This page will be updated over time. It holds some of the frequently asked questions we’re receiving about the Pay Equity Settlements and the associated assessment of qualification equivalency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Careerforce’s role in pay equity?

To date, the Government has tasked Careerforce with the role of assessing care and support qualifications for pay equity purposes. This is because we are the Industry Training Organisation for the Health and Wellbeing sectors and the Government-appointed body that sets skill standards, develops and facilitates achievement of NZQA qualifications across all our sectors.

Is Careerforce party to negotiations around pay equity settlements?

Careerforce is not party to sector negotiations on Pay Equity Settlements. We find out at the same time as the rest of the sector. We are not party to the negotiation, and don’t have anything to do with any settlements. We don’t have anything to do with remuneration or pay rates. But when they said who is best placed to compare these qualifications against the Careerforce qualifications for the purposes of pay equity, it was obvious that Careerforce is best placed to do this.

For the aged care and support settlement, why didn’t Careerforce consult with the sector before making decisions on qualification equivalencies?

Because there was nothing to consult and decide upon – under the legislation, there is no discretion. We assess other qualifications for equivalence against the Health and Wellbeing qualifications.  To do this we compare whether or not the learning outcomes, credit values and levels are a match for Health and Wellbeing qualifications at Levels 2,3, or 4.

We are involved because we developed the Health and Wellbeing qualifications under the supervision of NZQA and we are audited by NZQA to ensure we are complicit and compliant with NZQA rules.

What is Careerforce doing to inform employers about qualification assessment outcomes?

Careerforce are aware of the pressures faced by our workplaces and we’re providing support in a number of ways:

  • A dedicated Pay Equity newsletter with updates and information
  • A qualification assessment team
  • A commitment to advise employers of updates to qualification equivalencies 48 hours before they are published on our website
  • A searchable list of equivalent and non-equivalent qualifications on our website that is being continuously updated as assessments are complete
  • Training solutions to fill any gaps your staff may have

How did Careerforce sort out the equivalency process for overseas nursing qualifications?

NZQA set the rules and audit/monitor Careerforce and they’re very strict about it. NZQA have assessed the qualified nurses and said that nursing degrees from the 5 countries (Australia, South Africa, the UK, the Philippines and India) are equivalent to a Level 7 qualification on the New Zealand framework. Other nursing qualifications from these countries are equivalent to at least a Level 4.

When assessing against the Health and Wellbeing qualifications we found that these overseas nursing qualifications do not meet the condition of the Level 4 qualification to consider, respect and honour the history of Māori as tangata whenua.  So even though NZQA said they were equivalent to at least Level 4, they actually need to complete this missing requirement for the specific Health and Wellbeing qualification.  They can do this through study at other education providers within New Zealand or through Careerforce by completing the two specified unit standards.

Why do international nurses at Level 3 need two more papers, why not give them the full Level 4 qualification?

Because they haven’t done the rest of our assessment. All we’re saying is that it’s equivalent. If they want our qualification, we have to do a recognition of current competency process or they have to take the test or assessment to get awarded the qualification.

Aged care contracts require staff to have 4 dementia units which are part of the Level 4 Advanced Support qualification to be able to work on dementia facilities. Why not make those mandatory so staff get an incentive to do them?
Those dementia units in the Level 4 qualification are not a compulsory requirement to get that qualification as not everyone doing the qualification works with clients with dementia so therefore it cannot be made compulsory.   Our understanding is that the contract that mandates these requirements is being reviewed to bring it more into line with the new pay equity legislation.

Is this something that you would be looking at (making the 4 dementia units mandatory) in the future and is there a timeline for this?

We are about to review the Careerforce programme leading to the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing L4 so this is something that we will consider at a programme level then.

Why can it take so long to hear from Careerforce about whether a qualification is equivalent?

To date, we have received over 5000 enquiries. Sometimes they are very difficult phone calls. We are taking time to listen to each individual and assess their qualification individually if it’s not a straight equivalent. Our pay equity equivalency team sometimes have to go back to the education providers to gain information. We can’t just assume that a qualification’s competency and outcomes are the same.  It sometimes varies from provider to provider.

For the aged care and support settlement, do carers need to have the actual NZQA qualification in health and wellbeing?

The Act doesn’t specify that they must have a New Zealand health and wellbeing qualification. They only need to at least have an equivalent to the health and wellbeing qualifications at Levels 2, 3 or 4.  When we say that somebody has got the qualification that’s equivalent, we don’t write them out our qualification and give it to them. We just say for pay equity purposes, you’ve got an equivalent qualification. If you want our qualification, then you need to go through an RPL or recognition of prior learning or take our assessments. It will be done in the workplace where you have to perform the competency under job conditions and to job standards.

If an employee is applying for a new immigration Visa and they have been granted equivalency to a Careerforce qualification, will this be deemed equivalent by immigration?

No. The assessment done for immigration is a general equivalency to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and not to the specific qualification.

My qualification is on the list, but it is equivalent to a lower level qualification. Why is this?

There are a number of reasons why this might be. It might be due to the number of credits in the original qualification. Or it may be that the content covered is not equivalent to the NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing at the same level.

What happens if a trainee has copies of completed and assessed work that has not been reported to NZQA?

A: The trainee will need to enrol in the NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Level 3. The Careerforce REAL process will use the assessments as evidence of competence so that the trainee only needs to complete assessments that have not already been marked as competent. Normal qualification fees apply.

I have been advised by Careerforce (staff or website) that my qualification is not equivalent.  How do I appeal this decision?

A: To appeal a decision that Careerforce has made please email a scanned copy of your qualification, the course/module/paper descriptors from your education provider (note this must be the education organization that awarded your qualification) and your job description to Please make sure you include your full name and contact details in the email.

I have appealed the decision and my qualification is still not equivalent, what do I do?

We suggest that you talk to your employer about how you might go about gaining the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing.  If your employer would like Careerforce to assist with this we can, otherwise you may be able to do this through another education provider.

It says my qualification is unable to be assessed, what does this mean?

A:This means that we have tried but are not able to find enough information about this qualification to be able to assess it.  This could be due to age of the qualification or the education provider no longer existing.  In both of these circumstances the detailed information on the qualification no longer exists.  In these circumstances we suggest that you talk to your employer about how you might go about gaining the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing.  If your employer would like Careerforce to assist with this we can, otherwise you may be able to do this through another education provider.

Pay Equity Webinar Recording (August 2017)