Malpractice and Maladministration Policy


1. Introduction

The policy sets out the steps that staff, leaders, administrators, participants and other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice and/or maladministration and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases. It also sets out the procedural steps we will follow when reviewing the cases.

2. Scope

The following policy and procedures apply to any person i.e., members of staff, facilitators, assessors, moderators, leaders, administrators or participants involved in the organisation, delivery and assessments and relates to suspected malpractice and/or maladministration. This policy also covers the misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain or groups of participants.

3. Responsibilities

It is important that all staff involved in the management, assessment and quality assurance are fully aware of the contents of this policy and have arrangements in place to prevent and investigate instances of malpractice and maladministration.

4. Expectations

All Students are expected to:

  • attend induction
  • attend study skills sessions that are relevant to developing their note-taking, paraphrasing, synthesising and referencing skills;
  • avoid sharing electronic versions of their work and passwords with other students; only submit work for assessment that is their own original work.

All Assessors are expected to:

  • declare conflict of interest;
  • communicate the HE Malpractice and Maladministration Policy to students during course induction with emphasis on plagiarism and essay mills;
  • keep candidate coursework/portfolios of evidence secure;
  • work within the professional teaching standards in relation to assessment practices; check for malpractice/maladministration when assessing or moderating work;
  • comply with awarding bodies procedures;

All Centre Staff are expected to:

  • declare conflict of interest;
  • comply with the invigilation code of practice;
  • communicate the HE Malpractice and Maladministration Policy to staff (including agency staff) during induction;
  • comply with awarding bodies procedures;
  1. Definitions and examples
  2. Definition of malpractice:

Malpractice is essentially any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of the delivery and assessment processes and/or the validity of the QAP accreditation and certification.

It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise the integrity and validity of the:

  1. Content & assessment framework
  2. Course administration and support
  3. Course delivery and participation
  4. Assessment, moderation, quality assurance and outcomes processes
  5. The reputation and credibility of Kenosis Beauty Institute as well as their partners and associates

Malpractice may also 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.

  1. Examples of malpractice
  2. Failure to carry out internal assessment, internal moderation or internal verification in accordance with our requirements
  3. Deliberate failure to adhere to our participant registration and certification procedures
  4. Deliberate failure to continually adhere to our qualification approval requirements or actions assigned to an office, group or individual
  5. Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence
  6. Fraudulent claim(s) for certificates
  7. Intentional withholding of information from Kenosis Beauty Institute which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance and standards of qualifications
  8. Collusion or permitting collusion in examinations/assessments
  9. Participants still working towards qualification after certification claims have been made
  10. Plagiarism
  11. Copying from another participant (including using ICT to do so).

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.

  1. Examples of maladministration
  1. Persistent failure to adhere to our participant registration and certification procedures. 
  1. Persistent failure to adhere to our centre recognition and/or qualification requirements
  1. Late participant registrations (both infrequent and persistent)
  2. Unreasonable delays in responding to requests and/or communications
  3. Inaccurate claim for certificates
  1. Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence
  2. Withholding of information, by deliberate act or omission, from us which is required for the administration of the QAP programme and assessment

Examples of Malpractice/Maladministration by Assessors

  • This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice/maladministration may be considered by the College at its discretion:
  • Failure to communicate the HE Malpractice and Maladministration Policy to students during induction;
  • Failure to communicate to students the risk of using essay mills;
  • Failure to provide information on improper assistance to candidates;
  • Inventing or changing marks for internally assessed work (coursework or portfolio evidence) where there is insufficient evidence of the candidates’ achievement to justify the marks given or assessment decisions made;
  • Failure to keep candidate coursework/portfolios of evidence secure; fraudulent claims for certificates;
  • Assisting students in the production of work for assessment, where the support has the potential to influence the outcomes of assessment, for example where the assistance involves assessors producing work for the student;
  • Producing falsified witness statements, for example for evidence the student has not generated;
  • Allowing evidence, which is known by the staff member not to be the student’s own, to be included in a student’s assignment/task/portfolio/coursework;
  • Misusing the condition for special student requirements e.g. Support;
  • Falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud; failure to comply with awarding organisations procedures for managing and
  • Transferring accurate student data.

Examples of Malpractice/Maladministration by Centre Staff

  • This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice/maladministration may be considered by the College at its discretion:
  • failure to communicate the HE Malpractice and Maladministration Policy to staff (including agency staff) during induction;
  • facilitating and allowing impersonation;
  • misusing the condition for special student requirements e.g. support;
  • falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud; fraudulent certificate claims, that is claiming for a certificate prior to the student
  • completing all the requirements of assessment;
  • failure to comply with awarding organisations procedures for managing/transferring and storing accurate student data;
  • failure to distribute certificates.

