a specific area. 

For potential trainees

How do I know if I’m eligible for a course?

For most of our programmes you need to be working for a primary sector employer based here in New Zealand. Some programmes require you to have prior industry experience or specific workplace responsibilities. You can find this information in Our Programmes page, simply expand the programmes that you are interested in.

Do I qualify for fees-free training?

You can check if your eligible on If you left school in 2017 or 2018 you’re likely to qualify. For eligible trainees and apprentices starting in 2018, fees-free covers up to the first two years of your course.

Can I train with Primary ITO as an international student? What are the fees?

To be eligible for industry training international students must have a written employment agreement and be legally entitled to work in New Zealand, evidenced by a valid Work Visa or valid Working Holiday Visa. Please contact us for fee information.

Can I apply for a student loan to cover my fees?

No - student loans are not available for Primary ITO training. However, your employer may cover your fees, or you may be eligible to study fees-free (See Question 2 – Do I qualify for fees-free training?).

How do I enrol with Primary ITO?

The first step is to talk with your employer. You will then need to arrange for a Primary ITO Training Adviser to visit your workplace to discuss your training options.