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Prior learning and credit transfer
An important principle of the Directory of Assessment Standards is that skills, knowledge and understanding gained outside formal education or training will be recognised.
People who already have skills and knowledge can be assessed immediately, by presenting evidence of prior performance or completing assessment tasks. Completion of a course may not be required.
Many people are assessed by a combination of:
- evidence the learner brings with them
- further assessment tasks, to cover all the skills and knowledge required.
Accredited providers and registered workplace assessors assess prior learning against the same standards and within the same moderation systems as those that are used within their own education and training programmes.
Sources of evidence
Assessment of unit standards involves the collection of evidence about a learner's skills, knowledge and performance. Assessors then evaluate that evidence against the criteria expressed in the standard.
Sources of evidence are occasions or activities that give learners a chance to demonstrate their abilities. Learners can provide evidence from a variety of sources, depending on the requirements of the unit standard, the situation of the assessor, and the circumstances of the learner. Evidence for assessment can come from on-job experience, formal tests and tasks, and previous proven achievements outside formal learning.
Some learners may have to undertake further learning and assessment in order to complete a qualification.
Cross-credits from other qualifications
Providers can award some credits on the basis of existing qualifications, if they are certain that unit standard requirements have been met.
It is common for tertiary learners to move from one place of learning to another, or one course to another.
Credit transfer is a process whereby credit already achieved for one qualification is recognised towards a new qualification. This may occur on a case-by-case basis between providers/qualifications developers and individuals or as a structured agreement between providers.
For more information see Supporting Learning Pathways Credit Recognition and Transfer Policy (PDF, 150KB).
English language guidelines for international students
NZQA no longer recognises providers’ internal English examinations as proof of proficiency in English, effective from 1 October 2011.
International students for whom English is not their first language are now required to hold current English proficiency certification: IELTS, TOEFL (paper or internet-based) or Cambridge.
English Language Guidelines for International Students (PDF, 39KB) sets out guidelines for the minimum English-language proficiency levels required for course entry.