Source: Tertiary Education Commission
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is the custodian of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and is responsible for ensuring that New Zealand qualifications are trusted and serve the needs of learners and industry.
NZQA is working to simplify the design of vocational qualifications. This work includes a re-design of the structure and components of vocational qualifications to enable seamless transition for learners between workplace, online and in-class study. At the same time, this work supports the needs of industry by enhancing the consistency of graduate skills and knowledge and enhancing the portability of qualifications across different regions and employers.
NZQA is also supporting TEC in the establishment of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) and Te Pūkenga (the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology). The disestablishment of Transitional Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) is an important part of this work. NZQA is focussing on enabling a smooth transfer of qualifications, programmes and standards between Transitional ITOs, WDCs and Te Pūkenga so any impact on learners or industry is minimised.
The introduction of WDCs and Te Pūkenga into the qualifications system also means that NZQA will need to review its approach to quality assurance, to ensure it fully supports the intent of RoVE and any changes made by NZQA to vocational qualifications. This work is expected to take place in 2021.
For more information on NZQA’s role in RoVE, please visit the NZQA website.
Overview of the NZQA project (March 2020)
NZQA’s role in the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) is to make sure that while this future world comes to life, learners continue to be confident in the quality of their education – whether learning in a classroom, a workplace or online – and gain qualifications which are credible, robust and recognised both locally and internationally.
The work falls into three areas:
Developing new operational policy to achieve the intent of RoVE
Managing the transfer of approvals, accreditations and consents
Determining appropriate quality assurance systems and measures for the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) and Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) during the transition and in the longer term.
NZQA has been working to develop the operational policy that will underpin the design of education products (e.g. qualifications, programmes) and how they would best fit together to meet the intent of RoVE. As part of this work, NZQA ran two workshops in December and February with a range of sector representatives to seek ideas and test our thinking.
NZQA is also working to update the Rules to reflect the changes in legal status of existing Industry Training Providers (ITPs) and Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and the functions of the new organisations scheduled to come into effect 1 April 2020.
Considerable work has been done with the Tertiary Education Commission, Ministry of Education, and ITOs to ensure the transition to the new system is as smooth as possible. The aim is to ensure that all learners, including trainees, will be able to continue and complete their training as appropriate.
With regards to quality assurance, while ITPs are transitioning into subsidiaries of the NZIST, NZQA is taking a pragmatic and risk-based approach to undertaking External Evaluation and Reviews (EERs). To ensure the continued confidence of learners, whānau and other stakeholders it is important that relevant quality assurance activity continues. However, this approach reflects that during the transition a standard EER may not always be necessary. NZQA will conduct a standard EER for ITPs who are currently Category 3. All other ITPs due for EER in 2020 will participate in a targeted EER.
Meanwhile, designing an appropriate long-term quality assurance approach for RoVE is likely to take time. The merger of the 16 ITPs into a single national delivery agency presents unique, complicated challenges. However, despite being challenging, having a quality assurance system in place that continues to maintain confidence in the education system and upholds the credibility and quality of qualifications is an integral part of the future success of RoVE.
The future world of RoVE is not far away, and NZQA is working to ensure New Zealand’s tertiary qualifications will continue to have the same high reputation trusted by employers and learners in New Zealand and around the world.