Scope of the policy
This policy is relevant to all Educating UK customers, learners and staff members who are using, delivering, assessing or undertaking a qualification through Educating UK. The policy relates to any person (s) who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice.
Educating UK will review this policy annually in line with self-assessment arrangements. This policy will be also be revised as and when necessary, in response to customer and learner feedback or good practice guidance issued by an awarding organisation or other regulatory body.
Location of the Policy
This policy is available for all staff members, third parties and learners to access.
Communication of the Policy
Every staff member involved in the management, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of qualifications offered by Educating UK, shall be made aware of this policy during their induction period of employment. Learners undertaking Educating UK qualifications shall be informed of this policy during their induction process.
Purpose of the policy
The purpose of this policy is to set out the steps to follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice and maladministration. It is also in place to review those processes which led to the suspected or actual case of malpractice and/or maladministration and to support any investigations.
As an approved centre of awarding organisations, regulated by Ofqual, Educating UK will act upon any reports of suspected or actual cases of malpractice and/or maladministration that we receive regarding our staff or learners, which may affect the integrity of any qualifications and quality assurance systems in place.
Statement of Principles
Definitions of Malpractice:
Malpractice is any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of the assessment process and/or the validity of certificates. For the purpose of this policy this term also covers professional misconduct.
Definition of Maladministration:
Maladministration is 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 (e.g. inappropriate learner records).
The categories listed below are examples of malpractice and maladministration.
Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are for use as guidance:
- Plagiarism of any nature by learners
- Forgery of evidence
- Exam irregularities of any nature by learners
- Exam irregularities of any nature by staff
- Submission of false information to gain a proxy or a qualification
- Discriminatory, bullying or harassing behaviour
- Unprofessional conduct
- Behaviour likely to endanger the health or safety of the public
- Falsifying assessment and/or exam records
- Falsifying administration records
Any person identifying or suspecting cases of malpractice and/or maladministration should report them to a senior staff member of Educating UK to investigate.
If senior staff members are suspected of being involved in malpractice and /or maladministration, the relevant awarding organisation must be contacted directly.
Educating UK will investigate all suspected and actual cases of maladministration/ malpractice.
If an investigation finds evidence of malpractice or maladministration, Educating UK will have to take the necessary steps to ensure that the learners’ interests are protected as far as is reasonably possible.
Reports into malpractice and/or maladministration must include:
- the learner (s) name
- staff members details (name, job role)
- The title of the qualification affected or nature of the service affected
- The date(s) suspected or actual malpractice and/or maladministration occurred
- The full nature of the suspected or actual malpractice and/or maladministration
Educating UK will acknowledge any reports relating to maladministration/ malpractice within two working days of receipt. Educating UK will:
- arrange for appropriate personnel to review the report and commence the investigation
- aim to action and resolve all investigations within 7 working days of receipt of the report
- advise on the outcome of our investigation within 2 working days of making our decision
- report any suspected or actual incidents of malpractice and/or maladministration to the relevant awarding organisation
Any cases of suspected or actual maladministration or malpractice will be investigated by a relevant manager, appointed by the Senior Management Team.
The Investigation Process
An investigation may involve:
- A request for further information
- Interviews (face to face or by telephone) with personnel involved in the investigation
- informed decisions being made based on the evidence provided
- the protection of the identity of the ‘informant’ if required.
As part of Educating UK’s approved centre status with awarding organisations, any relevant awarding organisation must be informed any investigations and reports produced from investigations into suspected or actual cases of maladministration/ malpractice. All documents relating to investigations will be given to the relevant awarding organisation, who may in turn wish to undertake their own investigation, inline with their own policies and procedures relating to malpractice and maladministration
If an investigation confirms that leaner malpractice has taken place, Educating UK have no alternative but to impose one or more of the following sanctions on the learner.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive:
- Disallowing all or part of the learner’s assessment evidence
- Disallowing a learner to undertake an exam or complete a qualification
- Disallowing all or part of the learner’s external assessment marks
- Not requesting the learner’s certificate(s) from the awarding organisation
Learners are able to appeal any outcome of a malpractice investigation, in line with Educating UK’s Appeals Policy.
It is as the discretion of individual tutors at Educating UK whether they enable a learner to re-submit evidence for a qualification, if actual or suspected plagiarism or any form of malpractice has occurred.
A learner may be given the opportunity to resubmit their evidence once, at the discretion of their tutor.
Any further re-submission of work, for whatever reason, above and beyond the first re-submission of evidence will be charged at £30.
Educating UK reserve the right to terminate any learner’s access to Educating UK qualifications, whether they have paid the full qualification fee or not, due to suspected or proven incidents of plagiarism or mal-practice.
A learner will not receive a refund for their qualification fee or any monies paid (such as instalments) if they have been terminated from completing an Educating UK qualification due to plagiarism or malpractice – either proven or suspected.
If a learner is to be removed from an Educating UK qualification due to suspected or proven incidents of plagiarism or malpractice, they will be given written notice of this.
A tutor must inform the Educating UK IQA of suspected or proven incidents of plagiarism or malpractice.
An Educating UK tutor will decide if a learner is to be allowed to re-submit their work or if they are to be removed from their qualification, without a refund of their qualification fee or any instalments paid by a learner.
If work is to be re-submitted, it must be received by the tutor within three days of the notification from the tutor that their work is suspected or proven to have been plagiarised or malpractice has occurred.
If a learner is allowed to proceed on an Educating UK qualification after an incident of proven or suspected plagiarism or malpractice has been identified, any future or further issues of plagiarism or malpractice, whether suspected or proven, will result in the immediate removal of the learner from their Educating qualification. No refund of any monies paid by a learner, either the full qualification fee or instalments, will be returned to the learner.
All prover or suspected cased of plagiarism must be reported to the relevant awarding organisation.
By enrolling onto an Educating UK qualification, a learner is agreeing to the terms and conditions within this policy.