March 2022
NZQA Hono-ā-īmēra (EmaiLink) mō ngā kura katoa #2 -

Rārangi Take ki tēnei Hono-ā-īmēra (EmaiLink) pānui

Please refer to the online version of the Key Dates to ensure you have access to the most up to date information.

General Administration and Data

  • Datafile submission
  • Candidate Information Sheets
  • Changes to University Entrance Literacy
  • 2022 Level One Literacy and Numeracy Standards
  • ECM recruitment for 2022
  • Memorandum of Agreement
  • Registering students for their Student Login
  • Reporting results in the year they are assessed
  • Reporting entries and results for draft achievement standards
  • New achievement standards pilot 2022

NCEA Online

  • Digital practice exams
  • Access to 2021 digital exams
  • Network assurance checks


  • Circulars
  • 2021 NCEA statistics
  • Assessment Specifications 2022
  • Leading National Assessment seminars 2022

Information for Staff

  • Approved calculators list for external assessments in 2022
  • Assessor Support 2022
  • National Moderator reports
  • Moving image portfolio submissions
  • Assessment Reports from NCEA external assessments

Special Assessment Conditions

  • SAC application deadline
  • Update contact information

PN Checklist

1.PN Memo - Nominating your ECM (PDF, 90KB)

2.Example ad for ECM recruitment (DOCX, 22KB)

School Relationship Manager Vacancies

We are currently advertising for additional School Relationship Managers to join our team in 2022.  One role will require expertise in te reo and tikanga Māori and to work productively with kura / wharekura communities. If you aren’t yet ready to make the commitment to leave teaching you may be interested in a secondment. Keep an eye out for the vacancies advertised in the Education Gazette and on the Careers Centre of our website.

General Administration & Data

Datafile submission

The first datafile submission for 2022 is due on 1 April. Please include as many entries as possible. This is particularly important for some schools who are piloting the new achievement standards this year. Further details can be found below.

Candidate Information Sheets

Candidate Information Sheets should arrive at your school before the end of Term 1. If these do not arrive please contact me. A digital copy is also available here (PDF, 331KB).

Changes to University Entrance (UE) Literacy

As communicated to the sector in 2018, there have been changes to the list of standards that contribute to University Entrance (UE) Literacy (PDF, 77KB). These changes took effect at the end of 2021.

Students have to gain all elements of UE according to the requirements that apply at the time of awarding and this includes the Literacy component.

Check if students who believe they completed UE Literacy in 2021 are relying on any of the expired standards to gain UE this year. You may need to review their current assessment programme to ensure they meet the 2022 requirements.

2022 Level One Literacy and Numeracy Standards

The updated list of standards which contribute to Level One Literacy and Numeracy is available here. Please check this list as there have been some changes for 2022.

Exam Centre Manager (ECM) recruitment for 2022

On Monday 9 May, the Exam Centre Manager Recruitment link will be open for you to nominate your school’s ECM for this year. Schools recruit and nominate an ECM who will then be contracted and trained by NZQA.

An outline of the skills needed for the role  particularly the need for the ECM to have good computer skills and be able to competently manage digital exams, can be found here (PDF, 90KB).

If you are looking for a new person or planning to continue with your previous ECM, please check that they have the appropriate skills. A draft advertisement for you to adapt can be found here. (DOCX, 22KB)

Full details of the ECM nomination process will be available in the next EmaiLink in May.

Memorandum of Agreement

The Memorandum sets out how your school and NZQA work together to ensure timely and accurate management of candidate data, the collection and submission of international fee-paying candidate fees and the smooth conduct of examinations for the benefit of the candidates.

Please remember to read and digitally sign this memorandum for 2022 by 15 June. It can be found under High Security/School’s Administration/Memorandum of Agreement through your Provider Login.

The signing of this memorandum entitles your school to an Administrative Payment.

Registering students for their Student Login

Once your first data file submission has been processed by NZQA, you may wish to help students with using their Student Login.

To register, students need their NSN, date of birth, an email address and a 7-character password. NZQA will supply NSNs later in the year. If you want to register students earlier, your Student Management System can generate a list, or students may be able to view theirs through their student portal.  

The Student Login PowerPoint (PPTX, 6.3MB) has been updated and may be a useful resource for helping your students to register.

The Student Login enables students to check their entries and results held by NZQA. It also gives them access to a range of processes not available elsewhere, such as printing official copies of their Record of Achievement and ordering a copy of an NCEA Certificate.

Reporting results for students in the year they are assessed

With the removal of NCEA fees for domestic students several years ago, there is no longer any reason to hold over or ‘bank’ results for students not undertaking a full assessment programme. Results should be reported in the year of assessment.

For example, Year 10 students completing a couple of internal assessments should have their results reported in the year of assessment.

This should make it easier for schools to manage mark books and assign standards correctly to courses, minimise forwarding results if a student moves school, and remove concerns about standards expiring before results are reported.

Remember that fees are payable for international students who have had entries made or results reported for assessment against standards.

Reporting entries and results for draft achievement standards. 

NZQA will only accept entries and results for the draft standards from schools who have Ministry of Education approval to participate in the 2022 pilots. 

Please refer to the upcoming Assessment Matters for further details.

New achievement standards pilot 2022

If your school is participating in the 2022 pilots of the new achievement standards, it is important to ensure that student entries in these standards are included in your datafile as soon as possible this year. This will help facilitate the preparation needed by NZQA.

