February 2020
- 12 Feb 2020

The team in School Quality Assurance and Liaison at NZQA wish you all the very best for 2020 and look forward to working with you over the year ahead. To those returning in the Principal’s Nominee role, welcome back. To those new to the role, it is good to have you on-board.

SRM photo

2020 School Relationship Managers
Back L-R: Geoff Meadows (Buller/West Coast, Nelson, Marlborough, Hutt Valley & Wellington), Craig Ramsay (Bay of Plenty, East Cape), Peter Walton-Jones (Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu, Whanganui), Paul Smith (Auckland, Cook Islands), Frank Moran (Auckland), Andrew Macklin (Canterbury), Robyn Thompson (Christchurch, Auckland, Northland), Alice Wards (Otago & Southland), Craig Fransen (Te Kura Kaupapa and Te Wharekura – Te Tai Tonga, Te Tai Tokerau, Ikaroa – Rawhiti).
Front L-R: Matehaere Clarke (Te Kura Kaupapa and Te Wharekura – Tamaki Makaurau, Hauraki-Waikato, Te Tai Hauauru), Karen Eder (Christchurch & North Canterbury, Auckland), Coralie Baines (Auckland), Jackie Power (Mid & South Canterbury, Hawkes Bay), Jude Barnes (Taranaki, Waikato), Kay Wilson (Manager SQAL), Jane Griffin (Auckland, Thames/Coromandel), Sharron Morgan (Wairarapa, Manawatu, Auckland)
Absent: Vivien Downes, Gabe Sorensen

The EmaiLink for Schools, which is sent periodically throughout the year, is designed as a brief summary of upcoming deadlines as well as a heads-up about any possible changes. It is also published online under the General Security/EmaiLink link through your school’s NZQA Provider Login.

Information contained within the EmaiLink complements that published online including: Action Items by Month and 2020 Key Dates.

Our contact with schools is very important to us. Our current list of contacts for your school can be found under the High Security Features/School’s Administration/Profile link through your school’s NZQA Provider Login. Please update as needed.

You will have received an invitation to the Leading National Assessment (formerly Managing National Assessment) seminar. I would encourage you to ask the school leader in charge of assessment and/or curriculum in your school to accompany you. The 2020 seminar aims to:

  • provide the opportunity to share and discuss approaches that support the current and future needs of students
  • contribute to addressing equity of NCEA outcomes using STEM subjects and digital exams as examples, and within your school’s context
  • highlight changes and good practice in exams
  • clarify why the correct use of a provider code is important
  • share developments relevant to international students.

Key dates

Key Dates

3 Feb
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS (SAC)–Rollover/Change opens for entitled candidates
21 Feb
Final date for 2019 NCEA External Exam Reviews and Reconsiderations
28 Feb
Web access to ‘Late Internally Assessed Results’ closes for 2019
2 March Web Entries Schools’ access opens
Memorandum of Agreement online applications opens
6 March Final date for 2019 NZ Scholarship Reviews and Reconsiderations
12 March Candidate Information Sheets sent to schools
13 March Update of 2020 External Assessment Specifications online
23 March Data file submission links open (entry and result data files can be uploaded to NZQA from this date)
26 March NZQA advertises for Panel Leaders (marking external exams)
1 April First data file submission due (include as many candidate enrolments, courses and entries as possible). Entry and result data file processing begins
9 April TERM 1 ENDS

PN checklist

PN Checklist: things to do

  • Inform relevant teachers about:
  • the Transforming Assessment Praxis (TAP) Programme
  • digital external exams for 2020
  • online assessor judgement modules for Geography and Home Economics
  • on Request Workshops
  • external moderation requirements for Level 2 & 3 Digital Technology and Level 2 Chemistry
  • Encourage teachers to complete the 2019 exam survey by 21 February
  • Ensure that teachers check the 2020 Assessment Specifications for their subject areas
  • Update your school’s contact information on your Provider page
  • Ensure any amendments or additions to 2019 internal results are made online by 28 February
  • Update your SMS with the latest Results, Consents and Standards files
  • Review and update the ESL access for teachers
  • Notify students and teachers of the NCEA and Scholarship Review and Reconsideration closing dates
  • Check that your SENCO has completed their annual needs analysis before rolling over or amending existing SAC entitlements online

