Assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes of New Zealand qualifications

Consistency of graduate outcomes provides assurance that all graduates of New Zealand qualifications meet the outcomes to an equivalent, nationally acceptable standard.

Graduates can get a New Zealand qualification through a range of education organisations. More than one programme can lead to a single New Zealand qualification.

Assuring national consistency supports the credibility of New Zealand qualifications, both in New Zealand and internationally.

Mātauranga Māori qualifications

NZQA has developed an approach for assuring the national consistency of graduate outcomes of Mātauranga Māori qualifications.

See the Guidelines section below for more details.

What if I am no longer accredited to deliver the programme?

You need to participate in consistency reviews to maintain accreditation for a programme.

If you no longer hold accreditation for the programme, we still encourage you to participate.

What if I only have a few graduates?

If you have fewer than five graduates, you only need to submit a self-assessment report.

You do not have to attend the consistency review meeting.

Who should attend a consistency review meeting?

  • Staff who deliver the programme and/or who have the knowledge to present your self-assessment evidence (i.e. show that your graduates meet the qualification graduate outcomes).
  • The qualification developer. This may also be the relevant standard setting body.
  • Observers can sometimes attend the meeting. Please email for more information.

Guidelines for assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes

NZQA has guidelines for consistency review that explain:

  • the responsibilities of TEOs, qualification developers, consistency reviewers and NZQA
  • the stages of the consistency review process
  • how decisions are made and reported.

Please use these guidelines when preparing for a consistency review.

Mātauranga Māori qualifications

For the consistency review of Mātauranga Māori qualifications see the Guidelines for assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes (Mātauranga Māori).

Tips for qualification developers/owners

If you have developed or own a qualification due for a consistency review:

  • NZQA will be in contact to agree a suitable date for review at the beginning of each year.
  • Reviews are held at least six months prior to the qualification review date, as per the New Zealand Qualifications Framework listing details.
  • You will receive an invitation to join the consistency review three months prior. If there are multiple meetings, check that a representative can attend all.
  • Be prepared for any questions about the intent of the qualification and level during the meeting.
  • Record any feedback from other education organisations about the qualification purpose or wording to inform the next qualification review.
  • If you have graduates, gather evidence to demonstrate that they achieved the graduate profile outcomes, and provide a self-assessment summary report. If there are more than five graduates for the reporting range, prepare a presentation to be delivered by another representative from your organisation.

If you have any questions, email

How to prepare for a consistency review

Determine how well your graduates have achieved the graduate profile

You need to determine how you know your graduates have achieved the graduate profile at the level of the qualification.

Examples of evidence include:

  • employer and graduate surveys aligned to the graduate profile outcomes of the qualification
  • outcomes and some evidence of internal and external moderation
  • mapping the programme learning outcomes to graduate profile outcomes
  • feedback from tutors teaching qualifications at the next level
  • survey data and analysis of what graduates do after completing the programme (destination data).

On an ongoing basis, collect evidence to demonstrate how your graduates have achieved the graduate profile. Review this evidence before the consistency meeting so you can answer the evaluation question:

How well does the self-assessment and supporting evidence provided by the education organisation demonstrate that its graduates match the graduate outcomes at the appropriate threshold?

Determine a self-rating

With the evidence you collect:

  • evaluate the quality of the evidence
  • identify any gaps in the evidence
  • identify areas of possible improvement and the actions you took.

Use this information to determine a self-rating: sufficient or not sufficient.

Supply NZQA with a self-assessment summary report

Once you have a self-rating, complete and submit a TEO self-assessment summary report.

Include all the relevant information in or with the report:

Submit the report and any supporting evidence to NZQA at at least 10 working days before the review.

Come to a consistency review workshop

NZQA runs monthly workshops on preparing for a consistency review.

The workshops are held online, so there is no need to travel.

To register for a workshop, go to the Events page.

Tips for participating in a consistency review

  • You will have 10-15 minutes to present your report and evidence. Use it to show how you came to your self-rating.
  • If you are joining the meeting by video or teleconferencing, make sure you have someone at your end who can help you with any technical issues.
  • Contribute to the discussion on what the threshold is for achieving the graduate outcomes.
  • Use the group threshold to review your self-rating and identify any gaps or changes you need to make.

What happens if the consistency review finds my organisation not sufficient?

If the review found your organisation not sufficient, you will need to provide NZQA with further evidence:

  • If you already have the evidence but did not bring it to the review, email the evidence to within three days of the review.
  • If NZQA needs more evidence than this, NZQA will provide feedback at the consistency review meeting and will send you an interim report requesting further evidence.
  • You have up to six weeks to submit further evidence to demonstrate that you have addressed any gaps in your initial submission.
  • If you cannot supply this evidence, your organisation will be listed as not sufficient for the consistency review. NZQA may provide recommendations to help improve the evidence.
  • During your next consistency review, or other NZQA quality assurance activities, NZQA will follow up on any recommendations.

Schedule for assuring national consistency

The schedule shows the qualifications that are being assured for national consistency.

You can filter the schedule by year, month or keyword (i.e. qualification number, title or phrase).

Find the consistency review reports

NZQA publishes the consistency review reports approximately three months after each review.

What does it cost?

To cover the costs of the reviews, NZQA charges a Consistency fee.

This applies when education organisations report completions of New Zealand qualifications.

Further information

For more information, contact the Consistency team at

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