Policies & Procedures

Malpractice & Maladmin Policy

Introduction

This policy is aimed at everyone delivering or involved in training or assessing learning at CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training. This policy will lay out the procedure for reporting, investigating and actions in the event of suspected malpractice or maladministration. 

Definitions

Malpractice is any deliberate activity, neglect, default or other practice that compromises the integrity of the assessment process and/or the validity of certificates.

For the purpose of this policy this term also covers misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain or groups of learners.

Maladministration is essentially any activity or practice which results in non-compliance with administrative regulations and requirements and includes the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration within a centre.

 

Examples of maladministration

The categories listed below are examples of maladministration. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of maladministration:

 

• Persistent failure to adhere to CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training centre recognition and/or qualification requirements and/or associated actions assigned to the centre

• Late learner registrations (both infrequent and persistent)

• Unreasonable delays in responding to requests and/or communications from CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training

• Inaccurate claim for certificates

• Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence

• Withholding of information, by deliberate act or omission, which is required to assure CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training of the centre’s and associated third parties’ ability to deliver qualifications appropriately

• Misuse of CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training logo and trademarks or misrepresentation of a centre’s relationship with CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training and/or its recognition and approval status with CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training

 

Examples of malpractice

The categories listed below are examples of malpractice.

 

Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training definition of malpractice:

• Persistent instances of maladministration within the centre following notification or warning, or reasonably to have known about it and continued with it.

• Denial of access to premises, records, information, learners and staff to any authorised CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training representative and/or the regulatory authorities

• Failure to carry out invigilation, internal assessment, internal moderation or internal or verification in accordance with 1st Leap Training Ltd requirements

• Deliberate failure to adhere to CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training learner registration and certification procedures.

• Deliberate failure to continually adhere to our centre recognition and/or qualification approval requirements or actions assigned to centres

• Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. examination registration / certification claims and/or forgery of evidence

• Fraudulent claim for certificates

• The unauthorised use of inappropriate materials / equipment in assessment settings (e.g. mobile phones)

• Intentional withholding of information from CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance and standards of qualifications

• Deliberate misuse of CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training logo and trademarks or misrepresentation of a centre’s relationship with CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training and/or its recognition and approval status with CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training

• Collusion or permitting collusion in exams/assessments

• Learners still working towards qualification after certification claims have been made

• Deliberate contravention by our a centre and/or its learners of the assessment arrangements we specify for our qualifications

• A loss, theft of, or a breach of confidentiality in, any assessment materials

• Plagiarism by learners/staff

• Copying from another candidate (including using ICT to do so).

• Unauthorised amendment, copying or distributing of exam/assessment papers/materials

• Inappropriate assistance to learners (e.g. unfairly helping them to pass a unit or qualification)

• Deliberate submission of false information to gain a qualification or unit.

 

The centre should ensure that staff involved in the initial investigation are competent and have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation. However, it is important to note that in all instances the centre must immediately notify CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training if malpractice is suspected or maladministration has occurred as CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training have a responsibility to the regulatory authorities to ensure that all investigations are carried out rigorously and effectively.

In all cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration reported to CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training we will protect the identity of the ‘informant’ in accordance with our duty of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

 

Confidentiality and whistle blowing

 

Sometimes a person making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration may wish to remain anonymous. It is preferable to reveal identity and contact details to CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training. If there are concerns about possible adverse consequences a request to CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training can be made not to divulge your identity. CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training are not obliged (as recommended by the regulator Ofqual) to disclose your personal information if to do so would be a breach of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

 

Whilst CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training is prepared to investigate issues which are reported to us anonymously and/ or by whistle-blowers CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those the complaint/allegation relates.

Responsibility for the investigation

 

In accordance with regulatory requirements all suspected cases of maladministration and malpractice will be examined promptly by CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training to establish if malpractice or maladministration has occurred and will take all reasonable steps to prevent any adverse effect from occurring as defined by the regulator Ofqual.

All suspected cases of malpractice and maladministration will be fully investigated, and receipt will be acknowledged within 2 working days.

The Centre Manager or Lead Internal Verifier will be responsible for ensuring the investigation is carried out in a prompt and effective manner and in accordance with the procedures in this policy and establish whether or not the malpractice or maladministration has occurred, and review any supporting evidence received.

At all times CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training will ensure that personnel assigned to the investigation have the appropriate level of training and competence, and that they have had no previous involvement or personal interest in the matter.

 

Investigation timelines and summary process

 

CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training aim to action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 10 working days of receipt of the allegation.

The fundamental principle of all investigations is to conduct them in a fair, reasonable and legal manner, ensuring that all relevant evidence is considered without bias. In doing so investigations will be based around the following broad objectives:

• To establish the facts relating to allegations/complaints in order to determine whether any irregularities have occurred

• To identify the cause of the irregularities and those involved

• To establish the scale of the irregularities

• To evaluate any action already taken by the centre

• To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered learners and to preserve the integrity of the qualification

• To identify any adverse patterns or trends

Therefore, CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training will:

• Ensure all material collected as part of an investigation is kept secure. All records and original documentation concerning a completed investigation will be retained for a period of not less than five years.

• Expect all parties, who are either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation, to fully cooperate with us.

 

CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training defines whistle-blowers as being current or ex members of staff (either permanent or contracted) or third-party suppliers of a centre or CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training and/or current or previous learners

 

Where a member of CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training’s staff is under investigation we may suspend them or move them to other duties until the investigation is complete.

 

Investigation report

After an investigation, CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training will produce a draft report for relevant parties concerned to check the factual accuracy where appropriate. Any subsequent amendments will be agreed between the parties concerned and CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training. The report will:

• Identify where the breach, if any, occurred.

• Confirm the facts of the case.

• Identify who is responsible for the breach (if any)

• Confirm an appropriate level of remedial action to be applied.

CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training will make the final report available to the parties concerned and to the regulatory authorities and other external agencies as required.

If it was an independent/third party that notified CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training of the suspected or actual case of malpractice, they will be informed of the outcome – normally within 10 working days of making the decision - in doing so some details may be withheld if to disclose such information would breach a duty of confidentiality or any other legal duty.

If it is an internal investigation against a member of CTSW Skills/1st Leap Training staff the report will be agreed by the Centre Manager with the relevant internal managers and appropriate internal disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

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