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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

Affiliated Trainers and Assessors


Moderation 2021

Post moderation 

Click here to view updated 2021 Moderation Calendar

The Moderation Calendar is broken into focus areas and these are listed below by quarter.  This gives an indication of when you may get asked to supply moderation samples.

Quarter 1

  • Primary Industry Skills Level 2
  • Bio-security
  • Equine
  • Pest
  • Schools

Quarter 2

  • Meat processing
  • Milk Quality 1&2
  • DWDE (Dealing With Dairy Effluent)
  • Distribution
  • Horticulture Services ( Landscape, Amenity, Arboriculture) 

Quarter 3

  • Vehicles, Machinery and Infrastructure
  • Pork & Poultry
  • Horticulture Services
  • Horticulture Production
  • Sports Turf
  • Apiculture
  • Schools

Quarter 4

  • Petrochemical
  • Dairy Processing
  • Seafood
  • Schools

The ITO will call for specific assessment samples following analysis of usage figures. Calls for moderation samples will occur between February and November. 

Why we moderate

Moderation is a process of monitoring and evaluating assessment documentation and decisions to ensure that standards are applied validly and consistently to all learners.

The purpose of moderation is to ensure that:

  • Assessments are consistent with the national standard;
  • Assessments are fair, valid and consistent; and
  • Assessors are making consistent judgments about learner performance.

Moderation is intended to ensure that regardless of where an assessment was carried out for any particular unit standard, the judgment made on the learner’s competence was fair, valid and of a reasonably consistent standard when compared to assessments made elsewhere.

Moderation exercises provide an ideal opportunity for providers to obtain structured collegial feedback on their teaching and assessment material. This should either confirm that their tools meet industry standards or will identify where improvements are needed to do so.

Primary ITO must meet the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA) quality assurance standards which are outlined in their QA Standard for ITOs document. 

Primary ITO demonstrates this to NZQA by:

  • Implementing a national external moderation system in accordance with the moderation information of our registered CMR.
  • Documenting national external moderation activities and the results of these activities.
  • Applying processes to ensure feedback from the national external moderation activities is used in review of our unit standards.
  • Meeting annual NZQA national external moderation reporting requirements.
  • Regularly evaluating and reviewing its national external moderation system.
  • Periodically evaluating and reviewing the moderation information to ensure that it meets NZQA registration criteria and accords with best practice.

 Who do we moderate?

All providers with consent to assess scope against any unit standards for which Primary ITO is the Standard Setting Body.

The quality management system requirements are set out in Primary ITO’s Consent and Moderation Requirement’s (CMR).  Staff of providers with consent to assess scope, are expected to be familiar with our CMRs.

We conduct moderation processes according to our CMRs which you are expected to be familiar with. Click on the CMR ID below for details.

Below is the list of CMRs for which Primary ITO is the Standard Setting Body:


CMR's included


0033 (Processing)


Seafood & Seafood Māori


Dairy & Baking Yeasts











Sports Turf


Primary Sector


(Animal Care)


Equine & Greyhound Racing



Water (Selected Domains Only)



Animal Care



All Affiliated Trainers and Assessors are expected to participate and comply with the ITO Moderation Plans.


Non-compliance will result in Primary ITO initiating non-compliance actions. The Quality Manager will specify the non-compliance and the corrective actions to be taken within what time frame, in writing to the non-compliant provider.


An Assessor has the right to appeal a moderation decision. If you disagree with a moderation decision you are to contact the Quality team at ITO in the first Instance and we will make every effort to resolve your compliant. If you are unsatisfied with this outcome, then you may lodge a formal appeal by completing a Moderation Appeal form.

How do we moderate

Post-assessment moderation is conducted after an assessment has taken place. It is when the assessor judgements/decisions are quality assured (moderated) to ensure that the candidate has met the standard. 

Types of Moderation can take on the following forms: 


Workplace Assessment



Postal moderation


Assessor sends assessment samples to the ITO when requested (or the Quality Team source them).


Assessment samples sent to contracted moderator.



Panel moderation


Assessor sends assessment samples to the ITO when requested (or the Quality Team source them).


Assessment samples are moderated at a panel moderation event by contracted moderators and ITO staff.


Peer moderation


Assessor sends assessment samples to the ITO when requested (or the Quality Team source them).


Assessment samples are moderated at an organised event by contracted moderators, ITO staff and   assessors. 


Moderation visits




Assessment is observed taking place by contracted moderators, ITO staff on-site with the assessor.

General Information and Communications

Peer Review of NZQA Owned Unit Standards

We are asking Workplace Assessors to have the first three (3) trainee samples of NZQA owned unit standards peer reviewed before reporting results. 

NZQA owned unit standards are more of a ‘generic’ nature, i.e. U/S 3483 – Fill in a form or U/S 543 – Work in a new workplace. These also include interpersonal skills communications units such as U/S 9681 -Contribute within a team or group which has an objective.  In contrast, Primary ITO owned unit standards are more specific, and industry related i.e. U/S 29297 – Operate and maintain a chainsaw in a land-based context or U/S 24548 – Assist with milking.   

Click here for a list of NZQA unit standards that sit within Primary ITO programmes. We will be continuously updating this sheet.

Once an assessor has submitted three satisfactory assessments of a particular  NZQA owned unit, i.e. they have passed peer review,  that unit standard will be added to their assessor scope for the remainder of the calendar year and the assessor will no longer be required to submit any further assessments for that particular unit standard or the rest of the year.

