Information Technology and Computing Qualifications at Levels 2-6

IT Professionals New Zealand (ITPNZ) and NZQA National Qualifications Services (NQS) are co-developers of sub-degree computing and IT qualifications at Levels 2 to 6 on the NZ Qualifications Framework.

The IT and Computing qualifications review scheduled for 2019 is underway. Consultation on the draft reviewed qualifications closed 30 September 2019 and the adjusted draft qualifications have now been submitted for quality assurance. Refer to 'IT and computing qualifications review 2019' section of this webpage.

NZQA National Qualifications Services (NQS) is the standard setting body for Computing unit standards. Unit standards have been developed for use as assessment tools in programmes leading towards the Level 2-4 Computing qualifications.  See below for more detail.

Find a New Zealand Computing or IT qualification

Fourteen IT and Computing qualifications were listed in May 2015. Two new qualifications in Cybersecurity and Software testing were listed in November 2018, along with version 2 of Ref: 2599.

View a pathways map (PDF, 509KB) for the sixteen (16) NZ Computing and IT qualifications. These qualifications can be accessed through the links below or by searching for the qualification reference number or title.

Providers need to obtain programme approval and provider accreditation to deliver a programme before they can offer the qualifications.

Information on programme approval and accreditation for NZ Certificate courses in Secondary Schools is available here.

For information on the development of these qualifications, refer to the Mandatory review of ICT qualifications 2013-2015 or the Development of Security and Testing qualifications 2017-2018 sections below.

IT and computing qualifications review 2019

The reviewed IT and computing qualifications were submitted for quality assurance on 22 October 2019.  This includes ten reviewed qualifications, two new replacement qualifications, with four current qualifications proposed for expiry in December 2022.

The major changes proposed include:

  • Increasing the Level 2 NZ Certificate in Computing (User Fundamentals) [Ref: 2591] qualification from 40 to 60 credits (a new replacement qualification, with 2591 expiring)
  • Merging the NZ Diploma in Networking and NZ Diploma in Systems Administration qualifications [Ref: 2600 & 2601] into a new NZ Diploma in IT Infrastructure (Level 6) with strands in Networking and Systems Administration (a new replacement qualification, with 2600 & 2601 expiring)
  • The expiry of the NZ Diploma in Database Administration (Level 6) [Ref: 2602], with no direct replacement. 
  • The addition of a Data Analysis strand in the NZ Diploma in Information Systems (Level 6) qualification [Ref: 2603].
  • Updating the qualifications to better match current industry practice and needs, and current listing requirements.

The September 2019 consultation feedback supported and endorsed the proposed changes to the suite.  Some minor changes were made to the qualifications by the expert working groups before submission.  

The proposed qualifications submitted for quality assurance 22 October 2019:

The current published versions of these qualifications are available from the ‘Find a NZ computing or IT qualification’ drop down menu above, or by searching for the qualification reference number or title.

Quick links to review documents

The September consultation invited feedback on the draft reviewed qualifications available from the links below.

  • 2602 Proposed expiry – no review

Background on the review

IT Professionals New Zealand (ITPNZ) and NZQA National Qualifications Services (NQS) are co-developers of sub-degree computing and IT qualifications on the NZ Qualifications Framework and are undertaking the 2019 review - see review plan (PDF, 784KB).

A Steering Group has been convened to provide the strategic oversight of the review, to consider issues that are relevant to the entire suite, and to provide guidance to the expert working groups.  The terms of reference are available (PDF, 435KB).

To ensure the suite of qualifications is still relevant and fit for purpose, between May and July 2019 feedback was sought to inform the review on any aspect of the qualifications, including the pathways map (PDF, 509KB) for the currently published qualifications.

Expressions of interest were invited during May-June to be involved in the four expert working groups, which were convened in August 2019 to review the 14 qualifications.

  • Computing user & IT essentials (quals 2591 – 2594)
  • IT Technical – networking, systems admin (quals 2596, 2600, 2601 and input to 2594, 2595, 2599)
  • Info Systems – IS, UX, Projects, DBA (quals 2597, 2602, 2603 and input to 2594, 2595, 2599)
  • Software and Web Development (quals 2598 and 2604, and input to 2594, 2595, 2599)

Stakeholders have been kept informed and their comments and feedback have been actively considered.  Research has informed the strategic guidance from the Steering Group to the working groups (see working group brief (PDF, 765KB)), and indicated that the needs analysis which informed the initial development of these qualifications remains relevant with minor changes required to the suite to reflect the changing IT environment.

Contact

If you wish to provide feedback or receive email updates, and/or make contact regarding the qualifications review, please email ictquals.review@nzqa.govt.nz or follow this link http://eepurl.com/vkiFv and sign up to be included in future communications about the review.

Paul Matthews is the contact at IT Professionals NZ and Diana Garrett is the contact at NQS. We welcome questions, ideas, contributions and expressions of interest in being involved.

