Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is being honest, respectful and ethical in your study and assessments. As a learner this means that your assessments must be your own independent work and you acknowledge where you refer to someone else's ideas or words. Find out about academic integrity and how to avoid plagiarism.

Take a look at this short video to learn more about Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.

What academic integrity means in your study

When you become a student at the Open Polytechnic you become part of an academic community that holds academic integrity (honesty) in the highest regard. It is your responsibility to be honest about the source and the author(s) of information you include in your assessments. You must use the correct referencing when you:

  • Paraphrase - put information into your own words
  • Quote - use the exact words of the source.

The Open Polytechnic uses the APA 7th edition referencing system.

Learn more about referencing and how to reference


If you do not acknowledge (reference) the source when you use someone else’s ideas, words or images in your assessment it is plagiarism.

Plagiarism includes cutting and pasting from course material and online sources, such as webpages and academic journals, without showing where the ideas came from. It also includes excessive or repeated use of quotes, even with quotation marks and with proper referencing (in-text and in a reference list);  or re-using your own work from a previous assessment.

Treat each assessment as an original piece of work where your assessment answers the questions,  paraphrasing and referencing the source materials used. Quotes should not be more than 10% of your assessment.

Plagiarism is legally seen as theft. If you benefit from someone else’s work without acknowledging them, you are stealing their intellectual property.


If you intentionally copy, buy or share others’ work and submit it as your own, it is cheating. Cheating includes:

  • copying another learner’s work or allowing another learner to copy yours
  • having someone else write your assignment for you
  • expanding a reference list with sources that weren’t used in your assessment
  • buying an assessment online
  • posting or submitting using another person's online account or allowing another person to post through your account
  • using AI to write your assessments.


What we do about plagiarism and cheating

We take academic misconduct and plagiarism very seriously. We use a variety of methods to detect plagiarism and dishonesty on all assessments submitted for marking, including online plagiarism checker tools.

Te Kawa Maiorooro and the Academic Statute regulations

Te Kawa Maiorooro (5.4) and the Academic Statute (Section 13) outline the regulations that govern the standards of behaviour for learners and the process for unacceptable behaviour including academic integrity.

Unacceptable behaviours include dishonest academic practices, e.g., cheating or plagiarism. Being guilty of or a party to any dishonest or improper practice (including plagiarism) or breach of instructions relating to or connected with the conduct of assessment procedures including examinations and summative assessments.

Section of our Academic Statute describes the penalties that might be imposed for breaching the standards of behaviour.


Guidelines for avoiding academic dishonesty

We have a range of resources to help you develop your academic skills, including information about referencing and plagiarism.

For an overview check the Study Toolkit on your iQualify dashboard. You can also check the information and support below:

Referencing and plagiarism

How to reference

Writing skills

Get help with academic writing and research skills

You can also check our library website's referencing information:

APA referencing


Guidelines for maintaining academic integrity

Learning anything new can be difficult and forming a study group or working with a study buddy can make it easier.

Remember that while you can discuss ideas and information in a study group, the material you submit for an assessment must be your own work.

Group assessments 

In some courses you are required to work in groups for assessment, with all learners contributing.  Your contribution must be written by you alone, unless you are explicitly instructed to write as a group and all submit the same work for certain sections. 

Make sure you follow the instructions for the assessment carefully for group assessments.

Using a proofreader

Proofreading is when you or someone else reads through your assessment before you submit it for marking to check for errors in format, style, grammar and spelling. If you use someone else to proofread your assessment, it is important that they do not give you guidance on the content of your assessment.

They can only comment on the format, style, grammar, and spelling


Your rights and responsibilities

You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities on our Learner Rights and Conduct page.