01 December 2010

NZQA: Of UPS and Assessment Results

Note: This is in the series of blog posts I wrote about my preparation to move to New Zealand. The original date stamps will give you an idea of how time-consuming migration takes. The 'New Zealand' tag will bring up all related posts.

One of the requirements to be granted the Silver Fern Job Search visa is a recognized bachelor's degree. As I wrote earlier, my Coventry degree via INTI's 3+0 program is not automatically recognized by Immigration New Zealand. (You can easily check if your qualification is exempt from assessment for New Zealand immigration purposes)

Hence, I had no choice but to send my degree for assessment by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). The post below is about the time I tried to courier my documents over to New Zealand, and the ensuing chaos (on my part).

[Originally written on 9/4/2010]

I finally got all my documents ready to be assessed by NZQA. Even a few months back I started looking for a courier to send my precious documents to NZ. These are my original degrees and transcripts, mind you. Re-applying for them in the event of damage or loss will potentially drive me insane.

I didn't want to go with the local Pos Laju - they don't strike me as being overly reliable especially when it comes to tracking packages. I was determined to go with the large companies - FedEx, DHL, or UPS. An interesting side note is that none of those 3 have a presence in New Zealand. At the airport they are handed to a local courier who does the actual deliveries.

I went online to get a quotation. Here's what I found out:
  • It's impossible to get a DHL quote. Either their website is very badly designed or they only accept walk-in enquiries. I couldn't find out how much it costs for me to send it to NZ.
  • FedEx quotation works but their website is tad bit more hassle. Plus they're charging RM90+.
  • UPS online works splendidly and gave me a quote of RM80+, slightly cheaper than FedEx.
  • Pos Laju comes up to RM60+ but I'm not sure if they have pickup facilities, which all the above 3 have.
So this morning I prepared everything and got it ready to ship. The online process went smoothly and I got the packing slip printed.

Here's where things started to degenerate.

I looked up where to drop-off my package and found that the only location in Penang was in Batu Maung...

... or so I thought.

I didn't want the hassle of scheduling a pick-up if the drop-off centre was so close to office (this was before I knew pick-ups are free). So during lunch I went to find the MAB New Cargo Complex and discovered it was exactly that - a warehouse to store cargo for all the major couriers.

I got extremely suspicious that this might not be the right place to send my documents but I approached the security outpost anyway. The guy looked really puzzled and I decided to call the UPS toll-free number. After being put on hold for 2 minutes she advised to me to their drop-off office nearby. It was also somewhere in Batu Maung but an unfamiliar road (Lintang Batu Maung 4). I spent a good 10 minutes hunting for it before finding it tucked in a back shoplot.

I thought, "This farce is finally coming to an end." But the security guard gave me a shocker - this is just a package collecting outpost! The drop-off office has moved to Menara TNB in town! My heart sank deep but my temper rose. Why is all this not on the website! I was simmering in hate and I've wasted close to an hour dealing with this. I got the number of the new centre off the phone and went back to work.

I kept calling the new UPS office several times until 2.20pm when someone finally picked up the phone. She sounded indifferent when I asked her if they were open on Saturdays. She advised me to call the toll-free number again and request for pick-up. At this point I felt defeated and decided to just do that. (This was still when I thought I'll be charged for pick-ups).

Although the toll-free number leads to an automated service, pressing any option will lead you to a human instantly. And I do mean that - I didn't even hear a ring when the operator started talking to me. It was here that I learned that pick-ups are without charge, and he arranged for someone to pick the package up from me before 4pm. As of now (3.35pm) I'm still waiting. They have called me to confirm my location and now all that's left is to wait.

Today has been a nerve-wrecking day, what with organizing a talk, creating a DHL shipment, and goose-chasing the DHL service centre. Hopefully the delivery goes smoothly and NZQA can start assessing my degree next Thursday. I really need it to have it soon to apply for the Silver Fern visa!

[End of original post]

[Originally written on 26/5/10]

My NZQA assessment of my college certificate and degree finally came back, and I'm so relieved that they were assessed at Level 4 and Level 7, respectively. All you need to know is that they're equivalent to their NZ cert and degree counterparts. Therefore I will have no problem proving my qualifications to Immigration New Zealand regarding any visa applications present and future.

Now I only need to go for my medical checkup.

[End of original post]


Anonymous said...

Thanks за материалы! :)
Respect www.iamnotablog.com

Anonymous said...

Спасибо за материалы! :)
Respect www.iamnotablog.com

Gopi Namasivayam said...

hey bro,

how much did it cost you to send the documents to NZQA via courier.?

and thanks for the information on you blog.