Micro-credentials in New Zealand's education and training system: a consultation paper


The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is proposing to recognise micro-credentials, alongside qualifications, within New Zealand’s government regulated education and training system1 from July 2018.

Micro-credentials are a coherent package of learning and assessment, typically smaller than a qualification, that certifies achievement of a specific set of skills and knowledge needed by industry and or community.

A range of terms can be used to describe micro-credentials including badges and nano-credentials. NZQA proposes using the term micro-credential.

This paper is seeking feedback and advice on proposals for the recognition and quality assurance of micro-credentials. We are also consulting on proposed changes to the current Training Schemes Rules 2012 to include micro-credentials.

The Training Scheme Rules are an existing mechanism within the education and training system that can be used to recognise micro-credentials.

The proposals have been developed in conjunction with a sector working group and informed by the three micro-credential pilots underway since July 2017. These pilots have stimulated a large number of enquiries and interest in micro-credentials, confirming there is a demand for this type of education product to be recognised within the New Zealand education and training system.

This paper proposes an approach to recognising micro-credentials appropriate for the New Zealand education and training system. It allows for micro-credentials from New Zealand tertiary education organisations2 which operate within the government regulated education and training system to be quality assured. It also makes provision for micro-credentials from other organisations.

1 The organisations and functions of the tertiary education sector covered by the Education Act, 1989.

2 Tertiary education organisations include institutes of technology and polytechnics, private training establishments, wānanga, industry training organisations, universities and government training establishments.

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