Read the latest: Detecting plagiarism, Hono Mai forums, Assessor spotlight stories, handy tips from the national moderators and more...
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M A Y  2 0 2 2
We hope you'll find this issue valuable to your role as an assessor
  • A message from the Manager Moderation and Assessment Practice
  • Hono Mai Weekly Forum
  • A New Process for the Submission of Moderation
  • Assessor Spotlight Stories
  • Making Assessor Decisions in Standards-based Assessments
  • Now Available Paper-Based: Level 3 Disability
  • Some Handy Tips from the National Moderators
  • Careerforce's Transition to Te Pūkenga
  • Temporary Changes to Learner Activity Requirements
  • 3-Month Minimum Enrolment Period
  • Valuable 'Learning to Learn' Resources for your Trainees
  • New Apprenticeship in Advanced Care and Support
A message from the Manager Moderation and Assessment Practice
As Careerforce gets progressively more sophisticated with our resources and supports for workplace training, so too do the tools used to make assessment ‘easier’ for learners.

We have become increasingly aware of various tools being used to plagiarise, paraphrase, and ‘spin’ publicly available knowledge into a form that might not be as easy to detect as plagiarism. Websites such as Quillbot, Grammarly, Wordtune, and SmallSEOTools have rewriting functionality which can be used to re-word information found online to present as the learners own.

Don’t get us wrong – there are lots of perfectly valid reasons to use these tools, however – in assessment is not one of them.

Detection of plagiarism of this type could be as simple as checking the writing done in the workplace with case notes or handover notes; or against a previous assessment or an email.

The best source of evidence will always be examples from their work. My advice to assessors would be to encourage learners to provide examples from the workplace as evidence in assessment whenever they can, as this gets the learner into the habit of reflecting on their work and producing higher quality and authentic answers – these are easier to verify with your observers or their peers too.

Check out this online module we made to help detect plagiarism or read more about plagiarism under 'Some Handy Tips from the National Moderators', further below.

Damon Harrison

Hono Mai Weekly Forum
Hono Mai (connect with me) is an assessor forum open 1pm – 2pm every Wednesday, starting tomorrow, Wednesday 25 May.

There will be a Careerforce moderator available to help provide mārama (clarity) or support you with any assessment or assessment practice question you might have.

  • Got a burning assessment question that you want a second opinion on?
  • Not sure if you're over/under assessing?

Follow the links below to hono mai, kōrero mai, kia mārama. Connect with us, talk with us, gain clarity.

Note: If you have trouble joining the meeting, please email

Join the Hono Mai meeting via Microsoft Teams
The same link will open the meeting each time. We'll also make the links available on iportal and Aka Toi.

Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)
+64 4-280 7325,,850731906#   New Zealand, Wellington
0800 444 174,,850731906#   New Zealand (Toll-free)
Phone Conference ID: 850 731 906#
Find a local number | Reset PIN
NOTE - If dialling in from a Careerforce mobile please use the TOLL number above.
Learn More | Meeting options
A New Process for the Submission of Moderation
We are now asking that you submit your moderation samples via this webpage, rather than by email. This allows us to better track your submission and ensures the timely processing of your samples. One of our friendly moderators will be assigned and turn your samples around as soon as possible.

Speaking of friendly moderators; please feel free to reach out whenever you’re after a second opinion. The moderators will be reaching out soon to introduce themselves to those who haven’t submitted samples for moderation in 2022.

    Assessment and Moderation Procedures Manuals
    We’re always looking for ways to improve, and these incremental improvements all add up to changes in our procedures. Over the last little while we have updated and expanded upon our Assessment and Moderation Procedures Manuals.

    Check them out here:

    Assessment Procedures
    Manual Moderation Procedures Manual

    We have added more guidance around good assessment practice, what happens during moderation, and we have recently updated the way you can submit your samples.

    These manuals are found on our website under Assessment and Moderation.

    Assessor Spotlight Stories
    "Learning never stops," says trainee-turned-assessor
    After arriving in New Zealand in 2011, Cathy Briones has used her love for learning and teaching to progress from workplace trainee to workplace assessor, and now a staff assessor at Careerforce.

