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Curriculum strands

Specialist strands

AOs/LOs by level

Technological practice (TP)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Technological knowledge (TK)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Nature of technology (NT)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2

8-1 | 8-2

Design in technology (DET)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Manufacturing (MFG)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Technical areas (TCA)


Construction and mechanical technologies (CMT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 | 8-6 | 8-7

Design and visual communication (DVC)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Digital technologies (DTG)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7 | 6-8

6-9 | 6-10 | 6-11 | 6-12

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7 |  7-8

7-9 |  7-10 |  7-11 |  7-12

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 |  8-6/7 | 8-8 | 8-9

8-10 |  8-11 | 8-12

Processing technologies (PRT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1/2 | 8-3

Knowledge of processing PRT 6-2

Achievement standard 1.61 AS 91083

Knowledge of processing focuses on the underpinning concepts associated with processing.

Learning objective: PRT 6-2

Students will

  • demonstrate understanding of basic techniques involved in processing materials.


Students can:

  • Explain the relationship between processing operations, tests, and expected 

  • Discuss processing operations and tests and their suitability for different 
materials and/or purposes. 

  • Communicate the need for safe processing practices. 


 Prior to level 6 students should be developing an understanding of a range of skills, processes and techniques used in a processing context. Understanding of processing operations should include a range from the following: measuring, shaping, or finishing contamination prevention or disposal; mixing, extracting, separating or growing; and heating, cooling or reacting with associated testing techniques. Relevant health and safety and codes of practice should also be a focus of the teaching and learning programme.

At level 6 students learn about the operations and practices inherent to processing. They should also have a clear understanding of health and safety codes of practice and HACCP

The Teacher Guidance section provides information that supports teachers scaffolding of learning from levels 1-8 of the curriculum. This allows for differentiation of a programme of learning.

The deliberate use of provide, guide, and support in this section signals that as students' capacity for self-management increases, teachers progressively reduce the level of scaffolding provided.

  • Provide – the teacher should take full responsibility for introducing and explicitly teaching new knowledge, skills or practices.
  • Guide – the students have a level of understanding and competency on which they can draw but the teacher remains primarily responsible for continuing to develop these.
  • Support – the students take primary responsibility for their own learning, drawing on all their previous experiences to consolidate and extend their understanding. The teacher is supportive rather than directive.
  • The Teacher Guidance also uses the term ensure to indicate when the teacher plays a monitoring role to check that conditions critical for learning are present. 

Teacher guidance

To support students to develop understandings about basic techniques involved in processing materials at level 6, teachers could:

  • Provide a range of case studies to demonstrate different processing systems 
and sequences. 

  • Support students with their understanding of techniques and skills in a 
processing operation. 

  • Demonstrate safe practices in processing. 

  • Model a range of processing operations such as: measuring; safe disposal of 
biologically active material; culturing by plating; and controlling of enzymes 

Contexts for teaching and learning

Choosing the context for the learning and assessment

Learning about basic concepts to process products can be incorporated into a teaching and learning programme where students make a specified product to meet specifications (refer to PRT 6-1) or engaged in developing products during technological practice. This objective and subsequent assessment is about demonstrating understanding and knowledge of basic concepts to process a product while not necessarily making a specified product. 

Students will need to explore the following concepts in processing prior to undertaking assessment

This objective requires students to demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of basic concepts used in processing a specified product.

The focus of the learning and subsequent assessment is on understanding the processes, the tests used to ensure quality control during the processing and the health and safety regulations followed to produce a variety of processed products .The students will investigate the similarities and differences between the processing, testing and health and safety regulations used when processing materials into products

Suggested learning activities could include:

  • Visit a food or other material processing plant to identify and discuss the processing operations. It is not necessary for the plant to be a specific processing plant as food or similar plants share common processing operations. Videos and websites may provide a similar experience if this is not feasible.
  • Examine a range of products made from a specific material and discuss how they may have been made and tested during production.( Not the assessment material but similar context)
  • Practice processing and testing similar products in the classroom. Students should consider the differences in equipment, volumes, packaging, testing and labour (noting specialised tasks) between the classroom and an industrial setting.

Students will need to explore in the range of products investigated:

  • the processing operations and their differences
  • the order in which the operations are carried out, and the reason for this order
  • the tests that are applied during the processing, when they are applied, and how they informed the processing to ensure the end product had the required qualities
  • the safety procedures followed
  • why a processing sequence failed to produce the desired result.