It is important to note:

  • All external entries will need to be submitted in good time as some external assessment occurs during the year (and not only during the end of year exam period).
  • the assessment type must be correctly coded.
  • for new achievement standards in Te Reo Māori, Te Ao Haka and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, please attempt to include as many entries as possible in the 1 April datafile
  • for Literacy and Numeracy -Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau co-requisites, please attempt to include as many entries as possible in the 1 April datafile for those students who will be sitting the first assessment in June.

NCEA Online

Digital practice exams 2022

Digital practice exams using NZQA’s online platform (Assessment Master) will be available to schools between 15 August and 30 September. Kaiako/teachers will have access to the platform from 1 August until 15 October, allowing time for preparation and marking. You might consider how best to use this window to offer digital practice exams on the NZQA platform as in-class assessment tasks, or as part of your own practice examination schedule, or both.

Subject Associations have agreed to provide digital practice exam content for all external standards in Agricultural and Horticultural Science, Business Studies, Classical Studies, English, Health, Home Economics, History, Media Studies, and Social Studies. NZQA has subject matter experts providing the same for Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangatira.

Content provided by Subject Associations will only be available from NZQA on the online platform. Printable versions will be available from the Subject Associations to their members only.  

The entry process has been streamlined. You will be able to manage your Digital Practice Exam entries by flagging them in your SMS, or in the School Portal for Web Entry schools.

More information about what you need to know and do will be provided in coming weeks.

Access to 2021 digital exams

Last year’s digital exams will be available on the NZQA website and via Student Logins from May. Until then students and teachers can access the 2020 exams to familiarise themselves with how digital exams work.

Network assurance checks

Contact your School Relationship Manager to register your interest in having a network assurance check on the suitability of your IT infrastructure for digital exams later in the year.  


Circulars (available online only)


New Zealand Sign Language – temporary removal of external credit requirement for course endorsement


2022 National School Qualifications: Candidate Information Sheets - March


2022 Assessment Specifications for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship External Assessment: March Update


Draft achievement standards added to base scope for schools. Reporting entries and results for draft achievement standards.

2021 NCEA Statistics

The last refresh of the Principal’s Report will be on 28 April (data cut date 4 April).

Assessment Specifications 2022

Notification for 2022 Assessment Specifications was published in January.

Leading National Assessment seminars 2022

Unfortunately, due to the impacts of Covid-19, we were unable to host our usual Leading National Assessment seminars during Term One.

All going well, we will be able to offer a face-to-face seminar in Term Two. NZQA will be in contact once we have some certainty around this.

In the meantime, you should have received two resources designed to support school assessment practice:

  • PN Handbook 2022 Final
  • Handbook: Assessment in Uncertain Times

 If you did not receive these resources, or you would like them sent again, please contact your School Relationship Manager.

Information for Staff

Approved calculators list for external assessments in 2022

The approved calculators list is available here.

Assessor Support 2022

At the end of last year NZQA sent flyers and posters to schools promoting our new Online Assessor Support programme. If you would like to order more, please contact us at

Visit our website to get more information and to share the spotlight videos, highlighting what materials are now available. Each NCEA subject page has also been updated with a list of modules for each subject. More material is being developed in 2022, based on teacher feedback.

National Moderator Reports

The National Moderator Report is published to give assessors an overview of general issues and trends identified during external moderation. These reports are available on the NCEA Subject Resources pages found on the NZQA website.

Assessment & Moderation at NZQA would like to have feedback on the published reports from different learning departments/faculties in your school. At the end of each report there is a link to a short survey.

Moving Image portfolio submissions

The Assessment Specifications for 2022 govern the submission process. Please note candidates submitting a moving image portfolio can no longer send these on DVD. All moving image portfolios must be submitted electronically via an online submission process.

Assessment Reports from NCEA external assessments

Assessment Reports from external assessments in 2021 are now published on the subject pages of the NZQA website.

Special Assessment Conditions

SAC application deadline

The “first deadline” to submit SAC applications is the end of Term 1. This is not a closing date as applications can be submitted until the end of Term 3. However, the earlier that applications can be received, the quicker these can be considered and the sooner certainty can be provided to schools and students.

We are aware that some schools are facing delays in preparing and submitting applications as a result of current student and staff absences. Please be assured that students will not be disadvantaged if applications are made after the “first deadline”, although it may take longer to process applications received after this date.

If you have any concerns about preparing or submitting SAC applications, please contact

Update contact information

We have noticed that the contact information for SENCOs continues to be out of date for many schools. This information is used to email important messages that will be missed if email addresses are wrong.

You may also want to add the contact information of any other staff involved in the SAC process, such as Learning Support Co-ordinators. Contact information is found on your schools’ NZQA Provider Login page at School’s Administration/Profile.

PN Checklist


Submit 1 April datafile


Review ECM recruitment for 2022


Update your results file in your SMS after the final statistics refresh


Distribute candidate information sheets


Advise teachers to check the March update of Assessment Specifications for NCEA and NZ Scholarship external exams


Consider the implications of the changes to UE Literacy


Register your interest for a network assurance check


Discuss participating in this year’s digital practice exams with teachers


Help students to register with NZQA and create a Student Login


Update SAC contact information


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