The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Liquor courses ramp up digital learning

Digital Learning

The world’s largest global provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications has announced it is fast-tracking its investment plans for online delivery of all its qualifications.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), currently offers its Levels 1-4 Award in Wines and Levels 1-2 in Spirits as online courses. However, in response to the current situation – which forced the vast majority of its 800+ course providers to suspend delivery of classroom courses – the organisation has offered all course providers enhanced digital delivery options.

In New Zealand, WSET courses are usually offered through schools such as The New Zealand School of Food & Wine, The New Zealand School of Wines and Spirits (NZSWS) and the NZ Academy of Wine and Spirits and Noble Rot.

WSET’s Online Classroom currently only supports course delivery in English, but WSET is also enabling course providers to deliver courses in local languages through online conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. As a result, around 200 of WSET course providers are now able to offer online courses to their students.

WSET is also exploring options to fast-track the use of computer-based testing for all its online courses. Trials are currently being run for its Level 1 Award in Sake.

“Our Digital Education team has been working around the clock over the past few weeks to progress our digital learning offering at an unprecedented pace,” says Ian Harris, WSET CEO.

“We are determined to give our course providers the best online tools available and to minimise the impact of the current crisis on our students’ educational journey with WSET.

“We already had a strong ‘digital first’ strategy and investment plan in place, so I am incredibly proud that our dedicated team has been able to roll this out in such a short space of time.”

The New Zealand School of Food & Wine has also announced a new course – an interactive Certificate in NZ Wine – and part one (four sessions) is now available for online delivery.

“This is our new NZQA micro-credential and we have partnered with Glengarry Wines so that you can sign up and join us anywhere in New Zealand,” says owner Celia Hay. “The wines will be shipped to your bubble and perhaps a number of you may wish to share the wine and the knowledge together while listening to me.

“This is a real qualification and it does require us to sign you on to NZQA but it will be fun and perhaps transform your knowledge of New Zealand regions and their distinctive wines,” she says.

To learn more about WSET’s online courses visit and to sign up for the NZ Certificate of Wine, click here.

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