Multi-Factor Authentication

When you log in into your account, you will be prompted to setup or complete Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

There are a few steps to follow, but you only need to set it up once. 


What is MFA 

MFA is a security feature that means you need to provide two or more forms of verification (authentication) to access an account or system. 

Usually, you might use a username and password when you log in to an online account. MFA means that as well as a password, you also need to use another way to authenticate who you are when you log in.  

Why we use MFA 

MFA will help protect your account, so that even if someone else gets your password, they cannot log in and access your personal information without the second factor. This includes all the things you access using email address: 

  • MyOP learner portal 
  • iQualify, where you access your online courses
  • Microsoft 365 applications you have access as part of your account (Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive). 

What MFA means for our leaners 

MFA is for all our learners, whether you are studying from New Zealand or overseas. You must set it up so that you can access your account. After you set up MFA on your account, you will be prompted to authenticate it is you: 

  • Every 30 days when you log in* 
  • If you change your password 
  • If you use a new internet browser  
  • If you log in on a new device, such as a phone, tablet or personal computer 
  • If you log in from multiple locations. 

*Note: you will need to re-authenticate every 30 days on each device you use to log in. For example, if you use multiple devices such as tablet, mobile phone and/or another computer, they each have their own 30 days cycle.   


Setting up MFA

There are two options you can use to set up MFA:

  • a mobile phone (listed as 'Authentication phone' in the MFA set up process).
  • a landline phone, which is a direct dial (listed as 'Office phone' in the MFA set up process)

Authentication phone 

During the MFA set up:

  1. Enter a phone number that you have access to, such as your mobile phone
  2. Choose text or call.
  3. You will then get a text or call with steps to follow to verify your number.  

Whenever you need to authenticate it is you logging in you can choose to get a text with a six-digit number to enter on the log in screen, or a phone call. 

Office phone (landline) instructions

This can be any landline that is a direct dial. During the MFA set up:

  1. Choose 'Office phone'
  2. Choose your country and enter your phone number
  3. You will then get a call asking you to verify the number by pressing the ‘pound key (#).  

Whenever you need to authenticate it is you logging in you will get a phone call and need to press the # key.


How to get help setting up MFA 

If you need any help with the MFA set up process, contact our Service Desk. They are available from 8am – 5pm weekdays: 


Using an authenticator app for MFA

Once you set up MFA for your account using a phone, we recommend you download and set up an authenticator app as it is the most secure MFA method. 

If you use the Microsoft Authenticator app, once it is setup on your phone you do not need wifi or data when you are asked to authenticate yourself. 

To set up an authenticator app on your phone

You can  download and install the app from the Microsoft website, or look for this logo in Google Play or the App Store:

 Image of an authenticator app logo

After you download the app:

  1. On your Computer go to If needed, sign in with your username and password. This should take you to Security Info page.
  2. Click 'Add sign in method'.
  3. Choose Microsoft Authenticator app and follow the instructions that come up.
  4. Click 'Next'.
  5. If asked choose work or school account then select 'Scan QR code'.
  6. Open the app on your phone and scan the QR code with your phone to set it up.
  7. Check your phone number is correct then click on Done and a 2-digit code will appear.
  8. Enter the 2-digit code into the authenticator app and click on YES.

This should then authenticate and let you into your account. NOTE if using this outside of New Zealand make sure you phone connected to wifi first.


Frequently asked questions 

What to do if you access more than one account from your browser 

If you access more than one account on your browser (such as your work or personal account), you also need to set up your account with MFA. 

The easiest way to do this if you are already logged into your browser with a work or personal email is to:

  1. Open an Incognito (Google) or InPrivate (Edge) window
  2. Paste the link into the address bar
  3. Follow the set-up process. 


Getting asked to authenticate with MFA within 30 days 

MFA will helps protect your account us from other people accessing it, so if you enter an incorrect password or behave outside of the expected pattern, the app will ask you to re-authenticate as a safety precaution.  This could include:

  • connecting to your OP account from multiple locations 
  • entering an incorrect password repeatedly 
  • signing in from different devices frequently. 


Travelling internationally during your study period 

If you plan to travel outside your country of residence, to countries that are not Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States, and want to study while you do, you need to contact our Service Desk

Please be aware that your network provider may charge you to receive texts or phone calls while abroad. Where you have either of those options for your MFA choice, we recommend you use the Microsoft Authenticator app for MFA. 

The Microsoft Authenticator app does not require a data/wifi connection to work, so you won’t incur roaming fees when you use it. 


MFA does not give Open Polytechnic access to your device 

When you sign in to your account using MFA, you can access Open Polytechnic online services such as My Open Polytechnic, iQualify, Outlook, and Microsoft Office 365 products.

It does not allow Open Polytechnic to access your device.


Why personal contact details are needed 

For the system to verify your identity, MFA requires information which is unique to you, such as a personal phone number.  

You can use the phone number you provided to Open Polytechnic upon enrolment, as long as it’s your own, personal number.   


What data the Authenticator app collects 

If you use the Microsoft* Authenticator app for MFA, the app will collect three types of information:  

  • Account info you provide when you add your account to the app. This data can be removed by removing your account. 
  • Diagnostic log data – this stays in the app until you select ‘Send Logs’ in the app's Help menu, which send them to Microsoft. The logs contain personal data, such as your email addresses, server or IP addresses, and device data (such as device name and operating system version). This data is limited to information necessary to help the app engineers troubleshoot issues. If you want to see this information you can view these log files in the app.
  • Non-personally identifiable usage data, such as ‘started add account flow/successfully added account’ or ‘notification approved’. This data is part of Microsoft’s engineering decisions and helps them determine what features are important to you and where improvements need to be made. You, as an app user, see a notification of this data collection on the first launch of the app and are informed that it can be turned off on the app's Settings page. You can enable or disable this setting at any time. 

*If you use another type of authenticator app, the above will be in relation to that app .

Learn more about Microsoft's privacy information



You get an MFA request when you are not trying to log in 

If you are asked to approve an MFA request when you are not on your device or trying to access an application, you should:


Left your mobile phone at home 

If you don't have access to your mobile phone, if you have added a landline (such as office or home phone) for MFA you can use this to authenticate it is you logging in. 

If you did not register a landline you need to contact our Service Desk


No mobile data plan or a cellular signal 

If you use the Microsoft Authenticator app for MFA it can generate verification codes offline. It does not require a voice, text, or data plan. 


You don’t have a mobile device/phone number 

You can use a landline phone number as a form of MFA.  The landline will need to be a direct dial, that does not have an automated Welcome message. 


You don’t have a mobile or landline number 

If you have no phone number to use for MFA, please contact our Service Desk


Lost your mobile phone that you use for MFA 

While your password will still protect your account you should contact our Service Desk for help to reset your MFA.  


Changed your MFA authentication device 

Contact our Service Desk for assistance to update your device information. 


New phone number 

If you use your phone to authenticate you can update your phone number by: 

  • logging into 
  • Under View Account select Security info and follow the prompt to change your number.  

If you need help contact our Service Desk for assistance to update your phone number. 

If you still have access to the Microsoft Authenticator app you can still use it to approve your login request. 


Other questions or concerns about MFA 

If you have any other questions or concerns about MFA, please contact us