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Academic Integrity Policy

To be read in conjunction with
Approval Date
24 November 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Experience
Te Kaihāpai
Baldrige Criteria

Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) is committed to principles of academic integrity and expects that its learners and staff will undertake all assessment tasks with honesty, fairness, respect, and trust. This integrity is essential to the principles of high-quality education and to the reputation of the Otago Polytechnic Ltd.

Cheating is a serious matter and, where proven, will result in disciplinary action. Cheating can take many forms and may occur when a learner compromises academic integrity when completing any academic requirements of Otago Polytechnic Ltd. This may include, but is not restricted to: plagiarism, sitting an examination for someone else, using notes during closed-book examinations, purchasing an essay, receiving notes by cell phone, inventing case studies.

Plagiarism, or the misrepresentation of authorship, is a form of cheating which challenges both learners and academic staff, because it may easily be confused with poor attribution or referencing style: not in itself, evidence of an intention to misrepresent.

  • The Education Act 1989
  • NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules 2013 (Version 4)

1.          Cheating of any kind, if proven, will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action.


2.          Learners are expected to follow the principles of academic integrity in all assessment activities and are expected to:

a.         Submit assessments for marking on the basis that they are their own work, or a group’s work, and that the assessment was prepared with integrity.

b.         Acknowledge all sources of information used in the preparation of their assessments  by using the style of referencing required in their Programme Handbook..

c.          Receive academic counselling when cheating is unintended such as an unacknowledged reference.


3.         Academic staff will:

a.         Support learners to reference sources appropriately, providing formative learning opportunities and materials to assist developing an understanding of all aspects of correct referencing.

b.         Follow the process detailed in this policy when they have doubts about the authorship of learner work, on the basis of observed copying or  illicit exchange of information, absent referencing, differences in level of language, recognition of previously published text, or any other indicator.

c.        Ensure serious cheating or repeated plagiarism is managed under Clause 2 of the Learner Discipline policy.

d.       Remain up-to-date with variants of cheating that emerge with technology and changing learner context.


4.          Programme Heads are responsible for ensuring that Programme Handbooks contain the conditions and guidelines regarding authenticity, referencing, plagiarism, copying, cheating, copyright, and that staff remain  up-to-date with variants of cheating that emerge with technology and changing learner context.


5.          Where learners are suspected of cheating a process, as outlined in Standard Operating Procedure 001 will be followed.


6.          The academic staff member will assess the level/amount of suspected cheating, prepare evidence, and discuss with Discipline Head in the first instance.


7.          Where the intention of the learner is considered clearly innocent, the work will be assessed as is. If appropriate, advice on academic integrity may be given by the lecturer to the learner.


8.          Where doubt persists, or the learner is a repeat cheater the evidence and its context should be given to the Head of College/Department by the Discipline Head for review and, depending on the degree of cheating, the matter may be referred to Te Kaihāpai.


9.          A meeting is to be arranged with the learner, learner support person, lecturer and/or Discipline Head and/or Head of College/Department to  present the cheating allegation, evidence and to provide the learner with an opportunity to discuss this.

Where cheating is established, the learner may be instructed to resubmit the assessment if allowed by the programme regulations. Other          actions can include awarding a reduced grade or awarding a failing mark/grade.

Where the cheating is serious, the Head of College/Department must discuss the situation with Te Kaihāpai.

  • Assessment and Moderation
  • Referencing Styles
  • Impaired Performance/Aegrotat
  • Learner Discipline

Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive