Christian Secondary School - CENZ Qualifications


In September 2003, after having offered NCEA Level 1 for almost two years, the decision was made by the Board of Trustees in consultation with staff, to cease offering NCEA, and to adopt the A.C.E curriculum for the senior high school (Years 11 and above). Our reasons for choosing this system in preference to others include:

  • Biblical World View
  • Fits within the vision for Christian Education at Tyndale Park Christian School
  • Ability to integrate with existing school curriculum
  • Acceptance of the programme by the Vice Chancellor's Committee (University matriculation), which means that the qualifications gained in this programme will be recognized for entrance to NZ Universities.

In 2020, the Board of Trustees approved the CENZ Certificate Framework as our high school qualification because it emphasises high standards and mastery, two aspects that are essential for life after school. The CENZ Level 3 Academic Certificates are approved by all NZ Universities for entry.

An Explanation of the ACE Curriculum

  • Accelerated Christian Education is a complete package of individualised curriculum material, covering all grade levels from Preschool through Year 13 and beyond.
  • Since 1977 the ACE curriculum has been successfully studied by thousands of students in NZ, and today, it is used by many thousands of Christian Schools and Home Educators throughout the world.
  • The ACE curriculum was developed from an international perspective in order that it could be used throughout the world. National units are included in Maths and Social Studies, and at high school level, students are able to choose from over thirty elective courses.
  • Each subject is presented in a series of self-instructional workbooks, called PACEs (Packets of Accelerated Christian Education), progressively graduated so that new concepts and truths build upon previously mastered ones - mastery learning. Some courses employ videos sessions to enhance the learning process whilst others are supplemented with computer software programmes.
  • A student will normally complete twelve PACEs in five or more subjects a year; each group of twelve high school level PACEs being counted as 1 credit towards an ACE certificate. In general, twelve completed PACEs in any particular subject represent one year's work.
  • The standard required to demonstrate mastery is high, with a minimum pass mark of 80% in each PACE test (90% for Word Building) required before a student is permitted to proceed to the next unit of work.


CENZ offers three secondary school qualifications based on students gaining credits for work completed at various achievement levels. The following certificates currently available to students in New Zealand.

Academic Certificates:

Academic Certificates

CENZ Certificate Level 3 (27 credits)

CENZ Certificate Level 3 With Honours (27 credits)


1.     For a Level 3 Certificate, at least four (4) credits must be at Level 3 or higher in university-approved subjects.

2.     A Level 3 Certificate with Honours requires a minimum of five (5) credits at Level 3, with an average test score of at least 93% in each of those five courses or an excellence endorsement on any NCEA courses (if offered) or A* grade on any Cambridge courses (if offered).

Achievement Certificates:

Certificate of Achievement


1.     This qualification suits students who cannot (or who do not wish to) obtain a Level 3 Certificate. It means that they can craft a dedicated qualification that meets the specific needs of the workplace or tertiary training sector of their choosing.

2.     Wherever possible, we recommend that students include English II and Algebra I (or their equivalents) in their qualification, as these meet the Literacy and Numeracy entrance requirements for New Zealand universities, thus giving students ongoing discretionary entrance (if so desired at a later stage).

NB: It should be noted that these certificates do not comment on the Christian character of the candidate.

Protecting the Integrity of the CENZ Certificates

The CENZ Certificates are regarded very highly by the NZ Vice Chancellor's Committee. The Vice Chancellor's Committee's acceptance of these certificates is based on the integrity of the ACE programme.

The CENZ Trust has worked hard, and at considerable expense, to promote these certificates and provide parents with a viable and credible alternative to the NZQA qualifications.

In order to protect the integrity of the CENZ Certificates it is a requirement for students to complete the certificates under the supervision and monitoring of a recognized ACE service provider. This could be a school or home education service provider.

Certificate Flexibility

Whilst we wish to make the requirements for our higher certificates more flexible, it is vital that their integrity be maintained. A certain degree of flexibility is possible for students who wish to choose courses at a higher level that suit their particular career choice. This may be at the expense of core subjects at the more advanced levels.

How Credits Are Gained

Credits may be earned in three ways:

  1. Through completion of ACE courses at or above PACE 1085 (NZ Year 9 level). One credit is gained when a student completes 12 PACEs (one year's work) passed at or above the minimum pass mark of 80% (90% in Word Building). It is assumed that students will follow the recommended ACE procedures when completing PACE work and tests.
  2. Through completion of approved non-ACE courses. Credits may also be awarded for non-ACE courses, which may be either:
    • approved local school courses or
    • courses of other approved institutions where certain criteria are met.

    One credit is awarded for completion of a course that entails at least 120 hours work (60 hours for half a credit may also be considered) and which has appropriate documentation to show:

    • the content and scope of the course
    • a credible and reputable form of assessment
    • that the material is consistent with a Biblical world view

    Credits may also be given for work successfully completed in another institution, approved by the Academic Council, such as a registered school, New Zealand correspondence course, approved music or drama examining authority or a polytechnic course.

    The Approved Courses Supplement has a list of courses that have already been approved by the Academic Council.

  3. Cross credits for prior learning.

    Students who start on the ACE Programme later than Year 9 may gain credits for prior learning if they are able to successfully complete ACE courses at Year 10 level, or above.


p 09 274 9771   e   a 206 Murphys Road, Flat Bush, Auckland 2019