Clarifications on Learning Recognition credits

This page provides clarification on how Learning Recognition (LR) credits:

  • work in specific circumstances
  • can be used in future years.

This page also suggests how you can make sure students maximise their opportunity to attain NCEA this year.

We also have Questions and Answers on LR credits.

Learning Recognition credits will be calculated for all students

LR credits are an acknowledgement that all students have been affected by the disruption from COVID-19. In late January 2021, NZQA will automatically calculate the LR credits for all secondary school students who achieve at least five (5) NCEA credits from internal or external assessment during the 2020 school year.

Levels of Learning Recognition credits

LR credits will generally accumulate at the same level as the assessed credits from which they're earned. This means a student who achieves 5 credits from assessment at Level 3 is entitled to one (1) Level 3 LR credit.

When the LR credits are calculated, if a student has only achieved 4 or fewer credits at a single level, but has credits at a lower level which can count to the 5-credit threshold to generate a full LR credit, the LR credit will be at the lower level.

For example, a student who achieves 3 credits at Level 3 and 2 credits at Level 2 will be entitled to 1 LR credit at Level 2.

Students studying at multiple levels are entitled to LR credits generated from achievement at each level. NZQA will count the LR credits to the applicable level NCEAs. For example, a student who is entitled to 6 LR credits at Level 2 and 2 LR credits at Level 3 will have all 8 LR credits count towards NCEA Level 2, and the 2 Level 3 LR credits will also count towards NCEA Level 3 in the future.

Use of Learning Recognition credits in future years

If a student doesn't attain an NCEA in 2020, all their credits (including their LR credits) will be able to be used towards the same level of NCEA in future years.

LR credits at a higher level than the level of the NCEA attained in 2020 will continue to count towards NCEA qualifications (up to the level of the LR credits) in future years.

For example, a student who attains NCEA Level 1 this year, and in doing so achieves 5 credits from assessment at Level 2 (and therefore one additional LR credit at Level 2), will begin 2021 with all 6 credits (5 credits + 1 LR credit) available for Level 2.

Maximising students’ opportunities to attain NCEA this year

Where students are studying towards Level 2 or Level 3, we suggest schools focus on encouraging them to achieve at least 52 credits from assessment at the level of NCEA they're aiming for in 2020, which, with the additional 8 LR Credits, will mean they meet the required 60 credits at that level (or higher). Students studying at multiple levels and relying on the full 8 LR credits to attain Level 2 or 3 will need to achieve 40 credits at the level of their qualification or higher to be entitled to the 8 LR credits at the level of the qualification they are aiming for.

Where students are studying towards Level 1, we suggest schools focus on encouraging them to achieve at least 70 credits from assessment at that level of NCEA or higher, which, along with their 10 LR Credits, will mean they meet the 80 credits required for NCEA Level 1.

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