Comply or Die: Investment Plan Submission Time Again – Part 1

We Love Compliance

Yes, it’s that time again. Once a year education and training providers who are funded by New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and quality assured by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) are required to submit an Investment Plan. This investment plan is a bit like a business plan, except that an outside agency basically gets to do the financial side of it.

From next year (2013) and in the interests of greater transparency the TEC is going to publish our investment plans. I see no problem with this. However, I’m going to preempt the publication by posting my first draft of the first part of our 2013 Investment Plan here.

Please tell me what you think in the comments below.

Strategic Direction: Purpose ==> Vision ==> Mission

Adult Literacy Education & Consulting (ALEC) Ltd is a niche provider of adult literacy and numeracy education including professional development. We are business-minded, agile, 21st century-focused, and committed to remaining lean and unencumbered by institutional bureaucracy.

Purpose: Why do we exist?

ALEC exists to provide innovation, expertise, professional development, and training in embedded adult literacy and numeracy (LN) education to industries, communities, and the wider education sector.

Vision: Where are we going?

ALEC’s vision is to be the industry leader in adult literacy and numeracy education and consulting in both Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.

Mission: What are we trying to do?

ALEC’s mission is to:

1.   Provide remarkable, innovative, and learning-centred embedded adult literacy and numeracy education, consulting, and resources.

2.   Serve our learners, communities, and stakeholders through practical approaches to training and consulting which are grounded in best practice and current research.

3.   Become the literacy and numeracy education preferred provider for learners, industries, organisations, and government.

Role and function

Currently, our primary function is to deliver:

  • The National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational/ Workplace) including Unit Standard 21204 Develop adult learners’ literacy and numeracy skills within a training or education programme.
  • Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN) training locally in Taupō through our SMART programme.

We also see a further role for ourselves in informing the professional development of the literacy and numeracy sector. We are currently doing this by:

  • Maintaining close links with, influencing, and being influenced by key experts in the field of adult literacy and numeracy education (ALNE), the National Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy for Adults (NCLANA), and other professional bodies or organisations involved in related professional development and training.
  • Investigating the viability of delivering the National Diploma of Adult Literacy & Numeracy (NDipALNE). This level 6, 120-credit qualification is not delivered by any other provider and, with a dedicated focus on literacy and numeracy, is relatively unique in the world. We have the required accreditation for this already but still need NZQA course approval to deliver. Provision of this Diploma would meet a gap in the market for NCALNE graduates and others.

We have also had some interest from teachers and trainers overseas who would like to undertake this kind of study as an online distance programme. Catering to overseas interests would mean further compliance requirements, but while further compliance requirements represent a barrier to entry in the international education marketplace, we are keenly aware that NZQA will remove this qualification from the register in the next 18 months unless someone (i.e. ALEC) starts delivering it.


ALEC is positioned as a national provider for embedded LN-related professional development and as a local community provider of ILN.

  • ALEC has been delivering and assessing the NCALNE (Voc) qualification nationally since our registration and accreditation was granted by NZQA in 2007. Accordingly, since then we have had professional development and related consulting arrangements with different PTEs, ITOs, Wananga, various industries and companies, ITPs, and government training organisations including the Department of Corrections, Police, and Defence.

We bid successfully for the 2012 Corrections tender for delivery of the NCALNE (Voc) and have had 100% successful qualification outcomes for four cohorts of Corrections instructors (56 participants) over 2010 and 2011 with another two cohorts (28 participants) currently underway.

  • We have also been delivering intensive literacy and numeracy training locally since 2009. We’ve used digital literacy including the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) as a context for this provision since 2010 and have incorporated the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT) and since 2011.


We are committed to our local region – the Waiariki rohe – and deliberately relocated our offices to Taupo from Auckland in 2008. We work with specialist LN professional development trainers to deliver NCALNE around the country, but Taupō remains home for ALEC with offices at 57 Kaimanawa Street and two full-time staff in addition to Director, Graeme Smith.

We were part of the 2008 consultation process for the Waiariki regional statement that clearly identified foundation LN learning skills as a key priority for the Taupo region and we continue to liaise with Waiariki and other relevant local agencies and providers. Our ILN funded SMART training in Taupo is informed by very real local needs and demands and has included digital literacy since 2010 – a key area for development identified by government in analysis of the 2006 ALL survey data which looked at literacy and numeracy levels in Aotearoa New Zealand.


We have worked with a range of companies, ITOs and other organisations including the University of Waikato’s National Centre for Literacy and Numeracy for Adults (NCLANA) to deliver professional development and training focused on embedded literacy and numeracy. We endorse the development of linked provision where industries and providers collaborate to focus on embedding the specific LN needs and demands of industry and other specific vocational contexts into education and training.

We also consult with industry, organisations including government departments, and the NCLANA as requested or required. One example of this is in the redevelopment of the NCLANA website in relation to the professional development needs of the sector and the entry-level NCALNE qualification that we deliver.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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