Plagiarism and Assessment Malpractice Policy for Staff and Learners

Purpose/scope

  • That we have policies and procedures in place to deal with malpractice.
  • To ensure that issues are dealt with in an open, fair and effective manner.
  • That centres provide appropriate deterrents and sanctions to minimise the risk of malpractice.

Definitions/terminology

Learner Malpractice: Any action by the learner which has the potential to undermine the integrity and validity of the assessment of the learner’s work (plagiarism, collusion, cheating, etc.).

Assessor Malpractice: Any deliberate action by an assessor which has the potential to undermine the integrity of qualifications.

Plagiarism: Taking and using another’s thoughts, writings, inventions, etc. as one’s own.

Minor Acts of Learner Malpractice: Handled by the assessor by, for example, refusal to accept for marking and learner being made aware of malpractice policy. Learner resubmits work in question.

Major Acts of Learner Malpractice: Extensive copying/plagiarism, 2nd or subsequent offence, inappropriate for assessor to deal with.

Responsibilities

  • Centre: Should seek proactive ways to promote a positive culture that encourages learners to take individual responsibility for their learning and respect the work of others.
  • Assessor: Responsible for designing assessment opportunities which limit the opportunity for malpractice and for checking the validity of the learner’s work.
  • Internal Verifier: Responsible for malpractice checks when internally verifying work.
  • Head of Centre or their nominees: Required to inform the awarding organisation of any acts of malpractice. Responsible for any investigation into allegations of malpractice.

Procedures

The Centre will address potential learner malpractice in the following ways:

  • Promote positive and honest study practices.
  • Ask learners to declare that work is their own: check the validity of their work.
  • Use learner induction and handbook to inform about malpractice and outcomes.
  • Ensure learners use appropriate citations and referencing for research sources.
  • Assessment procedures should help reduce and identify malpractice.

Definition of malpractice by learners

This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by this centre at its discretion:

  • Plagiarism of any nature.
  • Collusion by working collaboratively with other learners to produce work that is submitted as individual learner work.
  • Copying.
  • Deliberate destruction of another’s work.
  • Fabrication of results or evidence.
  • False declaration of authenticity in relation to the contents of a portfolio or coursework.
  • Impersonation by pretending to be someone else in order to produce the work for another or arranging for another to take one’s place in an assessment/examination/test.

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