Reviewing New Zealand qualifications listed on the NZQF

Each New Zealand qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) at levels 1-6 must be periodically reviewed to ensure it remains relevant, fit for purpose and continues to meet the needs of the learners, industry and stakeholders.

Qualification reviews are part of the lifecycle of a qualification. They ensure that the purpose and graduate profile are clear, meet the needs of end users and guide programme owners.

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Stages of a qualification review

Preparing for a qualification review

Leading up to a qualification review, NZQA will contact the qualification developer and provide a support pack which will include:

  • data on the usage of the qualification
  • graduate information
  • other data to help inform the analysis for the qualification.

NZQA will notify any education organisation who has a relevant programme leading to the qualification.

After receiving the support pack, the qualification developer should:

  • gather any additional data from the industry to help inform the review
  • establish a stakeholder profile for each qualification in the review.

Planning the review

The qualification developer needs to establish how decisions will be made and how they will undertake the qualification development work.

Make a plan

The plan is a key communication tool for the qualification developer and stakeholders. It will provide those involved in the review with clarity on how the review will work.

A plan should include:

  • the agreed approach
  • timelines
  • the roles and responsibilities during the review.

The planned approach should be cost effective and appropriate to the stakeholders involved.

Conducting the review

The size and scope of each review is determined by factors such as the number and nature of the qualifications and the stakeholders involved.

To prepare for consultation, the qualification developer needs to map the relationships between current workforce roles/skills and the current qualification. This information can be used to identify the future roles and any skills gap within the qualification.

Qualification developers will need to work alongside stakeholders as well as analyse the data they collect and receive to determine the future of the qualification.

Once the qualification developer has determined if the current qualifications need to be changed, they should consult with stakeholders to finalise what, if anything, will happen to the qualifications.

There are four possible outcomes of a qualification review:

Outcome Result

There are minor changes to the qualification

New version of the qualification but the NZQF ID remain the same

New review date is set

There are moderate changes to the qualification

New version of the qualification but the NZQF ID remains the same

New review date is set

There are major changes to the qualification

New qualification with a new NZQF ID developed to replace the existing qualification

The existing qualification will expire

The qualification is no longer required by industry

The qualification will expire with no replacement

Reporting on the review

The qualification developer prepares the change report, with the recommendations from the reviewed qualifications, and submits it to NZQA.

Include evidence of consultation with the stakeholders and their support for the changes and any of the documentation for new qualifications.

Extension for qualification review dates

The provider needs to submit an application through the online portal.

Please include a Qual review date extension application form and a change report for publication.

Guidelines for qualification reviews

NZQA has Guidelines for the review of New Zealand qualifications at levels 1–6 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

The guidelines give information on how to make an application, what documentation NZQA needs and the criteria that application need to meet. They also detail how NZQA will make decisions about the applications associated with the qualification review.

Qualification Listing and Operational Rules

These rules are made under section 452 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Go to NZQF Qualification Listing and Operational Rules 2021

Schedule of qualification reviews

NZQA publishes a schedule of qualification reviews, organised by the year of the review.

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