Careers & CPD » University Programmes » Programme Accreditation Framework

The New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA) is the recognised national body for speech-language therapists. 

Accreditation (re-accreditation) is the process NZSTA uses to ensure New Zealand speech-language therapy students participate in world-class academic and clinical education programmes.  Furthermore, those graduating students are appropriately equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the lives of New Zealanders who experience communication and swallowing difficulties.

Accreditation maintains the New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association’s commitment to the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

The Association grants accreditation to speech-language therapy programmes that meet the NZSTA accreditation standards.  All New Zealand Universities offering speech-language therapy degrees with professional entry programmes, whether undergraduate or postgraduate-entry, are evaluated against the same standards.

The NZSTA Programme Accreditation Framework serves to:

  • Assure quality to prospective students.
  • Inform prospective students of entry into the profession of the standards and the range of competencies they must achieve before recognition as members of the profession.
  • Demonstrate internationally the level of competency achieved by New Zealand speech-language therapy students.  This international comparability will continue to allow for graduate mobility.
  • Provide a benchmark against which speech-language therapy.  qualifications from other countries can be assessed for eligibility for NZSTA membership.
  • Inform Provider Institutions of the basic requirements of the professional education of speech-language therapists and the level of resources reasonably expected to meet these.
  • Inform employers of their contribution to the Programme and their responsibilities to entry-level speech-language therapists.
  • Outline the range and standard of practice employers can expect of entry-level speech-language therapists.
  • Promote dialogue and support between the provider institutions and the NZSTA.


Provider Institutions are accredited against four standards:
  1. The Aotearoa New Zealand Context
  2. Education Progamme Structure
  3. Clinical Education.  The Association permits only those graduates who have achieved the entry-level requirements specified in the Competency-Based Occupational Standards (CBOS) from a programme awarded accreditation for being eligible for membership.
  4. Academic Education

Please note the Framework and the CBOS are currently under revision.  New versions are due to be launched in 2023.

Accreditation Fee Structure

Accreditation fees are charged per university each year.  Additional fees apply for new programmes seeking accreditation for the first time and accreditation site visits for universities with more than one accredited programme.

Programme Accreditation Committee 
The Programme Accreditation Committee (PAC) oversees programme accreditation and monitoring of quality within the accredited Programmes and reports to the Board through the PAC chair and NZSTA professional standards portfolio holder.
PAC has representatives from each Programme, sectors in the profession, and Māori.
Our current committee is:
Dr Felicity Bright (Chair), Dr Karen Brewer (Māori representative), Libby Coates (Health), Fiona Cook (Education), Shannon Hennig (Private Practice), Dr Sally Clendon (Massey University), Associate Professor Clare McCann (University of Auckland), Gina Tillard (University of Canterbury), and Selena Donaldson (NZSTA Professional Standards).