Qualification requirements for literacy and numeracy educators

This page provides information on the ‘appropriate qualification’ requirements for foundation-level tutors, including how the TEC will ensure this requirement is met. The requirement is aimed at improving the effectiveness of embedded literacy and numeracy across foundation education delivered by the tertiary sector.


What is this requirement?

From 2015, the TEC will be transitioning to requiring tutors who teach foundation-level courses to hold an appropriate qualification. Qualifications are considered appropriate if they include content and outcomes related to embedding literacy and numeracy in a New Zealand context.  

Why are we introducing this requirement?

The government is committed to lifting adult literacy and numeracy skills and improving the quality and outcomes from foundation-level education.  Whilst we are making good progress with improving learners’ literacy and numeracy skills within foundation education, more can be done to improve outcomes for all learners.

This requirement has been introduced to ensure quality and consistent embedding of literacy and numeracy across all foundation-level education.  The TEC expects all foundation level educators to be skilled at using the TEC’s educational resources (such as the Learning Progressions and the Assessment Tool), to know how to embed literacy and numeracy effectively in teaching activities and to be able to meet the needs of all adult New Zealanders effectively.

What is the TEC’s approach towards this requirement?

The TEC expects TEOs to ensure that the qualifications held by their tutors and educators meet TEC funding conditions. TEOs can meet this requirement by continuing to invest in the up-skilling and professional development of the foundation education workforce.  

The TEC expects TEOs to ensure that either:

  • the tutor holds or is in the process of achieving an appropriate qualification such as the NCALNE (Voc) or
  • the tutor can demonstrate competency in teaching literacy and numeracy in a way that is comparable to achieving the NCALNE (Voc) qualification.

We may consider the extent to which TEOs have invested in a suitably qualified foundation level workforce in its funding decisions, such as any future competitive process for SAC Levels 1 and 2.

What funds have this requirement?

The requirement applies to the following funds in 2015:

  • Student Achievement Component (SAC) levels 1 and 2 (competitive and non-competitive, including the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative)
  • Intensive Literacy and Numeracy
  • the Workplace Literacy fund.

TEOs are recommended to consider the need for a suitably qualified workforce across all foundation education, however the requirement it is not currently a condition of funding in the following funds:

  • Intensive Literacy and Numeracy Targeted ESOL
  • English for Migrants
  • Youth Guarantee
  • SAC levels 3+
  • Adult and Community Education
  • Gateway.

The qualification requirement may be extended to other foundation funds in the future as the foundation-level education sector matures and best practice is identified.

What qualifications are considered appropriate and therefore meet this requirement?

Qualifications held by tutors are considered appropriate if they include content and outcomes related to:

  • embedding literacy and numeracy in a New Zealand context
  • the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy
  • the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool.

Qualifications that are considered appropriate include:

  • National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational) (Level 5)
  • National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Educator) (Level 5)
  • National Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Level 6)
  • Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Adult Literacy and Numeracy) (Level 7)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education) (Level 8)
  • Master of Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Level 9). 

Tutors who have achieved any of the qualifications listed above have met the qualification requirement and do not need to take any further action.  TEOs should consider the qualifications of their workforce and assess whether further professional development is necessary in order to meet this requirement.

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Which educators does the requirement apply to?

TEOs should consider the extent of the educator/ tutors’ input into course delivery.  The requirement applies to educators and tutors who are responsible for the delivery, oversight, and/or management of an entire programme of study.

Whilst TEOs may want to invest in the capability of all foundation level educators, the requirement does not apply to:

  • subject matter experts, guest educators, or guest tutors with specialised knowledge, skills, or expertise who deliver a specific part of a programme of study, where the specific part makes up no more than 10% of the theory-based component of the entire programme of study
  • guest speakers or lecturers.

How do I get the NCALNE (Voc) qualification?

The NCALNE (Voc) is a good example of a qualification which meets this requirement.

Tutors can complete this qualification face to face or entirely online. Grants are also available to support the financial costs of completing the qualification.

Tutors can earn the NCLANE(Voc) through a number of tertiary providers. More information is available on the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults website

Each year 145 Adult Literacy Educator grants are available to support the costs of completing the NCALNE (Voc) qualification. These scholarships are available via two private training establishments, Vision West and Adult Literacy Education and Consulting Limited. Grants are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tutors can also complete the NCLANE(Voc) online through a TEC-funded Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Pathways Awarua. Tutors can register as an educator on www.pathwaysawarua.com to complete this qualification. 

Tutors who already have relevant qualifications can apply for a cross-crediting or recognition of prior learning with either Adult Literacy Education and Consulting (www.alec.ac.nz) or VisionWest (Training@VisionWest.org.nz). Adult Literacy Educator Grants are available to support this process.

What if I have more questions?

This page supersedes information in our TEC Now updates of 30 September 2014, 10 November 2014, and 29 January 2015.

If you have further questions, please email sectorhelpdesk@tec.govt.nz.

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  • Last changed: 18 June 2015
  • Last verified: 18 June 2015