Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Tertiary Education Organisations with Consent to Assess Entering Candidates for Achievement Standards 2017

1.  Authority, commencement and application

  1. These rules are made under section 253 (1) (j) of the Education Act 1989, and are called the Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Tertiary Education Organisations with Consent to Assess Entering Candidates Achievement Standards 2017.
  2. These Rules
    1. are effective from 1 February 2017 and
    2. replace the previous Assessment and Examination Rules for Tertiary Education Organisations with Consent to Assess Entering Candidates for externally Assessed Achievement Standards 2016 which are consequentially revoked.
  3. These Rules specify requirements for assessment and examination of Candidates entered by Tertiary Education Organisations in achievement standards listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards. 
  4. The principles of fairness, validity and transparency of assessment practice for all candidates are fundamental to the administration of assessment standards in Tertiary Education Organisations and underpin these Rules.

2.  Definitions

In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires:

Act The Education Act 1989.
Achievement Standard or Standard
An assessment standard listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards that is identified as an achievement standard.
Appointed staff member The staff member within a TEO, apointed by the TEO under Rule 5.1
Assessment Collecting and evaluating evidence to establish the level of an individual’s performance, whether carried out by external methods (common assessment tasks, examinations and portfolio submissions), internal methods, or a combination of external and internal methods, or any other approved method.
Assessment opportunity An instance where an opportunity is given to a Candidate to be assessed against a standard.
Candidate Student that is entered for achievement standards.
Common Assessment Task An assessment task that is developed by NZQA, for the purposes of NZQA Rule 7.1.7 of the School Rules.
Consent to assess The consent granted to an institution under section 252 of the Act to assess students against standards on the Directory.
Derived grades  Pre-existing standard-specific evidence of achievement used to give a grade to a Candidate. 
Directory The Directory of Assessment Standards provided for in section 248A of the Act.
Entry The information sent by an education organisation to NZQA indicating the externally assessed achievement standards a Candidate is being assessed against.
Exclusions list The list maintained and published by NZQA of unit standards and achievement standards that have been identified as having the same learning outcomes.
Fee Schedule
Means the schedule of fees charged by NZQA and published on its website pursuant to section 254 of the Act.
NZQA The New Zealand Qualifications Authority continued under section 256A of the Act.
NZQF The New Zealand Qualifications Framework provided for in section 248 of the Act.
Publish To make available on the NZQA website.
Qualification A qualification listed on the NZQF.
Record of Achievement An individual student's transcript of standards credited to the student and national or New Zealand qualifications completed, maintained by NZQA.
School Any relevant school with consent to assess within the meaning of section 246 of the Act which has consent to assess.
School Rules The Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools with Consent to Assess 2017.
TEO or Tertiary Education Organisation A university, polytechnic, wānanga, government training establishment, registered establishment, or industry training organisation (as each of those entities is defined in section 159(1) of the Act) with consent to assess against the achievement standards in respect of which a student studying or training at the TEO is entered.
Verified The process where by a sample of grade judgements are externally confirmed.

3. Acronyms commonly used in these rules

NZQA New Zealand Qualifications Authority
NZQF New Zealand Qualifications Framework
TEO Tertiary Education Organisation

4. Application of these rules

4.1 These rules apply to TEOs which enter candidates for internal or external assessment and examination in achievement standards.

5. Responsibilities of the TEO

5.1 The TEO must appoint a staff member who is competent to perform, and will perform, the following duties:

  1. maintaining and monitoring quality assurance practices within the TEO to ensure the validity and credibility of assessment for qualifications;
  2. liaising with NZQA and responding to NZQA communications and requests for information, ensuring the integrity and quality of data forwarded to NZQA;
  3. contacting NZQA ( to make arrangements for entry of Candidates for externally assessed achievement standards; and
  4. considering and making recommendations to NZQA on applications for derived grades and special assessment conditions for externally assessed achievement standards.

6. Assessment and related requirements

6.1 TEO consent to assess is necessary

The TEO must hold consent to assess in the achievement standards entered by its Candidates.

6.2 TEO assessment processes

Processes used by a TEO to assess Candidates will be in accordance with the content of the achievement standards that are listed on the Directory, and their assessment specifications that are published by NZQA.

6.3 Student eligibility for entry

6.3.1 A student is eligible to be entered as a Candidate for assessment against an externally assessed achievement standard who:

  1. meets any eligibility criteria specified in the standard concerned; and
  2. has entries for the standards concerned forwarded to NZQA by the TEO.

6.3.2 A Candidate is not eligible for assessment against a standard if prevented from doing so under the Breaches of the Rules (see Rules 7.4.9 and 7.4.13 of these Rules).

6.3.3 NZQA may permit a student to be entered as a Candidate to be assessed against an externally assessed achievement standard, despite the Candidate not meeting the eligibility criteria in Rule 6.3.1 above, where NZQA considers that extenuating circumstances justify it.

6.4 Conditions of entry

Once entered for assessment, it is a condition of that entry that the Candidate:

  1. is subject to these Rules; and
  2. permits NZQA access to and use of the material produced by the Candidate for the educational purposes (for example as published exemplars to illustrate grade boundaries).

6.5 Exclusions List

Where a Candidate is assessed against an achievement standard and a unit standard that are included in the Exclusions List, only the standard with the highest credit value will be used for award of qualifications.

6.6 Candidate failure to pay entry fees

Candidates who are assessed in standards during a calendar year, but who have not paid relevant entry or credit reporting fees set out in the Fees Schedule, will not have results for those standards used to award qualifications.


