Microsoft Word – P7 Malpractice and Mal adminstration policy Policy V20.docx
Admission Officer / Registrar
Head of Quality, Senior Administrator, Vice Principal
Principal and Vice Principal July 2012
30th November 2024
This policy is aimed at our customers, including learners, who are delivering/registered at London Institute of Management and Technology (LIMT) programmes or courses, approved qualifications or units within or outside the UK and who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice/maladministration. It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all malpractice and maladministration investigations in a consistent manner.
It sets out the steps our centre, and learners or other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice/maladministration and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases. It also sets out the procedural steps we will follow when reviewing the cases.
Definition of Malpractice
Malpractice is essentially any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of the internal or external assessment process and/or the validity of certificates.
It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:
- the assessment process;
- the integrity of a regulated qualification;
- the validity of a result or certificate;
- the reputation and credibility of LIMT; or,
- the qualification or the wider qualifications community. Malpractice may include a range of issues from the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems, to the deliberate falsification of records in order to claim 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.
Any suspected malpractice seen to take place during the examination must be dealt in a manner which avoids disruption to other candidates.
In the case of a serious case of malpractice candidates should be removed from the examination, another invigilator should take the place of the current invigilator in the examination room and the candidate must be told that their actions have lead to them being disqualified from the examinations.
Examples of serious malpractice include the following:
- Open communication between candidates regarding the examination paper
- The use of notes in examinations which do not allow notes
- The use of an electronic device during the examination in a method which would have aided them in an examination (unless said device is allowed for this examination)
- Coping of other students work
- Serious disruption of other candidates (e.g. shouting, fighting, provocation, damage to college property)
- Plagiarism by learners Minor malpractice In cases of minor malpractice the candidate may be given a verbal warning about their actions which must be noted in the Invigilation Record Sheet. The candidate will be allowed to continue the examination as long as their actions do not continue. The candidate must be warned that these actions will be taken into account when their paper is graded. Examples of minor malpractice include the following:
- Repeated eye contact with other candidates
- Short communication with a candidate of a non-examination nature
- Excessive bathroom breaks (without medical reason)
- Minor disruption of other students (noises, moving of chair, touching) Invigilators must gage whether the disturbance was an attempt at serious malpractice or minor, in either case the event must be noted in the invigilation record sheet. Exam paper If a candidate is expelled from the exam their paper must be kept and marked “Malpractice”. A copy should be passed along with the Invigilation Record Sheet to the examinations officer. Definition of Maladministration 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.
Examples of maladministration
- Persistent failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.
- Persistent failure to adhere to our 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 LIMT
- 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, from us which is required to assure Active
- Failure to carry out internal assessment, internal moderation or internal verification in accordance with our requirements
- Deliberate failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.
- Deliberate failure to continually adhere to our centre recognition and/or qualification approval requirements or actions assigned to your centre
- Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence
- Fraudulent claim(s) for certificates
- Intentional withholding of information from us which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance and standards of qualifications
- Collusion or permitting collusion in exams/assessments
- Certification claims while Learners still working towards qualification
- Plagiarism by learners/staff
- Copying from another learner (including using ICT to do so). Process for making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately notify the Principal of college. In doing so they should put them in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence.
- All allegations must include (where possible):
- Learner’s name and LIMT registration number
- LIMT staff members name and job role – if they are involved in the case
- Details of the course/qualification affected or nature of the service affected
- Nature of the suspected or actual malpractice and associated dates details and outcome of any initial investigation carried out by the centre or anybody else involved in the case, including any mitigating circumstances
The Principal will then conduct an initial investigation prior to ensure that staffs involved in the initial investigation are competent and have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation.
In all cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration reported we’ll 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. Although it is always preferable to reveal your identity and contact details to us; however if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences you may request that the Directors do not divulge your identity.
While we are prepared to investigate issues which are reported to us anonymously we shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those the allegation relates.
Responsibility for the investigation
In accordance with regulatory requirements all suspected cases of maladministration and malpractice will be examined promptly by LIMT to establish if malpractice or maladministration has occurred and will take all reasonable steps to prevent any adverse effect from the occurrence as defined by Ofqual.
We will acknowledge receipt, as appropriate, to external parties within 48 hours.
Our Principal 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 will allocate a relevant member of staff to lead the investigation and establish whether or not the malpractice or maladministration has occurred, and review any supporting evidence received or gathered by LIMT.
Notifying relevant parties
Where applicable, our Principal will inform the appropriate regulatory authorities if we believe there has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration which could either invalidate the award of a qualification or if it could affect another awarding organisation.
Where the allegation may affect another awarding organisation and their provision we will also inform them in accordance with the regulatory requirements and obligations imposed by the regulator Ofqual.
Investigation timelines and summary process
We 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 whetherany 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
- To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered learners and to preserve the integrity of LIMT and the qualification.
- To identify any adverse patterns or trends.
The investigation may involve a request for further information from relevant parties and/or interviews with personnel involved in the investigation. Therefore, we will:
- Ensure all material collected as part of an investigation must be kept secure.
- If an investigation leads to invalidation of certificates, or criminal or civil prosecution, all records and original documentation relating to the case will be retained until the case and any appeals have been heard and for five years thereafter.
- Expect all parties, who are either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation, to fully co- operate with us. Either at notification of a suspected or actual case of malpractice or maladministration and/or at any time during the investigation, we reserve the right to withhold a learner’s, and/or cohort’s, results. Where a staff member of LIMT or an LIMT associate is involved and under investigation we suspend them or move them to other duties until the investigation is complete. Throughout the investigation Principal will be responsible for overseeing the work of the investigation team to ensure that due process is being followed, appropriate evidence has been gathered and reviewed and for liaising with and keeping informed relevant external parties.