NZQA and the Australian Government Department of Education and Training have completed a two year project to reference the levels of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

The project determined that the levels of the NZQF and the AQF are broadly comparable. The outcomes of the project have been published as a joint report: Enhancing Mobility – Referencing of the Australian and New Zealand Qualifications Frameworks

The process has been extremely valuable in building knowledge and understanding of how our respective education systems work, especially the robustness of our quality assurance

The referencing work has highlighted the specific cultural, political and historical contexts that have influenced the evolution of the two education systems, and illuminated the differences between the two frameworks. However, there is also a depth and breadth of commonality in our systems, which reflects shared histories and regional ties.

Read the Executive Summary.

Why we have referenced our national qualifications frameworks

Australia and New Zealand share a close and longstanding partnership:

  • Australia is our most valuable trade and investment partner
  • Australia is our main ally
  • Over 500,000 New Zealanders live in Australia
  • 60,000 people born in Australia live in New Zealand.

Referencing our qualifications frameworks will help advance a Single Economic Market between Australia and New Zealand.

The Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand officially welcomed the work to reference the AQF to the NZQF in their annual joint statement on 7 February 2014.  For more information, see Prime Ministers Key and Abbott meet in Sydney.

Simultaneous referencing with Europe and Hong Kong

Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong are the first countries outside the European Union to carry out projects to compare their frameworks to the European Qualifications Framework, as part of a pilot project.

The results of comparing the NZQF to the EQF were published in June 2017. If you would like more information about this project, see the European Union.

New Zealand is also referencing the NZQF to the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework. To read more about this project, please see Hong Kong.

Contact us

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

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