Qualifications and standards

NCEA endorsements

Recognising high achievement with 'endorsements'

When students perform consistently above the 'Achieved' level, their result(s) can be 'endorsed' to reflect that high achievement.  This can occur at either the Certificate or individual course level.

Certificate endorsement

If a student gains 50 credits at Excellence, their NCEA will be endorsed with Excellence. Likewise, if a student gains 50 credits at Merit (or Merit and Excellence), their NCEA will be endorsed with Merit. The Record of Achievement shows endorsement awards.

Credits earned can count towards an endorsement over more than one year and more than one level. However, they must be gained at the level of the certificate or above. For example, Level 2 credits will count towards endorsement of a Level 1 NCEA, but Level 1 credits will not count towards endorsement of a Level 2 NCEA.

For detail, please refer to Section 8.1 Rules and Procedures.

Course endorsement

Learn how to monitor your progress towards
Course endorsements

Course endorsement provides recognition for a student who has performed exceptionally well in an individual course. 

Students will gain an endorsement for a course if, in a single school year, they achieve:

  • 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence, and
  • at least 3 of these credits from externally assessed standards and 3 credits from internally assessed standards. Note, this does not apply to Physical Education, Religious Studies and level 3 Visual Arts.

A course endorsement is not a qualification.

A course endorsement can be awarded even if a qualification for that level is not achieved. For example, a student may achieve a Merit endorsement for their Level 2 Mathematics course regardless of whether they achieve NCEA Level 2. Scenarios may assist with further understanding.

For more information how course endorsement works, see the Course Endorsement Guide.

For the Rules on course endorsement, see Section 8.1 Rules and Procedures.

Learn how to monitor your progress towards course endorsements.

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