VoS parameters and rules

Outlines the different Verification of Study (VoS) parameters, as well as the 52-week and one-month VoS rules and how they are used in the VoS process.

VoS parameters

There are a number of individual parameters that can be set by education providers to help them better manage the VoS process and tailor it to their needs. To change any of these parameters, or to confirm what these are currently set to, please contact the StudyLink Helpline.



VoS request frequency

The number of days between when StudyLink sends an initial VoS request for a student and when a follow-up request will be sent.

VoS lead in days

The number of days prior to the student's declared study start date that the initial VoS request will be issued.

Pay fees day

Fees can be paid either

  • 14 days prior to study start date.
  • On the study start date.
  • 7 days after after the start date.

IRD before VoS

Option for StudyLink to not send VoS requests until evidence of IRD number has been sighted.

Require Student ID

Option for StudyLink to not send VoS requests until StudyLink has the Student ID number.

Ignore mismatch

If set to 'yes', the education provider will be able to match on two out of three identifiers.

If set to 'no' the education provider will need to match on all three identifiers.

The 52-week rule

The student's VoS response should only exceed 52 weeks if TEC has specifically approved that programme to be delivered over more than 52 weeks per enrolment period.

While a programme of study may have been approved for three years, the number of weeks per year is generally less than 52 weeks.

This means that the number of weeks between the study start and end date should not exceed 52 weeks unless this approval has been given by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Any VoS responses that are sent through that are over 52 weeks in length where that programme is not approved for more than 52 weeks, will not be used.

Where the student is studying for more than 52 weeks on a programme that is not approved for this length, the education provider will need to split the enrolment, and return separate VoS responses for each semester or period. This will include splitting the EFTS and fees details on a per semester basis. This should be rare though, as a student should not be studying for more than 52 weeks in one period on a programme that is not approved for this length of time.

The one-month rule

The VoS Study Start Date is set one calendar month prior to the study start date the student has declared on their application, to allow for a margin of student error. A VoS response which confirms a study start date prior to this cannot generally be used.

This is known as the one-month rule.

If the study start date is before the VoS study start date, then the education provider would be returning an “Unregistered” VoS response.

If an education provider notices that a VoS response will not apply because of the one-month rule, they can advise the student to contact StudyLink to change their declared study start date. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their declared details are accurate, but this is an area where education providers may also be able to assist.


When a subsequent VoS response is received for a student, it will generally override the previous VoS response that is on the record. In cases where you don't want this to happen, StudyLink can lock a VoS response on to a student's application. This is called a VoS-lock.

An example of where an education provider may want a VoS-lock applied could be a case where a student’s study details differ from the generic dates for that programme of study. Some education provider's systems will automatically respond with the generic dates whenever StudyLink requests VoS details. In these cases, the education provider would send through a Blank VoS with the correct details, and ask for this to be VoS-locked so that any incorrect VoS response with the generic dates can not apply.

An education provider can notify StudyLink of this via SAKBase. They will need to confirm exactly which VoS response they would like to be locked-on and the reasons why.