Te tauākī kawatau o ngā mahi Statement of Performance Expectations 2019/20

Our role and key functions

Our role

Our primary role is to ensure that New Zealand qualifications are accepted as credible and robust, both nationally and internationally. We do this through our work to quality assure non-university tertiary education, regulate tertiary education, deliver robust senior-secondary-school-level assessments and credentialing, and improve the qualifications system.

Our vision, ‘Qualify for the Future World: Kia Noho Takatū Ki Tō Āmua Ao’, encapsulates our role and ambition for learners and for New Zealand. Our performance is a vital element of making New Zealand’s education system world leading and accessible to all learners.

Key functions


The NZQF is the definitive source of accurate information about all quality-assured New Zealand qualifications – covering secondary school, tertiary education and institutions open to international learners. The NZQF is designed to optimise the recognition of a learner’s achievements and contribute to New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural success.

Quality assurance:

Our quality assurance role is directed towards supporting higher levels of trust and confidence in education outcomes for the tertiary education system. We set the statutory rules for the whole tertiary education sector and manage quality assurance in the non-university part of the tertiary sector.


We administer and quality assure three NCEA levels for senior secondary learners (and for a smaller number of learners outside the secondary school system) and New Zealand Scholarship examinations. We do this through: 

  • Internal assessment for NCEA – by managing a system of quality assurance across schools’ internal assessment, which includes scheduled reviews of schools’ assessment systems, external moderation of internal assessment, and monitoring. We also provide workshops, seminars and other support as needed
  • External assessment – we administer NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship external assessment, including reports, portfolios and examinations.
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