Authenticity processes for externally assessed standards

The process used to manage authenticity of student work in external assessments is dependant on how the standard is assessed.

1. In timetabled external exam sessions NZQA supervisors manage identified authenticity issues. 

2. In external assessments where teachers mark the students work then send a sample to NZQA for verification (eg L1 Visual Art, MCAT, Cook Islands Maori), the school must use its own policies on authenticity and breaches to investigate any possible issues and the outcome where a breach is found. The 2014 Principal’s Nominee seminar provided information to help schools with this.

3. In the following non-examination external assessments where all submissions are sent to NZQA for marking:

  • Scholarship Dance, Drama, Music, DVC, Technology, Visual Arts and NCEA DVC and Technology
  • NCEA Level 3 Education for Sustainability, and Level 3 Visual Arts

Where the school identifies a possible authenticity breach, NZQA investigates and decides the outcome.

For these non-examination externals, candidates may submit work for assessment even if the teacher does not verify that it is authentic.  Where the teacher and the PN do not verify the authenticity of a candidate’s work they must:

  • inform the candidate(s) that the school is going to report a possible breach of authenticity to NZQA
  • complete the External Assessment Submission Possible Authenticity Breach Report as either handwritten (DOC, 76KB) or electronic (DOCX, 50KB) submissions
  • post the report to Breaches, Level 15, NZQA, PO Box 160, Wellington 6140 or email to

For 2014, this is a change of process for all of the above subjects.

Authenticity requirements for non-examination external assessment also provides advice and guidance.

Experience shows that effective authenticity processes are those where teachers

  • actively teach students about the expectations of authentic work for the specific standard, including referencing etc.
  • provide students with written information about authenticity expectations and timelines for production of the work
  • set checkpoints to view work in production 
  • document where students meet checkpoints
  • write to students and parents where checkpoints are not met advising that this means the school may not be able to verify the authenticity of the work
  • ensure students understand the implications of signing the authenticity declaration
  • complete the process well before the submission date.

When NZQA receives a Possible Authenticity Breach Report from a school, we carry out an investigation. This includes providing the candidate with a copy of the school's report.

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