Development of Security and Testing qualifications 2017-2018

New Security and Testing qualifications were approved 1 November 2018.

The new qualifications are:

and the additional strand in Software testing for the following qualification:

Now the qualifications are listed, providers will need to obtain programme approval and provider accreditation to deliver a programme before they can offer the new qualifications.

Quick links to review documents

Please contact ictquals.review@nzqa.govt.nz if you need copies of draft versions of the qualifications.

Background on development of security and testing qualifications

IT Professionals New Zealand (ITP) and NQS are co-leads for the development of all IT and computing related qualifications at levels 1-6 on the NZ Qualifications Framework. Sector workshops were held in Auckland and Wellington in early March 2017 to ascertain industry demand and need, and to get an idea of the scope of qualifications in Security and Software testing if they were developed. Summaries of notes from the sector workshop meetings of March 2017 are available above and include issues raised and sector perceptions of need for qualifications to equip graduates for junior analyst roles (Security and Testing).

Consultation to determine sector views on the need for new qualifications closed 23 June 2017. This consultation survey was primarily aimed at experts, employers or educators in testing and/or security areas, and was intended to help steer the decision about whether to proceed, and the general design, size and position of these potential qualifications.

A summary of key themes resulting from the June consultation feedback was included in the September 2017 consultation document on the proposed addition of Cybersecurity and Software testing qualifications.

Full consultation on the draft qualifications was undertaken in September 2017, and results supported the draft qualifications proceeding to 'approval to develop'. Minor changes were made to the draft qualifications prior to submitting for 'approval to develop'.

The proposed two new Level 6 qualifications in Cybersecurity and Software Testing, and one new Software Testing strand in the existing IT practitioner qualification [Ref: 2599] were submitted to NZQA Quality Assurance Division for 'approval to develop' a qualification on 23 November 2017, and approval was granted on 11 December 2017.

The April 2018 consultation feedback supported and endorsed the draft qualifications for submission to NZQA Quality Assurance Division for listing. Some minor changes were made to the qualifications by the expert working groups before submission, and in August 2018 in response to feedback from the quality assurance evaluator. New Security and Testing qualifications were approved 1 November 2018.

Consistency reviews 2018-2019

Consistency reviews

All providers with programmes leading to New Zealand qualifications will need to take part in consistency reviews.

Many of the IT and Computing qualifications are scheduled for a consistency review between September 2018 to July 2019, with details of dates in the schedule for assuring consistency.

Following the consistency review for each qualification, the consistency review reports are published.

Mandatory review of ICT qualifications 2013-2015

Qualifications in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) were scheduled for review in quarter one of 2013 as part of the nation-wide mandatory review of qualifications. There were a wide range of ICT qualifications (223) with many apparently similar qualifications at the same level.

The mandatory review was to reduce the duplication and proliferation of qualifications on a national scale, and to ensure that qualifications are useful, relevant and valuable to current and future learners, employers and other stakeholders.

The review was jointly led by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals (IITP) (now IT Professionals NZ) and NQS. IITP and NQS worked together to establish the terms of reference for the working relationship for the review. In summary, it was proposed that the IITP manage the Steering Group to provide Governance including the strategic leadership and direction, and an effective decision-making structure for the review, and NQS manage the project and the operation of the working groups. The steering group met nine times between April 2013 and the listing of the new qualifications in May 2015.

Stakeholders and interested parties were encouraged to be involved in the review and share their thoughts on the future of ICT qualifications in New Zealand. There were opportunities to be on the Steering Group, members of working groups, and/or respond to the four stages of consultations. Consultation documents are available from the links below.

NZQF2 and NZQF4 stakeholder attestation forms provided evidence that the co-leads consulted with a wide range of stakeholders during the review and development process. Completion of these forms helped meet review obligations.

In April 2015 the proposed suite of fourteen new IT and computing qualifications were approved for listing.

Key Documents

Consultation documents

Unit standards aligned to Levels 2-4 NZ Computing qualifications

NZQA Qualifications Services developed and reviewed Computing unit standards, to ensure there is a suite of unit standard suitable for those who wish to use standards as assessment tools in programmes towards the following four qualifications:

The landscape of computing unit standards mapped to NZ qualifications at levels 2-4 (DOCX, 41KB) provides details of the standards titles and credits by level. This information may help inform programme development.

Further information is available from the Computing standards and review development webpage, and details are available in the January 2017 review of computing unit standards change report.

Contact

If you wish to receive email updates and/or make contact regarding the IT Computing qualifications at Levels 2-6, please email ictquals.review@nzqa.govt.nz or follow this link http://eepurl.com/vkiFv and sign up to be included in future communications about reviews.

If you wish to receive email updates, and/or make contact regarding the Computing unit standards, please email NQS@nzqa.govt.nz.

We welcome questions, ideas, contributions and expressions of interest in being involved.

 
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