AFTER: Guidance for Supervisor or Verifier Comments

AFTER (16).jpg

Read this if

  • You are acting as supervisor or verifier for someone who is completing their NZCALNE (Voc) qualification.
  • You need to sign off on the final piece of work that one of your tutors is about to hand it before completing the NZCALNE (Voc).

Download the guidance for supervisors or verifiers

This is all contained in one PDF you can download here below. The download shows a copy of the actual template as well.

What does the supervisor or verifier need to do?

If you are the supervisor or verifier for someone completing the NZCALNE (Voc), you need to discuss the review questions with the candidate and record your comments. You can use the template on the following page or adapt to your own purposes as you need.

Collaboration between the candidate and you to review teaching delivery is one of the requirements of the NZCALNE (Voc). It’s also good teaching practice. We can’t sign off on the whole qualification unless we have some evidence of this.

For our purposes, a supervisor may include any of the following:

  • The tutor’s direct manager or programme leader.
  • A colleague that is acting as study support person.
  • Someone in management that has already acted as a supervisor or verifier for another part of this training and qualification.

What’s covered?

To sign off the final assessment task, we need evidence that tutor and supervisor have reviewed the teaching and facilitation in several areas. The best way to think of these is in regards to three reflective questions:

  • What are their strengths?
  • What are some potential improvements for future delivery?
  • How does any of this inform planning for the candidate’s professional development?

This review should be a friendly collaboration and two-way conversation. It could include teaching observation evidence, but it doesn’t have to. It’s not a performance review for internal promotional or salary review.

What do I have to do?

As their supervisor, we expect that you are already aware that the candidate is completing this qualification. You may have already verified your portfolio evidence for other parts of the course.

It’s the candidate’s job to:

  • Make the arrangements to meet with you.
  • Provide any evidence or assessment material you may wish to see in relation to this final assessment task or any part of the programme.
  • Provide you with an electronic copy of the Supervisor or Verifier Comments and Checklist template.
  • Negotiate how and when this template is completed by you.
  • Return the completed template to us as part of their supporting evidence for this final assessment task.

As supervisor or verifier, it’s your job to provide us with:

  • Your contact details including email and phone.
  • Details of when this review took place
  • Brief summary comments relating to the three reflective questions. As a guide, you might write one or two concise paragraphs totalling about 100 words for each of these. We won’t be counting words. Quality here is more important that quantity so feel free to keep it brief.
  • Your signature and date of signing at the end.

Download the guidance here for supervisors and verifiers including notes showing where and what to write for your candidate:


How do I enrol in TEACH BETTER NOW…? How do I enrol in the NZCALNE (Voc)…?

If you are teaching foundation education at any level, you need to be qualified and on a continuing professional development journey.

You need to start this journey through the Teach Better Now programme available on Pathways Awarua.

At the heart of this is the new New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational/Workplace) – the NZCALNE (Voc).

There is a cost for assessment and gaining the credential. But it’s free to register on the website and you’ll have access to all of the course content.

Here’s what you need to do to kickstart your foundation learning professional development journey for this year:


  1. Register on Pathways Awarua if you haven’t already.
  2. Join our virtual classroom.
  3. Enrol in the qualification.
  4. Get started on the coursework and first assessment.

FIRST: Register on Pathways Awarua

1. You need to register on as a tertiary educator. If you are already registered, then go to step 5 below and join our virtual classroom.

2. Enter your details in the form including a username and password.

3. If you start typing the name of your organisation or employer it should appear in the box. Then add a name for your class, accept the terms and conditions and click Register. If you are an independent contractor please use the code 8888.

4. Once registered you should see a screen like this below. Ignore the code on the right. This is for you to use with your own learners later. Right now you just need to click the link on the left for the new NZCALNE (Voc).

SECOND: Move yourself into our virtual classroom

5. Now you should see the main NZCALNE screen below. Next, you need to join our virtual class. Click the head icon to go to your account settings. If you’ve already done this you can go to step 8 and enrol.

6. Enter the join code 1622DD to join our virtual class. Then tick the box to move to this class.

7. Save your settings and return to the main NZCALNE pathway.

Third: Enrol in the NZCALNE (Voc)

8. Now you can enrol in the programme. Make sure that the enrolment module is selected. Then click start. If you’ve already enrolled and you’ve also moved into our virtual classroom, you can go to the last step.

