Development of assessment standards

NZQA administers assessment standards to ensure that only credible, robust, consistent standards are listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards (DAS).

Assessment standards are:

  • drafted by expert groups and circulated to stakeholders for comment and contribution
  • submitted to NZQA for quality assurance and listing
  • subject to review by stakeholders and experts on a regular basis. This allows for assessment standards to be refined and updated over time.

Standard-setting bodies

Standard-setting bodies (SSBs) are responsible for the quality and credibility of the assessment standards that are submitted to NZQA for listing. The SSBs work with industry partners, professional groups, and other stakeholders to develop useful standards that are nationally recognised.

Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) Develop unit standards and qualifications for specific industries and professions that are based on the needs of those industries and sectors. The coverage of ITOs is set out in the gazetted coverage statements that may be accessed on the Tertiary Education Commission website. Industry training organisations are responsible for about two-thirds of standards listed on the DAS.
Māori Qualifications Services (MQS) Develops unit standards, qualifications, and support material for Field Māori. Recognised Māori experts, in partnership with MQS, form expert groups known as Whakaruruhau to set standards and qualifications. MQS is an NZQA business unit.
National Qualifications Services (NQS) Develops unit standards and qualifications that are not the responsibility of an ITO or MQS. The responsibilities of NQS include generic unit standards and qualifications. NQS is an NZQA business unit.
Ministry of Education Develops achievement standards for the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Achievement standards are at levels 1, 2 and 3, and cover learning areas related to the New Zealand curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Approvals and Accreditation

Approvals and Accreditation is the business unit within NZQA that is responsible for:

Quality Assurance criteria focus on:

  • standards being fit for purpose, assessable and capable of consistent interpretation
  • qualifications being attainable, clear in purpose and well designed
  • general editorial and formatting matters.

Approvals and Accreditation is also responsible for:

Australian units of competency

In October 2002, the Qualifications Authority Board approved a policy for the registration of Australian units of competency on the DAS. An SSB submits a DAS cover sheet and associated documentation to Approvals and Accreditation for evaluation and registration.

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