Examples of Malpractice/Maladministration by Students

This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice/maladministration may be considered by the College at its discretion:

  • Plagiarism of any nature;
  • Collusion by working collaboratively with other students to produce work that is submitted as individual student work;
  • 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
  • Inclusion of inappropriate, offensive, discriminatory or obscene material in assessment evidence. This includes vulgarity and swearing that is outside of the context of the assessment, or any material of a discriminatory nature;
  • Frivolous content – producing content that is unrelated to the examination paper/question in scripts or coursework;
  • Unauthorised aids – physical possession of unauthorised materials (including mobile phones, electronic devices, etc) in the examination room, unless a concession has been agreed in advance.
  • Misrepresentation/FabricationThe falsification of data, information, or citations in any formal academic assessment. This is where the learner deliberately provides inaccurate data, makes false quotations or presents false information and data as fact.
  • DeceptionThis is where an individual provides false information to staff concerning a formal academic exercise, for example, giving a false excuse for missing a deadline or falsely claiming to have submitted work. Making a false declaration with the aim of receiving special consideration to obtain extensions to deadlines, exemptions from work or accreditation for prior learning.
  • Cheating – Any attempt to give or obtain assistance in a formal academic exercise (like an examination) without due acknowledgment.
  • This may also include:
  • the use of unauthorised aids,
  • physical possession of unauthorised materials (including mobile phones; smart watches, MP3 players, notes, etc) in the examination room, laboratory or workshop;
  • obtaining a test or examination paper in advance of its authorised release;
  • using or having at or near the test/examination desk any books, materials or other equipment which has not been explicitly permitted;
  • communicating with another learner or passing objects to another person without authorisation during a test or examination.
  • Breaching the security of assessment materials in a way which threatens the integrity of any exam or assessment.
  • Bribery – Paying for someone to undertake assessment work which is then presented as the learner’s own work or giving assignment answers or test answers to others for money.
  • MisconductThis includes all behaviour in an examination room that causes disruption to others. For example, talking, shouting, abusive and/or aggressive behaviour/language, and having an unauthorised electronic device that causes a disturbance in the examination room.
  • SabotageThis may include taking actions to prevent others from completing their work/examination or assignment. This could include deliberately damaging reference materials, cutting pages out of library books or wilfully disrupting the experiments, assessment evidence or artefacts produced by other individuals.

Malpractice and Maladministration Procedures

  1. 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 Director (Programme Manager) in writing, enclosing appropriate supporting evidence. All allegations must include (where possible):

  1. Participant’s name
  2. Staff member’s name and job role (If applicable)
  3. Details of the course or the nature of the programme/assessment affected
  4. Nature of the suspected or actual malpractice and associated details, including outcomes of any initial investigation carried out by any associated bodies involved in the case.
  5. Any mitigating circumstances where relevant or appropriate.

The Director (Programme Manager) will conduct an initial investigation, ensuring that all personnel possess the necessary competence and have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation.

In all cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration, Kenosis Beauty Institute will protect the identity of the ‘informant’ in accordance with their duty to maintain confidentiality.

7. Confidentiality and whistle blowing

Sometimes a person making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration may wish to remain anonymous. It is always preferable for the individual(s) to reveal their identity and contact details when reporting a concern. However if an individual is concerned about possible adverse consequences, he/she may request that the Director does not divulge his/her identity.

The Director will be prepared to investigate issues which are reported to anonymously and he/she will always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before pursuing the matter with those to whom the allegation relates.

8. Responsibility for the investigation

In accordance with regulatory requirements all suspected cases of maladministration and malpractice will be examined promptly by Kenosis Beauty Institute to establish if malpractice or maladministration has occurred and all reasonable steps will be taken to prevent any adverse effect from the occurrence.

A written response will be provided by the Director to suspected reporting of maladministration and malpractice within 10 working days.

The Director (Programme Manager ) 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 in order to establish whether or not the malpractice or maladministration has occurred, and to review any supporting evidence received or gathered.

9. Notifying relevant parties

Where applicable, the Director (Programme Manager ) will inform the appropriate authorities if we believe there has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration which could either invalidate the award of a qualification.

10. Investigation timelines and summary process

Kenosis Beauty Institute will aim to action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 30 working days of receipt of the allegation.

The fundamental principle of any investigation will be to conduct it 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 and scale of the irregularities;
  • To establish the names of those involved;
  • To identify any adverse patterns or trends;
  • To evaluate any action already taken;
  • To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered participants and to preserve the integrity of Kenosis Beauty Institute and the qualification.

The investigation may involve a request for further information from relevant parties and/or interviews with personnel involved in the investigation. In such cases, the Director will ensure that:

  • All material collected as part of an investigation are 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.

All parties, either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation, will be expected to co-operate fully with the Directors at Kenosis Beauty Institute.

The QAP, either at notification of a suspected or actual case of malpractice or maladministration and/or at any time during the investigation, reserve the right to withhold a participant’s, and/or cohort’s, results.