    Cathy joined Careerforce in January 2022 to support the assessment of learners completing the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing Levels 2, 3 and 4 – the same qualifications she achieved as an advanced support worker not too long ago.

    “Learning never stops,” Cathy said, “I believe in growth and how important lifelong learning is.”
    New on-site assessors eager to support learners to excel
    Two Christchurch service managers are now equipped to support their colleagues at Christchurch Residential Care (CRC), who help people with disabilities live a full and safe life in the community.

    The duo will also provide inspiration and encouragement to staff as they upskill.

    Atlanta Mcintyre and Nina Freeman recently completed assessor training provided by Careerforce.
    “Achieving this crucial piece of work means that they can now help support members rolling through the education and training they need to excel in the workplace,” says Annie McNicol, CRC General Manager.
    Making Assessor Decisions in Standards-based Assessments
    Careerforce assessments are standards-based. This means that we assess trainees against the unit standard(s) indicated in the assessment.

    Assessment task questions and activities provide trainees with the opportunity to meet the requirements of the unit standard being assessed.

    Referencing the Assessor Guide

    As assessors, you need to ensure that your assessment decisions reflect the judgement statements indicated in the Assessor Guide. The Assessor Guide provides guidance to assessors on the minimum evidence required to make an “Achieved” assessment decision.

    In making an “Achieved” decision, assessors must be confident that the trainees are able to perform and repeat the workplace skills required in the unit standard being assessed.

    Searching for unit standards through NZQA

    If you are unsure of the sufficiency of evidence provided by the trainee, you should always refer to the version of the unit standard used for the assessment. The unit standard can be found on the NZQA website by clicking on Search Framework and entering the required unit standard number.

    Good practice assessment occurs when you focus on the required outcomes and give due consideration to all performance criteria/evidence requirements (including the range statements) indicated in the unit standard. It is also useful to check out the Guidance Information/Explanatory Notes in the unit standard. This will give you some ideas of the context and the intent of the unit standard.
    Now available paper-based: Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work - Disability
    The New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) Support Work – Disability is now available on the Careerforce Resource Library.

    This 70-credit programme was launched in November 2021 and has been available online through Aka Toi since then. Now, with the resources being available through the Careerforce Resource Library, learners have the option to complete the paper-based version.

    This programme leads to the award of the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) (Support Work strand). It is aimed to develop the skills and knowledge required of disability support workers in roles that provide person-centred support in the disability sector. The average duration is 12 months.
    Some Handy Tips from the National Moderators
    Pictured: Damon Harrison (top left), Marama Rawiri (top right), Xanthia Bollen (bottom left), Richard Lee (bottom right). We promise we're not muppets all the time!
    Tip 1: Moderation of assessments - don't wait until you've got three

    As a Careerforce assessor you are required to send in three samples of assessed student work each calendar year for moderation. However, there is no requirement for you to send in all three pieces at once, so why not get a head start on your moderation today and send in assessments as they’re finished.

    This will give you real-time feedback across the year enabling you to implement those hints about best practice into the subsequent assessments. Remember too, you are very welcome to request assistance from a moderator on any assessments that are causing you concern whether that’s how to interpret a question, how a trainee has interpreted a question, how to interpret the assessor guide judgement statements and/or the Unit Standard, or you’re just plain confused.

    You’re not in this alone. We think you do an awesome job and we have three amazing moderators who love working with you to make your lives easier. Feel very free to email or phone 0800 277 486.
      Tip 2: Oh, that's sooo last year...

      Last year’s version of the assessment may still be current, but when using paper-based assessments download the latest version from the Resource Library. There have been some assessments come in lately that have been copied so many times from copies that have been copied so many times that the questions are virtually illegible.

      If the moderators can’t read the questions how did the trainee? Your learners will have access to the latest versions of the learning resources via iportal.

      Tip 3: Plagiarism isn't cool

      Most of us are familiar with the concept that a trainee is not allowed to copy someone else’s words and present them as their own. In fact, trainees even declare on their assessments that the words therein are all their own. However, we all know that under pressure some trainees will “borrow” some words from someone else from time to time. The reasons for that are often through either a lack of time or perhaps a lack of confidence in their own ability.

