Further steps forward for micro-credentials

02 Nov 2018

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has further enhanced micro-credentials as part of New Zealand’s education and training system by launching a service to evaluate micro-credentials from organisations that are not New Zealand Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs). This includes employers, government agencies, iwi, community organisations, professional associations and overseas education organisations.

Launched in August, micro-credentials are stand-alone education products that focus on skill development opportunities that are not currently catered for in the tertiary education system. They are a response to the evolving nature of education and employment, enabling employers to partner with TEOs to bring emergent skills to market in a cost-effective and time-efficient way.

From November, domestic and international organisations that are not recognised as New Zealand TEOs can apply to NZQA to have the equivalency of their micro-credential determined against the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).  NZQA will, for a fee, provide an equivalency statement showing the credit value and level of the learning.

This means that a wide variety of organisations will be able to ensure the training they offer is referenced to the New Zealand qualifications framework. This will help improve the visibility, currency and transportability of sub-qualification training.

NZQA’s micro-credential equivalency service allows New Zealand businesses and learners to access a wider range of education and training options, both domestically and internationally, which encompasses a large range of online learning.

An example of this equivalence was trialled in NZQA’s micro-credentials pilot with a United States based online education company, Udacity. For the purpose of this pilot, NZQA assessed the content of Udacity’s Self-driving Car Engineer Nanodegree programme to 60 credits of learning and assessment at Level 9 of the NZQF.

Employers with training needs now have two options for how they might progress a micro-credential. They can work with a TEO or Industry Training Organisation to deliver the training as an NZQA approved micro-credential, or by having their own micro-credential assessed for equivalency by NZQA.

Micro-credentials encourage lifelong learning.  It is expected that developing up-to-date skills through shorter modules of learning will become an important way to improve and future-proof employability.

Media contact:
NZQA Communications
media@nzqa.govt.nz or 027 457 578

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