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The Directory of Assessment Standards (DAS) lists all quality assured unit and achievement standards, known collectively as ‘assessment standards’. The assessment standards listed on the DAS can contribute to national qualifications.
National qualifications are listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
Who develops standards?
Unit standards are developed by industry training organisations and by two NZQA units – National Qualifications Services and Māori Qualifications Services.
The Ministry of Education is the only developer of achievement standards, which are derived from the achievement objectives of the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.
Collectively, the developers of assessment standards are known as standard-setting bodies (SSBs).
Why use assessment standards?
The use of DAS assessment standards in nationally recognised qualifications helps to ensure that
- Clear outcomes are recognised
- Nationally consistent standards apply to the outcomes that are recognised.
- Existing knowledge and skills are recognised and credited on the Record of Achievement.
The DAS is supported by a three-pronged quality system
- Quality assurance of standards – National assessment standards are quality assured before being listed on the DAS
- Consent to assess against standards (until recently referred to as NQF accreditation) – Organisations demonstrate that they are able to develop or access assessment resources, undertake internal moderation, engage in the SSB’s national external moderation system, and report results in a timely manner.
- National external moderation of assessment – The developer SSB runs a moderation system that ensures national consistency of assessment decisions against DAS standards.
Each standard listed describes what a candidate who has achieved the standard knows and can do. Each standard has a defined credit value, which represents the notional learning time, and a level, which reflects the level of complexity of the skills and knowledge that are recognised by the standard. The common currencies of credit values and levels enables the credits gained from standards to be portable among national qualifications.
Candidates who achieve the standards gain credits which are recorded on the centrally managed Record of Achievement.
Because the assessment standards are nationally agreed candidates’ achievements can be recognised in a number of contexts.
All standards are developed by subject experts within a Standard Setting Body (SSB). For more information, see Changes to standards and national qualifications.
Standards exclusion list
The exclusions list was developed to avoid the use of credits from duplicate standards towards national qualifications, see Standards exclusions list.