Qualifications in professional fields

Qualifications Recognition Services (QRS) decides the level at which an international qualification aligns with the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). If your qualification can be recognised by QRS, it will be compared to a level on the NZQF – and in some cases a qualification type – as a way to translate your qualification for New Zealand employers, education providers or Immigration NZ.

However if you're moving to New Zealand and seeking employment in your profession, the assessment of your qualification completed through us is likely to be just a part of the wider process that you'll need to undertake with other organisations.

The most obvious is your involvement with Immigration NZ – who will be in charge of your visa application. But if you have a professional qualification, it's likely you'll also need to register and/or complete a further assessment with your local industry or professional body, such as the Education Council of Aotearoa NZ, or with Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) if you're an engineer. This is who you should talk to regarding any immigration or registration considerations you may have.

Why you still need to do an IQA even if you're being assessed by your industry body

Teachers and people in the engineering field are the most likely people to need an additional assessment outside of the IQA. However you'll still need to do an IQA in addition to your industry or professional body's assessment. We work in tandem with IPENZ and the Education Council of Aotearoa NZ to provide what they can't, and vice versa. They have the professional expertise in their field and can assess the content of your qualification, the standard of your professional qualification at the time it was awarded, and your eligibility to practice your profession in New Zealand. Whereas – as the international qualifications experts – we're here to ensure that your qualification and its awarding body is legitimate, and to determine how it aligns to the NZQF. 

A good first step – check the Long Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL)

This is an Immigration NZ-owned list of sought-after qualifications and professions for New Zealand. Commonly sought-after occupation groups include engineering, those in the health and social services, construction, ICT and science.

Please be aware: There are many factors involved in the IQA, so it's not always possible for your international qualification to be directly compared to one of the New Zealand qualifications on the LTSSL.

Handy tip

Even if the name of your qualification matches the name of a NZ qualification on the LTSSL, this doesn't necessarily mean they'll be comparable. You'll need to wait until the results of your IQA to see if your qualification can compare to one on the LTSSL.

In the case when you've completed an IQA with us but we're unable to make a comparison of your qualification to the LTSSL, you may be able to do one or more of these things to explore other options which may be available to you in order to meet LTSSL requirements:

  • Contact Immigration New Zealand
  • Have an assessment with IPENZ (if your qualification is in engineering)
  • Seek advice from a licensed Immigration Advisor or lawyer

See Immigration NZ for more information

Does my work experience contribute towards the outcome of my PAR or IQA?

NZQA doesn't assess work experience or take it into account when completing an assessment – we only look at your qualifications. The only time work experience is relevant to us is when it's a part of gaining a trade qualification or formal apprenticeship – in this case it's considered to be part of a qualification, rather than work experience.

Guide to your profession and working in New Zealand

Here are some common professions that have additional steps to complete outside of the IQA. If your profession isn't here, Immigration NZ has more information on requirements for people looking to move to or gain employment in New Zealand. They should be considered your primary resource for information.

Guide for teachers

Here's what else you'll need to do:

  • Start your registration with the Education Council of Aotearoa NZ
    This is your professional body, who will ultimately decide if you can practice as a teacher in New Zealand. They can begin your registration paperwork, although at some point they'll need your IQA. So for the greatest efficiency, contact the Education Council at the same time you apply for an IQA with us.
  • Handy tip

    Don't complete the Teaching Practicum form if you have a New Zealand Initial Teacher Education (ITE) qualification.

    Do complete the Teaching Practicum form if your ITE was gained overseas (outside NZ) and you want it assessed.

    Send a Teaching Practicum form with your IQA
    If you hold an overseas ITE qualification, please complete the Teaching Practicum Form and send it along with the standard IQA supporting documents (such as your qualification award and record of study). This helps us to understand more about the practical element of your teaching qualification. You'll need to complete a separate form for each teaching placement you completed during your teaching qualification.
    Download Teaching Practicum Form (DOC, 54KB)
  • Following your IQA assessment
    No matter what the outcome of your IQA with us is, you'll also need to apply to the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand for further assessment if you want to be registered as a school teacher in New Zealand. Don't forget to send your IQA to the Education Council, as they'll need this to complete their assessment of whether you meet their requirements for registration.
    Visit the Education Council of Aotearoa NZ

Guide for engineers

In addition to the IQA report from NZQA, it's likely you'll require an assessment by the IPENZ.

There may also be cases where you don't need an IQA at all, so please check with Immigration NZ and IPENZ if you're an engineer, engineer technologist or engineer technician before applying for an IQA.

This is helpful information from IPENZ about the process of moving to New Zealand:

Read the IPENZ guide

Where to next?

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