About the Review of Achievement Standards
A significant number of the changes to NCEA will be delivered through the Review of Achievement Standards (RAS).
The RAS will involve many teachers and other experts from the education sector working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to develop new NCEA standards across a range of subjects. These new Achievement Standards will replace all existing NCEA Achievement Standards by January 2025.
The Ministry has set up about 50 Subject Expert Groups – comprised of about 400 practising teachers, academics and representatives from tertiary and industry sectors – to help develop these new Achievement Standards and supporting teaching and assessment resources for each subject.
A significant number of the changes to NCEA will be delivered as part of the review of achievement standards, or RAS. The RAS involves about 400 practicing teachers, academics, and representatives from the tertiary and industry sectors, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to develop new NCEA standards across a range of subjects. These new standards will replace all existing NCEA achievement standards by January 2025.
“The changes proposed in the standards came about, I think, because of a series of things I think people were noticing.”
“The message was heard loud and clear that fewer larger standards are the way to go and the inclusion of mātauranga Māori so that Māori knowledge is valued. Previously, this has not been the case. The new achievement standards are being developed by the subject expert groups. These are groups of people who are expert in the curriculum area from a range of providers. They’re working together to consider what needs to be happen to create fewer larger standards and to create a curriculum and assessment regime that better reflects New Zealand society.”
“We were tasked with looking at the subject as a learning area in terms of its significant learning and big ideas, and how does that distil itself into achievement standards with this new framework.”
“There are 50 subject expert groups (SIGs) and they comprise around 400 teachers and principals, academics, researchers, as well as of course as people from the Ministry of Education and NZQA. They represent a wide variety of backgrounds and work together to ensure that we have the best outcome possible for this NCEA change.”
“The sector was fantastic, I mean the teachers were wonderful at giving measured response. There were a good mix of positives and negatives and they raised things that we hadn’t really thought of. So it was really cool to be able to have their comments and to cogitate upon them and to think well you know yes we can put some changes in there or we could do something a little differently.”
“In the short term there’s more work for teachers because we have to go through a change programme, and changing anything requires work. But of course once we have made the change, with fewer larger standards students and teachers will be involved in less work because there’s fewer assessments, and the assessments will include mātauranga Māori which means that the assessment regime, as well as the curriculum, will be more inclusive.”
“It was actually recognizing that there’s different ways of viewing the world. There’s different world perspectives that are cultural and experienced based. It’s recognizing where we all come from and actually finding our place within that assessment framework.”
“The most exciting thing, I think, is probably the new ways of doing things. Are there other ways that you can allow students to express or to show what they can do in other ways. It doesn’t have to be a three hour exam. So being able to think outside the parameters - that is really exciting.”
“Have an open mind, but you don’t need to worry to much because it’s building on what we do already but actually finding ways to improve it even further. And just bring it into a more contemporary and up to date place that’s actually going to be of greater use to everybody. The benefits are going to definitely outweigh the concerns with these new resources.”
“I know at times change is frightening and I know it’s looking at something and thinking I’ve done this like this for ten years, or however long, and I know my way around it and I’m happy with it and I’m safe with it. But we need to have change. And change in terms of looking at all of the parameters that have been set up and the developments that need to happen is something that’s vital and something that we should be embracing and having a bit of fun with.”
Development for NCEA Level 1 has commenced. You can see the subjects on the NCEA Level 1 Subject list. Development and piloting of each Level will occur over several years, with NCEA Level 2 subjects due to commence development at the end of 2021.
Update on current achievement standards with planned review date of December 2020
The ‘planned review date’ is an indicative date when a standard is next up for review. All standards listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards are required to have a planned review date. The Review of Achievement Standards (RAS) currently underway by the Ministry of Education is that review for all achievement standards.
The existing achievement standards will remain current and continue to be available for use until they are replaced by the new standards, developed through RAS. The new standards will be implemented in 2023 (Level 1), 2024 (Level 2) and 2025 (Level 3).
The Level 1 standards are already under development for each subject on the new Level 1 subject list. Subjects offered at Level 1 which are not on the new subject list will no longer be available from 2023. Assessments completed against the current achievement standards are valid until these standards have been replaced and/or are expired.
Standards for subjects which will not continue post RAS will remain available for use until 2023 (Level 1), 2024 (Level 2) and 2025 (Level 3) – these standards will then be expired.