      The people you work with, and whose work you assess, are amazing people doing amazing jobs in real life. The reason they are being trained is not just to get a pay rise but, rather, to be better equipped to provide the level of service your organisation expects and, ultimately, to provide the level of service the people you support need. The assessments aren’t a theoretical exercise but an opportunity for the trainee to gain knowledge and skills to equip them in their role and to talk about how they put that knowledge and those skills into practice.

      But how do you detect when the answer before you isn’t what you’d expect from that particular trainee? It just doesn’t sound like that person.

      1. Type some of the words into Google and see what arises

      Recently a trainee had taken their answers verbatim from their organisation’s material on that subject. It wasn’t immediately obvious to the assessor as the words weren’t the same as the learning guide. But if it sounds too polished, or too good to be true, then it possibly is. If you do find it’s not their own words or can't prove it's not their own words, go to step 2.

      2. Have a conversation with the trainee

      Note on their assessment that further evidence is required and have a chat with them. You can either ask them to go back and put the material into their own words, or perhaps you may find it more productive to ask them to explain the concept to you and you write the notes down onto their assessment and date it (the same can be done in Aka Toi). Remind them, and yourself, that this is not about “passing” at all costs. This is about having fully equipped staff providing the great service that is needed where you are.

      3. The third option can be a lot harder to detect - We're aware of organisations offering to write brand new answers for your trainee, for a fee.

      This can be really tempting when time is short and a trainee is desperate for the potential pay rise. Following step 1 above won’t work because part of the contract is that the material is new for each person.

      So, how do you know?

      Again, if it doesn’t sound like your trainee, or the answers are just plain ‘off’, e.g. the incorrect organisation has been mentioned, or the material doesn’t fit the question then it’s probably a good sign that the material is not the words, or the work, of your trainee.

      Many of us will be aware of the saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” – completing assessments, especially ones that lead to a qualification and a pay rise, can be desperate times for your trainees. This is a really good time to remember several things:

      a) Knowing your trainee and how they speak enables you to “hear their voice” in an assessment. It also helps you understand their motivations and who they are as a person.
      b) Building relationships with your trainees helps them know who you are and it paves the way for difficult conversations if they have to be had.
      c) Ultimately, this is about quality of service provided “on the floor” with well qualified staff implementing their knowledge and skills.
      So, what can you do?

      You’ve probably guessed it – go to step 2 above. Have a chat with your trainee and ask for specific examples of how they implement that particular knowledge or skill into their day to day role. Many trainees think that because it’s an assessment it has to be a test, it’s not. It’s just a chance for them to tell you, the assessor, what they do in their normal work every day - with examples.

      Remember the importance of the pre-assessment meeting with trainees. This gives you the opportunity to check that they are ready for the assessment and to go through the questions to ensure they understand what is being asked of them. It’s also a good time to discuss with them some of the issues above. Ask trainees to give an example for each and every answer, one that’s related to their everyday work. This will help create an environment where they don’t need to use other people’s words, copied or purchased, because they can show their knowledge and skill with a relevant example.

      If you are in doubt about the integrity of an assessment and you’d like to discuss it with someone before you go to step 2, (and after if necessary), please don’t hesitate to contact one of the moderators at or phone one on 0800 277 486.

      The moderators would love to have a chat. Anything to make your lives easier and to help you and your organisation provide the best quality service it can.

      Careerforce's Transition to Te Pūkenga
      While we still await formal approval of our proposed transition plan into Te Pūkenga by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), it remains our expectation that we will transition into Te Pūkenga in September of this year, and as a business unit within Te Pūkenga’s Work Based Learning (WBL) subsidiary. Our staff are increasingly getting involved across a wide range of Te Pūkenga working groups, and these are providing us with the opportunity to champion the needs of our employers and work based learners within Te Pūkenga, and also to champion the work based learning model.
      We will continue to update you on any progress towards the September transition, but can assure you that our expectation through this transition is that there should be minimal disruption, if any. All current systems and processes are expected to remain the same for some time.
      Temporary Changes to Learner Activity Requirements
      In recent years, we introduced activity requirements across both our trainee and apprentice programmes, resulting in learners being placed on-hold and then possibly withdrawn if these requirements were not met. Apprentices were required to complete a module within any 5 month period, and trainees were required to complete an assessment within any 10 month period.

