Additions and changes to the classification system

The information in this section is designed to assist standard-setting bodies (SSBs) with the approval process for Directory of Assessment Standards (DAS) classifications. The DAS is structured through a three-tier classification system comprising fields, subfields and domains. All standards are classified in a domain. Qualifications may include requirements relating to all three tiers. Consent to assess against standards may also relate to tiers of the classification system.

Changes to subfields and domains in the classification system may be required when a new area of learning is identified as part of the development or review of unit standards. A change to existing classification names may also be required to reflect changes to industry terminology.

An SSB may request changes to classifications. The Approvals and Accreditation business unit of NZQA manages all changes to the classification system.

Approval criteria

A panel made up of members of the Approvals and Accreditation business unit quality assures and approves requests for additions and changes to the classification system.

The requests are considered in light of the following:

  • The proposal must fall within the recognised standard-setting scope of the SSB (gazetted coverage, for transitional ITOs).
  • Subfields must relate to the field in which they are classified.
  • Domains must relate to subfield in which they are classifed and provide an indication of the standards that they will be used to classify.
  • A subfield must contain more than one domain.
  • A domain must contain more than one unit standard (usually 10-30).
  • The classification name must be unique.
  • The classification name must be meaningful to the SSB as a descriptor for the cluster of learning outcomes.
  • The classification name must not exceed 60 characters (including punctuation).
  • The classification name must be able to be used as a meaningful qualification name, where required.

Classification system management

Adding new classifications is relatively straightforward. However, existing classifications that contain registered standards cannot be simply moved, renamed, or deleted, because versions of standards, qualifications, and consents to assess are linked to the classification with the original name.

In order to preserve the integrity of historical data, changes to the classification system are managed through three statuses: current, lapsing, and lapsed.

Classification Description
Current Current classifications contain registered standards and national qualifications and define the scope of consent to assess.
Lapsing Lapsing classifications may contain registered standards and still be used to define scope of consent to assess. However, no new standards will be registered within them.
Lapsed A lapsed classification does not contain any current registered standards and does not appear on the NZQA website.

If the SSB wants to move, rename, or delete a classification:

  1. The old classification name is designated as ‘lapsing’.
  2. A new (replacement) classification name is registered.
  3. Standards in the lapsing classification are then reclassified, or will be replaced or expired at the time of their review.
  4. New versions of the standards are published to show their new classification.
  5. The lapsing classification is designated as ‘lapsed’ when it no longer contains any registered standards.

Apply for addition or change to classification

For an addition or change to the classification system:

  • Complete the Application for change to the classification system form (DOC, 75KB).
  • Include a draft review or revision report that includes:
    • a rationale for the proposal
    • an indication of the consultation and endorsement process
    • a list of the draft titles of proposed standards that will be classfied in new domains
    • an indication of the impact of the change on existing unit standards, consent to assess and qualifications.
  • Submit the completed application to Approvals and Accreditation for consideration.
  • Mail the submission to: Client Services, Quality Assurance Division, NZQA, PO Box 160, Wellington 6140, or by email
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