Micro-credentials system launched

1 Aug 2018

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is introducing a micro-credential system as part of New Zealand’s regulated education and training system.

Micro-credentials are new stand-alone education products intended to enable learners to access specific knowledge and skills in a cost-effective and time-efficient way. They are smaller than qualifications and focus on skill development opportunities not currently catered for in the tertiary education system, and for which there is strong evidence of need by industry, employers, iwi and community.

As the nature of employment and education continues to evolve, it is expected that developing up-to-date skills will become an important way to improve and future-proof the employability of individuals and support the productivity of the workforce. The introduction of a micro-credential system will help ensure that the New Zealand education and training system remains relevant in a period of fast paced social, economic and technological changes.

NZQA will consider applications from New Zealand Tertiary Education organisations, including Industry Training Organisations, for the approval of micro-credentials from 22 August 2018, using amended training scheme rules and consent to assess rules.

At a minimum, micro-credentials will be subject to the same requirements as training schemes or assessment standards and will also be required to:

  • be 5 – 40 credits in size
  • have strong evidence of need from employers, industry and/or community
  • not duplicate current quality assured learning approved by NZQA
  • be reviewed annually to confirm they continue to meet their intended purpose.

A separate assessment service will evaluate the content of micro-credentials from international organisations and New Zealand organisations that are not Tertiary Education Organisations. NZQA will issue equivalence statements showing the credit value and level of such learning against the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). This service will be available from 31 October 2018.

Micro-credentials will provide industry, employers, iwi and community with an opportunity to work with education and training organisations to bring emergent skills to market quickly, so employers can access employees with the expertise they need and so that learners can continue updating their competencies.

NZQA consulted on proposals for recognising micro-credentials in March and April 2018. More information on the consultation and the resulting recommendations can be found here.

The Minister of Education has released a media statement about the launch of micro-credentials, it can be found here.

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