Unit Standard exemptions

Sometimes a unit standard has expired and is replaced by a new unit standard with very similar learning outcomes. In such cases learners who have achieved the earlier unit standard may be recognised as being competent in the new unit standard.


  • Where the previous and new unit standards are listed in an Exemption Table in your qualification, the learner is automatically exempt from having to complete the new unit standard if they have completed the previous unit standard.
  • When completing the qualification, the exempt unit standard will not appear on the trainee’s NZQA Record of Achievement (ROA), but it will count towards their qualification.
  • Because the exemption is approved by NZQA, the learner does not need to apply for the exemption.

How to gain Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Do you have a qualification (or assessed courses) that you have achieved previously (either in New Zealand or overseas), that you believe could be cross credited against a Careerforce programme?   You can apply for RPL. To be considered, the prior learning must have been awarded within the past 12 years.

Please apply using the Careerforce Recognition of Prior Learning form. If the application is successful, Careerforce will register the achievement of the unit standard(s) with NZQA and it will appear on the learner’s Record of Achievement.

Download recognition of prior learning form