9. Read through the enrolment information.

10. Fill in the enrolment form with as many details as you can. Then save and move to the next screen.

11. If you can’t fill in everything, you’ll see a screen like this below. But you’ll still be able to move forward. Just click the arrow on the right. Or click Retry to add more info.

12. From here, you need to show that you understand some of the conditions of enrolment. And you need to let us know if you have access to learners of your own and whether you’ve done other study at level 4 or above.

13. Nearly done… Add your employer and supervisor’s details.

14. Complete the self-assessment. There are two pages.

15. If you are an experienced TESOL teacher please add details here. Likewise, if you are a very experienced trades or vocational trainer with existing evidence and you want us to consider this please add details here.

16. Add your timeframe

17. Review the summary of your enrolment and save

18. Drag the box ALEC1 Admin to submit for comment

19. You’re done…! Click the link for the new NZCALNE (Voc) to return to the main course pathway.

FOURTH: Get started on the course

20. Get started…!

What’s going to replace the NCALNE? And do you want to help me design the new NZCALNE?

Please Vote

We have some flexibility around how we structure the new version of the NCALNE (Voc) qualification.

The new qualification, which will replace the old NCALNE over the next few years, is called the New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational) – or NZCALNE (Voc) for short.

The new unit standards for the new NZCALNE aren’t on the framework yet, even though the qualification is.

I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to change in terms of how we’ve been delivering the course. Above is what I’m pondering at the moment.

Please vote if you want to be part of the process for influencing the design. And add comments as well if you have anything else to say about it.

Why Don’t Half of Kids with NCEA Level 1 Meet Literacy and Numeracy Benchmarks?


I’m not going to answer the question. But you might want to read below if you have your own ideas.

I want to talk about a presentation that did the rounds today. If you click this link below, you’ll be able to download the slides. It’s on literacy and numeracy levels in relation to NCEA year levels.

If you look past the poor design, some interesting pieces of data pop out. Here is how I have interpreted these… in bullet form because I know you won’t read the presentation:

  • Proportions of students achieving at or above the national standards haven’t really moved at all between the years 2011 to 2014
  • Percentages of students at or above the national standards  drop as they go through the year levels.
  • Teachers at years 7-11 are teaching content and content vocabulary, but minimising literacy challenges for students. The report says they’re doing this with the best interests of the students in mind.
  • The numbers of 18 year-olds with NCEA level 2 or equivalent has dramatically increased from 2011 to now, including for Maori and Pasifika.

And here’s some connections to data from the TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT). This is where it gets really interesting.

Just in case you are wondering, all tertiary education providers – that is, post high school –  delivering foundation level learning are required to use the LNAAT as a condition of funding.

The benchmark here was Level 3 from the ALL Survey which they have lined up with Step 4 for Literacy and Step 5 for Numeracy.

  • Just over half (51%) of year 11 students with NCEA level 1 reading are below the benchmark for reading. This means half of students with NCEA level 1 are at step 3 or below in the LNAAT.
  • Just under half (47%) of year 11 students with NCEA level 1 numeracy are below the benchmark. This means that these students are at step 4 or below in the LNAAT.

Just an example: If your kid read at step 3, but not at step 4, this means they have a basic vocabulary of everyday words. What they probably can’t read and understand is any academic language, like the kinds of “teacher words” used to describe the tasks they have to do at school. They also probably can’t understand any of the technical or specialised words they need to make sense of the subject matter that they’re learning.

What they probably can’t read and understand is any academic language, like the kinds of “teacher words” used to describe the tasks they have to do at school. These words kind of slot in at step 4 and 5. They also probably can’t understand any of the technical or specialised words they need to make sense of the subject matter that they’re learning.

They also probably can’t understand any of the technical or specialised words they need to make sense of the subject matter that they’re learning. These words start at step 5 but they sit mainly at step 6. Here we’re talking about the specialised language of a trade, or of any content area really.

Remember, these students in the stats above already have NCEA Level 1 signed off. This means that they have already achieved the required number of credits for literacy and numeracy. That means they passed at least 20 credits dedicated to literacy and numeracy.

Just so we’re clear: teachers already signed off that these students met the requirement for literacy and numeracy for NCEA level 1.

