March 2020
- 7 Apr 2020

Key dates

Key Dates

1 April
Submit first data file if you are able to do so. (Include as many candidate enrolments, courses and entries as possible). Entry and result data file processing begins.
1 May
Data file submission due (include any additional or updated candidate enrolment and entry information).
11 May
Exam Centre Manager nominations open online.

PN checklist

PN Checklist: things to do

  • Review ECM recruitment for 2020
  • 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
  • Advise teachers of Cook Island Maori, Korean and Tongan languages of changes to the CAT process for 2020
  • Advise teachers of Māori Performing Arts of the information in the February circular

Topics in this EmaiLink:

Covid-19 Resources

General Administration & Data

  • ECM recruitment for 2020
  • Registering students – Learner login
  • Reporting results

Information for Staff

  • Approved calculators for 2020 externals
  • Materials from LNA seminars 2020
  • National Moderator reports available
  • Ringa Toi Exhibition 2020


  • Circulars
  • 2019 NCEA statistics
  • Assessment Specifications 2020
  • External moderation for Digital Technology and Chemistry

Covid-19 Resources

Information and guidance that has been sent to schools about managing NCEA assessment during the Covid-19 crisis is available online in the EmaiLink section of your Provider Login.

‘Guide to managing student assessment during COVID-19’ – Correction to original publication

There was an error in the original PDF version of this guide that can be found in your Provider Login.

In the Frequently asked questions section, the question ‘can these templates be used for remote assessment opportunities?’ the correct answer should be ‘Yes – the templates can be used to record evidence that is naturally occurring as part of teaching and learning or from assessment activities’.

Useful Covid-19 links

Unite against Covid-19
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Health

General Administration and Data

Exam Centre Manager (ECM) recruitment for 2020

On Monday 11 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.

The link below outlines 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.

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 is below..

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

Nominating your ECM (PDF, 63KB)

ECM Advertisement Example (DOCX, 15KB)

Registering students for their Learner Login

Once your first data file submission has been sent to NZQA you may wish to help students with using their Learner Login.

To register, students need their NSN, date of birth, an email address and a 7-character password to register. NZQA will supply NSNs later in the year but, if you want to register students now, your Student Management System can generate a list or students may be able to view theirs through their student portal. The Learner Login Powerpoint has been updated and may be a useful resource for helping your students to register.

Their Learner Login access enables them to check their entries and results held by NZQA. It also gives them access to 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 there is no reason to hold over or ‘bank’ results for students not undertaking a full assessment programme.

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 markbooks and assign standards correctly to courses, minimise forwarding results if a student moves school, and remove concerns about standards expiring before results are reported.

Information for staff

Approved calculators list for external assessments in 2020

The approved calculators list is available here.

Materials from Leading National Assessment Seminar

Materials used during the recent Leading National Assessment seminars, including the Effective Practice Guide can be found here.

Topics covered include:

  • Equity opportunities
    • STEM
    • Digital assessment: NCEA Online
  • Examinations
  • Using the right provider code
  • International Students.

National Moderator reports available

The National Moderator reports are now available for assessors on the NCEA Subject Resources pages found on the NZQA website. These reports can also be downloaded in PDF format.

The purpose of the reports is to advise assessors on general issues and trends identified during the 2019 external moderation year. Standard specific information is only included for standards with a high rate of moderator disagreement.

Ringa Toi student exhibition 2020

Information about this year’s exhibition and how to register interest can be found in this circular.

Registration of interest closes on Friday 3 July. Current dates may be subject to change.


Circulars (available online only)

A2020/03 Māori Performing Arts standard external moderation and assessment

A2020/04 Consultation on RoVE rules changes for schools offering NZ Certificates

A2020/05 Cook Islands Māori, Korean and Lea Faka-Tonga Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) – changes to the 2020 process

A2020/06 Ringa Toi Student Exhibition 2020

A2020/07 2020 Assessment Specifications for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship External Assessment: March Update

A2020/08 NCEA Drama Remote Learning and Assessment

2019 NCEA statistics

The last refresh of the Principal’s Report will be on 28 April (data cut date 3 April).

Assessment Specifications 2020

Assessment Specifications provide the annual assessment parameters for each externally assessed achievement standard. These are published after examinations in December for the following year.

Notification for 2020 Assessment Specifications can be found in this circular.

Updates to assessment specifications published in March 2020 can be found in this circular.

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.

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