Strict High School Assessment Ensures Popularity of NCEA in Global Market
Education in New Zealand is at par with international standard. However, a quality regulatory body, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) had been formed to ensure that education is imparted uniformly at a particular level to all students. All schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand are assessed regularly to provide similar standard of education at their respective levels. For any information on the assessment, standards, or regulations, students can get back to the NZQA website for clarification and reference.

Role of NZQA in NCEA
Secondary students or students studying in high schools in New Zealand need to qualify for the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) certification. The certification is awarded to successful students in three levels – level 1, level 2, and level 3for the Year 11 at 15 years of age, Year 12 at 16 years of age, and Year 13 at 17 years of age respectively.

There are about 40 subjects which are assessed by various authorities to impart secondary education to the students. A part of the assessment is done internally by the institute where the student had been studying. Another part of the assessment is done externally — by NZQA. It is the vital responsibility of NZQA to ensure that schools provide similar standard of secondary education and that the students are assessed by a common standard. The results of NCEA certification is judiciously key-in databases and published in the NZQA website.

NZQA Responsibilities

The NZQA would:

NZQA is not alone in implementing its tasks. It reports to the Minister of Education as well as the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. It acts according to the Education Act (1989) and the Industry Training Act (1992).

NZQA Review Analyses and Assessments
Many international students often require checking the performance reports or better known as Managing National Assessment (or MNA) Reports, of the high school they wish to study. The assessment reports of schools, performance statistics, and customized reports can be retrieved from the NZQA website. The reports are generated every 3 years. Detailed reviews are done to ensure that the high schools provide fair, consistent, and accurate secondary education to the pupils at all times.

The NZQA decides the following factors for assessment tests:

Standards to assess what a student requires to know
Ways to assess a student, such as by assignment or verification. This would show whether the student has achieved the competence on the subject.
Topics to be covered during a course

The NZQA has materials and resources which help to assess a student as well as determine the efficacy of a course. The Industry Training Organizations (ITOs) and education providers are given the required permission to assess standards by NZQA. Once permission is granted, the assessing bodies carry out the assessments. The assessments could be “moderate assessment”, “design assessment”, and “verify evidence for assessment”.

Assessment through QAAM
The NZQA has also formulated a quality assured assessment materials (QAAM) trademark through which secondary schools and students are assessed. The materials with QAAM-certified trademark would have:

An assessment activity where students need to follow instructions and perform certain tasks.
Assessment schedules where students need to understand the evidence, judge the evidence, and provide a sufficiency statement. And, by using QAAM certified materials, the teachers would be able to know the right standard to assess a student