Topics in this EmaiLink:

General Administration & Data

  • 2019 School NCEA Results and Statistics
  • Supply of courier bags for external moderation
  • Updating contact information and Education Sector Login (ESL)

Return of Material, Reviews, Reconsideration & Ordering Documents

Special Assessment Conditions

  • 2020 applications
  • Notification of Computer use
  • SAC update #1
  • Update contact information

Information for Staff


Support for Teachers

  • ‘On request’ Best Practice Workshops
  • Online assessor judgement modules for Geography and Home Economics
  • Transforming Assessment Praxis (TAP) programme
  • Sign up to receive updates

Derived Grade Update

General Administration and Data

2019 School NCEA Results and Statistics

Results file

You can download your 2019 results into your SMS from the High Security Features/ File Downloads link. The file is called

Results reports

You can access results reports via the General Security Features/Reports link. Three of the reports contain all results, including those for externally assessed standards:

  • Entries and results by standard report: lists entries and results by standard
  • Qualifications report: lists attainment of qualifications, including University Entrance by student. This report also shows certificate endorsement details
  • Summary of total grades: lists the number of N, A, M and E grades by standard for each subject.

Both the results file and the results reports are dynamic, so they are built at the time of the requested download. This means results entered through the Add Results link will appear in this file as they are reported. However, as qualification checks occur overnight, these award updates cannot be viewed until the next day.

If a currently unassigned or incorrectly assigned standard needs to be correctly assigned to a course to ensure a course endorsement for the student, please contact your School Relationship Manager to request the change.

Reporting 2019 internally assessed results amendments and additions

You can amend or add 2019 internally assessed results through the High Security Features/Add Results link. This facility closes at 11.59 pm on 28 February 2020.

The Key Indicators list should be checked to ensure that there are no results reported for which the school, or assessing provider, do not have consent to assess. The correct use of external provider or site codes should also be checked.

If you need to add a result in a standard for which you do not already have entries, please contact your NZQA Data Liaison Officer. Once your file has one entry for a standard you will be able to report further results.

2019 NCEA statistics

The Principal’s Report is available through the High Security Features/Principal’s Report link.

Statistical data is available via the Statistics link. Data is not dynamic and will be refreshed another three times on 14 February (data cut date, 3 February), 17 March (data cut date, 3 March) and 28 April (data cut date 3 April).

Request from Skills Active for school contact details

Skills Active have requested access to NZQA’s Principal's Nominee email list for setting up moderation of their standards and keeping schools up-to-date.

If you object to this information being shared, please let your School Relationship Manager know.

Supply of courier bags for external moderation

A reminder that from 2020 NZQA will no longer be supplying courier bags for external moderation. Details can be found in this circular.

Updating contact information and Education Sector Login (ESL)

Please ensure that you update your school’s contact information through your Provider Login page.

Guidelines to explain how to do this were included in Appendix 1 of EmaiLink 7 of 2018. A copy can be found through your Provider Login at General Security/EmaiLink/October 2018.

Education Sector Login (ESL) access should be updated to ensure staff have the necessary access to your Provider Login and the Moderation app. There is a link to the ESL portal through the Provider Login.

Return of material, reviews, reconsiderations and ordering documents

Return of external assessment material

All NCEA material, including DVC reports and Technology portfolios, should have been returned to students or schools by mid-February. Please contact your School Relationship Manager as soon as possible if material is missing, so that we can endeavour to locate this. Scholarship booklets will be returned once results have been released.

Students who participated in the digital externals can access their marked work until 30 June. They will need to use their digital exam login. If this has been forgotten, they should phone 0800 697 296.

Further details are available on our website here.

