Recognition of Overseas Qualifications

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The Qualifications Recognition Services (QRS) assesses qualifications awarded outside of New Zealand. We determine whether overseas qualifications can be recognised in New Zealand and then provide comparison between those overseas qualifications and the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). Learn more about the NZQF

QRS is a team within NZQA and operates separately from other government agencies such as Immigration New Zealand or the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. QRS does not provide advice or answer queries about immigration, professional registration (e.g., teacher registration), or employment in New Zealand.  Please contact the appropriate agency directly to get the correct advice and information you need.  You can find out who to contact at

Qualifications We Can Assess

Do you hold an overseas qualification and plan to live, work, or study in New Zealand? You may be required to have your qualification assessed by Qualifications Recognition Services (QRS) at NZQA to see how it aligns with the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). 

In New Zealand all qualifications need to meet the definition of a qualification on the NZQF. Your overseas qualification will need to meet this minimum standard to be assessed and recognised by NZQA.

For us to assess and attempt to recognise your qualification, it must:

  • be a complete programme of study, and
  • be awarded by a provider that is nationally recognised or accredited by the responsible government or government-mandated authority in the country of award, at the time of award, and
  • have a minimum of 400 notional learning hours, and
  • include achievement of a set of learning outcomes through a formal programme of instruction or learning. 

Qualifications We Do Not Assess

We do not assess the following kinds of awards or experience: 

  • academic secondary school qualifications (such as high school diplomas), or
  • incomplete programmes of study that did not result in awarding of a qualification, or
  • programmes that do not meet the minimum requirement of the equivalent of one semester of full-time study (40 credits or 400 notional hours), or
  • certificates of attendance, or
  • certificates of proficiency (if they do not also include formal learning programmes), or
  • letters or certificates of work experience, or
  • apprenticeships without formal training programmes, or
  • professional or specialist training certificates (such as CISCO or Microsoft expert awards), or
  • membership certificates issued by chartered bodies like ACCA and CIMA.

Verifications and Fraud

NZQA verifies qualifications and takes fraudulent activity seriously. We operate a random verification programme to counteract fraud.

If there is any evidence of falsified information with the intent to mislead or misrepresent, NZQA will decline your application. We will not issue a report for any other qualifications included in that application, and will decline to assess any future applications made by you. If a Recognition Statement has been issued, it will be revoked.

We will also provide information to the relevant authorities and agencies, including Immigration New Zealand and the New Zealand Police.

Our Services

QRS offers three types of assessments. Read below about each assessment type to learn why and when you might need them, how you can use them, and how to apply. 

International Qualifications Assessment (IQA)

The IQA is an in-depth assessment that provides a Recognition Statement explaining your overseas qualification in the New Zealand context. It can be used for immigration, employment, further study, or teacher registration and salary purposes.

Read more about the IQA 

Pre-Assessment Result (PAR)

The PAR is a preliminary assessment to help you understand the level your overseas qualification may be comparable to on the NZQF. It is used only for immigration purposes, specifically for the Expression of Interest.

Please note: We encourage applicants to apply directly for an IQA instead of a PAR as the IQA provides an in-depth assessment of your qualification(s) which you will also need should you decide to proceed with your residency application with Immigration New Zealand. An IQA can be used both for the Expression of Interest (EOI) application, and for your application to apply for residency.

Read more about the PAR 

Overseas Study Assessment (OSA)

The OSA is for people (New Zealand residents) who have completed or plan to complete study outside of New Zealand and want to apply to Inland Revenue NZ (IRD) to have the interest on their New Zealand student loan written off.

Read more about the OSA 

Learn more about our fees and additional services

Understanding Your Results

After you apply for your assessment and it is completed by an evaluator, the results statement of your IQA, PAR, or OSA will be sent to you electronically. This pdf statement can be uploaded on our verification page to confirm its authenticity. Note that the verification process guarantees authenticity of the NZQA assessment, not the qualification itself.

Validity and accuracy of your IQA results statement

Historically, IQA results statements may have included an expiry date, but our recent reports no longer contain this, and statements are valid indefinitely. It is important to note, however, that our evaluation policies and procedures are constantly evolving and changing, in line with new information, changes in assessment policies and regulations, and resources that become available. As a result, an assessment completed a few years ago may not provide the same result were it to be assessed today. If you believe this is the case with your assessment, you can apply for a new IQA if it falls outside the 3-month review period. Your qualification(s) will then be assessed using our current evaluation policies and will not be based on any previous assessment. Click here to apply for a new IQA.

Sections of the results statement

The format of the results statements for IQAs, PARs, and OSAs has changed as of mid-July 2018. Below are examples of what the old and new statements look like.

(click icon images to see a large version)
Old statement (PNG, 213KB) New statement (PNG, 253KB)

Before mid-July of 2018, PAR and OSA results were delivered as text-only emails. The statements for the IQA, PAR, and OSA now share the same general format. The statement will include important information about you and your qualification, including:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your NZQA application number
  • The purpose of your application
  • The date the assessment was issued
  • The qualification title
  • The name of the awarding body
  • The date of award for your qualifications (not applicable for OSAs)
  • The assessment outcome
  • Comments about your qualification, if applicable

For more information about application purposes, assessment outcomes, or comments, visit the page for the relevant assessment service.

Verify a QRS Assessment

Visit our verification page to upload a statement to check its authenticity. That page includes instructions for how to do this. Note that the verification process guarantees authenticity of the NZQA assessment, not the qualification itself.

You may supply the pdf of your results statement to any relevant party for them to verify the statement themselves. They do not need an NZQA account to do this. 

Verify a QRS assessment online

Contact Us

Other questions? Contact QRS here or at or

+64 (4) 463 3000 (Freephone in NZ: 0800 697 296).

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