New Zealand Qualifications Authority
The New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) reports to the Minister of Education and is responsible for:
managing the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
administering the secondary school assessment system
independent quality assurance of non-university tertiary education providers
qualifications recognition and standard-setting for some specified unit standards.
National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. NCEA is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas. There are three NCEA qualifications:
NCEA Level 1 currently requires 80 credits. Of these, 10 credits must be from prescribed literacy standards and 10 credits must be from numeracy standards. In 2024 this will change to 60 credits and the 10 Literacy and 10 Numeracy corequisite credits must be passed before Level One can be awarded. Students in Year 10 sit these corequisites.
NCEA Level 2 requires 60 credits, from level 2 standards or above.
NCEA Level 3 requires 60 credits, from level 3 standards or above.
At each level a student’s certificate may be endorsed with Merit (if they gain 50 or more credits at merit or excellence at this level or higher) or Excellence (if they gain 50 or more credits at excellence at this level or higher). These credits can be accumulated over several years.
Each course a student is entered into may also be endorsed with Merit (14 credits @ M or E) or Excellence (14 credits @ E). Included in this must be at least 3 internal and 3 external credits. These credits must be earned in the same year.
Create an NZQA account to access your learning records
We recommend senior students create a NZQA account (click on the login button and choose "all options") to access information on their grades, check their progress towards a qualification and the status of their vocational pathways credits, and order certificates. Students will need their NSN (national student number to do this).