Country-specific qualification recognition arrangements

New Zealand has arrangements with key education and trading partners, to recognise each other’s qualifications.

These can be with individual countries (‘bilateral’) or with a group of countries (‘multilateral’).

Some arrangements recognise specific qualifications. Others arrangements are at a systems level with whole qualifications frameworks, or with parts of qualifications frameworks (‘referencing’).

Many arrangements follow from a trade agreement.

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Some of NZQA's qualifications' recognition work is to fulfil our obligations under these Free Trade Agreements.  These include:

  • China
  • Malaysia
  • Hong Kong
  • AANZFTA (ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement)
  • TTRMA (Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement).

For more information about New Zealand’s current FTAs, see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Trade relationships and agreements.

For more information about the specific countries we are working with, see:

Australia  |  China  |  European Union  |  Hong Kong  |  Ireland  |  Malaysia  |  Pacific region  | United Arab Emirates |  United States 

Putting it into context

New Zealand is a signatory to existing agreements with other groups of countries. To read more about these see General recognition agreements.

To read more about the purpose of our international agreements, what referencing and recognition involve, and why this might be important to you, see Our role in international education.

Individual qualifications recognition

NZQA also provides qualifications recognition support for individuals.

If you are a student wanting to gain entry to an overseas university, see International recognition of NCEA to read about specific arrangements for the recognition of NCEA and university entrance qualifications.

If you are wanting to get your qualifications recognised so you can live, work or study in New Zealand, see International qualifications.

Contact us

For more information, or to give us feedback, please email us at

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