Assessment Matters

Assessment Matters banner

Changes to External Moderation
A2022/18 - 24 Nov 2022


Principal's Nominee
All Teachers

Changes to External Moderation 

NZQA is reviewing the external moderation process, to ensure schools are well supported with assessment when the new internally assessed achievement standards are implemented.   
A small number of changes were introduced in 2022 (see circular A2021/23 – 27 October 2021).   
This circular outlines further process refinements to external moderation requirements in 2023, and signals changes to be implemented in 2024.

External moderation for 2023

In most circumstances Level 1 Achievement Standards will not be moderated (with the exception of the new Te Ao Haka Level 1 standards).

There will be no change to the moderation of L1-3 unit standards.

Refinements to sample selection for 2023 onwards

  • Six samples of student work for standards covering the range of Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit or Excellence grades are available. Samples should include:
    • one sample each at N, A, M, E (if a sample at a grade is not available, replace with one at the nearest grade available, but only send a maximum of two samples at N). *Where possible these should be typical response for the grade, not borderline.
    • two more from A, M, E. *These could be borderline or particular pieces of work you wish to have moderated.
  • Where the total number of students assessed for the standard means there are insufficient samples of learner evidence available all student work must be submitted, but only a maximum of two samples at N. 

*indicates new guidance

Te Ao Haka implementation – Levels 1-3 2023 

In 2023 the new Levels 1-3 Te Ao Haka standards will be implemented after two years of piloting. 
Schools intending to assess the new Te Ao Haka standards in 2023 will be asked to self-identify. They will be externally moderated on one of the two internally assessed standards for each level of Te Ao Haka they offer, and these standards will be added to schools’ Moderation Plans.  
More detail on Te Ao Haka and how to self-identify can be found in circular A2022/17 10 November 2022

Changes for 2024 
NZQA is advising schools now to ensure schools can prepare for these changes being implemented in 2024.   
The changes are: 

  • External moderation of new standards will occur in the same year as assessment, and therefore schools will get most of their moderation feedback in the year that they assess a standard.  
  • Schools will have one standard per subject of the new Level 1 standards externally moderated, if they offer that subject. 
  • Schools will no longer have a specific moderation submission date. 
  • Moderation material for standards assessed before mid-June will need to be submitted then, with the remaining moderation material submitted by mid-October. 
  • Any existing Level 3 standards on a school’s Moderation plan will need to be submitted to the same timeline. 

NZQA will also be providing assessor support to align with the implementation of the new Level 1 standards. More information on the 2024 assessor support programme will be made available to schools during 2023. 


Please refer any enquiries relating to this circular to your School Relationship Manager. 
School Relationship Manager 
School Quality Assurance and Liaison 
Telephone: 04 463 3000 

Circulars are available from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority website (

Find information for...

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us