Qualifications and standards

Development and Review of Computing Unit Standards

Current developments

The new and reviewed suite of Computing unit standards developed for use as assessment tools for NZ Computing and IT qualifications at Levels 2-4 were published in January 2017.

The new Computing unit standards are in the Generic Computing and Computer Support domains numbered from 29769 – 29817. The published standards are able to be accessed by searching for the unit standard reference number.

The landscape (DOCX, 41KB) of unit standards towards new NZ qualifications at Levels 2-4 provides details of the standards title and credits by level.  This information may help inform programme development.

Details of the new and reviewed standards and replacement relationships is available in the Review of Computing unit standards change report.

All 73 current computing unit standards have been reviewed, and the unit standards in bold are expiring (Category C & D review).  26 current standards are being retained with minor changes (Category B review).

Computing Computer Support 6836, 6852, 6869-6874, 18750, 18753, 18755, 26227
Generic Computing 2780, 2781, 2783-2791, 2792, 2796, 2797, 5940, 5943, 5946, 5947, 5948, 5951, 5952-5954, 5955, 5957, 5968, 6743, 6745, 6746-6748, 6750, 7910,18734, 18742, 18743, 18756, 18758, 20332, 24872, 25655-25658, 25659, 25660-25662, 25782, 26226, 26228, 26229, 26230, 26744, 26745, 26746
Software Development - Programming 2795, 6761, 18739, 18740, 18741

The expiry date is 31 December 2019 for 45 reviewed standards.  Two additional standards, 2780 and 2784, are compulsory requirements for registered National qualifications and will expire 31 December 2020. There is a transition period to allow time for providers to adjust their programmes and resources to the new unit standards.


A suite of 14 new qualifications were approved for listing in April 2015 as a result of the mandatory review of Computing and IT qualifications.  These qualifications can be accessed from the links below, from the review webpage, or by searching for the qualification by reference number or title.

NZQA National Qualifications Services (NQS) undertook a project to ensure there is a suite of unit standards suitable for those who wish to use standards as assessment tools in programmes towards the following four qualifications:

The project involved developing new standards and reviewing current Computing unit standards to align with the graduate profile outcomes of the new qualifications in content and credit value. It also involved considering (not reviewing) existing achievement standards and unit standards from other domains that may be suitable as assessment tools for use in programmes towards the new Computing qualifications, to avoid duplication.

The new Computing and IT qualifications do not require the use of unit standards or any specific method of assessment.  Some parts of the sector, however, requested that unit standards be developed for the new qualifications.

Unit standards were drafted mid-2015 to mid-2016 by a working group, and were available for consultation until 19 August 2016.  The standards refer specifically to the qualifications, and so reflect both the content and the context of the qualifications.

Contact for reviews

If you would like to receive information and updates about Computing unit standards, please send a message to the review mailbox computing.review@nzqa.govt.nz asking to be added to the stakeholder list.

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