ICS Learn Malpractice Policy
ICS Learn treats all cases of suspected malpractice very seriously and will investigate all suspected and reported incidents of possible malpractice.
Where a case of suspected or reported malpractice is being investigated, ICS Learn, where appropriate, will advise the relevant Awarding Organisation for the qualification. It is accepted that in certain circumstances, the Awarding Organisation may take actions of its own, including imposing sanctions, where appropriate.
The application of this policy aims to fulfil Expectation 21 of the ICS Learn Quality Enhancement and Performance Framework in ensuring that there are appropriate assessment policies in place which maintain the academic standards set internally and by the external organisations we work with.
The purpose of this Policy is to set out how allegations of malpractice in relation to all qualifications are dealt with. The scope of the policy is to provide:
- a definition of malpractice;
- examples of student and centre malpractice and maladministration;
- possible sanctions that may be imposed in cases of malpractice.
3. Policy Statements
3.1 Malpractice by students
Some examples of student malpractice are described below. These examples are not exhaustive and all incidents of suspected malpractice, whether or not described below, will be fully investigated, where there are sufficient grounds to do so.
- Obtaining examination or assessment material without authorisation.
- Arranging for an individual other than the student to sit an assessment or to submit an assignment not undertaken by the student.
- Impersonating another student to sit an assessment or to submit an assignment on their behalf.
- Collaborating with another student or individual, by any means, to complete a coursework assignment or assessment, unless it has been clearly stated that such collaboration is permitted.
- Damaging another student's work.
- Inclusion of inappropriate or offensive material in coursework assignments or assessment scripts.
- Failure to comply with published examination regulations.
- Disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct, including the use of offensive language, at centre or assessment venue (including aggressive or offensive language or behaviour).
- Producing, using or allowing the use of forged or falsified documentation, including but not limited to:
- personal identification;
- supporting evidence provided for reasonable adjustment or special consideration applications.
- False results documentation, including certificates.
- Falsely obtaining, by any means, an awarding body certificate.
- Misrepresentation or plagiarism.
- Fraudulent claims for special consideration while studying.
- Possession of any materials not permitted in the assessment room, regardless of whether or not they are relevant to the assessment, or whether or not the student refers to them during the assessment process, for example notes, blank paper, electronic devices including mobile phones, personal organisers, books, dictionaries / calculators (when prohibited).
- Communicating in any form, for example verbally or electronically, with other students in the assessment room when it is prohibited.
- Copying the work of another student or knowingly allowing another student to copy from their own work.
- Failure to comply with instructions given by the assessment invigilator, i.e., working beyond the allocated time; refusing to hand in assessment script / paper when requested; not adhering to warnings relating to conduct during the assessment.
3.2 Malpractice by centre employees and stakeholders
Examples of malpractice by, teachers, tutors and other officers, (including, external invigilators and examination administrators) are listed below. These examples are not exhaustive and all incidents of suspected malpractice, whether or not described below, will be fully investigated, where there are sufficient grounds to do so.
Failure to adhere to the relevant regulations and procedures, including those relating to centre approval, security undertaking and monitoring requirements as set out by the awarding organisation.
Knowingly allowing an individual to impersonate a student.
Allowing a student to copy another student's assignment work, or allowing a student to let their own work be copied.
Allowing students to work collaboratively during an assessment, unless specified in the assessment brief.
Completing an assessed assignment for a student or providing them with assistance beyond that 'normally' expected.
Damaging a student's work.
Disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct, including the use of offensive language (including aggressive or offensive language or behaviour).
Allowing disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct at the centre to go unchallenged, for example, aggressive or offensive language or behaviour.
Divulging any information relating to student performance and / or results to anyone other than the student.
Producing, using or allowing the use of forged or falsified documentation, including but not limited to:
- personal identification;
- supporting evidence provided for reasonable adjustment or special consideration applications; and
- awarding organisation results documentation, including certificates
- Falsely obtaining by any means an awarding organisation certificate.
Failing to report a suspected case of student malpractice, including plagiarism, to the awarding organisation.
Moving the time or date of a fixed examination.
Failure to keep examination question papers, examination scripts or other assessment materials secure, before during or after an examination.
Allowing a student to possess and / or use material or electronic devices that are not permitted in the examination room.
Allowing students to communicate by any means during an examination in breach of regulations.
Allowing a student to work beyond the allotted examination time.
Leaving students unsupervised during an examination.
Assisting or prompting candidates with the production of answers.
4. Roles and Responsibilities
4.1 Possible malpractice sanctions
Following an investigation, if a case of malpractice is upheld, ICS Learn may impose sanctions or other penalties on the individual(s) concerned. Where relevant we will report the matter to the awarding organisation, and the awarding organisation may impose one or more sanctions upon the individual(s) concerned. Any sanctions imposed will reflect the seriousness of the malpractice that has occurred.
Listed below are examples of sanctions that may be applied to a student, or to a teacher, tutor, invigilator or other officer who has had a case of malpractice upheld against them. Please note that:
- this list is not exhaustive and other sanctions may be applied on a case-by-case basis.
- where the malpractice affects examination performance, the awarding organisation may impose sanctions of its own.
Possible study centre sanctions that may be applied to students:
- A written warning about future conduct.
- Notification to an employer, regulator or the police.
- Removal from the course.
Possible sanctions that may be applied to teachers, tutors, invigilators, and other officers:
- A written warning about future conduct.
- Imposition of special conditions for the future involvement of the individual(s) in the conduct, teaching, supervision or administration of students and/or examinations.
- Informing any other organisation known to employ the individual in relation to courses or examinations of the outcome of the case.
- ICS Learn may carry out unannounced monitoring of the working practices of the individual(s) concerned.
Malpractice - Any act, or failure to act, that threatens or compromises the integrity of the assessment process or the validity of qualifications and their certification. This includes: maladministration and the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems, the deliberate falsification of records or documents for any reason connected to the award of qualifications, acts of plagiarism or other academic misconduct and/or actions that compromise the reputation or authority of ICS Learn, its centres, officers and employees.
Awarding Organisations - An Awarding Organisation designs, develops, delivers and awards the recognition of learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and/or competencies) of an individual following an assessment and quality assurance process that is valued by employers, learners or stakeholders. Also known as “Awarding Body”.
Quality and Performance Framework - The Framework defines all quality standards and expectations which the company intends to meet and fulfil within the student journey. The Framework is used to define quality standards and benchmark our performance to it.
Plagiarism - The practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.
Expectation 21: Effective assessment policies are in place and ensure that academic standards are set and maintained for each qualification.
 *The term 'malpractice' in this policy is used for both malpractice and maladministration.