New Zealand Qualifications Framework - Te Taura Here Tohu Mātauranga o Aotearoa


The New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) is the definitive source for accurate and current information on quality assured qualifications in New Zealand. It covers senior secondary school qualifications and tertiary education qualifications.

Qualifications frameworks help countries compare qualifications

People are living, working and studying in more countries than ever before. This increased global labour movement means we need a reliable way to compare qualifications,so people can get them recognised in other countries.  

Comparing qualifications on the basis of common learning outcomes means it doesn’t matter how, when or where the learning was achieved. Learning outcomes describe the skills and knowledge a person must achieve to gain a specific qualification.

Countries and regions establish qualification frameworks to help them recognise and compare qualifications. Describing qualifications in terms of learning outcomes helps to make clear the relationships between different levels, within the same framework and between different frameworks.

Background to the NZQF

In 1992, New Zealand developed one of the first qualifications frameworks in the world – the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Since then, many other countries have developed national frameworks.

In July 2010, the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) replaced both the NQF and the New Zealand Register of Quality Assured Qualifications. The NZQF is structured to be consistent with other mature national qualifications frameworks around the world.

For more about the development of the NZQF, see NZQF timeline.

What the NZQF is designed to do

The NZQF is designed to:

  • provide information about the skills, knowledge and attributes a graduate gains by completing a qualification
  • provide a clear education pathway, to establish what further education the qualification leads to
  • enable and support the development of integrated and coherent qualifications
  • give confidence in the quality and international comparability of New Zealand qualifications
  • contribute to the strengthening of Māori as a people by enhancing and advancing Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge)
  • be sustainable and robust.

NZQA administers the NZQF

NZQA is responsible for the integrity, currency and accuracy of the NZQF.

Qualifications must be worth 40 credits or more and must have been quality assured by a recognised quality assurance body, to be eligible to be added to the NZQF.

If you are an education provider, you can read more about Listing qualifications on the NZQF.

Quality assurance of qualifications on the NZQF

All qualifications on the NZQF are quality assured.

For more information, see listing qualifications on the NZQF.

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