7. School Rules that apply to these Rules

7.1 Application of School Rules

The School Rules:

  1. apply to these Rules, as set out in 7.4.1 – 7.4.20 below, as if they were made under these Rules; and
  2. are subject to the general and specific modifications noted below.

7.2 General modifications

For the purposes of Rules 7.4.1 – 7.4.20 unless, the context otherwise requires, the definitions in Rule 2 of the School Rules apply, except that throughout those Rules references-

  1. to Schools are references to TEOs;
  2. to the Principal’s Nominee are references to the Appointed Staff member;
  3. to MNA or Managing National Assessment reviews are references to a focus area within External Evaluation and Review;
  4. to NCEA examinations are references to examinations for externally assessed achievement standards;
  5. to internal assessment and internally assessed assessment standards are references to assessment of internally assessed achievement standards;
  6. to New Zealand Scholarship, or scholarship, are not relevant to these Rules;
  7. to unit standards are not relevant to these Rules except in relation to Rule 7.4.20 below (relating to credit exclusion); and
  8. to reporting Not Achieved results are not relevant except in relation to Rule 7.4.9 below (relating to breaches of the rules) and Rule 7.4.10 below (relating to assessment opportunities for internal assessment).

7.3 Policies and procedures

TEOs must have, and implement consistently, policies and procedures that reflect the principles of fairness, validity and transparency for all students for the following matters:

  1. breaches of rules for internal assessment and for external assessment;
  2. missed and late assessments, and derived grade process;
  3. external assessment by other than NZQA examinations;
  4. authenticity of Candidate work submitted as assessment evidence; and
  5. review or reconsideration of external assessment results.

7.4 Specific Rules

The rules of the School Rules which apply to these Rules through Rule 7.1 above are (with the cross-referenced rules of those School Rules in parenthesis):

7.4.1Timing of Assessment - External Assessment (Rule 5.1);

7.4.2Special Assessment Conditions  (Rule 5.5);

7.4.3Reporting (Rule 5.6);

7.4.4Use of Technology and Equipment for Assessment Purposes (Rule 5.7);

7.4.5Assessment Specifications (Rule 5.8);

7.4.6Translation of External Assessments and Moderation Materials (Rule 5.9);

7.4.7 -Managing National Assessment (Rule 6.3):

Specific modification: Paragraph a. of Rule 6.3 of the School Rules does not apply, and instead the following paragraph applies:

a. NZQA will review TEO systems for managing national assessment against achievement standards on the Directory:

i. through the annual external moderation of assessment materials and assessor decisions, and

ii. inclusion of them as a focus area in External Evaluation and Review.

7.4.8 - External moderation (Rule 6.5)

7.4.9 - Breaches of the Rules - Internal Assessment (Rule 6.6)

Paragraph d. of Rule 6.6 of the School Rules does not apply, and instead the following paragraph applies:

e. Where a Candidate has been found to have breached the rules, whether knowingly or unwittingly, and the breach undermines the credibility of the assessment, a TEO reporting the Candidate’s results for an assessment standard to a School must report a “Not Achieved” to the School for the assessment standards involved.

 7.4.10 - Assessment Opportunities for Internal Assessment (Rule 6.7)

Paragraph g. of Rule 6.7 of the School Rules does not apply, and instead the following paragraph applies:

g. Where the TEO is reporting a Candidate’s results to a School, a ‘Not Achieved’ grade must be reported for that Candidate where the Candidate has had an adequate opportunity to be assessed but has not taken this opportunity.

7.4.11 - General Conditions for External Assessment (Rule 7.1)

7.4.12 - Examination Centres (Rule 7.1.1)

Specific modifications:

(i) The special accommodation provision in paragraph c. of this Rule 7.1.1, and the examination centre provisions in paragraphs d. to g. of this Rule 7.1.1, only apply (with necessary modifications, and with Rule 7.1.2 (Examination Supervision) also applying) to a TEO where, after reasonable endeavours, the TEO has been unable to make formal arrangements to use an examination centre of the kind referred to in paragraph (a) of this Rule 7.1.1.

7.4.13 - Breaches of the Rules - External Assessment (Rule 7.1.3)

7.4.14 - Appeal and review of an Appeal Decision - External Assessment (Rule 7.1.4)

7.4.15 - Derived Grade Process (Rule 7.1.5)

7.4.16 - External Assessment by other than NZQA Examinations (Rule 7.1.6)

Specific modifications: Paragraph d. of clause 7.1.6 of the School Rules does not apply, and instead, the following paragraphs apply:

d.   All candidate work submitted for external assessment must be:

i.   authenticated as the candidate’s own work by TEOs in accordance with their own policies and procedures for managing the authenticity of learner work submitted as assessment evidence; and

ii.   verified through the process notified annually by NZQA to the TEO.

7.4.17 - Assessment of Common Assessment Tasks (Rule 7.1.7);

Specific modification:

Paragraph c. of clause 7.1.7 of the Assessment (including Examination) Rules for Schools with Consent to Assess does not apply, and instead, the following paragraphs apply:

c.   All candidate work submitted for external assessment must be:

i.   authenticated as the candidate’s own work by TEOs in accordance with their own policies and procedures for managing the authenticity of learner work submitted as assessment evidence; and

ii.   verified by a process notified annually by NZQA to the TEO.

7.4.18 - Return of Achievement Standard External Assessment Material (Rule 7.1.8)

7.4.19 - Review or Reconsideration of External Assessment Results (Rule 7.1.9)

7.4.20 - Credit Exclusion (Rule 8.2).

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