Yikes…! Mandatory Review of Educator Qualifications including NCALNE (Voc) and Dip ALNE


This review has kind of taken me by surprise. I actually disregarded the email from NZQA as it was titled “teacher education review” or something similar.

However, NZQA rang me (luckily) to make sure that I attended due to the fact that we deliver the NCALNE (Voc) and we’re looking at delivering the DipALNE next year.

In a nutshell, all the qualifications are under review and this includes the NCALNE (Voc) that ALEC has been delivering since 2007.

So here are my current thoughts on the review. Feel free to forward to others if it’s helpful.

The first thing that will happen is the creation of a governance group to set the “tertiary landscape” for the educator qualifications. I’m going to put my name forward to join this. I think it’s vital that these quals stay in the revised tertiary landscape and that the governance group have a provider onboard who is currently delivering them.

The process is not clear to me yet, but there are a couple of scenarios that I can see.

  • A worst case scenario: One scenario is that US21204 disappears along with the NCALNE (Voc). I get the sense that the bigger polytech providers would like to make a case for subsuming aspects of the NCALNE into their other quals, but this would destroy the special value of particularly the NCALNE (Voc) in disseminating the knowledge base and infrastructure we have in place for LN. This is my worst case scenario and while I think it’s unlikely, I need to try and get into the governance group to make sure the LN voice is heard loud and clear. This scenario would enable some organisations to continue to do a half-hearted job of embedding LN into lower level courses.
  • A possible best-case scenario: Another scenario is that the NCALNE (Voc) just gets rolled over and becomes the NZCALNE (Voc). They’re replacing the word “National” with “New Zealand” in the qualification name. This could be an ideal situation in may ways as provider programmes around the country would not have to change significantly in terms of what we all deliver.
  • Variations on the theme: And another variation is that we get to start with a blank page in terms of what a NZCALNE (Voc) and NZDipALNE might look like. While I think US21204 could be tinkered with slightly, I don’t think I’d be advocating big changes to the structure or knowledge base. If anything, there could be the possibility of allowing alternative streams of study around the context to allow for some export potential, but I think I’d be hard pressed to pull together enough data to make it look like more than a good idea at this stage. The reality is that the knowledge base is now quite strongly established and I’m not sure we really need the “blank page” scenario for the NCALNE (Voc) or it’s successor.
  • Changes to the DipALNE: I would probably give some thought to making changes to the DipALNE if I had the chance. Currently, the focus is very academic and more on the theory and analysis side of things. My goal would be to make it more like a logical pathway for an upskilling trades or vocational tutor who is an NCALNE (Voc) graduate. Currently, it feels like a step towards the Masters programme. I’d be working to make it more practical and applied, e.g. imagine a series of action research projects that feel like a step on from the existing NCALNE (Voc) rather than from the NCALNE (Educator) which hasn’t really had as much traction as the vocationally focused qual.

The process still seems mysterious in terms of what is happening and what it will look like when finished. I agree with the intent (i.e. to reduce the proliferation of similar education quals), but I think that the ALNE quals are totally unique and should absolutely remain in the tertiary landscape.

I’ll post updates here for anything of any consequence.

Here’s my recommendation for organisations who are a major stakeholder in the NCALNE and related qualifications:

  • Advise the NZQA in writing of your position on the NCALNE (Voc) and NDipALNE.
  • Note the links to your own or the TEC’s implementation strategy for literacy and numeracy including current TES as well as investment history and plans.
  • Consider outlining a “best case scenario” for the review from your own perspective.

If you are interested in the review process, have questions or concerns, or something to say please let me know in the comments here.

Author: Graeme Smith

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

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