This is a qualification that has a similar structure to the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) of New Zealand. The NZCSE has been recognised by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) and put on their National Qualification Framework. It has 3 levels: Level 1 (equivalent to EQF 2) after class 10, Level 2 (equivalent to EQF 3) for most pupils after class 11 and Level 3 with University Entrance after class 12 (or optionally 13 – both equivalent to EQF level 4). Level 1 and 2 can also be used as school-leaving certificates.
The NZCSE is an outcomes-based qualification designed for Steiner Waldorf education. It has a rigorous quality control system. The teachers work together on an internal quality assessment system. Experienced Steiner Waldorf teachers external to the school moderate samples of internally moderated learning outcomes.
The NZCSE is not a curriculum in itself but presupposes the Steiner Waldorf curriculum with its broad focus on many subjects. The achievements of the pupils are compared to a catalogue for each level of broadly described learning outcomes.
There is no restriction on the method of assessment as long as it is valid and transparent for both teachers and pupils at the beginning of a series of lessons. On level 3 (EQF 4) at least three, but preferably four, elective subject domains have to be deepened. Basic skills in numeracy and literacy are also mandatory.
Points from NZCSE in New Zealand can be transferred to a school doing the qualification in Europe if a pupil spends a year abroad. Similarly, if a pupil from Europe wishes to attend a New Zealand school, their attainments in classes 10,11 or 12 in their home school can be given an NZCSE equivalent if they are adequately documented.