Our role

NZQA's role in the education sector is to ensure that New Zealand qualifications are accepted as credible and robust, nationally and internationally, in order to help learners succeed in their chosen endeavours and to contribute to New Zealand society.

NZQA is responsible for

  • managing the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
  • administering the secondary school assessment system
  • independent quality assurance of non-university tertiary education providers
  • qualifications recognition and standard-setting for some specified unit standards.

NZQA reports to the Minister of Education. Read our Briefing for the Incoming Minister of Education - 2017 (PDF, 560KB).

For more information see What we do.


Ko te manu ka kai i te miro, nōna te ngahere.

Ko te manu ka kai i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.

The bird that partakes of the berry, theirs is the forest.

The bird that partakes of knowledge, theirs is the world.

(Te Kere Ngataierua, Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi).

NZQA's role in helping learners to succeed through education is expressed in this Whakatauākī.

Strategic Direction

NZQA's outcome focus is that New Zealand qualifications are valued as credible and robust.

Our Statement of Intent and Statement of Performance Expectation describe the key initiatives we are undertaking to achieve this outcome and set a base for how our performance can be assessed. See our Strategic documents page for further information.  

Te Kōkiritanga 2020-2023 contributes to Maori succeeding as Maori in education and is consistent with the aims of Ka Hikitia, the Ministry of Education's Maori Education Strategy.

We continue to support the delivery of the Ministry of Education's Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 through the delivery of our own Takiala Pasifika.

These strategies are designed to advance education and training for Maori and Pacific peoples.

Customer Charter

Our values provide the bedrock on which our Customer Charter is built. NZQA is committed to providing its customers with the highest possible levels of service and the charter outlines our undertakings and service standards.

Annual Report

Our Annual Report provides an account of our performance over the past financial year. 

See our recent Annual Reports for more information.


NZQA operates under the following legislation:

The Education and Training Act 2020. The relevant provisions of this Act are:

  • SECTION 524 - Courses for foreign students
  • SUBPART 5 OF PART 4 - Private Training Establishments
  • SUBPART 7 OF PART 5 - International Students
  • SUBPART 2 OF PART 5 - New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • SUBPART 7 OF PART 4, SUBPART 8 OF PART 5 AND SECTION 665 -Miscellaneous Provisions
  • SECTIONS 649 AND 661 AND CLAUSE 71 OF SCHEDULE 1 - National student numbers

NZQA is a Crown Entity as defined by the Crown Entities Act 2004, and was created under Subpart 2 of Part 5 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

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