Related Policy

Understanding NCEA

New Zealand's National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are national qualifications for senior secondary school students.

NCEA challenges students of all abilities in all learning areas, and shows credits and grades for separate skills and knowledge. It enables students to gain credits from both traditional school curriculum areas and alternative programmes. For more information, see How NCEA works.

NCEA and other national certificates are recognised by employers and used as the benchmark for selection by universities and polytechnics. NCEA is also readily accepted overseas, including by universities. When applying for employment, prospective employees can create a summary of their results from their Record of Achievement. For more information, see Using NCEA after leaving school.

Many students are also completing NCEA – often at Level 2 – in attempting new qualifications while undertaking tertiary study. For more information see Awarding of NCEA Level 2 after leaving school.

Employers need to understand the secondary qualifications system in New Zealand, in order to understand the information that prospective employees present them with. For more information, see NCEA in business.

Since its introduction in 2002, the NCEA qualification system has progressively been improved through a number of initiatives. For more information, see History of NCEA.