Where a member of staff, facilitator, administrator, course participant or member of staff at a partner or associate organisation is under investigation, the Director (QAP Programme Leader) may decide to suspend them from the QAP programme until the investigation is complete.

Throughout the investigation the Director 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 relevant external parties informed

11. Investigation report

After an investigation, the Director will produce a draft report for the parties concerned to check the factual accuracy. Any subsequent amendments will be agreed between the parties concerned and the Directors at Kenosis Beauty Institute. 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.

Kenosis Beauty Institute will make the final report available to the parties concerned and to the regulatory authorities and all relevant parties/ external agencies within 10 working days of reaching a decision.

Kenosis Beauty Institute may withhold some details if to disclose such information would breach a duty of confidentiality or any other legal duty.

Where investigations involve a member of the staff, the report will be agreed by the Director with the Principal/Headteacher of the school and appropriate internal disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

12. Investigation outcomes

If the investigation confirms that malpractice or maladministration has taken place the

Director will consider what action to take in order to:

  • Minimise the risk to the integrity of certification now and in the future;
  • Maintain public confidence in the delivery and awarding of qualifications;
  • Discourage others from carrying out similar instances of malpractice or maladministration;
  • Ensure there has been no gain from compromising our standards.
  • Such actions may involve:
    • Imposing sanctions in order to address the instance of malpractice/maladministration and to prevent it from re-occurring;
    • In cases where certificates are deemed to be invalid, informing the Department of Higher Education (DHET) and the Quality Assurance Partner as to why they are invalid. Decisions may include any action to be taken for reassessment and/or for the withdrawal of the certificates. [Kenosis Beauty Institute will thereby inform the affected participant/s of this decision and may request the return of certificate/s.]
    • Informing relevant third parties (e.g. school governing boards) of the findings in case they need to take relevant action.

In addition to the above, the Director will record any lessons learnt from the investigation, report these to the School Board and QAP in order to help prevent similar instances of maladministration or malpractice from re-occurring.

13. Appeals

Any individual (or group/organisation) wishing to appeal against the decision of Kenosis Beauty Institute to impose sanctions may do in accordance with the terms of the School’s Appeals Procedure as detailed below:

14. Appeals Procedure

If you wish to dispute either the finding of malpractice/maladministration or the appropriateness of the penalty, you may choose to have your case heard at a full hearing of the School’s Appeals Panel. If you choose an Appeals Panel hearing, you must inform the School Administrator of the relevant School within 10 working days from the date on the outcome letter.

A full hearing of the School’s Appeals Panel will take place if you have chosen to dispute the finding of the malpractice/maladministration report or the penalty. You will be notified at least five days in advance of the time and place of the meeting.

At least two Appeals Panel members will be present at the hearing. The hearing will include any representatives from your school, in order to ensure that its decision-making is accurate. It will consider:

  1. Whether the evidence is sufficient to justify the conclusion that you have committed academic misconduct.
  2. Whether the proposed penalty is appropriate in the light of all the evidence and in accordance with the guidelines set out below.

A representative from your school will be present to represent the school perspective. You may also be present and be given time to speak on your own behalf. You may choose to bring a supporter to the Appeals Panel hearing.

You may find it helpful to ask a representative from your school to be your supporter, but it can also be, for example, a friend or relative. Panel members reserve the right to interview you and/or other relevant individuals during the hearing.

The only grounds on which you can appeal are as follows:

  1. The decision of the Director (Programme Manager ) was unreasonable in the light of the evidence available.
  2. The procedure for investigating the suspected case of malpractice or maladministration was deficient in a way which materially prejudiced your case.

Your appeal will be reviewed by a representative of the School’s Strategic Board or nominee, and this decision will be final with regard to QAP malpractice and/or maladministration.

You will receive the outcome in writing as soon as possible. At this point, you will receive a letter of notification explaining that you have come to the end of the appeal procedures.

15.Consequences

Being accused of malpractice or maladministration is a serious offence and has the potential to result in a number of penalties. In the most serious cases, an individual QAP assessment submission may be terminated or the individual may be subject to further disciplinary proceedings.

15. Monitoring and review

Kenosis Beauty Institute will keep and dispose of all correspondence relating to case of malpractice and maladministration in accordance with their data protection management policies.

A report on cases of malpractice and maladministration and their outcomes will be produced annually and submitted to the Strategic Board of the relevant QAP licence holder for consideration. A summary report will be considered by the Strategic Board through the Annual Quality Assurance Report. This process will ensure appropriate monitoring of all academic misconduct cases and related outcomes.

16. Other Policies

Where relevant, other policies and procedures may be used as well as or instead of this policy and procedure. This policy and procedures shall be implemented with due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations.

These procedures apply equally to all QAP course participants, staff, leaders and administrators, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, ethnic origin or national identity, religion or belief or sexual orientation.

Kenosis Beauty Institute is committed to procedures that are fair and transparent, and decisions that are reasonable and have regard to law