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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

Affiliated Trainers and Assessors

Scroll down to Professional Development section to enrol into 4098.


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.

What we are moderating

The 2019 Moderation Block Calendar  details the moderation ‘focus’ areas and will give you an indication of when you may get asked to supply scripts.

The ITO will call for specific assessment scripts following synthesis of usage figures. Calls for moderation scripts will occur between February and October 2019.

Whilst these areas will be a focus for the ITOs moderation activities, other sectors will also undergo moderation.

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.

Requirements for keeping assessments

This is a recent rule change from NZQA that TEOs (including ITOs) must abide by. Registration requirements within the ITO require assessors to keep and safely store assessments. The main difference is that assessors will need to keep each and every assessment for a period of 12 months from the completion of training. We support this rule change as we believe it adds to the academic integrity of the programme. We (the ITO) will support ITO assessors through this change. 

Affiliated Trainers and Assessors will code, keep and securely store assessments themselves. They will need to be easily and readily retrieved for moderation purposes. Affiliated Trainers and Assessors will be responsible for retrieving assessments and submitting them to the Quality Team when called for moderation – within 5 working days. With prior written permission from both the Primary ITO and the company, where assessment evidence is deemed commercially sensitive, assessments may be kept and securely stored at the trainee place of work (but not held with the trainee). After 24 months from the date of assessment, the assessments may be returned to the graduate or disposed of depending on the wishes of the graduate. 

Please prepare to meet the rule change requirements and make sure you comply with the requirements from 01 January 2019 at the latest. For further information you are encouraged to contact your ITO representative or Kylie Miller – Quality Compliance and Support 04 381 7844 or

General Information and Communications

Peer Review of NZQA Owned Unit Standards

We are asking Workplace Assessors to have the first three (3) 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. Where as a Primary ITO owned unit standard is 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.   

If you are unsure of whether the unit standard belongs to Primary ITO, you may go to the NZQA website and put in the unit standard number in the search engine and hit ‘search’. The unit standard will come up. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. It is an NZQA owned unit standard, if next to ‘Standard-Setting Body’ it states ‘NZQA National Qualifications Services’. 

All assessors will have NZQA unit standards temporarily removed from their scope. The scope will be progressively reinstated on a unit-by-unit basis as the assessor submits satisfactory assessments for each unit standard. Once an assessor has completed three (3) assessments of an NZQA owned unit, the scope will be reinstated permanently, and the assessor will no longer be required to submit assessments for that particular unit standard for peer review. 

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

1.       Is this assessment one (1) of your first three (3) samples 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 indications of further evidence required. The assessor collects further evidence and re-submits 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

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?'

Annual moderation report and assessment plan

The Annual Moderation Report and Assessment Plan provides the ITO with valuable information about organisational moderation, delivery and assessment activities, and is the first stage in the moderation process.

The report enables Primary ITO to record compliance with moderation requirements, report to NZQA, and plan moderation activities for the coming year.

Please complete your Annual Moderation Report and Assessment Plan, attach any related documentation, and email them to the Primary ITP on or before 30 November 2018 at

Professional Development

Assessment workshop schedule

Following is a timeframe of when we will be looking to hold workplace assessment workshops in your area. We will be in touch closer to the time to confirm fates, location and to gain RSVP’s.

The aim of these professional development workshops is to bring together workplace assessors, and assessors from Registered Providers and Affiliated Trainers and assessors, who assess Primary ITO trainees either on-the-job or off-the-job. It will be an opportunity to discuss the latest assessment and moderation trends and themes, and hopefully to network and learn from each other. We strongly recommend you attend one of these workshops.

4098 Online Training Programme

The Primary ITO have set a minimum requirement that all Workplace Assessors and Affiliated Trainers and Assessors who report results to us will hold, by 1 May 2020, Unit Standard 4098 (Use standards to assess candidate performance).

We are excited to be offering induction, training and support package for all new Work Place Assessor’s, Individual Assessors and Affiliated Trainers and Assessors via a Primary ITO developed online training programme.

Current Assessors, if you do not hold this standard, please plan to make sure you have achieved unit 4098 by the 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