About our Future State Programme

The Future State Programme is a multi-year programme of work that spans both secondary and tertiary education within the scope of our role.

This programme will help ensure learners qualify for a future world that is increasingly global and digitally connected. NZQA will support this through ensuring qualifications remain relevant, reliable, and robust within ever-changing contexts.

The Future State programme, which commenced in 2013, has six key areas of focus, as outlined below.

Interwoven with the Future State work, we also have two other key strategies, Te Rautaki Māori and our Pasifika Plan, and programmes of work to reach the Māori and Pasifika in STEM goal. These are both critical strategies to ensuring success for Māori and Pacific learners and providers that support them.

1. Improving the experience of our customers

NZQA has always been focussed on being responsive to our customers and ensuring our services remain relevant. This work is focused on ensuring that NZQA’s services are easy to access and use, and that we respond to the changing needs of our customers – we intend to make our services more user-friendly and seamless.

2. Quality assurance in a borderless world

This work aims to ensure that there is continued trust and confidence in New Zealand qualifications through ensuring the credibility and relevance of New Zealand Qualifications (contained on our NZQF), both nationally and internationally. This work also supports the delivery of learner-centric quality assurance services, and will enable learning outcomes for individual learners to be accessible, transferrable and portable.

3. Moving to digital assessment

This work is aimed at modernising and digitising the NCEA assessment functions that NZQA administers, and ensuring our processes and systems that support this are fit-for-purpose. To progress this, we will leverage new technologies to deliver a new end-to-end process (from preparing and sitting exams, to marking them) for undertaking assessments online, progressively moving to on-demand.

4. Exploring commercial opportunities

This work is being undertaken in response to increasing international interest in NZQA’s innovations in National Qualification Frameworks, quality assurance, and assessment. This work includes responding to commercial opportunities from partner agencies and education service providers for NZQA support and involvement in export education initiatives.

5. Flexible business information

This work will ensure that qualifications data and other information captured by NZQA is reliable, accessible, and easy to manage. Additionally, NZQA’s data will increasingly be publically available and accessible via our website (i.e. we are moving to self-service), and will inform its advisory role activities.

6. Ensuring our core systems continue to support our business needs

This work will support all the other projects, and NZQA’s business as usual, by ensuring that NZQA moves towards flexible, modular, cost-effective IT systems that can support changing business needs.

When will the programme be delivered?

As the programme has multiple work streams and projects, it will evolve and incrementally be delivered over a number of years. Our main goal is related to digital assessment – we intend that the majority of NCEA examinations may be completed online by 2020. This supports the first of NZQA’s three organisational goals.

  • NCEA examinations online by 2020, where appropriate.

  • Qualification recognition arrangements with at least 50 countries by 2020.

  • NZQA partners with education system agencies to support a 50% lift of Māori and Pasifika student achievement at NCEA level 3 in one or more standards, in STEM subject related areas by 2020.

NZQA is working with end users of our services as we progress this work, including reference groups and focus groups, to develop solutions that work for all users.

Who will benefit from the Future State programme?

Learners will benefit from having qualifications that continue to be credible and relevant in a global context, thereby improving their employability, both nationally and internationally. There will also be benefits from experiencing assessment as an extension of teaching and learning, through the application of knowledge to real world settings, enhanced by technology. Additionally, learners who need special assistance will be better supported.

Teachers will benefit from streamlined moderation and additional processes, both to support teacher practice assessment closer to learning, and less need to focus on teaching to the end-of-year examination.

Schools that will have better access to information, including assessment data that can provide a feedback loop into teaching practices.

Tertiary institutions will be able to deliver programmes against a qualifications framework that is well understood and supported by employers, and recognised internationally. Tertiary institutions will be able to access more efficient moderation, approval, and accreditation services.

Employers will have access to suitable employees, whose learning has prepared them for working in real world situations, with 21st century skills.

Share your views

NZQA is keen to hear views from all our customers and interested parties on the work we are progressing as part of the Future State Programme.

If you have any general views to share, any queries or would like more information, please email future.state@nzqa.govt.nz.

Page last updated 8 July 2016

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