Professional Development Grants

Applications for the ACE Professional Development Grants are OPEN.

COVID-19 Impact on ACE Professional Development Funding

Considering the COVID-19 situation your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your families and communities is our priority. With this in mind, we ask that you consider risk management in detail to be included in your applications. This will be a priority criteria for the Selection Panel consideration of all new applications and existing approved grants.

What is a Professional Development (PD) Grant?

The PD grants funding supports the professional learning needs of educators, providers and communities in the Adult and Community Education (ACE) sector.

There are two types of Professional Development grants available:

  • Small PD Grant – Up to $5,000. For workshops or one-off training sessions. Click here to download the Small PD Grant application.
  • Innovation PD Grant – Up to $50,000. For professional development plans for groups of organisations. Click here to download the Innovation PD Grant application.

Eligibility Checklist

Please ensure you meet all the criteria below before applying for each fund:

Innovation Grant and Small Grant Criteria:

  • Be a charitable and non-profit organisation or community group.
  • Be an education provider or community group that provides ACE services?
    • ACE Providers, community groups, and networks involved in adult and community education.
  • Have a focus on improving learning for ACE learners.
  • Have a focus on improving learning for Māori and Pacific learners, disabled learners and/or those with learning support needs.
  • The activity or project must meet the definition of professional development.
    Learning to increase the level of skill and effectiveness of educators and adult and community learning services.
  • Be an educator/provider working with at least one of the following:
    • Two or more providers or community groups working together
    • Two or more regional offices working together

    The activity or project must be completed within 12 months.

If applying for an Innovation Grant you must also answer the following questions:

  • Have a professional plan or strategy with clear goals and objectives.
  • The professional development plan or strategy must meet the definition of innovative - doing something new or different.
  • Had two or less Innovation PD Grants approved.

What we do not fund

  • Businesses, profit making organisations, consultants
  • Individuals (such as course attendance, qualifications, or conference fees)
  • Individual organisations
  • International travel
  • Research
  • Existing programmes
  • New programmes that deliver on what your organisation is designed to do (your core business).

What is Adult and Community Education (ACE)?

Adult and Community Education (ACE) is part of New Zealand’s tertiary and broader education sector.  ACE is identified in many forms including informal education and non-formal education, post-compulsory education, adult learning, lifelong learning, leisure and recreation learning.  Through ACE adults may choose to engage in a range of education activities within the community.  It provides individual and group learning and promotes whānau empowerment, equity, active citizenship, critical and social awareness and sustainable development.

How do I apply?

Before applying please familiarise yourself with The Statement of National and Learning Priorities (NELP) & Tertiary Education Strategy (TES).

If you are interested in applying, please get in touch with us to discuss your ideas and for any help with filling either the Small PD Grant Application form or the Innovation PD Grant Application form. Please make sure to read the Information Guide and check the criteria to make sure you are eligible to apply. Email us at or call 04 473 6625.

This application is closes at 5pm, 30 September 2024.