About NZQA

Quality education and training is an essential foundation for our nation’s future. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), is responsible for ensuring that New Zealand qualifications are valued as credible and robust, both nationally and internationally, so our talent shines.

NZQA manages the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and administers the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), the main qualification awarded to secondary school students in New Zealand.

Solnet recently worked with NZQA to review one of their cornerstone systems.

The challenge

NZQA is on a journey to ensure its business processes and systems are modern and flexible. These goals are especially important in light of the significant changes emerging from the Government's NCEA Review.

One of NZQA's core processes, qualification checking, known as QualCheck, determines whether learners have met the requirements for NCEA and other qualifications. NZQA first automated the QualCheck process, with help from Solnet, more than 15 years ago, with subsequent projects extending the solution.

QualCheck is complex; NZQA recognised that its understanding of QualCheck, and its capability to make enhancements, had eroded over time. This put the organisation's ability to respond to change at risk, so it was time to discover current and future needs to design a better approach.

What we did 

NZQA engaged Solnet's Business Advisory service to conduct a business and technical review of QualCheck. Solnet:

• worked with NZQA’s subject matter experts and senior stakeholders to clearly identify their current issues and future challenges

• considered operational risks in the context of NZQA's modernisation and cloud strategy

• examined everything from historical documentation to source code, even interviewing previous project team members who had since left the organisation.

This allowed Solnet’s Business Advisory team to build a clear picture of the current state, how it was reached, and the lessons that could be learned.

The outcome

We presented our findings and recommendations, both in writing, and face-to-face to NZQA stakeholders - ranging from the Information Services team to a panel of NZQA's Deputy Chief Executives.

Our report outlined concrete steps toward the strategic goal of delivering a flexible and sustainable capability for qualification checking. As a result of engaging Solnet, NZQA gained fresh insights into a complex area of their business and the technology that supports it.

The review gave senior management and executives a better understanding of the risks and issues relating to QualCheck, informing their investment decisions.

Solnet's Business Advisory service helped NZQA to plan for an enhanced and more flexible qualification checking capability that will meet the long-term needs of the New Zealand education sector.

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