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.

In preparation for the work of rebuilding NCEA standards and resources across all subjects, the Ministry has developed new NCEA Level 1 standards for four subjects – English, Science, Religious Studies and Visual Arts – through a Trial & Pilots initiative. The feedback and results from the Trial & Pilots initiative will help refine the process that will be used in developing standards and supporting resources for all NCEA subjects.


Development for some NCEA Level 1 has commenced, with the remaining subjects commencing development February 2021. 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. 

Chevrons diagram of RAS timeline

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.