Please tell the NZQA that we need to keep the NCALNE (Voc) Qualification…!

ncalneEDYour opportunity for feedback closes on Friday. Reading between the lines, there are some in the governance group who will recommend that the NCALNE (Voc) qualification is folded into a generic level 5 adult teaching qualification.

My personal view (and ALEC’s view) is that this would be a bad move.

  • Disclaimer: Obviously, we’re biased with a vested interest in keeping the NCALNE (Voc) as it’s one of our business activities to deliver this training.

The NCALNE (Voc) training is also currently part of the TEC’s implementation plan for embedding literacy and numeracy into trades and vocational training around the country. We think it delivers the goods. Or at least we think that it does when we deliver it with our team of ALEC Allstars.

Extra for experts: Read the blurb below, click through to the links, read the stuff, then email NZQA with your thoughts on the whole proposed tertiary landscape.

From NZQA Below:

Teacher Education qualifications review – landscape and other documents published

We have just published on the review webpage a proposal for a suite of qualifications (the ‘landscape’) for the Adult and Tertiary Teaching (ATT) stream of the Teacher Education (TEd) review. This proposed landscape is published for comment, to inform decisions by the Governance Group as to what qualifications will be developed further. The landscape is based on the ATT needs analysis, also published.

Please tell us what you think of this proposal to by Friday 28 February.

Please note that this landscape is for the ATT stream of the review only – there are other qualifications in the review included in the Education Specialisation and Support (ESS) stream, for which a needs analysis and landscape are being developed in partnership with the current qualifications owners and other key stakeholders. We will publish these for comment as soon as they are available

We have also just published:

– the membership of the Governance Group, the draft minutes of their first meeting, and their terms of reference

– the current version of the review plan, which may well need to adapt to suit changing circumstances, although the submission date of 28 July cannot itself be altered.

All these documents can be found on the review webpage at:

Please be assured that while we welcome comment at any time, we are particularly focused just now on the ATT landscape proposal and so your help will be valuable. Thank you in advance.

Kind regards

Teacher Education qualifications review team


P O Box 160

125 The Terrace

Wellington 6140


Telephone: 04 463 3373

Discussion questions (And my answers) for the Revised Tertiary Landscape

summer_landscape-t1These are the discussion questions from the governance group at NZQA looking at the review of adult tertiary teaching qualifications at the moment. I’ve inserted my answers.

Discussion questions and prompts from the NZQA
The following questions are designed to prompt thinking and feedback as you consider the landscape and rationale.

1. To what extent does the proposed landscape adequately meet the qualification needs of the Adult and Tertiary Teaching workforce?

Actually, I think the draft landscape as described here does a pretty good job in the way that it’s framed up at present provided that the other specialist quals that don’t fit, like special needs etc, are addressed elsewhere.

I might change my mind on this, but for now I think that the proposed landscape including the Adult Tertiary Teaching, Assessment, Matauranga Maori, and Adult Literacy and Numeracy, would significantly meet the qualification needs of the workforce. I’d be  content professionally if the proposed landscape shapes up like this.

2. To what extent does the proposed landscape enable pathways to higher qualifications?

Again, providing the governance group doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel or let the vested interests of the polytechs hijack the process, there are some great pathways vertically within a particular area, and then horizontally all out to other areas including specialisation.

I could envisage a tutor undertaking the NZCALN (the next evolution of the NCALNE) and then branching out to one of the other three areas for more and deeper professional development as needed at Diploma level. These Diplomas could also provide a nice stepping stone into degree or other study at Bachelors level and beyond.

3. What is your opinion on the level 6 Diploma having a flexible credit value and being achievable with between two and four strands?

You haven’t said which Diploma, but assuming it’s the Adult Tertiary Teaching Diploma: Fine. The more flexibility and relevant strands the better. No problems here.

4. What are your thoughts on the proposed strands in the level 6 diploma?

Which one? Actually, I’m more interested in talking about the level 6 NZ Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy. I think that this needs two strands. One with a focus on the New Zealand context, and another more international multicultural strand.

And if you considered that, I’d really love it if you did the same thing with the NCALNE quals when they change to NZCALN. This would mean we could then export our totally amazing, world-shaping knowledge and experience around embedding literacy and numeracy to the rest of the world.

5. What are your thoughts on the needs for separate specialist qualifications in adult literacy and numeracy education at levels 5 and 6?

Thanks for asking. This is a key question. It is vitally important that we retain separate specialist qualifications for adult literacy and numeracy education at levels 5 and 6.

As the draft document notes, these quals are part of the TEC implementation strategy for literacy and numeracy. Reading between the lines here, I get the impression that the governance group and I’m guessing it’s perhaps those in the Polytech sector in particular would like to get rid of the specialist NCALNE quals.

Detractors will deny this, but some large organisations don’t want separate NCALNE or NZCALN qualifications for economic reasons.

Many have not retained their LN trained staff, have not taken full advantage of the TEC subsidised NCALNE and other LN professional development available to date, have been resistant to the national infrastructure that we now have for literacy and numeracy.

