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We've heard that students do not always get access to clear, quality pathways, or the information to be able to make good decisions about their future.

This website has been wound up and is no longer maintained. For up-to-date information and resources about the NCEA Change Programme, go to NCEA.education.govt.nz.



What we’ve heard

As a result, some end up taking subjects which do not prepare them adequately for their next steps – whether it’s tertiary study, vocational education or employment.

Students and whānau need clear information about the purpose of each level of NCEA, so they can make informed decisions. The Record of Achievement should clearly show to parents and employers what learning has been achieved.

Key changes

      • create a new ‘graduate profile’ for each level of NCEA to describe what a student awarded an NCEA will know and can do. NCEA Level 1 prepares students with the skills they need for life, including functional literacy and numeracy, and gets them ready for Level 2. NCEA Levels 2 and 3 provide students further opportunities to specialise and deepen their knowledge and skills. Graduate profiles will also include expectations around te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori.
      • develop a Vocational Entrance Award, similar to University Entrance (UE). Achieving this award will demonstrate that a student has done the necessary learning required by industry, employers and tertiary education organisations, and is ready for direct entry into higher-level vocational education or training after NCEA.
      • refine the Record of Achievement to be clearer in showing what the student knows and can do. It will include what they have achieved through NCEA, including certificate endorsements; course endorsements at Achieved, Merit and Excellence; and a series of brief course descriptions.
      • we will enhance the Vocational Pathways to improve its usefulness as a navigation and planning tool for schools and foundation tertiary providers.

Jeremy Baker at CoLab


Learn more about the changes to NCEA

  1. Make NCEA more accessible
  2. Equal status for mātauranga Maori in NCEA
  3. Strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements and assessments
  4. Fewer, larger standards
  5. Simplify NCEA’s structure
  6. Clearer pathways to further education or work
  7. Keep NCEA Level 1 optional


This page was last updated on 6 August 2020.