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.

NZQA is currently consulting on options for simplifying the vocational qualifications system – read more or make a submission here.


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.

NZQA is working to simplify the design of vocational qualifications. This work includes a re-design of the structure and components of vocational qualifications to enable seamless transition for learners between workplace, online and in-class study. At the same time, this work supports the needs of industry by enhancing the consistency of graduate skills and knowledge and enhancing the portability of qualifications across different regions and employers.

NZQA is also supporting TEC in the establishment of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) and Te Pūkenga (the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology). The disestablishment of Transitional Industry Training Organisations (TITOs) is an important part of this work. NZQA is focussing on enabling a smooth transfer of qualifications, programmes and standards between TITOs, WDCs and Te Pūkenga so any impact on learners or industry is minimised.

The introduction of WDCs and Te Pūkenga into the qualifications system also means that NZQA will need to review its approach to quality assurance, to ensure it fully supports the intent of RoVE and any changes made by NZQA to vocational qualifications. This work is expected to take place in 2021.

Simplifying the Vocational Qualifications System

NZQA is leading work on how the vocational qualifications system can be simplified, so the qualifications which are available support RoVE’s intended outcomes.

NZQA is consulting on three options between 27 April and 16 June. You can find out more about these options and make a submission here.

The aim is to create a vocational qualifications system that enables greater consistency of graduate outcomes, more seamless transitions for learners, less complexity for employers, and is more nimble in responding to the changing needs of industry.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the qualifications and credentials available will meet learner needs (particularly underserved learners such as Māori), while also adding value for industry and employers.

Related News

Simplifying New Zealand qualifications and other credentials

Amendments to NZQA Rules to reflect the Reform of Vocational Education

Useful Links

The Tertiary Education Commission

Te Pūkenga (New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology)

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