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Malpractice & Maladministration Policy

Malpractice and Maladministration Policy

CTSW Skills Ltd treats all cases of suspected malpractice* very seriously and will investigate all suspected and reported incidents of possible malpractice. 

 

The purpose of this Policy is to set out how allegations of malpractice in relation to all qualifications are dealt with. The scope of the policy is to provide:

  • a definition of malpractice

  • examples of learner and centre malpractice and maladministration

  • possible sanctions that may be imposed in cases of malpractice.

 

*The term ‘malpractice’ in this policy is used for both malpractice and maladministration.

 

Introduction

For the purpose of this document ‘malpractice’ is defined as; Any act, or failure to act, that threatens or compromises the integrity of the assessment process or the validity of all qualifications and their certification. 

 

This includes: maladministration and the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems; the deliberate falsification of records or documents for any reason connected to the award of all qualifications; acts of plagiarism or other academic misconduct; and/or actions that compromise the reputation or authority of CTSW Skills Ltd or of awarding organisations, its centres, tutors, assessors, internal quality assurers and employees.

 

CTSW Skills Ltd will report all relevant cases of suspected malpractice to the relevant awarding organisation, accepting that in certain circumstances the relevant awarding organisation may take action of its own, including imposing sanctions.

Malpractice by Learners

Some examples of learner malpractice are described below. These examples are not exhaustive and all incidents of suspected malpractice, whether or not described below, will be fully investigated, where there are sufficient grounds to do so.

  • Obtaining examination or assessment material without authorisation.

  • Arranging for an individual other than the learner to sit an assessment or to submit an assignment not undertaken by the learner.

  • Impersonating another learner to sit an assessment or to submit an assignment on their behalf.

  • Collaborating with another learner or individual, by any means, to complete a coursework assignment or assessment, unless it has been clearly stated that such collaboration is permitted.

  • Damaging another learner’s work.

  • Inclusion of inappropriate or offensive material in coursework assignments or assessment scripts.

  • Failure to comply with published relevant awarding organisation examination regulations.

  • Disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct, including the use of offensive language, at centre or assessment venue (including aggressive or offensive language or behaviour).

  • Producing, using or allowing the use of forged or falsified documentation, including but not limited to:

  1. personal identification;

  2. supporting evidence provided for reasonable adjustment or special consideration applications; and

  3. The relevant awarding organisations’ results documentation, including certificates.

  • Falsely obtaining, by any means, any certification.

  • Misrepresentation or plagiarism

  • Fraudulent claims for  special consideration whilst studying.

  • Possession of any materials not permitted in the assessment room, regardless of whether or not they are relevant to the assessment, or whether or not the learner refers to them during the assessment process, for example; notes, blank paper, electronic devices including mobile phones, personal organisers, books, dictionaries / calculators (when prohibited).

  • Communicating in any form, for example verbally or electronically, with other learners in the assessment room when it is prohibited.

  • Copying the work of another learner or knowingly allowing another learner to copy from their own work.

  • Failure to comply with instructions given by the assessment invigilator, ie, working beyond the allocated time; refusing to hand in assessment script / paper when requested; not adhering to warnings relating to conduct during the assessment.

 

Malpractice by Centre Employees and Stakeholders

Examples of malpractice by tutors, assessors, internal quality assurers and other invigilators, (including, where the centre is also an examination centre, invigilators and examination administrators) are listed below. 

 

These examples are not exhaustive and all incidents of suspected malpractice, whether or not described below, will be fully investigated, where there are sufficient grounds to do so.

  • Failure to adhere to the relevant awarding organisations’ regulations and procedures, including those relating to centre approval, security undertaking and monitoring requirements as set out by the relevant awarding organisation.

  • Knowingly allowing an individual to impersonate a learner.

  • Allowing a learner to copy another learner’s assignment work, or allowing a learner to let their own work be copied.

  • Allowing learners to work collaboratively during an assignment assessment, unless specified in the assignment brief.

  • Completing an assessed assignment for a learner or providing them with assistance beyond that ‘normally’ expected.

  • Damaging a learner’s work.

  • Disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct, including the use of offensive language (including aggressive or offensive language or behaviour).

  • Allowing disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct at the centre to go unchallenged, for example, aggressive or offensive language or behaviour.

  • Divulging any information relating to learner performance and / or results to anyone other than the learner.

  • Producing, using or allowing the use of forged or falsified documentation, including but not limited to:

  1. personal identification;

  2. supporting evidence provided for reasonable adjustment or special consideration applications; and

  3. results documentation, including certificates 

  • Falsely obtaining by any means any certification.

  • Failing to report a suspected case of learner malpractice, including plagiarism, to the relevant awarding organisation.

  • Moving the time or date of a fixed examination.

  • Failure to keep examination question papers, examination scripts or other assessment materials secure, before during or after an examination.

  • Allowing a learner to possess and / or use material or electronic devices that are not permitted in the examination room.

  • Allowing learners to communicate by any means during an examination in breach of regulations.

  • Allowing a learner to work beyond the allotted examination time.

