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Plagiarism and Malpractice Policy

Policy Aim

The aim of this policy is to to establish a clear and rigorous framework for maintaining academic integrity by preventing, detecting, and addressing plagiarism and malpractice. The policy seeks to:

  • To identify and minimise the risk of malpractice by staff or learners.
  • To respond to any incident of alleged malpractice promptly and objectively.
  • To standardise and record any investigation of malpractice to ensure openness and fairness.
  • To impose appropriate penalties and/or sanctions on learners or staff where.
  • Incidents (or attempted incidents) of malpractice are proven.
  • To protect the integrity of the center (Next Gates) and Awarding Organization qualifications.

Compliance Requirements

To align with these aims, Next Gates will:

  • Seek to avoid potential malpractice by using the induction period and the learner handbook (online) to inform learners of the centre’s policy on malpractice and the penalties for attempted and actual incidents of malpractice.
  • Show learners the appropriate formats to record cited texts and other materials or information sources.
  • Ask learners to declare that their work is their own.
  • Ask learners to provide evidence that they have interpreted and synthesised appropriate information and acknowledged any sources used.
  • Conduct an investigation in a form commensurate with the nature of the malpractice allegation. Such an investigation will be supported by the Head of Centre / Principal / CEO and all personnel linked to the allegation.
  • Make the individual fully aware at the earliest opportunity of the nature of the alleged malpractice and of the possible consequences should malpractice be proven.
  • Give the individual the opportunity to respond to the allegations made.
  • Inform the individual of the avenues for appealing against any judgment made.
  • Document all stages of any investigation.

    Definition of Malpractice by Learners

    This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by the 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 (including the use of ICT to aid 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.

    Definition of Malpractice by Centre Staff

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

    • Improper assistance to learners.
    • Inventing or changing marks for internally assessed work (coursework or portfolio evidence) where there is insufficient evidence of the learners’ achievement to justify the marks given or assessment decisions made.
    • Failure to keep learners’ coursework/portfolios of evidence secure.
    • Fraudulent claims for certificates.
    • Inappropriate retention of certificates.
    • Assisting learners 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 centre staff producing work for the learner.
    • Producing falsified witness statements, for example for evidence the learner has not generated.
    • Allowing evidence, which is known by the staff member not to be the learner’s own, to be included in a learner’s assignment/task/portfolio/coursework.
    • Facilitating and allowing impersonation.
    • Misusing the conditions for special learner requirements, for example where learners are permitted support, such as an amanuensis, this is permissible up to the point where the support has the potential to influence the outcome of the assessment.
    • Falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud.
    • Fraudulent certificate claims, that is claiming for a certificate prior to the learner completing all the requirements of assessment.

    The center penalties / sanctions

    If students are found to have plagiarised others’ work then the subject teacher will begin procedures as detailed below:

    • The student will be advised to re-attempt the work under controlled conditions and/or with a different scenario within a specified timeframe.
    • If the student is found to have plagiarised the work a second time, the student will be required to attend a meeting with Quality Nominee to explain their actions. The subject teacher should also attend that meeting.
    • The Quality Nominee in conjunction with the teacher will then decide on one of the following options for the student.
      • The student may be asked to re-do the assignment in controlled conditions for a third and final time. In this circumstance the work will be capped at a Pass, or the lowest grade achievable, with no opportunity to improve upon that grade.
      • If the plagiarism relates to work which has been completed at the lowest passing grade, this work may then be given a U grade with no opportunity to improve.
    • If the work then produced does not satisfy the Quality Nominee and subject teacher, the Quality Nominee will contact the Awarding Organization who will work with members of staff to decide on an appropriate course of action. This may include:
      • the work being awarded a U grade with no opportunity to improve that grade.
      • the student being removed from the course altogether.

    In order to report to the warding Organization, all copies of the previous stages’ paperwork will be reported accurately and stored safely for use as evidence.

    Appeals

    The learner has the right to appeal the decision. Circumstances will be investigated by the head of centre and/or trust. Appeals must be made within 15 working day of the decision being given in writing to the learner. You can read more detail on Next Gates Appeal Policy.

     

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