How we evaluate overseas qualifications

We follow a detailed process to understand how your overseas qualification relates to New Zealand qualifications.

How we evaluate your qualification

We apply international best practices when evaluating overseas qualifications. We compare the qualification to a level or a qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) to recognise it.

Once you have applied for an International Qualification Assessment (IQA), we have a two-stage process for evaluating your qualification.

Apply for an International Qualification Assessment

Stage 1: Checking the qualification

NZQA checks the qualification within the education system in which it was gained. We try to establish that the qualification:

  • was formally issued by a recognised awarding body, and
  • met the regulations which applied within the relevant education system at the time.

Stage 2: Evaluating the qualification

We then look at how the qualification works within its own country.

We can get information from:

  • the country's qualifications framework, if it has one
  • any existing recognition arrangement we may have with the country.

Recognition arrangements with other countries

We compare the qualification to a level or qualification type on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

To establish if a qualification is at a comparable level on the NZQF, we consider the learning outcomes of the qualification. Learning outcomes can be achieved and demonstrated in a variety of settings. Our evaluation considers:

  • entrance requirements for the qualification
  • the duration of the learning programme and volume of study
  • the quality assurance system that underpins the education system and the specific qualification.

What happens next

Please note that we are currently making changes to the way we work to improve our efficiency. We anticipate these changes will be completed by the end of April 2022.

These changes will affect application processing times in the interim period. Once we receive all the relevant documents or information relating to your application, it may take up to 4 months to complete the evaluation. You can check the status of your application by logging into the online application portal or by contacting us.

You will be able to download your recognition statement from our online portal using the account you created.

Recognition statements

If you disagree with the evaluation

If you want to appeal the outcome of your assessment, you need to apply for a review within 3 months of the published date on the recognition statement.

You can contact us to discuss the outcome of your recognition statement before deciding to submit an appeal.

Contact us about an IQA appeal

We will refund an appeal fee, less an administration fee of NZ$55, if the qualification recognition outcome changes, and only if no documents with new information were submitted after the original evaluation.

Qualification recognition fees

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact us:

Note: We can only provide advice on the recognition status of your overseas qualification. You will need to contact the relevant organisations for information about migrating to New Zealand, professional registration or enrolment.

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