  • Leaving learners unsupervised during an examination.

  • Assisting or prompting learners with the production of answers.

Possible Malpractice Sanctions

Following an investigation, if a case of malpractice is upheld, CTSW Skills Ltd   may impose sanctions or other penalties on the individual(s) concerned. 

 

Where relevant we will report the matter to the relevant awarding organisation, which may impose one or more sanctions upon the individual(s) concerned. Any sanctions imposed will reflect the seriousness of the malpractice that has occurred.

 

Listed below are examples of sanctions that may be applied to a learner, student, or to a tutor, invigilator or other invigilator who has had a case of malpractice upheld against them. 

 

Please note that 

i) this list is not exhaustive and other sanctions may be applied on a case-by-case basis.

ii) where the malpractice affects examination performance, the relevant awarding organisation may impose sanctions of its own.

 

Possible study centre sanctions that may be applied to learners

  1. A written warning about future conduct.

  2. Notification to an employer, regulator or the Police.

  3. Removal from the course.

 

Possible sanctions that may be applied to tutors, invigilators, and other invigilators

  1. A written warning about future conduct.

  2. Imposition of special conditions for the future involvement of the individual(s) in the conduct, teaching, supervision or administration of learners and/or examinations.

  3. Informing any other organisation known to employ the individual in relation to the relevant awarding organisation’s courses or examinations of the outcome of the case. 

  4. CTSW Skills Ltd may carry out unannounced monitoring of the working practices of the individual(s) concerned.

  5. Dismissal. 

 

Reporting a Suspected Case of Malpractice

This process applies to tutors, invigilators, learners and other centre staff, and to any reporting of malpractice by a third party or individual.  

 

We understand that the individual reporting the allegation may wish to remain anonymous due to concerns about possible adverse consequences.  

 

Whilst we will endeavour to do this, we will inform you if there is a need to waiver your right to anonymity before we do so.

 

Any case of suspected malpractice should be reported in the first instance to Anne Willis.

 

A written report should be sent to Anne Willis clearly identifying the factual information, including statements from other individuals involved and / or affected, any evidence obtained, and the actions that have been taken in relation to the incident.

 

Suspected malpractice must be reported as soon as possible, at the latest, within two working days from its discovery. Where the suspected malpractice has taken place in an examination, the incident must be reported urgently, and the appropriate steps taken as specified by the relevant awarding organisation.

 

Wherever possible, and provided other learners are not disrupted by doing so, a learner suspected of malpractice should be warned immediately that their actions may constitute malpractice, and that a report will be made to the centre.

 

In cases of suspected malpractice by centre tutors, invigilators and other invigilators, and any reporting of malpractice by a third party or individual who wishes to remain anonymous, the report made should include as much information as possible, including the following:

  1. the date, time and place the alleged malpractice took place, if known. 

  2. the name of the centre tutor, invigilator or other person(s) involved

  3. a description of the suspected malpractice; and

  4. any available supporting evidence.

 

In cases of suspected malpractice reported by a third party, or an individual who wishes to remain anonymous, CTSW Skills Ltd will take all reasonable steps to authenticate the reported information and to investigate the alleged malpractice.

Administering Suspected Cases of Malpractice

CTSW Skills Ltd will investigate each case of suspected or reported malpractice relating to qualifications, to ascertain whether malpractice has occurred. 

 

The investigation will aim to establish the full facts and circumstances. We will promptly take all reasonable steps to prevent any adverse effect that may arise as a result of the malpractice, or to mitigate any adverse effect, as far as possible, and to correct it to make sure that any action necessary to maintain the integrity of qualifications and reputation is taken.

 

CTSW Skills Ltd will acknowledge all reports of suspected malpractice within five working days. All of the parties involved in the case will then be contacted within ten working days of receipt of the report detailing the suspected malpractice. We may also contact other individuals who may be able to provide evidence relevant to the case.

 

The individual(s) concerned will be informed of the following:

  1. that an investigation is going to take place, and the grounds for that investigation;

  2. details of all the relevant timescales, and dates, where known;

  3. that they have a right to respond by providing a personal written response relating to the suspected malpractice (within 15 working days of the date of that letter);

  4. That, if malpractice is considered proven, sanctions may be imposed either by CTSW Skills Ltd or by the relevant awarding body, that, if they are found guilty, they have the right to appeal.

  5. That CTSW Skills Ltd has a duty to inform the relevant awarding organisation and other relevant authorities / regulators, but only after time for the appeal has passed or the appeal process has been completed. This may also include informing the Police if the law has been broken and to comply with any other appropriate legislation.

 

Where more than one individual is contacted regarding a case of suspected malpractice, for example in a case involving suspected collusion, we will contact each individual separately, and will not reveal personal data to any third party unless necessary for the purpose of the investigation.

 

The individual has a right to appeal against a malpractice outcome if they believe that the policy or procedure has not been followed properly or has been implemented to their detriment.

 

Records of all malpractice cases and their outcomes are maintained for a period of at least five years and are subject to regular monitoring and review.