Getting Started

This guide explains how to create a NZ Navigator account for your organisation, deciding on your approach and creating an assessment, and how to work with your assessment results.

You need an account to use the NZ Navigator tool. 

Registering involves providing your name, email address, and a password that is at least 8 characters long.

When you create your account you will also set up the organisation you are registering for.  As the account creator, you will be the primary user for that organisation.

You can connect other users to your organisation if you want to, either during the registration or later on. Once you are registered, you can also add other organisations using this account. Read more about both of these below.

A confirmation email will be sent to you - click on the link to activate your new account.

Check your spam and junk folders if this email doesn't arrive in your inbox. 

If you can't locate the account confirmation email, contact us at and we'll sort out your access.

During the registration you'll be asked to briefly describe your organisation:

  • the number of paid staff
  • the number of volunteers
  • the organisational stage (new, emerging, growing, or developed)
  • main activity (your organisation's main activity or sector)
  • region (where your main office is located and the regions where you provide services)

While most user accounts are created to use with one organisation, users can also be connected to other organisations that they may be involved with.

You can add another team member, capability provider or helper to your organisation to create and monitor assessments.

There are two types of users:

  • Primary users - have full administration rights for the organisation in NZ Navigator. 

  • Secondary users - have limited access to your NZ Navigator organisation account.

A secondary user may  be someone who is helping you, like a Capability Builder, a consultant, or someone with good technical skills!

They cannot edit organisation details, add users or delete assessments and reports, but they can add, edit and share assessments, and view reports.

Extra users are optional and, if you are a primary user for your organisation, you can add/remove primary or secondary users at any time (go to Settings/Users). You must always have at least one primary user for your organisation.

To get the most out of the NZ Navigator self-assessment tool, work through the following steps:

1.  Approach: 

  • Identify who needs to be involved in the process.
  • How representative should they be of the organisation?
  • How in-depth and detailed do you want the process to be? For instance:
    • a small, self-selected group like the senior management team or
    • a group representing different perspectives within the organisation or
    • an all-staff workshop/discussion.

2.  Timing: 

  • Identify the best time to undertake the information gathering stage of the self-assessment, for instance:
    • as part of regular strategic planning or
    • when planning organisational or operational change or
    • to support a funding proposal or
    • to ensure compliance with standards, etc.

3.  Build commitment and ownership among colleagues and stakeholders: 

  • Make sure everyone involved understands what the NZ Navigator self-assessment tool is,
  • why the organisation is doing it, and
  • what the organisation hopes to get out of it.

Use the Create Assessment link on your dashboard to start an assessment. 

You can begin your assessment at any time and resume it if you don't complete it in one session. 

Single assessment:

If you are doing a single assessment, complete all the assessment domains then download your personalised report.

Results are immediate and visual, scores are calculated, and the report is generated as soon as all sections in the assessment are completed.

Multiple participant assessment:

If you are doing a multiple participant assessment, an assessment link is sent to you by email with an explanation about the assessment that you can forward on to others.

You choose the timeframe for your multiple participant assessment by selecting a completion date. The assessment closure date can be extended (in case all your people don't respond in time), or you can close the assessment at any time (when everyone has completed their assessments early). This gives you some flexibility, but once an assessment has been closed it cannot be restarted or deleted.

Participants do not need to register for NZ Navigator to be part of your multiple assessment - the link takes them to the assessment. They are informed that no-one in your organisation can see any respondant email addresses or look at any individual responses.

Your assessment report consists of aggregated information for the domain questions but does include some results by participant 'type' (staff, volunteer, and board).

At midnight on the assessment completion date (or earlier if you close the assessment yourself) the report is generated - we'll email you to let you know its available.

To answer assessment questions, click on the answer that best describes your organisation today. 

Each question has five answer options that match the following ratings:

  • At risk 
  • Vulnerable
  • Viable
  • Successful
  • Thriving

If you can't find a perfect 'match' then choose the answer that is closest.

You need to answer all the questions before you can save and move on to the next domain.