Review and Reconsideration applications for 2019 external exam results

It is advisable for students to talk to their teachers prior to applying for a review or reconsideration.

The original answer booklet must accompany any application for a review or reconsideration except for digital exams and digitally submitted Technology standards.

New Closing dates for Review and Reconsideration applications

The closing date for Applications for Review and Reconsiderations for all NCEA externally assessed standards has changed from 19 February and is now 21 February.

The closing date for Scholarship remains the same; 6 March.

Cut scores

Cut scores have been released and may be found at the relevant subject link page (see below). These scores may assist students in their decision about whether to request a Review or Reconsideration.

NCEA Subject Resources

Review application process

In a Review, all sections of a booklet or portfolio are checked to make sure they have been marked and results correctly recorded and transferred. A review does not involve re-marking and there is no charge.

Students should print off a copy of the personalised Review form from their Learner Login.

Check details for a Review of NCEA exam results here.

Check details for a Review of Scholarship exam results here.

Reconsideration application process

A Reconsideration involves re-marking all answers in the answer booklet and checking mechanical processes (such as transferring grades).

NCEA Reconsiderations cost $20.40 for each standard. The fee for Design and Visual Communication (DVC) and Technology portfolios is $20.40 for each external achievement standard, not each portfolio.

The fee for Scholarship Reconsiderations is $30.70 per standard (subject).

NZQA will waive the fee for students meeting income criteria who wish to apply for a reconsideration of an NCEA or Scholarship result. Details can be found in this circular.

Where the Reconsideration leads to a grade change, the fee is refunded.

Students must apply for Reconsideration through their Learner Login. Payment should also be made online.

You can check details for a Reconsideration of NCEA exam results, or for a Reconsideration of Scholarship exam results on our website.

Reconsideration of NCEA exam results

Reconsideration of Scholarship exam results

Reconsideration applications for Level 3 and New Zealand Scholarship Visual Arts

These can also be completed from the Learner Login.

High-quality A4 coloured photographs and an authenticity declaration must be posted to NZQA. Scholarship applications must include both photographs and workbook. No portfolios are to be sent to NZQA.

Check details for a Reconsideration of Level 3 and NZ Scholarship Visual Arts results on our website here.

Ordering results documents

Students can order through their Learner Login any documents they are eligible for and for which they want a copy. One free copy of each certificate is available.

Students should wait for the results of a Review or Reconsideration before ordering a certificate.

Special Assessment Conditions

2020 Applications

New and rollover applications can be submitted for 2020. The first deadline for applications is the end of term one. Any changes to SACs requested can be made during the rollover process if needed, including the addition of extra time, even if these had previously been declined.

Notification of Computer Use

The notification process for students who only want to use a computer for external exams can be accessed through the SAC online tool. Please refer to the circular below.

This process will be further discussed at the Leading National Assessment seminars.

Notification of Computer Use by Students for the 2020 NCEA Examinations

SAC Update #1

This update was recently emailed to you and your SENCO. It contains important information about the 2020 timeline and application processes. You can also find it online through your High Security link.

Update contact information

Please ensure that your SENCO details are updated in your school’s Contact information found on your Provider Login. This information is used to email updates to SENCOs.

Information for staff

2020 Assessment Specifications

2020 Assessment Specifications for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship external assessment have been published. Details appear on the relevant subject pages of our website.

Please remind teachers to check the Assessment Specifications for the external assessments that they will be offering this year. This will help to ensure that any changes are included in their planning and teaching.

Further information is available in this circular.

NCEA Assessment Specifications

Scholarship Assessment Specifications

Proposed Changes to rules for Re-submission

Proposed changes to the assessment rules for the re-submission of student material are before Cabinet.

Schools will be notified of any changes agreed by Cabinet and when they come into effect.

Until then, the current rules and process for the re-submission of student material remain in place.

Course confirmation

When teachers are confirming courses for students, they need to check:

External moderation of new achievement standards in Digital Technologies and Chemistry in 2020

The Level 2 and Level 3 Digital Technology standards and Level 2 Chemistry standards registered in 2018 are now able to be selected for external moderation in 2020.

