NZCALNE Collection 4 is now live on Pathways

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Good news… I know you’ve seen it here in draft form, but Collection 4 of the NZCALNE (Voc) is now live in Pathways Awarua.

Collection 4 on Pathways Awarua covers a couple of key things before we dive into the teaching and assessing components and related project work over Collections 5, 6, and 7.

Here’s what’s inside… What you need to know about:

  • Developing and focusing on some broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy at the “big picture” programme level.
  • Structuring and writing specific learning outcomes for embedding literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.

There’s a pattern going on here that some of you will have noticed…

  • GENERAL ==> Specific

This is intentional. It’s less obvious with the first few Collections but it should be obvious when you get to the assessment task for Collection 4. This pattern is woven through all of Collections 1 to 4. And continues through 5 as well. The pa

This pattern is woven through all of Collections 1 to 5 as well. But the pattern changes in Collection 6 which is all specific application. This practical application of knowledge and skills is what the course is building towards.

Finally, the pattern reverses in Collection 7 as we want to zoom out from the specifics to the general again.

If you’re curious:

From the general To the specific
1. Understanding definitions, Frameworks, Factors Describing how these to your own teaching context, content, and learners
2. Understanding approaches and concepts from ALNE, Te Ao Māori, and adult teaching Describing how these to your own teaching context, content, and learners
3. Using the Learning Progressions to analyse “big picture” literacy and numeracy programme demands in terms of broad strands and progressions Using the Learning Progressions to analyse specific literacy and numeracy demands from samples of teaching resources in terms of specific steps from key progressions.
4. Building on 1 to 3 to develop “big picture” strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy at programme level. Building on 1 to 3 to develop specific learning outcomes for embedding literacy and numeracy into teaching sessions.
5. Using the Assessment Tool to get “broad brush strokes” diagnostic information about learners Developing and using contextualised literacy and numeracy assessments to get specific diagnostic information about learners; developing individual learning plans


6. Planning and facilitating teaching sessions designed to embed specific aspects of literacy and numeracy; Applying key aspects of relevant frameworks, approaches, and concepts to specific teaching sessions
To the general From the specific
7. Assessing specific literacy and numeracy progress. Reviewing the whole project with a view to changes, improvements, implications, future goals.

How To Join Pathways Awarua As A New Tertiary Educator

Need to join Pathways Awarua so you can access the NCALNE professional development and training? This process is now streamlined.

These  instructions are current as of May 2016.Think of this as part one of a two-part process for enrolling. Please read these next bullet points:

  • Part 1 below will register you on the Pathways Awarua website.
  • Part 2 of this process is here. In part 2 you’ll need to move into our ALEC virtual classroom and complete the ENROL module.

1. Click the Tertiary Educator Registration button on the main Pathways Awarua landing page

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2. Fill in the form with your details

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3. Fill in your organisation details

  • Start typing the full name of the organisation and it should appear.
  • If you are an independent contractor and don’t belong to any particular organisation, please use the code: 9998 or contact us (
  • If your organisation is not listed you can email Pathways Awarua for support

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4. Type in a name for your class and accept the terms and conditions

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5. Click the Register button

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6. Find the NCALNE Course

  • At this point, you should see a screen like this below

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7. You should be able to click on the NCALNE (Voc) link. This will open up the course and you’ll see the main NCALNE page below.

  • Well done! You’ve now completed part 1.
  • From here you need to complete part 2. That’s where you will move into our ALEC virtual classroom and then fill out the enrolment form and share it with us.

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NCALNE (Voc) for TESOL with Pathways Awarua

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Do you teach ESOL? Are You Supposed To Have The NCALNE (Voc)?

If you teach ESOL in a course funded by the TEC, you may need to complete the NCALNE (Voc) qualification.

The reason for this is the TEC conditions attached to the funding. These aren’t negotiable, but we now have a solution for TESOL teachers.

  • Are you an experienced and qualified TESOL teacher?
  • Do you need to complete the NCALNE (Voc)?

In partnership with Pathways Awarua, ALEC is now trialling an NCALNE (Voc) TESOL option.

This option combines professional development work and assessment on Pathways Awarua with a portfolio of ESOL-specific evidence.

Want to know more?

NCALNE (Voc) – TESOL option: Questions & Answers


The other day I mentioned that we’re investigating an NCALNE (Voc) option for trained and experienced TESOL teachers. We’re now ready to trial this.

Here are a few Q & A that I’ve tried to anticipate:

I’m already TESOL trained. Why do I have to have the NCALNE (Voc) qualification?

