Assessment Specifications

Level 1 Design and Visual Communication 2019

General information


Design and Visual Communication

Mode of Assessment

Portfolio Submission

Submission date

Wednesday 30 October 2019


91063  91064  91065

Format of the assessment

These assessment specifications are to be read in conjunction with the relevant achievement standards.

As in 2018, a separate panel of markers will assess each of the three standards in 2019.

Assessment will be in the form of a portfolio of evidence for each standard selected from a normal design and visual communication programme. A portfolio is an organised collection of selected evidence that communicates the candidate’s knowledge and understanding relevant to the external design and visual communication standards the candidate has entered. For each standard, candidates should select only the material that represents their best work for the externally assessed achievement standards for inclusionin the portfolio.

The submission can be made up of individual sheets or a visual diary, or a combination thereof. A visual diary would not normally be submitted for the standards 91064 or 91065.

All material submitted should not exceed A3 (297 × 420 mm) size. Larger pages must be folded to A3 size.

The following presentation formats are recommended for 2019:

  • visual diary for 91063, if used, to be limited to one; however, high-quality photocopies or photographs of these pages are preferable
  • A3 pages
  • digital submissions are to be in a PDF, PowerPoint, HTML, or QuickTime format 
  • digital submissions for 91063 can be submitted only on CD-ROM. Digital submissions for other standards can be submitted either on CD-ROM or using NZQA’s submitted subjects’ online system. Schools are required to store securely a backup copy (or originals) of all digital submissions.  Schools are required to virus-check digital submitted material.

The following are not acceptable in 2019:

  • submission material contained in clear files
  • laminated material
  • additional packaging, e.g. boxes
  • models – only photographs are to be submitted
  • submissions submitted electronically on USB flash drives or MP3 players.

Writer assistance

Writer assistance is excluded from all external achievement standards. This is due to the nature of drawing and design and visual communication. Any queries regarding this must be addressed to NZQA through the Principal’s Nominee.

Teacher assessment

The work presented for assessment should be free of teacher comments, marks, or grades that may have been applied.


Candidates must provide material that is their own work and that demonstrates their own ability for assessment purposes.

For all work submitted as either hard copy or on CD-ROM, candidates are required to validate their own work by signing an authenticity declaration as part of the assessment schedule, which will be sent to schools by NZQA in the October mail-out.

For all work digitally submitted via NZQA’s online system, it will be assumed by a candidate’s submission that their work is authentic. If a teacher has formed an opinion that the work of a candidate is not authentic, then the teacher can download and complete the Possible Authenticity Breach Form.  The link to this form can be found in the DVC submission instructions document which will be on the DVC subject page during Term 3.

Special notes

Candidates must develop their own ideas within the context of the candidates’ design brief. Design briefs may focus on (but are not limited to) such areas as:

  • spatial design, which could include architectural, interior, or landscape design
  • product design, which could include such areas as fashion, packaging, media products, technological, and engineering design.

For each standard there must be some indication included with the work that identifies the design topic or context, e.g.:

  • the design brief
  • the title statement
  • a one-sentence description.

Instrumental drawings may include computer-generated drawings. If candidates wish to submit computer-generated drawings for Design and Visual Communication 91064 and 91065, they must include evidence of the design thinking/work that has led to these drawings.

Evidence for Design and Visual Communication 91063 must be in the form of freehand sketching, and digitally enhanced imaging must not be used.

Original copies

Original copies must be presented for the assessment of 91063. Original copies or high-quality printouts should be presented for the assessment of 91064 and 91065.

Specific information for individual external achievement standards




Produce freehand sketches that communicate design ideas



Number of credits


Special notes

A candidate's portfolio should not exceed 15 pages for this standard.

Candidates will be required to demonstrate that they can produce freehand sketches that explore and communicate design ideas and visually convey the candidate’s design thinking in response to a design brief. The conceptual sketches do not have to be to presentation standard, but they must show the candidate’s design thinking. Candidates could be producing a variety of sketches during the year that show how they have generated and developed ideas in response to design-brief situations.

Evidence must be in the form of freehand sketching using appropriate two-dimensional and three-dimensional freehand sketching techniques. Three-dimensional freehand sketching methods are:

  • isometric
  • oblique
  • planometric
  • dimetric
  • trimetric
  • perspective.

Sketching techniques also include the use of:

  • crating
  • line hierarchy (thick and thin lines)
  • quick rendering
  • use of different media to enhance shape and form.

Digitally generated or enhanced imaging is not considered to be freehand sketching, and will not be accepted as evidence, except for some visual rays to vanishing points in a perspective sketch.

Candidates will be required to produce 2D and 3D freehand sketches that form part of a design process, and show the qualities of their own design, such as functional and aesthetic details. A candidate’s level of performance will be based on the way the candidate communicates the design ideas.

Explanatory Note 2 states that freehand sketches will be in proportion. Proportion refers to the relationship of one part of a design to another so that it looks visually correct. Refer to the Technology Teaching and Learning Guidelines.




Produce instrumental, multi-view orthographic drawings that communicate technical features of design ideas



Number of credits


Special notes

A candidate's portfolio should not exceed 5 pages for this standard.

Evidence of projection must be included, and all construction lines should be evident.

To gain Achievement with Merit, candidates will be expected to apply the graphic conventions appropriately. This will include indication of a recognised scale and could include title blocks and labelling, use of key line types (e.g. construction lines and outlines), and dimensioning.

To gain Achievement with Excellence, the use of instrumental drawing techniques and conventions must be appropriate, neat, precise, and clear.

Detailed drawings could include sectioned views, auxiliary views, hidden detail, and drawings that show more internal or external features or components of the design.

In computer-aided drawings, projection lines must be shown. All constructions and setting up lines should remain as evidence for assessment.

The use of ink pens is appropriate. Line weightings need to be differentiated when using ink pens and should not conceal construction lines.

Refer to the Technology Teaching and Learning Guidelines. Also, a useful guide to determining the conventions used within this achievement standard can be found in Technical Drawing for Candidates: SAA/SNZ HB1:1994, by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand (ISBN 0 7262 9196X).

Also refer to the exemplars and assessment reports which are on the DVC subject page




Produce instrumental paraline drawings to communicate design ideas



Number of credits


Special notes

A candidate's portfolio should not exceed 4 pages for this standard.

Candidates will be required to demonstrate that they can produce paraline drawings using instrumental drawing techniques and conventions, to communicate their design ideas in response to a design brief.

Freehand sketching is not appropriate evidence for this standard.

Perspective drawings are not acceptable as evidence for this standard.

For Achievement with Excellence, the important aspects and details of the design could be explained through a series of related paraline drawings, e.g. exploded, sequential, or cut-away 3D view. The use of instrumental drawing techniques to accurately produce the paraline drawings refers to accuracy in measurement, line intensity, and line clarity.

Management of external assessment

Refer to DVC submission instructions, which will be on the DVC subject page during Term 3.

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