Understanding how NCEA requirements are changing

Over the next few years, NCEA will transition from its current form into the new qualification. Here is what you need to know about transitioning to the new NCEA requirements. This section is intended for teachers, but we encourage learners and whānau to use this guidance as well.

What you need to know: key information

NCEA Level 1 will change in 2023, NCEA Level 2 in 2024, and NCEA Level 3 in 2025. 

  • Each level of NCEA will reduce in size from an 80-credit qualification to a 60-credit qualification.
  • New standards relating to Te Reo Matatini, Pāngarau, Literacy, and Numeracy will become a mandatory part of Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the qualification for students enrolled in kura or schools. The 20 credits achieved from these standards are separate from the 60 credits needed to achieve each level of NCEA.
  • Learners will need to achieve:
    • one of Te Reo Matatini OR Literacy, both of which are 10 credits, AND 
    • one of Te Pāngarau OR Numeracy, both of which are 10 credits.
    • many learners may achieve their 20 credit co-requisite in Years 9 or 10 but for others it may be in Year 11 or beyond.
  • Learners can continue on their learning programme towards NCEA while they work towards achieving the Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy co-requisite. However, they will need to achieve the 20 credit co-requisite to be awarded their NCEA qualification. This means they will want to achieve them before finishing their NCEA studies.
     

NCEA as a 60-credit qualification

Under the new NCEA:

  • NCEA Level 1 will be made up of 60 credits which can be gained from any Level 1 or higher Achievement Standards, Unit or Skills Standards. 
  • NCEA Level 2 will be made up of 60 credits which can be gained from any Level 2 or higher Achievement Standards, Unit or Skills Standards
  • NCEA Level 3 will be made up of 60 credits which can be gained from any Level 3 or higher Achievement Standards, Unit or Skills Standards

Any credits learners already have at the appropriate level can be used to meet the new requirements. For example, if a learner finishes 2022 with 30 Level 1 credits, these will count towards the strengthened NCEA Level 1 in 2023. This means that they would only need to achieve 30 more Level 1 credits in 2023 to reach the full 60 credits.

Learners can use unit standards as well as achievement standards to reach the credit requirement for each level of NCEA. They will also be able to use any skills standards set by Workforce Development Councils. The only unit standards they cannot use for the 60 credit requirement are the compulsory Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy standards.

There is no time limit on completing the 60 credit qualification. If learners gain part of their qualification, they can return to study at any time.

Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy co-requisite

The new Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy & Numeracy co-requisite is set to become a mandatory part of the qualification from 2023. It is a package of standards that sit outside of the 60 credits learners need for each level of NCEA. These new standards assess learners on important foundational skills that will help them succeed in NCEA, further learning, life, and work.

To get the co-requisite, learners need to achieve the ten credits in:

a)    either the Te Reo Matatini OR Literacy standards
       AND
b)    either the Pāngarau OR Numeracy standard

All learners will need to achieve the co-requisite in order to be awarded their NCEA qualification at any level. It can be achieved at any time from Year 9 – teachers will help learners to know when they are ready to be assessed against the standards.

It is important to know that the co-requisite will not stop learners from working towards NCEA. Learners can work towards the co-requisite at the same time as they work towards the 60 credits needed for each level of NCEA. This is what makes it a co-requisite and not a pre-requisite.

For more information on this change, see here

Transition arrangements for Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy

Right now, the two ways learners can meet the requirements for literacy and numeracy in NCEA are to complete standards on a list of specified assessment standards, or a package of three literacy and three numeracy unit standards. See here for more information.

If learners achieve the full literacy or numeracy requirement before the qualification changes (2023 for Level 1, 2024 for Level 2, 2025 for Level 3), this achievement will be recognised towards the new co-requisite while we transition to the new NCEA requirements.

The current Level 1 achievement standards expire at the end of 2022, and from 2023 the current package of three literacy and three numeracy unit standards will no longer be recognised to meet the NCEA literacy and numeracy co-requisite for kura and school based programmes.

We are also tagging new achievement standards so that they can be used towards the literacy and numeracy requirements during the transition period. The four Level 1 trial and pilot subjects, English, Science, Religious Studies and Visual Arts and the three levels of Te Ao Haka have undergone an approvals process to determine which standards can be used for the literacy and numeracy requirements and the Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau corequisite as they are piloted in 2021.

This process will be undertaken for all new achievement standards both derived from the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa as they are completed. These standards will be added to the specified assessment standards list for pilot purposes.

For an example of the transition process for Level 1, if a learner completes their literacy or numeracy requirements using the achievement standards from the list of specified assessment standards or the package of three literacy and three numeracy unit standards in 2022, they can use them towards the new literacy or numeracy co-requisite.

If learners have already gained their literacy and numeracy requirements, they can use them right up to 2025, but after that, all levels of NCEA will require the new Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy standards to meet the co-requisite requirements of the qualification.

We also expect that these transition arrangements will apply to NCEA qualifications delivered in tertiary and alternative education settings. However, final decisions on additional transition arrangements for these programmes will be confirmed before the academic year begins in 2022.

Table 1 shows the standards a learner can use to meet NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements, based on the year a learner completes their qualification. If learners are using standards other than the new Te Reo Matatini me Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy standards, learners need to have fully met the literacy or numeracy requirement if they want to take it into the corequisite.

See here for frequently asked questions on the Te Reo Matatini me Te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy change and pilot years.

Availability of standards 2021-2026

 
STANDARD TYPE 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
New te reo matatini me te pāngarau | literacy and numeracy Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Package of three literacy and numeracy Level 1 unit standards Yes Yes Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior No
Current Level 1 achievement standards on the specified assessment standards list Yes Yes Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior No
New Level 1 achievement standards on the specified assessment standards list Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2022 or prior No
Current Level 2 achievement standards on the specified assessment standards list Yes Yes Yes Yes, if achieved in 2023 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2023 or prior No
New Level 2 achievement standards on the specified assessment standards list Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes, if achieved in 2023 or prior Yes, if achieved in 2023 or prior No
Current Level 3 achievement standards on the specified assessment standards list Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, if achieved in 2024 or prior No
New Level 3 achievement standards on the specified assessment standards list Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes (only through the pilot) Yes, if achieved in 2024 or prior No
English for Academic Purposes standards on the specified assessment standards list - Level 4 unit standards Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, if achieved in 2024 or prior No

Table 1

Exclusions

The only time that a learner cannot use a standard towards an NCEA qualification is if they have already achieved a standard where the learning significantly overlaps. The term for this is an exclusion. As we develop new achievement standards, we will publish information about any exclusions.

A learner cannot use a standard towards both the 60 credit requirements and the Te Reo Matatini me te Pāngarau | Literacy and Numeracy corequisite. For example, if a learner uses an achievement standard towards the corequisite, they cannot use it towards the 60 NCEA credit requirement as well. 

There are also some exclusions which will apply to the new literacy and numeracy standards. This will mean that if learners achieve the new corequisite standards and the current literacy and numeracy unit standards, the excluded standards will not be counted towards meeting the NCEA 60 credit requirement. See Table 2 for a list of standards excluded from the new literacy and numeracy standards.

 
  NEW LITERACY AND NUMERACY STANDARDS   CURRENT UNIT STANDARDS
EITHER Literacy (reading) US32403, 5 credits OR Reading US26624, 3 credits
EITHER Literacy (writing) US32405, 5 credits OR Writing US26622, 4 credits
EITHER Numeracy US32406, 10 credits OR Numeracy: number US26623, 4 credits, statistics US26626, 3 credits or measurement US26627, 3 credits

Table 2