Breaches of examination rules

NZQA is responsible for upholding the integrity of examinations so takes any possible breaches of external assessment seriously.  Therefore, we may investigate any report of a possible breach in external assessments.

When a possible breach is reported

About a candidate

NZQA investigates reports of possible breaches based on the principles of natural justice. Any student who has a possible breach reported about them, has a right to:

  • a fair process and decision making
  • be informed
  • participate and be heard
  • privacy.

Where a report is received of a possible breach of external assessment conditions, NZQA requests a response (DOC, 95KB) from the student or students involved.

If this request causes any worries for you, please talk to someone for support. This could be a trusted adult at home or at your school, or in your community. You can also phone NZQA.

Your response can be emailed to NZQA electronically (DOC, 86KB) (DOC, 86KB). NZQA may then make a decision. They sometimes request to meet with the student(s) (PDF, 199KB) (PDF, 199KB) if further clarification is needed. NZQA uses an independent contractor to chair these meetings.

Decisions include taking no further action, issuing a written warning or imposing a penalty, such as having examination results withheld for the affected standards. Information giving further details on the rules and procedures about breaches for external assessment is available.

If your parent, caregiver or any other person contacts NZQA to request information or discuss any details, we will always ask for your permission first.

About another person

If a report is received of a possible breach of external assessment conditions, NZQA requests a response from the person or persons involved. This student response form can be sent to NZQA in electronic (DOC, 86KB) (DOC, 86KB) form. Upon receiving the response, NZQA may make a decision or request to meet with the person(s) (PDF, 199KB) (PDF, 199KB) for further clarification. NZQA uses an independent contractor to chair these meetings.

Decisions include taking no further action, issuing a written warning or imposing a penalty, such as having examination results withheld for the affected standards. Information giving further details on the rules and procedures about breaches for external assessment is available.

The investigative process is based on the principles of natural justice and privacy.

About external assessment conditions

Candidates receive a Candidate Information Sheet outlining Rules for candidates and Exam instructions before external assessment begins. Exam supervisors also remind candidates of Exam Instructions at the start of each examination. A list of banned items is available.  

Examples of behaviours that require a breach investigation include bringing any blank or refill paper into an examination room, using notes, talking to, communicating with or disturbing other candidates in any way, accessing a cellular phone or having or using an unauthorised electronic device during any examination.

External assessment in Visual Arts Levels 1 & 2, Cook Islands Maori, Korean, Lea Faka-Tonga and the Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT), is administered by schools. Investigation of possible breaches of the rules in these assessments is the school's responsibility, using their own policy and process.

Reporting a breach

Candidates

If you are a candidate who has witnessed a possible breach, please contact your exam supervisor, Exam Centre Manager, or Principal's Nominee. If the examination has already finished, you can still contact your Principal's Nominee.

Schools

Schools can report possible breaches of authenticity in:

  • Technology
  • Level 1, 2 and 3 Design and Visual Communication, and New Zealand Scholarship Design and Visual Communication
  • Level 3 Education for Sustainability
  • Level 3 Visual Arts
  • New Zealand Scholarship Dance
  • New Zealand Scholarship Drama
  • New Zealand Scholarship Music
  • New Zealand Scholarship Physical Education

by completing either the electronic (DOCX, 50KB) or written (DOC, 75KB) Possible Authenticity Breach Non-examination Subject form. Check instructions (and the relevant subject webpage) before completing and submitting form.

Exam Centre Managers and Supervisors

Exam Centre Managers and supervisors report an alleged breach to NZQA by completing and emailing the electronic breach form (DOCX, 42KB) to breaches@nzqa.govt.nz or completing the written breach report form (DOCX, 46KB) and scanning and emailing it to breaches@nzqa.govt.nz. Note that a hand-signed copy can also be posted to:

Breaches
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
PO Box 160
Wellington 6140

Markers

Markers can report a possible breach to NZQA by completing the marker irregular answer book form (DOC, 66KB) and sending a signed copy along with any examination booklet/s to the:

Subject NAF
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
PO Box 160
Wellington 6140.

Enquiries

Please refer any enquiries relating to breaches to breaches@nzqa.govt.nz

Geoff Meadows
School Relationship Manager
Telephone:
04 463 4394
Or Karen Eder
School Relationship Manager
Telephone:
04 463 4358
   

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