Candidate information

It is essential that candidates’ details are accurate in the school Student Management System (SMS) or entered correctly on the web before data is sent to NZQA.  The file must contain the NSN and correct formal name of each candidate. Ensure that nick names, including anglicised names of foreign students, are not in the formal name field. Corrections to a student's name held by NZQA can only be made by contacting the NZQA Data Team directly.

NZQA requires a complete and accurate address for returning externally-assessed papers. The information contained in the school software must be checked each year as any changes, other than names, that have been notified directly to NZQA by candidates will be overwritten by a school data file submission.

Candidate Information - National Student Number (NSN) File

Schools should import NSNs from Ministry of Education ENROL as candidates enter the school.  An initial NSN ID file will be made available by MoE for uploading into SMS systems early in the year. It is important to check carefully the accuracy of this data matching as there are candidates with the same names and DOB. If you identify an issue with a difference between the ENROL NSN and the one that candidates have been using, please contact the Data Management team.

Candidate information - Twins/Triplets at school

To prevent any incorrect NSN matches or merges from occurring, NZQA needs to be advised each year if you have twins or triplets etc. attending your school who have made entries or have had results reported for the year.  This information needs to be sent to when submitting your initial data submission in May. You only need to notify us once each year. Alternatively you can add this into the comments section of the 'Data File Submission' area.

Candidate information - Name Changes

When a candidate changes their name, the school should change it in the data file submission, provide details of the old and new name and attest that the Principal or the Principal’s Nominee has sighted appropriate evidence as required below. 

Appropriate evidence from the student is:

To prove their old name, one of the following:

  •  birth certificate in their old name
  •  passport in their old name
  •  driving licence in their old name; or
  •  other official documentation deemed by the Principal or Principal’s Nominee to be appropriate in the circumstances.

To prove their new name, one of the following:

  •  birth certificate in their new name
  •  passport in their new name
  •  driving licence in their new name.

If you amend an existing name in your file to correct an error, please include this information in an email or in the comments section of the data file submission, otherwise the name change may not be accepted. NZQA may request a copy of the Birth Certificate.

It is important that any changes in names in the SMS are notified to NZQA.  Any person making these changes within the school needs to inform the Principal’s Nominee.

Candidates with Special Characters in their Name

For candidates with special characters (such as hyphens, macrons, umlauts etc) in their names please send an email to with an attached list of the names and their special characters with the initial data file submission in May, and exclude the special characters from your data file as NZQA systems will not accept them. These candidate names are managed separately for result publication purposes.


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