  • It depends on the funding that your organisation receives. In NZ, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is the government agency that funds most tertiary training. Different funds have different conditions attached. Some TEC funding contracts require teachers to have the National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational). Most courses at level 2 and below require tutors to have the NCALNE (Voc) as a minimum qualification. There is more information here.

I feel frustrated that the TEC does not recognise my TESOL qualifications and experience. I don’t want to get another qualification. Why should I bother?

  • Graeme Smith from ALEC was an ESOL teacher before he started ALEC to deliver the NCALNE (Voc). He taught here and overseas for 10 years before switching to literacy and numeracy. Graeme’s aware of the issues. And this process is optional. We’ve tried to design a solution that works for TESOL teachers, the TEC, and NZQA.

Can I just send you a copy of my CV and qualifications? Can’t you just have a look at these and sign off the NCALNE?

  • Sorry, no. We need to make sure we follow a robust process for this. To meet NZQA criteria, we need you to supply evidence for each qualification outcome. This is to prove that you know and do the things specified in the outcomes. But we can help you interpret these outcomes from an ESOL perspective. And you’ll need to send us your brief CV and qualifications as part of your portfolio of evidence anyway.

How much does it cost to get the NCALNE (Voc)?

  • The TEC subsidises the cost of the NCALNE (Voc). But they don’t cover 100%. In 2015, ALEC is charging a per-candidate fee of $750 + GST. We don’t discount this. And this pricing will most likely increase in 2016. But we are offering the following: Because this is new for us, you can try the process out for free up until the point that we tell you we’re ready to request your credential from the NZQA. This means we will assess your evidence portfolio and work with you at no initial cost. If you’re not happy, you walk away at any stage. We’ll bill your organisation at the end of the process provided everyone is happy.

What’s the process for this?

  • Our process has two parts. One is a portfolio of evidence and attestation from you that meets the outcome requirements. To complete this you’ll need to have a manager or supervisor verify the evidence that you compile and submit.  We want you to supply ESOL specific evidence from your normal teaching practice wherever possible.

    The other thing is that you’ll need to complete two of our regular assessments. These are available on The portfolio evidence relates to outcomes 3 to 7 from the NCALNE (Voc). And the regular NCALNE assessments relate to outcomes 1 and 2. You can do these in any order, but we recommend that you complete assessments 1 and 2 first.

What are the seven NCALNE (Voc) outcomes?

  1. NZ context (Pathways Awarua NCALNE Assessment 1)
  2. Maori context (Pathways Awarua NCALNE Assessment 2)
  3. Knowing the demands (Portfolio)
  4. Knowing the learner (Portfolio)
  5. Knowing what to do (Portfolio)
  6. Assessing progress (Portfolio)
  7. Evaluating (Portfolio)

I don’t want to compile a portfolio of evidence. Can I just do the course the regular way

How do I access the NCALNE (Voc) content for assessments 1 and 2?

  • It’s online here: First, you need to register as an educator on the website. Contact us for our ALEC join code. Second, you need to complete the ENROL module. We’ll send you more info once you’re enrolled.

How do I put together my portfolio for outcomes 3 to 7

  • We have instructions and a template that we’ll send you. We’re committed to keeping this paperwork minimal. We’ve designed the shortest template for this we can. It’s four pages long. This one document combines your portfolio checklist, your candidate attestation, and your verifier sign-off. Your evidence is on top of that, of course.

What kind of evidence can I submit?

  • You are free to choose the kind of evidence that you submit as well as the format that you submit it in. This applies to each of outcomes 3 to 7. We’ve listed some possible sources of evidence in the checklist. We want you to choose evidence that relates to your ESOL context. We’re happy to discuss this with you as you need to.

What if I can’t supply the right kind of evidence? I’m worried there might be gaps?

  • We think that ESOL teachers routinely do many, if not all of the things required by Outcomes 3 to 7. If we think there is a gap in your portfolio evidence we’ll get in touch with you and talk about it. We might ask you to send additional material. or we might ask you to complete a particular task to generate the evidence we need. We’re on your side here and we want this process to work.

Where should I add comments or notes?

  • You can use any format you like for this. For example, you can email us or create a separate word document for any notes or commentary that you want to add. The main thing is that you label everything clearly so we can connect these to the correct outcomes. Also, please send supporting notes or commentary electronically to  

My supervisor or manager wants to add comments. How do they do this?

  • As above, any format is fine as long as it is clearly marked with the name of the supervisor or manager, as well as the outcome that it relates to. We would like to encourage you to seek this feedback from your managers and include them in the process as much as possible.

