Students passing driver licence tests are now eligible for a limited number of NCEA credits.
A government interagency group has made this possible after employers asked the Ministry of Education to look at increasing young people’s chances of getting jobs. One way to do this is to provide an extra incentive for them to gain their licence.
The NCEA credits are not awarded in specific areas like literacy, but acknowledge the significant levels of varied knowledge and skill needed to pass driver licence tests.
STUDENTS CAN OBTAIN UP TO EIGHT NCEA CREDITS BY PASSING TESTS FOR THE CLASS 1 DRIVER LICENCE
Class 1 licences apply to cars, as opposed to heavier vehicles or motorcycles.
· A learner’s class 1 driver licence counts towards NCEA Level 1 (2 credits).
· A restricted class 1 driver licence counts towards NCEA Level 2 (4 credits).
· A full class 1 driver licence counts towards NCEA Level 2 (2 credits).
HAVING A DRIVER LICENCE GIVES STUDENTS MORE OPTIONS
The Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Development, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the New Zealand Transport Agency worked together to provide this incentive for students to gain their licence.
People aged 16–24 are the largest age group without driver licences, and yet certain industries, such as construction, are difficult to enter without one.
Having a licence can also enable people to carry out everyday tasks safely, including travelling to job interviews, travelling to and from a job or training course, and providing safe transport for family.
OBTAINING A CLASS 1 DRIVER LICENCE REQUIRES SKILL AND COMMITMENT
Gaining a driver licence isn’t easy. In 2012, the Transport Agency introduced a graduated driver licence system which tightened the requirements for a restricted licence.
Obtaining a graduated driver licence takes a minimum of 18 months. It involves a significant level of literacy, skill development, problem solving, and the ability to quickly make decisions that contribute to safe driving.
Students must be at least 16 years old to take the first step and sit the learner licence theory test.
Visit the NZTA website to see the age limits that apply to each stage of the graduated driver licence: https://goo.gl/Pd1IE6.
ONLY ENROLLED STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR NCEA CREDITS
This covers senior secondary school-aged students, and those enrolled in training programmes run by tertiary organisations. Go to the NZQA website for information about the class 1 driver licence standards: http://goo.gl/nIZQNy.
TRANSPORT AGENCY AGENTS WILL CARRY OUT THE DRIVER LICENSING TESTS AS USUAL
Schools and tertiary education organisations will not conduct the tests themselves. The process and cost of sitting a test through the Transport Agency’s network of agents remains the same.
After passing a test, a student can show their licence (learner, restricted or full) to their school or tertiary organisation, who in turn reports the credits to NZQA. The credits will then be part of the student’s NZQA Record of Achievement.
NZQA will be working with schools and tertiary organisations to ensure this has a minimal impact on administration duties.
THE CREDITS WILL BE CAREFULLY MONITORED
The Qualifications Authority and the Transport Agency determined the value of the credits involved.
They will also carefully monitor the standards required for the tests, the number of credits obtained, and the number of licences gained.
NZTA will continue to assure the quality of their network of agents.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO HELP STUDENTS PREPARE FOR THEIR LICENCE TESTS
The government provides a range of free resources to help learner drivers and their parents to prepare for their theory and practical tests.