Qualification Approval

Qualification Framework

NZSTA has created a clear and specific Qualifications Approval Process (QAP). This procedure guides the Administrator and the Qualifications Approval Committee when reviewing applications for membership of NZSTA when the applicant was trained overseas and does not meet the criteria of the Mutual Recognition Agreement. It also serves to demonstrate to applicants, and related professional bodies, that the NZSTA has a robust procedure in place for assessing qualifications.

Applicants will be issued an invoice once their application has been received at National Office. Once payment has been received, the application will then be forwarded for approval.

Payment Options

The fee for the Qualifications Approval Process is NZD $1,500.00 and is non-refundable.

Electronic payment to NZSTA account number:  38 9012 0192936 00  Swiftcode is KIWINZ22 

Applicants will need to check with their employer and area of work as to whether there are other costs associated with their specific employment such as salary scale assessments or personal indemnity insurance. 

Membership Categories

The QAP is used when assessing applications for membership of NZSTA. If the criteria for Registered Membership is not met, then an individual may be granted Registered Membership – New Graduate or Registered Membership – Return to Practice.

Registered Member

In addition to an acceptable Speech-language Therapy/Pathology Qualification the following criteria must be met for eligibility to become a Registered Member of NZSTA:

  1. A minimum of 1 year of clinical Speech-Language Therapy/Pathology experience. Clinical practice is defined as no less than 36 weeks of full time clinical practice of at least 30 hours per week paid employment.
  2. Certified evidence of 1000 hours of Speech-Language Therapy practice within the past 5 years.
  3. Demonstrated competency in communication disorders and dysphagia. The guidelines for dysphagia competency are available here.
  4. Evidence of a record of Continuing Professional Development.
  5. Meet English language requirements in the Academic Option of the International English Testing System (IELTS) if the Speech-Language Therapy qualification was completed in a language other than English or if English is a second language. An average score of 8 in all four modules with a minimum of 8.5 in the spoken module is required. The NZSTA may request IELTS testing for any applicant at their discretion.
  6. An applicant must provide a criminal conviction record, or equivalent, for every country that they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, over the age of 18 years. This criminal conviction record should be the standard documentation which your country would issue for visa applications.

Qualifications Approval Committee

Applications are submitted to the Qualifications Approval Committee (QAC). This committee is made up of the President and the Professional Standards portfolio leader with administration assistance.

Application Processing

The following process applies in processing applications:

  1. Applications are processed by NZSTA on receipt of the application and payment. Applicants will be issued an invoice once their application has been received at National Office. Once payment full payment has been received, the application will then be forwarded for approval.
  2. The Administrator completes the Qualifications Approval checklist and may, where necessary, request  more information from the applicant.
  3. If an applicant does not meet the minimum International English Testing System score of 8, their application will not be processed further until they meet the minimum requirement.
  4. The checklist and supporting documentation is forwarded to the Qualifications Approval Committee (QAC).
  5. The QAC reviews the application. The following outcomes are possible:
      • Registered Membership is granted
      • Registered Member – New Graduate is granted
      • Registered Member – Return to Practice is granted
      • Additional information is sought from the applicant prior to approving or declining the application
      • Where concerns exist around the educational standards of an applicant, the application is reviewed by a senior academic from an NZSTA accredited programme. A decision is then made on the basis of their recommendations
      • The application is denied

6.    Applicants are advised in writing of the outcome of their application.


The final decision of the Qualifications Approval Committee is final. Applicants may not appeal the decision.  The application fee is non-refundable.

Make an Application

To apply to become a Member of NZSTA through the Qualifications Approval Process, simply download and complete the Qualifications Approval Application.  Full information is included on the form and the documentation required.

For further information, please contact admin@speechtherapy.org.nz.

The average processing times for applications is about 6 weeks.  Please allow for at least this as applications need to be approved by a committee of volunteers.  If your application is straightforward and is sent with all the correct paperwork, the time can be less than this. But we are still dependent on our committee of volunteers to approve all applications so we are unable to guarantee quicker turnaround times.