May 2020
- 6 May 2020

Key dates

Key Dates

18 May
Exam Centre Manager nominations open online
29 May
Return signed Exam Centre Memoranda of Understanding for Teina/Tuakana kura and schools
1 June
Data file submission due
Queen’s Birthday
4 June Languages Common Assessment Tasks (CATs) & MCAT Level 1, 91027–Departments start to confirm entries
NZQA advertises for external markers. Online applications open
17 June Final date for acceptance of Memorandum of Agreement online
28 June Exam Centre Manager nominations close online

NZQA is keeping the Key Dates under close review and will monitor the effects of the COVID-19 disruption depending on schools ability to meet these.

PN checklist

PN Checklist: things to do

  • Complete the May data file submission, if possible. We need course entries to assist with our Covid-19 response
  • Check that student details are accurate in preparation for the 1 June data file submission
  • Nominate your ECM online between 11 May and 19 June
  • Complete the online Memorandum for Agreement for rebate by 17 June
  • Inform staff that applications to be exam markers open online on 4 June
  • Remind teachers to begin considering candidates for this year’s Languages CATs and MCAT assessments
  • Consider entries for 2020 digital exams
  • Inform Accounting teachers about external assessment changes for 2020
  • Remind language teachers to check the digital assessment options for 2020
  • Update key contact details if required
  • Teina/Tuakana kura and schools complete a MoU and send to NZQA

Topics in this EmaiLink:

General Administration & Data

  • 1 May data file submission
  • Keep contact details current
  • Update of NZQA access guide

External Exams Administration

  • Audio files for 2020 language and music exams
  • Digital exams
  • Exam Centre Manager (ECM) for 2020
  • Exam Centre Memorandum of Understanding
  • Memorandum of Agreement for rebate

Special Assessment Conditions

  • Update contact information
  • Submission of SAC applications
  • Providing SAC to students in the COVID-19 environment


  • Circulars
  • COVID-19 resources
  • Remote Learning and Assessment matrices
  • Other COVID-19 Links

Information for Staff

  • Information for accounting external assessment 2020


NZQA school access quick reference guide (PDF, 110KB)
Example advert for ECM recruitment (DOCX, 15KB)
Memo for PNs – nominating your ECM (DOCX, 15KB)

School Relationship Manager – Kura Māori Vacancy

Sadly, Craig Fransen is leaving us to take up an exciting new role with our Secondary Exams team as a National Assessment Facilitator. We are very sorry to see him go after 6 years service.

Applications will open shortly for his replacement. Applicants must be fluent in Te Reo and experienced in assessment quality assurance processes, so if you are interested or know of anyone suitable, please email or phone Vivien Downes at 04 463 3337.


General Administration and Data

1 May Data File Submission

If it is possible to send a data file submission please do so, especially if one was not made in April. NZQA uses your data to help with planning for the year.

Keep contact details current

Given the COVID-19 disruption, please ensure that you keep your school’s contact information current 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.

Update of NZQA access guide

Information on the levels of staff access you can grant to your Provider Login page has now been updated and is available here. A copy of the guide can be found in the appendix above.

External Exams Administration

Audio files for 2020 language and music exams

Last year, NZQA discontinued CD production for NCEA and NZ Scholarship language and music exams. Audio files are played via laptop or computer. Schools will need to provide hardware, specifically a laptop or personal computer, external speakers and technical support to ECMs prior to and during the exam period where required. Also, schools need to be aware of additional requirements for any SAC students. Audio files will be available for ECMs to download and ECMs and supervisors will receive full training on their use.

Digital Exams

During May we will send Principals and Principal’s Nominees information to distribute to those in their schools preparing for digital exams this year. It will explain what’s new, some useful links to resources and details about our planned support. This year we will provide packages of information at key stages to help you best manage what you need to know.

Students can now access their 2019 digital exam responses until 30 June. They have been informed about how to do this via Twitter and Facebook.

If you have students who are now learning with digital support, we will support them and you to consider opting in to relevant NCEA Online exams.

