Scope of the policy
This policy is aimed at Virtual Internship Partners Ltd customers, including learners and staff members who are using or delivering the qualifications and courses offered and who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice and/or maladministration.
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 the awarding body, we 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
Virtual Internship’s training courses, qualifications and quality assurance systems. We also have a professional responsibility to report non adherence to this policy to our awarding bodies. .
Location of the policy
This policy is available for all staff members, third parties and learners to access digitally and on the Virtual Internship Partners Ltd website.
Communication of the policy
It is important that staff involved in the management, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of accredited qualifications and learners undertaking these qualifications, are fully aware of the contents of the policy.
This policy is communicated to all learners (interns) at induction and referred to throughout the program.
This policy is communicated to all staff as part of their induction into the innovations partnerships programs where this is applied.
Review of the policy
Virtual Internship Partners Ltd will review the policy annually and revise it as and when required in response to customer and stakeholder feedback, changes in practices, actions required by the awarding body(s) or changes in legislation. Our review will ensure that our procedures continue to be consistent with the regulatory criteria and are applied properly and fairly in arriving at judgements
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 centre and learner malpractice and maladministration. Please note that these examples are for guidance only and are not exhaustive:
- 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.
- Breach of confidentiality including, staff members, learners or information
- Failure to meet the awarding body(s) or regulator’s requirements.
- Falsifying assessment and/or exam records.
- Falsifying administration records.
Any person identifying cases of malpractice and/or maladministration should report them to a senior member of staff or centre manager to investigate
If senior staff members or centre managers are suspected of being involved in malpractice and /or maladministration, the awarding organisation should be formally notified as per their reporting processes, documented within the respective centre handbooks.
Virtual Internship Partners Ltd. have to investigate all cases of malpractice and maladministration in liaison with any parties concerned. If an investigation finds evidence of malpractice or maladministration, we 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 member details (name, job role) if they are involved in the case
- 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
- We will acknowledge reports received within 3 working days of receipt
- We will arrange for appropriate personnel to review the report and commence the investigation
- We will aim to action and resolve all investigations within 7 working days of receipt of the report
- We will advise on the outcome of our investigation within 2 working days of making our decision
- We will report any suspected or actual incidents of malpractice and/or maladministration to the awarding body. When we receive a report of malpractice and/or maladministration, we will allocate a panel comprising seniors. Staff members to investigate. The panel will review the report and supporting evidence and carry out the investigation.
The Investigation Process
During the investigation the panel’s review may involve:
- A request for further information
- Interviews (face to face or by telephone) with personnel involved in the investigation
- We will make informed decisions based on the evidence
- We will protect the identity of the ‘informant’ if required.
As part of our approved centre status with the awarding body(s), Virtual Internship Partners Ltd. must inform them of any investigations and reports produced from investigations into suspected or actual cases of malpractice and maladministration.
The awarding body(s) reserves the right to lead and/or review any reported investigations into malpractice and/or maladministration within approved centres.
If issues regarding malpractice and maladministration are reported directly to the awarding body, Virtual Internship Partners Ltd. must allow them access to the centre, including staff members, learners, learners work and third party information (as required) in order to fully investigate any issues.
If the investigation confirms that learner malpractice has taken place, 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
- Disallowing all or part of the learner’s external assessment marks
- Not requesting the learner’s certificate(s) from the awarding organisation.
- Disallowing a learner to undertake a qualification or course with Virtual Internship Partners Ltd.
- Disqualification from the qualification
In cases of malpractice and/or maladministration by learners, Virtual Internship Partners Ltd. will make learners aware that their final results may be void if the case is proven. Any certificates which have already been issued may be deemed to be invalid. Certificates may need to be returned to the awarding body.
If a learner is not satisfied with the investigation process or outcome conducted by Virtual Internship Partners Ltd, they can escalate their issues to the awarding body to investigate. The decision regarding any malpractice and/or maladministration investigation undertaken by them is final.