Graduation SOP

To be read in conjunction with

Graduation Policy

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learner Experience
Baldrige Criteria

1.           Prior to each graduation ceremony, the Academic Registry Team confirm the list of eligible graduands obtained from the Learner Management System with the appropriate staff from each School/College. Any additions and alterations to the graduation list must be notified to Academic Registry no later than 10 working days prior to graduation.

2.          The official graduation ceremony book is compiled listing all approved graduating learners including those graduating in absentia and those whose qualification was released early.

3.          All graduating learners must have paid their fees and/or any other debt (subject to Otago Polytechnic Ltd debt processes) to Otago Polytechnic Ltd in full at least two weeks prior to the ceremony they are attending.

3.1.         Learners will be prevented from graduating or receiving their awards until the debt has been cleared. The term 'fees' relates to any money owed to the Polytechnic or any agency of the Polytechnic and includes, but is not limited to:

  • Tuition fees
  • Material fees
  • Childcare fees
  • Learner Health fees
  • Fees and fines related to study (e.g. Library, University Proctor)

3.2.         Responsibility for checking debt status lies with Academic Registry.

4.          Learners must register to participate in the graduation ceremony on the online graduation invitation form (emailed to eligible learners and available on the Otago Polytechnic Ltd website) by the due date.

5.          Learners must indicate on the graduation invitation form which ceremony they wish to attend. Learners may only attend one graduation ceremony and it would usually be within 18 months of completing the requirements of their award.

6.          Provision will be made to ensure that any learners and staff with an impairment are able to access the graduation stage area in a dignified manner, and as independently as possible. Exceptions to crossing the stage must be notified to the Graduation Coordinator by the Head of College.

7.          Learners receiving two awards from the same school will cross the stage once for the higher award. The process for learners receiving awards from different schools will be managed by the Graduation Coordinator in consultation with the Associate Director Quality.


8.          Academic Dress at Graduation Ceremonies

8.1.         All graduands are required to wear the academic regalia required for the qualification they are graduating with. A hire fee will be charged.

8.2.         Information on pick up and return of graduand gowns is available on the Otago Polytechnic Ltd website which is updated annually.

8.3.         If regalia is not returned by the due date and ensuing efforts to obtain the regalia are not successful, an invoice for the replacement cost of the regalia will be generated and sent to the learner concerned. Failure to return the regalia or to pay the invoice will result in the debt being forwarded to our debt collection agency.

8.4.         Academic and administrative staff of the Polytechnic are required to wear the academic regalia to which they are entitled when participating in graduation ceremonies.

8.5.         Where the qualification(s) held by academic and administration staff of the Polytechnic do not have recognised regalia entitlement, these staff are required to wear approved equivalent academic regalia appropriate to their qualifications. The decision for which equivalent regalia will be the responsibility of the DCE: Learner Experience.

8.6.         Academic and administrative staff of the Polytechnic without academic regalia entitlement or equivalence are required to wear semi-formal business attire or appropriate cultural attire.


8.7.         Approved Regalia

 Graduation SOP Approved Regalia


8.8.         Graduands will carry the headwear for the degree they are being awarded onto the stage, irrespective of previous degrees. Staff and learners can wear the headgear of the previous degrees whilst entering and sitting at the ceremony but must remove it to walk across the stage if they are having a degree conferred.


8.9.         Multiple qualifications

8.9.1.    Graduands will wear the approved regalia for the highest qualification they are graduating for on that day.

8.9.2.    Where a double qualification of equal value is being awarded, the graduate may wear either approved regalia.

8.9.3.    The colours of facings and hoods represent qualification areas. New qualifications areas will be allocated colours from the existing range and there will be consultation on the suitability of colours.


8.10.         Diploma/Degree/Facing Colours/Hoods

Graduation SOP Diploma Degree Facing Colours Hoods


megan gibbons signature

Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive