Frequently Asked Questions


What is Careerforce’s role in pay equity from January 2020?

Until 31 December 2019, the Government 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.

From January 2020, we are no longer be accepting new applications for qualification equivalency assessment (for pay equity purposes). All applications received by this date are expected to be completed and outcomes notified before 31 March 2020. Qualifications assessed to date are listed here and will continue to be updated until 31 March 2020. Beyond 31 March 2020, this list of qualification equivalencies is final, but will remain available for visibility.

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 regular newsletter is circulated to workplaces with updates and information
  • A qualification assessment team
  • A commitment to advise employers of updates to qualification equivalencies before they are published on our website
  • A list of equivalent and non-equivalent qualifications on our website that is being regularly 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.

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

The Act does not specify that Carers must have a New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing qualification. They need to have either the Health and Wellbeing qualification, or one that has been assessed by Careerforce as equivalent to those qualifications.  If a Carer has a qualification that is not listed as equivalent to the Health and Wellbeing qualification, the only way they can achieve Pay Equity under the settlement is to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing as no further equivalency assessments are being completed.

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.