      Our experience has been that if learners are not regularly completing assessments in their programme, there is a much higher risk that they will not complete their qualification.

      This process has worked well in ‘ordinary’ times but as you all know, and particularly for the health and wellbeing sectors, Covid-19 represents anything but ‘ordinary’ times. This has resulted in a significant number of learners being placed on hold, and currently queued for possible withdrawal. We completely understand and empathise with the challenges facing our sectors, and that for many, training has simply had to take a back seat to meet the incredibly high demands on the sectors and their workforces.

      To recognise this and provide some relief to our learners, we are temporarily pausing the on-hold and withdrawal processes. This measure is intended to allow our learners some breathing space, and acknowledges that current levels of training activity do not at all reflect their true commitment to achieving their qualification. As part of this same process, many learners who had been automatically placed on-hold due to a lack of activity will revert to the standard ‘active’ status. It absolutely remains our expectation that our trainees and apprentices will resume their learning activity as we recover from the impacts of Covid-19, and ‘ordinary’ resumes.

      Shortly, you will see these changes reflected in your training reports. Please note that this is a temporary pause to the activity requirements to reflect the current workplace challenges and provide some relief to our employers and learners. This will be reviewed regularly, and it remains our fullest expectation to resume our activity requirements at such a time that Covid-19 workplace pressures have reduced.

      If there is anything at all that Careerforce can do to support the continuation of learning, please reach out.

      3-Month Minimum Enrolment Period
      Consistent with some of our fellow industry training organisations, Careerforce is introducing a minimum 3-month enrolment period for any new training agreements across our training programmes. This will apply to any new enrolments into programmes (including Limited Credit Programmes) that lead to the award of a New Zealand Qualification or Apprenticeship.

      Across current Careerforce programmes, the minimum expected training duration is 6-7 months, and this is based upon the credits that need to be completed, and which in turn is based upon the level of training required within the work setting. A minimum enrolment period helps to ensure the integrity of qualifications awarded via Careerforce programmes, and that the appropriate level of training has been completed, and with the required levels of workplace-based observations and assessment. This change also ensures consistency with our current policy of refunded enrolment fees for any withdrawals within 3 months of enrolment.

      This change will only impact upon a small number of enrolments, and typically in instances where learning has commenced prior to the enrolment date.
      Valuable 'Learning to Learn' Resources for your Trainees
      We’ve developed a series of learning resources to support trainees and apprentices in their learning and study.

      Whether they're new to learning, or coming back to learning after some time away, these free resources can help make their training journey more effective and successful.

      Please 'read more' to view the webpage. We'll also be adding to these over time, so we encourage your learners to regularly visit this page.
      New Apprenticeship in Advanced Care and Support
      Careerforce has launched the New Zealand Apprenticeship in Advanced Care and Support. The level 4, 122-126 credit programme is just one part of an effort to help address an ageing and overwhelmed aged care, and home & community workforce, further complicated by the impacts of COVID-19.

      An alternative option to the trainee programme
      Workplaces will now have the option to choose between the Advanced Care and Support trainee programme which was earlier launched in 2021, or this new apprenticeship, depending on staff’s needs.

      Like the trainee programme, the apprenticeship is a two-year programme that leads to the awarding of the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Care and Support. Apprentices working in the aged care and home and community support sectors will develop the skills required to provide person-centred or relationship-centred care and support to people with complex needs.

      Trainee programme still available

      The Advanced Care and Support trainee programme remains open for enrolments. However, with the option to instead enrol staff in the new apprenticeship programme, apprentices will be able to receive pastoral support and guidance from a Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor. This extra support will be beneficial to workplaces that may not have the infrastructure for an in-house assessor.
      This newsletter is sent to all Careerforce registered assessors.  Archive copies can be downloaded from the Careerforce website.  Follow this link and scroll down to view and download archive newsletters:
      We do appreciate all the support and guidance you give to your trainees. As usual, if have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us:

      Assessor Support:
      Moderation Support:


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