Literacy considerations

Students must understand the requirements of the learning objective and the scope of processing to include the following concepts:

Processing refers to the combining and/or manipulating of materials to make a product. Processing operations for this achievement standard include:

  • one or more of: measuring/shaping/forming for example automated filling, cell counting, aggregating, rotational moulding
  • one or more of: contamination prevention/disposal for example chemical cleaning, waste water treatment, solid waste disposal, environmentally sustainable practices, protective clothing and industrial hygiene
  • one or more of: mixing/extracting/separating/growing for example emulsifying, enrobing, dehydrating, filtering, crystallising, chemical peeling, centrifuging, adsorption, gravity settling, leaching, solvent extraction, plant tissue culturing
  • one or more of: heating/cooling/reacting- for example. melting, coagulating, gelling, gelatinising, denaturing, evaporating, fermenting, controlling non-enzymatic browning, plate and blast freezing
  • one or more of: materials transfer, for example pumping, piping, air conveying 

Students will need to develop the skills such as:

  • Researching and processing information
  • Report writing particularly aspects of compare contrast and discussion of relationships between key ideas
  • Annotation of diagrams and development of sequencing
  • Referencing

Students will need to be supported in their understanding of how describe, explain and discuss can be exemplified when collecting their evidence for assessment. To be successful students will need to understand the assessment language of describe, explain and discuss.

Note the following definitions

  • to identify is to state an idea
  • to describe is a statement that gives details about the outcome or idea
  • to explain is to describe in detail with reasons – often including the how and why
  • to discuss requires an explanation that is comprehensive, detailed, broad and show evidence of some complexity in thinking. It may be a reasoned argument presenting a particular point of view, a comparison and contrast between tow ideas or concepts or it may be a detailed reasoning and relationship between several complex ideas

In particular student will need to be able to compare and contrast processing operations and tests and their suitability for different materials and/or purposes and discuss the relationship/s between processing operations, tests, and outcomes required. 

The use of writing frames and structures or templates can be used judiciously to support this. Care must be taken not to over template writing frames which may not allow students to achieve against the criteria.

Resources to support teaching and learning

Case study material - food

General resources:



  • Chambers IV, E and Wolf, MB 1996, Sensory Testing Methods, United States.
  • Murano, P 2002, Understanding Food Science and Technology, Brooks Cole, United States.
  • Hallam, E 2005, Understanding Industrial Practices, Nelson Thornes, United Kingdom.
  • Resurreccion, A 1998, Consumer Sensory Testing for Product Development, Aspen Publishers, United States.
  • Smith, K Cantry, Y and Ward, L 2000, Oxford Food Technology Study Dictionary, Oxford University Press, United Kingdom.
  • Hutton, T 2001, Key Topics in Food Science and Technology No 3, Food Manufacturing: an overview, Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association Group.
  • Lyon, D Francombe, M Hasdell, T and Lawson, K 1994, Guidelines for Sensory Analysis in Food Product Development and Quality Control, Chapman and Hall, London, United Kingdom. 

Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard(s) could assess learning outcomes from this learning objective:

  • AS 91083 Processing Technologies 1.61: Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used in processing

Key messages from the standard

Students will be assessed on their understanding of:

the processes and operations used to develop specified products which means being able to describe processing operations and identify and explain how these achieve the resulting outcomes.

how and explain why processing operations and tests are combined in a processing sequence

the role of tests in processing operations describe and explain the importance of the role of tests in processing operations

how processing operations and tests can be combined in a processing sequence using a variety of ingredients to make a range of different types of products  through comparison and  and contrasting processing operations and tests and their suitability for different materials and/or purposes

the relationship/s between processing operations, tests, and outcomes required.( this means a discussion of the relationship)

safe practices to make the products. (describing safe practices in processing)

Before beginning this assessment activity, provide students with multiple learning opportunities that are focused on processing operations. This will support students to develop a comprehensive understanding about the relationships between processing of the material and the resulting product.

The following explanatory notes from the standard are essential and must be covered in the teaching process to allow students to access the standard (Explanatory Notes 3-6)

Materials may include but are not limited to – food ingredients, plant extracts, micro‑organisms, concrete, fibreglass, woodchips, recycled materials, resins, wool, dyes, cotton.

Processing refers to the combining of materials to make a product.  Processing operations for this standard will include:

  • one or more of – measuring, shaping, or finishing

eg weighing, counting, grinding, slicing, moulding, laminating.

  • one or more of – containment, contamination prevention, or disposal

eg hygienic handling of materials, sanitising, working aseptically, safe disposal of biologically active materials.

  • one or more of – mixing, extracting, separating, or growing

eg liquid mixing, blending, mechanical peeling, sieving, washing, juicing, crushing, culturing by plating.

  • one or more of – heating, cooling, or reacting

eg liquid heating, heating a solid, maintaining temperature for growth, steam setting, acidifying, controlling of enzymes.

A processing sequence is a combination of processing operations and tests in the correct order to undertake a safe process.

Tests may include but are not limited to – testing for pH, temperature, colour, size and shape, ripeness, and whether the product is cooked, set or matured.

For the most up to date information, teachers should be referring to the latest version of the standards, conditions of assessment and assessment resources on TKI and the moderators reports, clarifications documents and student exemplars on the NZQA website. See links below. 

Resources to support student achievement 

Assessment resources 

Annotated exemplars

Last updated June 8, 2018