Reform of Vocational Education

In 2020, the government implemented reforms of the vocational education sector to create a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system that is fit for the future of work and delivers the skills that learners, employers and communities need to thrive. The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) includes seven key changes.


The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is the custodian of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and is responsible for ensuring that New Zealand qualifications are trusted and serve the needs of learners and industry.

The Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) is creating a strong foundation for a vocational education system which is more responsive to the needs of learners and employers, with improved consistency of graduate outcomes and enabling greater learner mobility.

NZQA is undertaking work in four areas to support the goals of RoVE:

Simplifying the design of vocational qualifications

NZQA is working to simplify the design of vocational qualifications. This work includes designing skill standards to be used as the building blocks for teaching and learning. Common learning outcomes will enable learners to move between study modes whether these are in the workplace, online or in-class. As well as strengthening the consistency of graduate skills and knowledge and enhancing the portability of qualifications across different regions and employers.

You can read more about skill standards and ‘national curriculum’ and their relationship with other education products on our Simplifying the design of vocational qualifications page. NZQA has worked with key education stakeholders to progress the design and examples of skill standards and ‘national curricula’, and consulted on rules for the listing of skill standards and the recognition of ‘national curricula’ across September-October 2022.

For more information about our simplifying qualification consultation conducted in 2021, please visit our consultation resources page.

Supporting the establishment of Te Pūkenga, six Workforce Development Councils and the disestablishment of the TITOs

NZQA has contributed to the establishment of Te Pūkenga (the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology) and six Workforce Development Councils (WDCs).

NZQA’s key focus has been the smooth transfer of standard setting and arranging training functions from Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) to WDCs, Te Pūkenga and other providers to minimise any impact on learners or industry.

For more information on transition of TITO programmes to PTEs please visit the TEC website or our guidelines for the transition of TITO programmes to PTEs on our Guidelines and forms page.

Reviewing and updating the quality assurance framework

Changes to the design of vocational qualifications and the introduction of new organisations (WDCs and Te Pūkenga) means that NZQA will need to adapt its approach to quality assurance. This work is expected to commence in 2022 with a review of the quality assurance framework.

Updating internal NZQA systems to support the delivery of RoVE outcomes and providers in the post-RoVE environment

NZQA is currently updating its internal systems and this is expected to be delivered in early 2023.

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