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Moderation systems and processes are part of the quality management system designed to monitor and evaluate assessment carried out by organisations with consent to assess.
NZQA requires ITOs to operate a moderation system in compliance with our Consent and Moderation Requirements (CMR) which is registered with NZQA.

Moderation includes any activity that ensures assessor decisions and judgements are fair, valid, consistent, sufficient and authentic; and reduce variations of interpretation of a unit standard over time. This means where more than one assessor is assessing a particular unit standard, interpretation of the standard is consistent among those assessors. All assessors will be involved with moderation at some time.

Skills is required by NZQA to:

  • moderate assessments registered by accredited TEOs against The Skills Organisation’s unit standards on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
  • carry out internal moderation on randomly selected assessments completed by registered The Skills Organisation workplace assessors.

Moderation takes place before and after assessment takes place;

  • Pre-assessment moderation – assessment materials are moderated prior to use with candidates
  • Post-assessment moderation – the assessors’ decisions of candidate evidence are moderated to ensure fairness, validity, consistency and authenticity and is applied to all assessor decisions whether these are made by registered assessors (internal moderation), or TEO assessors (external moderation).

External vs Internal Moderation

  • External moderation maintains the consistency of assessment between Tertiary Education Organisations, Government Training Organisations, ITOs and schools. Our External Moderators apply our moderation principles to assessments completed and registered with NZQA by accredited TEOs during our moderation timeframe (Jan-Dec).
  • Internal moderation helps to ensure consistency of assessment within organisations, over time and between assessors. Our internal moderators apply our moderation principles to assessments completed by The Skills Organisation’s registered workplace assessors. Internal moderation is carried out on assessor decisions for organisations that report credits directly to us. This work is carried out by industry experts to ensure appropriately experienced and qualified people carry out moderation.

Moderation types

  • Visits
    Moderation visits involve a Moderator and a Skills staff member visiting the TEO or workplace. Feedback confirms that organisations respond positively to the visits as they enjoy the ability to engage in face-to-face communication with Moderators and Skills staff who openly discuss the moderation results before the visit is concluded. All assessment material for organisations with consent to assess that is viewed during a moderation visit is for moderation purposes only. All interactions and materials remain confidential to the organisations concerned. All internal moderation reports are kept by Skills and made available to the NZQA for auditing.
  • Events
    Involves a dynamic workshop-oriented process of conducting post-assessment moderation with assessors and subject matter experts. Peer moderation events are workshops to conduct internal moderation. Community of Practice moderation events are workshops to conduct external moderation.
  • Postal
    Postal moderation is the method used for the majority of annual moderation activity by Skills (internally and externally). Assessment materials are posted to Skills and these materials are forwarded to a Moderator for moderation.

Moderation Appeals Process

The Skills Organisation has an open, fair and transparent moderation appeal process. TEOs and assessors have the right to appeal a moderation decision. For more information on our moderation appeal process please contact the Moderation and Assessment team or email us at You will be required to complete a Moderation Appeal form here.