Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is being honest, respectful  and ethical in your study and assessments. All your submitted assessments must be your own independent work, and you must acknowledge where you have referred to someone else's ideas or words. Find out about academic integrity and how to avoid plagiarism.

What is academic integrity?

It is your responsibility to be honest about the source and the author(s) of information you are including within an assessment. All work you submit must be your own independent work and when you quote or paraphrase other people’s work you must use the correct referencing. The Open Polytechnic uses the APA 7th edition referencing system.

What does academic integrity mean?

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. Open Polytechnic qualifications must meet rigorous quality standards, which include clarity about who the author is of any works cited in all learner submissions.

The Open Polytechnic aims to produce ethical graduates who:

  • acknowledge and respect the IP (Intellectual Property) of others
  • have demonstrated their knowledge and skills through assessment which enables them to be knowledgeable practitioners.

We expect you to present your own original work, and where ideas and words from others are included in your assessments, they need to be appropriately paraphrased (put into your own words) and referenced (acknowledged through in-text citations and a reference list).

What is academic honesty?

Academic honesty applies to both learning and teaching. Learners and academic staff “must be honest with themselves and with each other” when it comes to finding and using knowledge (International Centre for Academic Integrity, 2014, p. 5). The two most important areas of academic dishonesty are plagiarism and cheating.


  • Avoiding plagiarism is part of academic integrity
  • Academic integrity can be compromised if you do not acknowledge (reference) the source when you use someone else’s ideas or words in your assessment.

This is called plagiarism and includes:

  • Cutting and pasting from course material and online sources, such as webpages and academic journals, without citing (acknowledging) the source. You must cite the source whenever you are:
    • Paraphrasing - putting the information into your own words
    • Quoting - using the exact words of the source. Note, when quoting, the information must also be in inverted commas, and page number included.
    • Cutting and pasting online images

Plagiarism decreases the value of a qualification and may potentially put others at risk. It is seen legally as theft. When you benefit from someone else’s work without acknowledging them, you are stealing their intellectual property.


This is when you intentionally copy, buy or share others’ work and submit that as your own. This includes:

  • Copying another learner’s work or allowing another student 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.


How do we recognise it and what do we do about it?

The Open Polytechnic takes academic misconduct and plagiarism very seriously and uses a variety of means, including similarity detection software, to identify plagiarised work on all assessments submitted.

The Open Polytechnic uses a variety of methods, including URKUND, the Open Polytechnic’s online plagiarism checker, to detect academic dishonesty.
Section of the Academic Statute describes the penalties that might be imposed for breaching

Breaches of academic integrity and their consequences

The Academic Statute provides the regulations that relate to academic integrity.

Section of the Academic Statute describes the regulations related to student conduct.  It states that students shall not:

  • Be 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

How to avoid academic dishonesty

We recommend you learn about academic expectations by reading the material that the Open Polytechnic sent you when you enrolled and when you start each new course. You can also develop your academic skills, in particular referencing and plagiarism - we have detailed guidance on referencing and plagiarism on the pages below and also in the Study Toolkit on your iQualify dashboard. Also, take a look at some of the guidelines provided below.

Guidelines for maintaining academic integrity

  • Whenever you use or refer to the work of other people you must reference where it came from
  • Reference your work correctly using in-text citations and a reference list
  • Never use someone else’s work or get someone else to produce work that you are submitting for assessment
  • Do not share your assessments or Marking Schedules with other learners
  • Do not seek to view or copy from the assessments or Marking Schedules of other learners
  • If you save any aspect of your work (including assessments and Marking Schedules) in a shared drive, protect your files with a password
  • Do not buy assessment help or assessment submissions
  • Reach out to Open Polytechnic staff for support if you are struggling or if you see dishonest practice online.


 Guidelines when studying with other learners

Learning anything new can be difficult and can be made easier by forming study groups or working with a ‘study buddy’. Open Polytechnic recognises the value of studying together and in many courses you are encouraged to connect with others through the Talk channel.

There is an important difference, however between studying with others and having your learning assessed (through assessments and exams).

While ideas and information may be discussed in study groups, the material you submit for assessment must be your own work, and where you use the ideas and words of others you must acknowledge the source through in-text citations and referencing.

Assessment submissions must be written independently by you alone.

Group assessments: In some courses you are required to work in groups, with all learners contributing.  In these cases, all assessments must be written individually (unless you are explicitly instructed not to).  


Using a proofreader

Proofreading is the final stage of writing your assessment. It means reading through your work after you have completed it to identify errors in format, style, grammar and spelling before you submit it. If you use someone else to proofread your assessment, it is important that they do not give guidance on the content of your assessment. They may comment only on the format, style, grammar, and spelling

All students must complete their own work independently to ensure the integrity of their qualification.


What are your rights and responsibilities?

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