The process for reporting and peer reviewing NZQA owned unit standards is as follows: - 

1.       Is this trainee assessment the first, second or third sample of this particular unit you have assessed this year?

2.       If YES, the assessment is sent (electronically) to the Peer Reviewer ( for review.

Once the peer review has been completed and the assessment has been shown to meet the requirements of the unit standard, the assessment will be returned, and the assessor can report the result in the normal manner. If the peer reviewer feels further evidence is required, the assessment will be returned to the assessor with a report indicating where further evidence required. The assessor then needs to collect further evidence and re-submit it to the Peer Reviewer for review. 

3.       If NO, the result can be reported in the normal manner. 

There will be a five (5) working day turn-around from the time the Peer Reviewer receives the assessment, to the time the assessor receives feedback. This will ensure only a brief hold-up in reporting credits. 

If you have any questions please come through to

NZQA Standards Assessor Tips

We recognise many of our assessors are new to assessing NZQA Unit Standards and extra support is needed to assist you with gathering the assessment evidence to meet the national standard for these unit standards. From analysing moderation reports over the last year, including peer review and NZQA’s feedback, plus the wisdom of ITO field team members, we have brought together a series of tips focussed on aspects of 41 Standards that need extra attention by an assessor if evidence is to come up to the national moderation standard.

This is a downloadable PDF with a linked index at the front, so convenient searches can occur. You can find the download (here). We suggest you download to a mobile device and file, so it will then be available for quick reference.

Key Talking Points

The Key Talking Points advisory has been put together to detail and support recent assessment activities that have either

  • Lead to non-compliance; and/or
  • Show where improvements in assessment practices can be made 

The purpose of Key Talking Points is to ensure all Assessors are aware of common issues around assessing and to help make changes to common practices.

Key 'take home' messages for Assessors 

1.    Where indicated, Assessors MUST make comments in the learners' assessment book. Comment on 'how you know the learner is competent' and how they reached their judgement, rather than just a repeat of the learning outcome. 

2.    Where the Assessor verbally assesses the learner, the Assessor must write the 'story' in the assessment book and clearly indicate it was assessed verbally and written by the Assessor. This could be an answer to a question or a practical task. 

3.    When assessing, always consider two key questions: 'Am I asking the right stuff?' and 'Have I got enough evidence?'

Professional Development

4098 Online Training Programme

The Primary ITO has set a minimum requirement that all Workplace Assessors who report results to us, will either hold or be working towards achieving Unit Standard 4098 (Use standards to assess candidate performance). 4098 FAQ's

We offer an induction, training and support package for all new Work Place Assessor’s, Individual Assessors and Affiliated Trainers and Assessors via a Primary ITO developed 4098 online training programme. 4098 Flyer

Please note that our online 4098 course is primarily for those wishing to become Workplace Assessors in the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors.  If you are not in these sectors, please contact your relevant ITO.

Dates available for 4098 enrolment

  • 12 July – 10 Sept 2021
  • 9 Aug – 8 Oct 2021
  • 13 Sept – 12 Nov 2021
  • 11 Oct – 10 Dec 2021

Current Assessors, if you do not hold this standard, please plan to make sure you have achieved unit 4098 by this date so you can continue to report results.

Enrol now! The training fee is just $300 inc GST

1.    Go to

2.    Enrol – Create a new account and follow through with the enrolment confirmation email.

3.    Your account will then be confirmed, and you will be taken to a window that asks for identification to be uploaded.

4.    To confirm your Primary ITO workplace assessor status, you need a Key Code as part of your enrolment in the chosen date. Your organisation may already have one, or it can be obtained by contacting your Primary ITO sector contact.

5.    Make a note in your calendar of the start date - the course site will be open to you from that day on. You then have up to 8 weeks to complete the study and submit all your evidence to the assessor.

If you do not receive course related email from the Primary ITO:

1. Check your own Junk / Spam mail folder.

2. Check that Primary ITO is included in your organisation’s safe sender email list. The email may have ended up in the corporate Junk / Spam folder.    

3. If the email is not located after the above, please contact the Primary ITO course administrator (details below) and check your enrolment was registered. Download enrolment instructions.

Unit standard interpretation

Only assess what you need to
Range Statements and Performance Criteria are important; they help give some context and guidelines around what should be assessed. 

Take a holistic approach
Assessment should be conducted in a holistic manner. When assessing an outcome, consider the whole outcome and not just a series of atomised parts.

Focus on learner capability
Assessment should not be a snapshot or a one-off event; it should have robust evidence to show that learners can cope with a task on an on-going basis. Learners need to be able to apply what they have learned, not just demonstrate that they have learned it.

Use naturally occurring evidence
Utilise naturally occurring evidence wherever possible. Your professional judgement and verification of evidence from the workplace are key aspects of this.

Always assess according to what is current industry practice
If Range Statements or Performance Criteria are out of date and don’t align with current industry practice, we expect that you will be able to make a considered judgement on this and conduct your assessment accordingly. If aspects of range statements or Performance Criteria are no longer relevant, then it is appropriate to not assess at all. 

For example, Unit 36 – Select fencing support materials; P.C. 2.3 states:

Other fencing material types of strainers, angles, and posts are identified and compared against wooden post configurations for suitability for purpose.
Range: steel, fibreglass, concrete.

Some existing fences still have concrete posts, however when selecting materials for new fences, concrete is no longer considered to be current industry practice. 

Therefore, it would be appropriate to ignore that aspect of the range statement when assessing this unit. Please note however that this is not a license to ignore aspects of unit standards at will.

View unit standard interpretations