Our role

NZQA's role in the education sector is to ensure that New Zealand qualifications are accepted as credible and robust, nationally and internationally, in order to help learners succeed in their chosen endeavours and to contribute to New Zealand society.

NZQA is responsible for

  • managing the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • administering the secondary school assessment system
  • independent quality assurance of non-university tertiary education providers
  • qualifications recognition and standard-setting for some specified unit standards.

NZQA reports to the Minister of Education. Read our Briefing for the Incoming Minister of Education - 2017 (PDF, 560KB).

For more information see What we do.


Te manu ka kai i te miro, nona te ngahere.

Te manu ka kai i te matauranga, nona te ao.

The bird that partakes of the berry, his is the forest.

The bird that partakes of knowledge, his is the world.

NZQA's role in helping learners to succeed through education is expressed in this Whakatauki (Maori Proverb).

Strategic Direction

NZQA's outcome focus is that New Zealand qualifications are increasingly valued as credible and robust.

Our Statement of Intent and Statement of Performance Expectation describe the key initiatives we are undertaking to achieve this outcome and set a base for how our performance can be assessed. See our Strategic documents page for further information.  

Te Rautaki Maori (Our Maori Strategy) contributes to Maori succeeding as Maori in education and is consistent with the aims of Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education's Maori Education Strategy 2012-2017. Download the full document (PDF, 829KB).

We continue to support the delivery of the Ministry of Education's Pasifika Education Plan through the delivery of our own Pasifika Strategy (PDF, 13MB).

These strategies are designed to advance education and training for Maori and Pasifika peoples.

Customer Charter

Our values provide the bedrock on which our Customer Charter is built. NZQA is committed to providing its customers with the highest possible levels of service and the charter outlines our undertakings and service standards.

Annual Report

Our Annual Report provides an account of our performance over the past financial year. 

See our recent Annual Reports for more information.


NZQA operates under the following legislation:

The Education Act (1989). The relevant provisions of this Act are:

  • Section 4E - Courses for foreign students
  • PART 18 - Private Training Establishments
  • PART 18A - International Students
  • PART 20 - New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • PART 24 -Miscellaneous Provisions
  • PART 30 - National student numbers

The Industry Training Act (1992). The relevant provisions of this Act are:

  • s6 - Minister to be satisfied of organisation's abilities
  • s10 - Industry training organisation's proposed plan must identify activities for which it is seeks funding
  • s13 - Additional functions
  • s18 - Training programmes

NZQA is a Crown Entity as defined by the Crown Entities Act 2004, and was created under Part 20 of the Education Act 1989.

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