Micro-credentials

A micro-credential is an award that is not a qualification.

NZQA quality assured micro-credentials:

  • are listed on the Qualifications and Credentials Framework
  • are delivered by registered tertiary education providers
  • can be up to 40 credits in size and at any level of the framework
  • have learning outcomes
  • have evidence of need from employers, industry, workforce development councils, iwi, and/or communities, as appropriate.

Micro-credentials are part of New Zealand’s regulated education and training system.

Transitioning from Training Schemes to Micro-credentials

The Education and Training Act 2020 has been amended so the training schemes are now treated as micro-credentials.

NZQA can no longer approve new training schemes.

Existing training schemes will continue and will be reviewed under a new set of micro-credential rules in due course.

If you have a query about the transition of training schemes to micro-credentials, please contact us at micro-credentials@nzqa.govt.nz

How to make changes to an approved training scheme

You can make changes to an existing training scheme. If the change is significant, for example, changes to the level, purpose or credit value we need to approve the changes.

You will need to include:

  • The NZQA reference number for the approved training scheme
  • A summary of the proposed changes
  • A record of the institution’s internal approval of the training scheme
  • Any other relevant documentation.

You must apply for the change online:

  1. Login to the NZQA secure extranet.
  2. Login into your TEO profile.
  3. Choose ‘TEO Applications’.
  4. Create an application.
  5. Choose ‘other’(you may need to click 'more' to see 'other'). This takes you to an application overview. Make sure you include Training Scheme Change in the title of the application.
  6. Click on Contact Details. The Contact Details page will be pre-populated with your organisation’s information. You should make any changes necessary to ensure the details are appropriate for the training scheme.
  7. Follow the instructions and application template.
  8. On the application/request detail page, complete the following fields as indicated:
    1. Name: training scheme name (Training Scheme) [the name of the training scheme followed by 'Training Scheme Change']
    2. Detailed description: write a summary of the changes to the training scheme.
  9. On the supporting documents page, attach any required documentation and evidence.
  10. Submit.

Rules for micro-credentials

NZQA currently considers applications for the approval of micro-credentials through the Training Scheme Rules.

During September-October 2022, NZQA consulted on the proposed new Micro-credential Rules. Please visit consultation on changes to NZQA rules for more information about this consultation.

Micro-credentials register

Once NZQA approves a micro-credential, it will be listed on the Qualifications and Credentials Framework and is currently published on a micro-credential register.

Stacking micro-credentials to qualifications

Programmes leading to qualifications may include micro-credentials as components of learning, provided the overall design of the programme is coherent and meets the qualification outcomes and strategic purpose.

Recognising learning and transferring credit

Micro-credentials may be able to contribute towards programmes leading to qualifications through credit transfer and the recognition of learning.

For further information about how to use credit transfer and recognition of learning to recognise learning toward qualifications see the Guidelines for the recognition and award of learning for credit.

Applying for micro-credential approval

Guidelines and application form for micro-credentials

To apply for approval of a micro-credential, use NZQA’s online application process described below.

The micro-credential application form (DOCX, 97KB) contains prompts for what documentation to include in your application.

Please refer to the Guidelines for applying for approval of a micro-credential when preparing to apply. If sufficient information is not supplied during the initial submission the application may be declined.

If you are thinking about delivering the micro-credential using Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) funding, we advise that you contact your TEC Relationship Manager or TEC's Customer Contact Group when preparing your application.

TEC has released new criteria and guidelines for applying for micro-credentials funding, which apply from 1 Nov 2022. They generally expect TEOs to reprioritise existing funding to support a micro-credential. There are tighter criteria around industry or community support, while there must be NZQA or university academic board approval, and the purpose and outcomes are more clearly specified. The new guidelines replace interim Oct 2021 guidelines.

Steps for online application

  1. Login to the NZQA secure extranet.
  2. Login into your TEO profile.
  3. Create an application.
  4. Choose ‘other’. This takes you to an application overview. Make sure you include Micro-credential Approval in the title of the application.
  5. Click on Contact Details. The Contact Details page will be pre-populated with your organisation’s information. You should make any changes necessary to ensure the details are appropriate for the micro-credential.
  6. Follow the instructions and application template.
  7. On the supporting documents page, attach and upload the following:
    1. Completed application form
    2. Statement of purpose and learning outcomes for the micro-credential
    3. Evidence of need by employers, industry, workforce development councils, iwi and/or community, as appropriate.
    4. Any other supporting documentation
  8. Submit the application.

An email acknowledging receipt of your application will be generated automatically and sent to you.

How long will it take?

NZQA will process applications for approval of micro-credentials within 20 working days, unless further information or documentation is needed.

How much will it cost?

NZQA charges $190.00 (excluding GST) per hour for evaluation.

NZQA will send the applicant an invoice after the application has been processed.

Reporting a micro-credential

When a learner has achieved a micro-credential, Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) can report their achievement to NZQA so it is displayed on their New Zealand Record of Achievement (NZRoA).

For more details on reporting a micro-credential, please visit Submitting results and awarding qualifications and micro-credentials.

Reviewing a micro-credential

If you have an approved micro-credential, you need to review it every 12 months.

Your review needs to reflect if learners are completing your micro-credential and if the relevant industry, employers or community still need it. If a micro-credential is not delivered for a 12-month period, it will lapse.

Please complete the micro-credentials review report (DOCX, 55KB) and email it to nzqfquestions@nzqa.govt.nz.

Removing a micro-credential from the register of approved micro-credentials

If you want to remove an approved micro-credential from the register of approved micro-credentials, you will need to:

Micro-credential equivalency

  • International and New Zealand organisations that are not TEOs can apply to NZQA to have their micro-credential assessed for equivalency.
  • NZQA will issue equivalence statements showing the credit value and level of such learning against the Qualifications and Credentials Framework.
  • For more information see Micro-credential equivalency with the NZQF.

Further information

If you have any questions, or would like to request further information, please email Approvals and Accreditation.

 
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