    Try and anticipate our questions. If a piece of evidence might seem unclear to us, comments from your manager may help us make the connection to the outcome more easily. This will speed up the process for all of us.

TESOL Option for NCALNE (Voc): Anyone Interested?


Here’s another experiment… an NCALNE (Voc) qualification option for experienced and trained teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

This might apply to you (or someone you know) if you are in this kind of situation:

  • You teach an ESOL course that is funded by the TEC. Examples might include SAC1 and 2 funded training, Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN), or Workplace Literacy (WPL).
  • A condition of funding is that tutors must have the NCALNE (Voc) qualification.

Our NCALNE (Voc) option for teachers in this context might work for you if you also meet these conditions

  • You have existing TESOL experience and qualifications
  • Your teaching practice includes your own TESOL-specific versions of the kinds of evidence that we’re looking for.
  • You’re prepared to compile a portfolio of this evidence and complete a couple of stand-alone assessments so that we can ensure that you meet all of the qualification requirements.

Interested…? Hit me up in the comments. I’m going to need some people to trial the process and see if it’s viable.

Do you want to help review the ALNE or ATT unit standards?


The NZQA is inviting expressions of interest to below to the unit standards review panel for the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (ALNE) and others in similar domains.

I’ve pasted in their recent letter below. There are contact emails at the end of the letter


Kia ora tātou

In October 2015 the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s National Qualifications Services (NQS) will begin the review of Level 4-6 unit standards currently listed on the Directory of Assessment Standards (DAS) in the following subfields: Adult Education and Training (including Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education) and Generic Education and Training.

The domains to be considered in this review are:

Adult Education and Training

  • Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (ALNE)
  • Delivery of Adult Education and Training
  • Design and Development of Adult Education and Training
  • Evaluation in Adult Education and Training
  • Management of Adult Education and Training

Generic Education and Training

  • Assessment of Learning 

This review is the result of the development of proposed qualifications in Adult and Tertiary Teaching (ATT) at Levels 4-6. It reflects the need to both ensure that existing standards remain fit for purpose, and also that there is a suite of unit standards suitable for those who wish to use them as assessment tools in programmes towards the proposed new qualifications.

You are receiving this notification because you and/or your organisation:

  • reported credit against existing Adult Education and Training (including ALNE) and Generic Education and Training unit standards
  • are an organisation with an interest in either of the above subfields
  • have registered an interest in this area, and/or
  • have been recommended to us as possibly willing to contribute to the project.

We invite expressions of interest by close of business on Wednesday, 28 October 2015 to be on one of the review panels or the email consultation networks for the following areas:

  • Adult Education and Training and Generic Education and Training
  • Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education.

Review panels

The panels will be scheduled to meet initially on 17-18 November 2015. There will be at least two further two-day, face-to-face meetings (including a meeting in December) to continue the unit standard development and review process. This is likely to be followed by several shorter meetings in 2016 by teleconference or Skype, so access to appropriate equipment will be useful.

The review panels will be made up of people who, in Adult Education and Training, and Generic Education and Training and/or Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education, have:

  • expertise in teaching
  • experience in assessment, design and moderation of unit standards
  • involvement in capability related projects, reviews and programme implementation
  • a commitment to the use of unit standards as assessment awards in programmes
  • a commitment to open communication, collaborative problem solving, and team work.

The panels will have balanced representation from across the community and education sector. Members of the review panels will be paid a sitting fee, and travel and accommodation expenses will be met by NZQA.

Application to be a panel review member can be made by completing the attached form and sending it to either: or

Email consultation network

The email consultation network will receive updates on progress between meetings and be given opportunity to comment on issues and drafts of the unit standards prior to and after national consultation.

If you have received this email directly then you are already on the email consultation network. For those who would like to join, please reply to the relevant email address and express your interest.


Any feedback or interpretation issues with the current Adult Education and Training and Generic Education and Training unit standards that might inform the review panels can be forwarded to: or

Please distribute this message through your own networks to anybody who may be interested. For more information, please see Review of ALNE and ATT unit standards.

Nākū noa, nā

Amy Buckland and Annie Chan

Qualifications Development Facilitators

Qualifications Services


NCALNE (Voc): Essential But Not Sufficient – Part 2

John B

The NCALNE (Voc) is a qualification that proves that you know the least that you need to know about embedding literacy and numeracy. I wrote about this here the other day.

If your interest perked up at the title of this post, you need to read this piece below by John Benseman.

I already posted about this when it came out. But I know you didn’t read it.

I want you to download it. Do it now. Click below. Go on…

Then comments, please…