But the test data indicates that they are below the level literacy and numeracy levels of actual literacy and numeracy standards.

Here’s the data for year 12 according to the presentation.

  • 42% of year 12 students with NCEA L2 reading are below the benchmark. That is they are at step 3 or below on the LNAAT.
  • 41% of year 12 students with NCEA L2 numeracy are below the benchmark. In other words, at step 4 or below on the LNAAT.

Highlighted in red in the presentation is the following (I’ve tidied up the grammar):

  • The data suggests that students achieving [NCEA] requirements only through unit standards have lower performance on the LNAAT.
  • Year 12 students who met requirements through unit standards [only] were less
    likely to achieve NCEA Level 2.

Here’s a question to consider:

  • If this data is correct, does it mean that high-school teachers, already pushed for time and working under less than ideal conditions, need to think about better ways of integrating or embedding literacy and numeracy into their content teaching? 

If this is correct they need to rethink their fundamental approaches to teaching their content. And here’s another question, although more of a prediction:

  • The Ministry of Education – through the TEC – already owns a well-researched and now widely implemented tool for measuring literacy and numeracy gains. They even have a “Youth” version. If you were working in Government, wouldn’t it make economic sense to you to apply this tool to the years 11 – 13 to assess literacy and numeracy gains? I’d start with the vocational areas first.

I’m not advocating for it. And I’m not judging. Well, maybe a little. Anyway, finally a suggestion:

  • If you were a school teacher, or principal faced with massive new compliance requirements on the horizon related to literacy and numeracy gains, wouldn’t it make sense to look at a home-grown and already existing model for embedding literacy and numeracy into trades and other content areas?

How Do I Give My Feedback On The New Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education Unit Standards?


If you are involved in foundation focused tertiary education in New Zealand, we need you to give us your feedback on the new Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (ALNE) unit standards.

These new unit standards replace US21204 and many other unit standards used for the NCALNE (Voc) and related qualifications.

From my side, I’m biased… Full disclosure: I’m in the working party redesigning these standards. I’m only interested in the standards for the new NZCALNE (Voc) qualification. This is eventually going to replace the existing NCALNE (Voc).

And I’m more interested in the standards for the new NZCALNE (Voc) qualification. This is eventually going to replace the existing NCALNE (Voc).

This is the biggest upgrade to the qualification since it changed from the original NCALE.

I think the new standards are pretty good. But NZQA wants your feedback now. So here are the questions you should be asking yourself:

  • How do I give my feedback on the new standards?
  • What do I like about the new standards?
  • What improvements could we still make?
  • What challenges, if any, will these create for people delivering the training?

Here’s what to do in four simple steps:

1. Read the new standards

  • You can access all of the new standards online from this page.
  • Or you can access the links to the four new standards that that will get used for the 40 credits required in the NZCALNE (Voc) here on my blog.

2. Download the response form

3. Provide your comments and feedback

  • You have to do that yourself… If you think we can make them better please say so.
  • If you think they are OK, then please let NZQA know that as well.

4. Email to NZQA

What Do The New Standards For Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education Look Like?


I’m glad you asked… There are 11 new unit standards in draft stage at the moment. I’m particularly interested in four of these (and you should be too if you’re involved in foundation education).

The four below will form the basis for assessment against the revised NZCALNE (Voc) qualification.

  • Unit 1: Describe adult literacy and numeracy education in Aotearoa New Zealand (5 credits).
  • Unit 2: Design strategies to embed adult literacy and numeracy in a vocational or workplace programme (10 credits).
  • Unit 3: Plan and facilitate embedded adult literacy and numeracy teaching and learning in the delivery of a training or education programme (15 credits).
  • Unit 4: Use assessment to strengthen adult literacy and numeracy teaching and learning (10 credits).

If you have something to say, the official feedback form is here. Disclosure: I’m in the NZQA working group developing these.


Consultation on draft Adult Education and Training (including ALNE) unit standards


For those that are interested, the NZQA is now inviting people to give feedback on the new suite of unit standards leading to these newly revised certificates:

Consultation on the unit standards is open from the 12 April till 2 May 2016 and involves standards from Adult Education and Training, Generic Education and Training, and Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

The feedback will be used by review panels to further develop the standards to ensure that they meet the needs of the sector.

Unit standard documents, the consultation document, and feedback forms are available at:

For further information please see the review page.