When you complete all nine domains, you finalise your assessment.

Once the assessment is completed, you can view your assessment report on-line (go to 'View Assessments') and you can also download a PDF copy of it at any time.

Your assessment report includes :

  • a spider graph depicting your scores for the each of the essential organisational elements/domains
  • a tailored report card (including descriptions of best practice for each domain and, if there enough organisations that are similar to yours, may also include benchmark charts, all anonymised)
  • some hot tips, including useful links and proven resources for organisational development purposes
  • action plan guidance to help you develop your improvement plan and
  • some additional analysis for  multiple participant assessments.

Look at your report, the spider graphs and results.

  • Identify strengths and weaknesses, then consider the overall result for your organisation and start work on your improvement plan.

Examine the suggested resources.

  • Report resources are linked to CommunityNet Aotearoa. The NZ Navigator tool is complemented by a comprehensive set of online resources, contained in your assessment report, that you can utilise for organisational improvement.
  • Best practice examples in each area (NZ Navigator Domains) are included in your report.

 [CommunityNet Aotearoa is our online hub of resources designed to strengthen organisations and communities]

Now that you're aware of your strengths and weaknesses, the next step in the journey is planning to build on them for success.

Decide what areas you will focus on first for organisational improvement.

Your NZ Navigator assessment report includes a link to a downloadable template that has space for you to plan the next steps.

  • Develop an improvement plan, including what resources you will need, and who will be responsible for particular areas - you'll find more information on this in your report.

There are two stages to developing an improvement plan:

1. Prioritising capacity-building needs 

Which areas should you focus on first?  Consider several factors, including the need to: 

  • strengthen the areas critical to the success of the organisation
  • address serious capacity deficits
  • identify where a capacity deficit creates a problem in meeting important internal and external stakeholder requirements
  • consider where any individual improvement would have positive effects on other related areas
  • consider where improvement in capacity could be achieved quickly for maximum benefit
  • consider the resource implications of making any changes
  • avoid over-committing the organisation by taking on too many improvements at once
  • consider any other change processes that are being undertaken and look for the potential for synergy.

2. Planning the strategic approach

Once your improvement focus areas have been agreed on, discuss and agree on practical, realistic steps to address the issues. When examining these options consider what can be done internally, what can be done in partnership with other organisations, and what requires external help.

You can now put some of your great ideas down on paper, then move on to more specific goals.

Have a look back over your results:

  • What are your priorities for improvement? What action can you take?
  • What area are you aiming to improve over the next 12 months? Do you have a particular goal in mind?
  • What specific actions can you take to achieve your goal(s)?
  • What information will you use to keep checking that you are on track?
  • How often will you check progress?
  • What resources do you need in order to be successful?

Keep it simple and to the point.

For each improvement focus area (domain):

  • Note the assessment score for this domain and a description of what you are aiming for.
  • Include a brief description of the proposed intervention or activity and details of how you will carry it out.
    • Propose a timeframe for this activity.
    • Note any additional resource requirements (financial, tools, external specialists).
    • Describe who is responsible for delivering the activity.
    • Identify how progress will be monitored, by whom.

Do you know about using the very simple Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) cycle for improvement?

PDCA is a four-step process for quality improvement. There are many online resources that explain PDCA and provide templates and other resources.

You might also want to make some notes to remind yourself about the things that are not already covered by the action plan template. This may come in handy when you come to explain the results of NZ Navigator to your staff, colleagues or Board members.

Are you involved with more than one organisation?

Do you want use NZ Navigator with all your organisations, using just one account and one email address?

Once you have your NZ Navigator account set up and connected to one organisation, you can also add other organisations if you want. 

  1.  Log into your NZ Navigator account.
  2.  Select 'My Account'. This will display your default organisation (in a white drop down box).
  3.  Click on the box to see all the organisations you are connected to.
  4.  Select 'Add organisation'.
  5.  Fill in the information for your new organisation.

Adding an organisation makes you the primary user - you can change this if you need to once the organisation is created.