Collapsing an entire qualification like the NCALNE (Voc) into one course in the middle of a 60 credit adult teaching qualification would allow many organisations to continue to do what they’ve been doing, rather than trying to develop good tutors who possess the baseline knowledge and skills required for embedding literacy and numeracy into trades and vocational training AS WELL AS having some basic teaching and coaching skills.

If the governance group proposes to dismantle separate LN qualifications and integrate them into the revised Adult Tertiary Teaching qualifications I will counter propose that the opposite happens, i.e. that the adult tertiary teaching qualifications are discontinued and instead folded into the new NZCALN.

Likewise, any argument for disestablishing the separate literacy and numeracy quals can be made for any of the other areas. E.g. Why shouldn’t the Assessment qualification be collapsed into one of the other areas. Obviously, I don’t support or believe this, but the same arguments could be made.

6. What are your thoughts on the need for separate specialist qualifications in teaching Mātauranga Māori?

I’m not sure why this is even a question. Of course the tertiary landscape should have separate qualifications in teaching Mātauranga Māori. If there is any issue around low uptake, surely this is a separate issue. Why aren’t Wananga and other similar organisations supporting these qualifications?

7. What are your thoughts on the need for separate specialist qualifications in assessment?

See my answers above. Of course this area of specialisation needs it’s own specialist qualification. The proposed structure with these four areas nicely allows each area to have a particular specialisation while also allowing each area to dip into relevant aspects of the other.

Adult Tertiary Teaching – The Revised Landscape


It’s kind of a poetic metaphor for a large bureaucracy like the NZQA to use, but they insist on talking about the tertiary landscape. I get it… and I kind of like it… but my mind automatically goes to science fiction novels where the characters are terraforming planets.

And perhaps there is a certain amount of world-shaping thinking going on here, at least on a small scale in terms of what we’re doing in education in New Zealand.

If you’ve been lying in bed at night wondering what the outcome of this review might look like, and what the revised tertiary landscape might look like (like me…), then here’s a sneak preview.

NZC stands for New Zealand Certificate and NZD stands for New Zealand Diploma

Adult and TertiaryTeaching

  • NZC (Level 4)(40-45 Credits) with optional endorsement in assessment
  • NZC (Level 5)(60 Credits)
  • NZD (Level 6)(120 – 180 Credits) with strands* in: Mātauranga Māori; Pasifika; TESOL; open, flexible and distance learning; education technologies; innovative practice; research; evaluation; leadership; academic administration, quality management; assessment; learning design.

Mātauranga Māori

  • NZC (Level 5)(60 Credits)
  • NZD (Level 6)(120 Credits)


  • NZC (Level 4)(40 credits) NZC (Advanced)(Level 6)(40 Credits)

Adult Literacy and Numeracy

  • NZC (Level 5)(40 Credits) (Vocational)
  • NZC(Level 5)(80 Credits) (Educator)
  • NZD (Level 6) (120 Credits)

NZQA Review of Adult and Tertiary Teaching Qualifications (including NCALNE) Update

Whatever I do... I'm sure it will involve these guys...

For those of you tracking these changes or just interested. The NZQA governance group has just published their first discussion document and minutes.

You can access it on the NZQA website here. I’ll post further comments when I’ve had a chance to digest it carefully. However, for now:

  1. It looks like the NCALNE (Voc) Qualification may remain at 40 credits which probably indicates that the core content is unlikely to change much.
  2. The name might change to NZCALN – The New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy.
  3. The NDipALNE should remain at 120 credits. This one does need some work as the content needs to take a more practical focus, but is still pegged at 120 credits.
  4. The NDipALNE may change in name to the NZDALN – the New Zealand Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

These quals have the explicit backing of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) as noted in the document:

These qualifications support the Professional development of the sector workstream of the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Strategy which can be accessed at

I have to say I’m pretty happy with this so far… I need to do some more reading here, but at this stage this direction has my full support. Let me know your thoughts below.

Vote for little bro’s video so he can win a hot lap with Murph (and maybe a new car)…!

simon car

Just some blatantly unashamed family self promotion here… My little brother has just recorded a very cool rap video to try and win a car.

Best videos get a hot lap with Murph – Person with the lowest heart rate wins the car! He’s pretty fit as well so he’s got a good shot at this.

Vote for him…!



New TEC Publication: Adult Literacy & Numeracy: An Overview of the Evidence

An overview of the evidenceThe Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) have released a new summary of the available evidence on adult literacy and numeracy. It’s kind of a meta-review – a summary of a lot of other literature reviews, but it’s quite brief and worth a look if you’re interested in this kind of thing.

They’re not going to print it, but you can access the PDF version here. If you’re thinking of printing, it runs to 46 pages.

There’s also a small version of our giant poster – Embedding LN: Baseline Knowledge on the very last page and back cover.

You may be able to blow it up and print on A3 if you have a copier that will do it. Otherwise, you’ll still need to contact us if you want a copy of the giant sized A1 version. Email if you do. Still working on pricing, but if someone orders one we’ll have to make a decision.

Here’s a low res version below if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Embdding LN Baseline Knowledge

Thanks TEC for including the poster and citing us in the list of references. Any thoughts and comments…? Let me know below.