If your school or kura had more than 20 students with a digital exam result in 2019, you can ask your School Relationship Manager for anonymised responses to the Student Experience survey. If you had a small number of digital results, or did not participate, we can provide a regional view of the anonymised responses.

Exam Centre Manager (ECM) for 2020

The online facility for you to nominate your Exam Centre Manager for this year’s external exams will be available from Monday 18 May until Friday 28 June.

This may be extended in line with Covid-19 restrictions at the time.

The ECM job description can be found here. This is the 2019 job description and may be subject to change for 2020. The draft advertisement and memo from the previous EmaiLink are re-included as appendices to this edition.

Exam Centre Memorandum of Understanding

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is required between a kura/school (Kura Teina) that is not an exam centre and a kura/school (Kura Tuakana) where the candidates will sit external exams.

Once it has been signed by both parties the Kura Teina should email the signed agreement no later than Friday 29 May 2020 to

If your school will not be making any external entries for 2020, please email this information by Friday 29 May 2020 to

Memorandum of Agreement for rebate

Please remember to digitally sign this memorandum for 2020 by 17 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.

Special Assessment Conditions

Update contact information

Please ensure that your SENCO details are updated in your school’s Profile through your Provider Login so that they can receive the regular SAC Updates. Please also consider adding your Learning Support Coordinator as a SAC contact.

Submission of SAC applications

We are expecting that the submission of your new applications and completion of rollovers may be delayed under the current circumstances (as detailed in SAC Update #3). Please remember that SAC applications under the Learning category do not close until the end of Term Three.

Providing SAC to students in the COVID-19 environment

The same principles that apply to all students being assessed in the current environment also apply to SAC students.

However, we acknowledge that this is a challenging time for everyone, and particularly for those students who have barriers to overcome.

Specific advice on assessment for SAC students has been published in SAC Updates and in the PowerPoint entitled Self-Directed Credible Assessment (specifically slide 18) which can be found through your Provider Login.

Please contact if there are specific questions


Circulars (available online only)

A2020/9 NCEA Languages with Digital Assessment Options in 2020

COVID-19 Resources

Information and guidance that has been sent to schools about managing NCEA assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic is available online in the COVID-19 section of your Provider Login. Resources available here are:

  • A list of the subject-specific assessment evidence gathering templates available on the subject pages by standard number
  • Generic templates in English and Te Reo Māori for teachers to adapt for assessment of other achievement and unit standards, including for gathering evidence for derived grades
  • A PowerPoint providing self-directed guidance for teachers on using the flexibility of NCEA to gather credible, standard-specific, assessment evidence, as well as one voiced over in te reo.
  • Four videos of teachers who assessed students for qualifications in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes
  • Guidance on managing authenticity in a remote assessment environment
  • Messages you can share with your school community in response to any concerns students, parents and whānau may have about assessment and the NCEA
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about managing assessment during COVID-19 disruption.

Assessment Evidence Gathering Templates and updated subject matrices are available on the Subject pages of the NZQA website.

Remote Learning and Assessment matrices

NZQA have published 43 Remote Learning and Assessment matrices to the relevant subject NCEA Subject Resources Page in the ‘Matrices’ subsection.

The purpose of the Remote Learning and Assessment Matrix is to guide assessors for the remote management of both internally and externally assessed Achievement Standards. These indicate which standards are suitable, which require further guidance or changes, and which should be deferred until students return to school. These should help departments with planning.

Other COVID-19 links
Unite against COVID-19
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Health

Information for staff

Information for Accounting External Assessment 2020

2020 is the transition year to the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting (2018 NZ Conceptual Framework). The updated definitions and explanations in this version of the framework will guide the assessment of accounting concepts at NCEA Levels 1, 2, and 3, and New Zealand Scholarship.

The changes apply to the following externally assessed Accounting standards: Level 1 90976, Level 2 91174, Level 3 91404 and New Zealand Scholarship 93203.

A clarification document (PDF, 148KB) summarising the key changes can be found on the Accounting subject page on the NZQA website.

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