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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

Registered Providers


Moderation 2021

Post Moderation 

Click here to view our 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 do 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 Registered Providers 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.


Your organisation 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.


Pre-assessment moderation

Pre-assessment moderation is conducted before an assessment takes place. It is when the assessment tool is quality assured (moderated) to ensure it meets the standard before it can be used by an assessor. PITO contracts trained moderators to perform all moderation activities.

Primary ITO strongly recommends that providers use our assessment tasks where they are available for the unit standards they are delivering.  If we do not have assessment tasks available, then we are able to moderate your assessments for you. 

Our fee for this service is $120.00 per hour (+ GST). An invoice will be sent to our contact shortly after pre-moderation has taken place.

Please send your assessment(s) for pre-moderation along with a covering note advising how you would be using it to:

Quality team
Primary ITO
PO Box 10-383
The Terrace

Alternatively, you can email us at

General Information and Communications

Consent to Assess

If you would like consent to assess or increase your consent against Primary ITO's unit standards, you need to apply to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) - but first, you must seek support from Primary ITO.

We will assess your organisation's capacity and capability to deliver our unit standards by evaluating the documents and evidence that support your application. If you

Application process

This should include: 

A copy of your Quality Management System document - your organisation will have a copy of this.

A detailed response to our Consent and Moderation Requirements (CMRs).

Anything else that will assist us in making our decision e.g. evidence of staff qualifications, letters of support from industry etc.

•        Send the completed form and documentation to Quality Team, Primary ITO, PO Box 10-383,

Wellington 6143 or email to

If a letter of support is received, submit this along with your formal application to NZQA.

Note - all consent to assess applications incur a fee. You will receive an invoice in due course which will include the following costs where applicable:

Administration fee – $75.00 per application

Evaluation of documentation - $120.00

Evaluation of documentation plus consent to assess visit (based on one day) – $400.00

$0.72 mileage (per km) + travel and accommodation   (Reimbursement for 'actual and reasonable' travel and accommodation expenses)

Reimbursement for 'actual and reasonable' travel and accommodation expenses will be charged.

All prices exclude GST.



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

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