Compliance capabilities milestones reached

Three new qualifications and a new guide for compliance agencies in New Zealand were recently launched as part of the government's work on building compliance capability.

Keith Manch, Chair, Compliance Common Capability Programme and Chief Executive, Real Estate Agents Authority, says, "Achieving Compliance - a guide for compliance agencies in New Zealand and the first three compliance qualifications to be registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework represent significant milestones in the government's Compliance Common Capability Programme.

"From fisheries to health to construction, compliance is an important part of the public sector's responsibilities. Already the new compliance guide has received international praise for bringing together good practice and building a stronger professional compliance community."

Peter Burke, Manager Branch Development and Support, Department of Internal Affairs, says, "The new compliance qualifications also support the public sector's ability to perform its compliance functions well and range from entry-level to special operations to compliance management. As a whole they will form the basis for more effective and efficient compliance capability across the public sector."

More than 12,000 New Zealand public sector employees are involved in handling compliance issues. While there are differences between agencies and roles, the guide and qualifications focus on the common skills needed across compliance, such as the ability to encourage compliance, identify problems, investigate, and apply facts to legal provisions.

Overall, the Compliance Common Capability Programme will help deliver on better, smarter public services for less, by supporting a government-wide, collaborative, problem-solving and risk-based approach to compliance issues.

The programme is a joint Department of Internal Affairs and Learning State initiative, with Standards New Zealand engaged as a partner in the development of the guide.

For information on the guide visit

For information on the qualifications visit

Media contact

Shona Weller
Standards New Zealand
(04) 498 3986

Keith Manch, Chair, Compliance Common Capability Programme and Chief Executive/Registrar,
Real Estate Agents Authority
04 815 8470 or 021 227 6363

Background information for media

Compliance Common Capability Programme

The programme supports the overall development of a professional compliance community in New Zealand. Compliance activities are usually carried out by agencies within central and local government that have regulatory functions to ensure that people and organisations adhere to rules and regulations for the public good. Compliance activities include auditing, licensing, education, monitoring, surveillance, and investigation.

Achieving Compliance - a guide for compliance agencies in New Zealand

The guide is available as a free, online resource that will be frequently updated to reflect best practice. The Department of Internal Affairs sponsored the development of the guide. The development process was managed by Standards New Zealand and overseen by an advisory group of senior public service compliance practitioners. The target audience for the guide includes senior managers, operational managers, and compliance officers in central and local government agencies. The guide may also assist individuals and organisations within regulated sectors, and will be a useful reference source for legislators, policy-makers, and those undertaking compliance qualifications.

National Compliance Qualifications Project

The National Compliance Qualifications Project is a whole-of-government initiative designed to develop the capability of New Zealand's compliance sector by creating national qualifications supported by assessment and learning strategies. The project is being led jointly by the Department of Internal Affairs and Learning State (the industry training organisation for the public sector) and has a steering group comprising senior managers from a range of organisations. More than 80 public sector agencies are members of the project. The project began in 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2013.

The first three qualifications to be developed under the project that are now registered on the National Qualification Framework are:

  • National Certificate in Compliance Operations (Foundation) (Level 3)
  • National Certificate in Compliance Operations (Level 4) with an optional strand in Investigations
  • National Diploma in Compliance Investigations (Level 5) with optional strands in Prosecution and Civil Appeal Proceeding.