The feedback process, available prior to external moderation taking place, is no longer available.

For more detail on the standards and the process refer to A2019/03 Assessment Matters Circular.

NCEA Online for 2020

Around two-thirds of exams will be offered digitally this year, comprising 58 exam sessions and 21 subjects at Levels 1, 2 & 3 unless otherwise stated. The full list is:

  • Agricultural & Horticultural Science
  • Art History
  • Business Studies
  • Chinese
  • Classical Studies
  • Education for Sustainability (L2 only)
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Health
  • History
  • Home Economics
  • Japanese
  • Latin (L1 & 2 only)
  • Media Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sāmoan
  • Social Studies
  • Spanish
  • Te Reo Māori
  • Te Reo Rangatira

We will outline our 2020 focus and how we propose to support schools to start or increase their participation in NCEA Online at the Leading National Assessment seminars and through regular communications. The NCEA Online website information has been updated to reflect what is happening in 2020 and beyond.

NCEA Online information

Teacher survey on the 2019 exams

The annual teacher survey seeking feedback on the 2019 exams can be found at the bottom of the Schools and Teachers webpage.

You can also complete the:

The survey closes on 21 February.

Teachers are encouraged to respond to these surveys, either as an individual or as a group. Feedback from the teacher surveys is highly valued by NZQA.



A2019/17 Notification of Computer Use by Students for the 2020 NCEA Examinations

A2019/18 Reconsideration fee waived for students who meet income limit criteria

A2019/19 New Zealand Scholarship Religious Studies 2020

A2019/20 2020 Assessment Specifications for New Zealand Scholarship and NCEA External Assessment

A2019/21 Information for Design and Visual Communication external assessment 2020

A2019/22 Information for Geography external assessment 2020

A2019/23 Information for Health external assessment 2020

A2020/01 Course Approval for International Student Classes, Courses or Programmes

Students using NCEA overseas

You can find information about specific country requirements for the recognition of NCEA on the NZQA website. This includes information on requirements for United States National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Scholarships.

Please continue to advise students to check international admission requirements for the education institution they plan to enrol in, including the credit and subject requirements needed for entry into competitive programmes.

International fee-paying students can download an Overseas Results Notice from the “order documents” section of the Learner Login. Visit NZQA’s Ordering results documents for more results information for overseas study (see below).

If you or your students have any questions, please contact NZQA on

Ordering result documents

Support for Teachers

‘On request’ Best Practice workshops

Based on the success of the ‘on request’ model, we are continuing to offer facilitators to subject associations or regional cluster groups. This allows workshop organisers to ask for targeted support for their participants. More information about the different options may be found on our website.

Best Practice Workshops - Assessment & Moderation

If you have any questions, please email

Online assessor judgement modules for Geography 91014 & Home Economics 91303

A reminder that these short introductory modules for Geography 91014 and Home Economics 91303 are available for teachers. The modules can be found via the links under the ‘Other’ category at the bottom of each subject page on our website.

The freely available modules consist of a short series of activities where the standard is unpacked and samples of student work are examined. The activities should take around 120 minutes to complete.

Geography subject resources

Home Economics subject resources

Transforming Assessment Praxis (TAP) Programme

The online TAP Programme has two aims: to teach assessors to recontextualise assessment resources to better meet the needs of their students, and to explore different ways of collecting student evidence. This can lead to increased student motivation, engagement and achievement.

This nine-week programme is run four times throughout the year and requires a time commitment of 90 minutes per week, to be undertaken at any time.

Feedback from participating teachers has been very positive, including the impact it has had on their learners. Please share this opportunity with your teaching staff.

More information, including testimonials from teachers and registration details can be found on our website here.

Sign up to receive updates

NZQA produces a number of publications which have information of interest to teachers. You can subscribe to receive these updates here.

Derived Grade Update

Derived Grade Update #1 was recently emailed to you. You can also find it online through your High Security link.

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