Quality assurance and listing of unit standards

The information in this section is designed to assist standard-setting bodies (SSBs) with the quality assurance process for unit standards.

Standard-setting bodies (SSBs) are responsible for the quality of unit standards submitted to Approvals and Accreditation for listing on the Directory of Assessment Standards (DAS). The following information outlines the requirements of the quality assurance process for unit standards, which normally involves:

  • an evaluation of the unit standard against the quality assurance criteria
  • a compliance check, to ensure that any issues raised in the evaluation have been addressed.

Standards are listed on the DAS in accordance with the Directory of Assessment Standards Listing and Operational Rules 2011.

Quality assurance criteria

The Quality assurance criteria for the listing of unit standards on the Directory of Assessment Standards focus on unit standards being fit for purpose, assessable, and capable of consistent interpretation. Read the criteria in Word or PDF format.

These criteria were updated in mid 2010 after the establishment of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

Documentation requirements

Applications for the listing of unit standards must include documents that provide evidence of SSB endorsement, consultation, and quality assurance of the new or changed unit standards. The documentation requirements depend on whether the unit standards are new or have been reviewed or revised.

Please ensure you use the templates and guidelines available on the website each time you develop new unit standards or change existing ones. Previous versions may not be accepted by NZQA.

Electronic copies of all documents must be submitted to Service Support. Additional hard copy submission is optional.

Registration of a new unit standard

An application for a new unit standard must include:

Revision of a unit standard

Unit standards may be revised if they require amendments prior to a full review. A revision might involve corrections; updating legislation or references to other unit standards; or making minor changes to improve assessability.

Depending on the changes, consultation with some stakeholders will have occurred, but not the full consultation required for a review. An application for a revision of unit standards must include:

  • details of the unit standard on a separate document - unit standard template
  • a completed application form
  • a completed checklist for the evaluation of unit standards, this is the SSB's confirmation that it has quality assured the unit standards against the quality assurance criteria - checklist (DOC, 184KB) 
  • a completed change report - change report (DOC, 71KB)
  • annotated copies (by hand or electronically) of the registered versions of the unit standards, to indicate the changes. If tracked changes have been used, please submit with 'original showing mark-up'.

Review of a unit standard

A review of a unit standard involves full industry and stakeholder consultation. An application for a review of unit standards, must include:

  • details of the unit standard on a separate document - unit standard template
  • a completed application form
  • a completed checklist for the evaluation of unit standards, this is the SSB's confirmation that it has quality assured the unit standards against the quality assurance criteria - checklist (DOC, 184KB). Please note that the checklist is required only where changes have been made to the title, level, credit value, classification or assessment parameters of the standard. 
  • a completed change report - change report (DOC, 71KB)
  • annotated copies (by hand or electronically) of the registered versions of the unit standards, to indicate the changes. If tracked changes have been used, please submit with 'original showing mark-up'. 

Roll-over of a unit standard

If unit standards require an extension of their period of registration, the process is called roll-over. An application for unit standard roll-over must include:

Change of expiry date of expiring and expired unit standards

Expiry dates of expiring or expired unit standards can be changed if industry still needs the standards for a limited time or to allow candidates to complete a qualification. An application for change of expiry date must include:

Formatting guides

Macrons in unit standard documents

To include macrons in unit standards, you can download a Māori keyboard driver from the downloads section of the Microsoft New Zealand website.

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