Annual Report 2014/15

Chief Executive’s Foreword

Qualify for the Future World encapsulates NZQA’s role. The performance of NZQA depends on our contribution to making the New Zealand education sector a world-leading education system that equips all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills and competencies to be successful citizens in the 21st century.

Delivering to our clients

We are committed to providing the highest quality service to students, employers, education providers and other clients. Our clients are at the centre of our work and we need to ensure NZQA’s services are easy to access and use, and responsive to changing needs. We want our interactions with clients to be consistent and seamless across all our service channels.

Supporting Better Public Services

NZQA has an important role in supporting three Better Public Services (BPS) Result Areas.

Our work in enhancing the quality of assessment practices for NCEA contributes to the BPS target of having 85% of 18 year-olds achieving NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification on the qualifications framework in 2017. Last year NZQA managed the external exams for NCEA and scholarship for over 143,000 senior secondary students, marked and returned over 1.1 million examination answer booklets, and externally moderated over 100,000 samples of student work to provide assurance on the quality of internal assessment in secondary schools.

NZQA also contributes to the BPS target of 60% of 25 to 34-year olds having a qualification at Level 4 or above in 2018, by ensuring qualifications meet the needs of learners, employers and iwi and supporting the tertiary education sector to deliver high-quality tertiary education.

Our work in trialling digital assessments for NCEA contributes to the BPS target of supporting 70% of all New Zealanders completing most common transactions with Government in a digital environment by 2017.

Contributing to New Zealand’s economic success

Our international work supports the Business Growth Agenda aim of growing international education for the building of export markets. In 2014/15 we worked with representatives from Australia, Europe, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China in order to achieve our 2020 target of having qualification recognition arrangements with at least 50 countries.

Enhancing the quality of the Tertiary Education sector

We operate an integrated quality assurance system where all the components support each other to enhance the quality of the tertiary education sector. Our quality assurance system includes registration of private training establishments (PTEs); approval of qualifications, degrees and related qualifications, other programmes; and training schemes. It also includes assessment of the consistency of graduate outcomes; moderation of assessment standards; monitoring of degree programmes; conducting external evaluation and review; and risk management. During the year the approach was independently reviewed and was found to be fit for purpose.

Continuing to improve the New Zealand Qualifications Framework

NZQA maintains the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. In 2014/15 NZQA achieved a planned 74% reduction in the number of qualifications at Levels 1–6 at the approval to develop stage, which means we exceeded our 72% forecast for this work.

Implementing our Future State programme

To create a platform for future learners, NZQA has been trialling new ways of delivering services. We piloted digital assessments and moderation for NCEA, which will continue in the 2015/16 financial year as we work towards the goal of NCEA external assessments being available online by 2020, where appropriate.

For our learners to have their knowledge and skills validated in New Zealand and internationally, New Zealand needs qualifications that are portable and transferable. This will reduce duplication of learning when learners move to study between education organisations and countries. To meet these needs, NZQA will continue projects in 2015/16 to identify ways of promoting the portability and transferability of learning.

NZQA has continued to work with other jurisdictions to extend the global reach of the NZQF and enhance its credibility and enable the transferability and portability of qualifications for learners.

Creating the platform for our future success

To ensure our future success, we are increasingly moving to co-creating solutions that will meet the changing needs of the education community (learners, teachers, schools and education-related groups). We will also continue working with stakeholder groups to ensure we are meeting their needs as we implement the Future State programme.

Our new People Plan (2014–18) aims to ensure we have the people capability to achieve our Future State outcomes and targets, and will be supported by a strategic workforce plan.

Our refreshed Pasifika Plan 2015–2017 sets out our contribution to accelerating Pasifika learner achievement. The Plan builds on the success and achievements of the 2012–2015 strategy and adds step-up initiatives for providing information to more Pasifika families about NCEA and expanding our use of data about Pasifika involvement and achievement in the non-university tertiary sector.

The continuation of our Te Rautaki Māori strategy helps accelerate Māori learner success and advances the use of mātauranga Māori. Our work in 2014/15 included helping 2,166 whānau members to better understand NCEA through NCEA and the Whānau workshops and initiating a Māori in STEM work programme to encourage more Māori students into NCEA pathways.

Pursuant to section 150 of the Crown Entities Act 2004, this is the Annual Report of the operations and performance of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and its audited financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2015.

Karen Poutasi

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