Supported Learning qualifications

Careerforce (Community Support Services ITO Ltd) is currently the qualification developer for these qualifications.  NZQA National Qualifications Services is the standard setting body.

These are entry level qualifications intended for people who require some form of support with their learning either through additional resources, specialised equipment or adapted teaching programmes. They are people with learning disabilities and include those with intellectual disability.


In 2020 the New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Living for Supported Learners (Level 1) with an optional strand in Skills for Working [Ref: 2853] was reviewed.

Version 2 of the New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Living, for Supported Learners (Level 1) [Ref: 2853] and the newly developed New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Learning and Working, for Supported Learners (Level 1) [Ref: 4373] were listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework in April 2021.

Programme approval

Education organisations will need to obtain programme approval and/or provider accreditation to deliver an approved programme before they can offer either of the qualifications.

New programme development

Tertiary education organisations must apply through the usual application process using their education online profile and following the NZQA Guidelines for programme approval and provider accreditation at levels 1-6 on the NZQF (PDF, 806KB).

Secondary schools wishing to provide a programme of study leading to a New Zealand Certificate must apply to NZQA for programme approval and/or accreditation.

Existing programme review

All education organisations with approved programmes leading to the existing qualification will need to review their own programmes to evaluate alignment with the latest version.

All programmes need to still clearly map to the graduate profile outcomes of the updated qualification. If the mapping requires any change to an existing programme, the education organisation will need to refer to the NZQA Guidelines for programme approval and provider accreditation at levels 1-6 on the NZQF (PDF, 806KB) to determine the nature of the change/s, and make the appropriate application to NZQA. This may be a programme change or a new programme application.

Consistency reviews

Any organisation that has graduates from a programme leading to the Social Skills qualifications is required to attend a consistency review. The scheduled consistency review dates for the qualifications can be found on the schedule for assuring national consistency.

For information on preparing for and participating in a consistency review see Assuring national consistency of graduate outcomes of New Zealand qualifications

Supported Learning unit standards

To provide guidance and/or assistance for programme developers, unit standards from domain Supported Learning - Personal, Community and Work Skills are available to align to the graduate profile outcomes of the New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Living, for Supported Learners (Level 1) [Ref: 2853].

Unit standards may be incorporated into programmes of study and used to provide assessment evidence towards the achievement of qualification outcomes. They may be used to assess parts or all of the qualification outcomes.

For organisations with consent to assess against Supported Learning unit standards, the standards can be incorporated, as appropriate, in programmes of study. To find out which assessment standards an organisation has consent to assess for, refer to the scope for Providers.

For information about the 2021 review of the standards, please see the Supported Learning unit standards review page.


For enquiries about the Supported Learning qualifications, please contact the qualifications developer, Careerforce (Community Support Services ITO Ltd), at:

If you wish to receive email updates, and/or make contact regarding Supported Learning unit standards, please email


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