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Academic Integrity Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To establish the processes for dealing with allegations of Student Academic Misconduct.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to Coursework Courses undertaken by any Students.

All Students and Employees involved in Assessment for a Coursework Course are subject to this procedure.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure establishes the processes for dealing with allegations of Student Academic Misconduct.

4 Procedures

4.1 Allegation of Academic Misconduct

Any person may report alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student.

Any member of a Course Team has an obligation to report any suspected Academic Misconduct by Students.

Confidentiality and privacy will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Any personal information required to be released in order to investigate a matter will be released in accordance with the University's Privacy Policy.

4.2 Reporting Academic Misconduct

Reports of allegations of Academic Misconduct by a Student in a Coursework Course are to be made to the Head of School/College offering the Course via the Course Examiner.

Details of an allegation of Academic Misconduct including evidence of Academic Misconduct must be submitted using the Student Academic Misconduct Report Form.

4.3 Inquiry

Within five University Business Days of receiving a report, the Head of School/College will review the information provided to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with an allegation of Academic Misconduct.

The Head of School/College will determine whether the incident is to be considered a Caution or Minor or Major Academic Misconduct. In order to afford the Student natural justice, the Student Academic Misconduct Register will not be consulted until after an initial determination is made.

4.3.1 No Academic Misconduct

Where such review reveals there is insufficient evidence to proceed with an allegation of Academic Misconduct, no further action will be taken, and:

  1. the Course Examiner will be requested to mark the piece of work concerned, taking full account of deficiencies in achieving intended learning outcomes;
  2. the Course Examiner will draw the Student's attention to any referencing errors and provide advice in this regard; and
  3. the person making the allegation will be informed of the Decision either verbally or in writing and such action be notated on the Student Academic Misconduct Report Form.

Persons making frivolous or vexatious reports will be dealt with under the University's Student Code of Conduct Policy or other relevant policy or procedure.

4.3.2 Caution of Potential Academic Misconduct

Where the Head of School/College considers that the allegation has resulted from a misunderstanding of academic conventions or poor academic practice, the Head of School/College will send a Notice of Caution of Potential Academic Misconduct to the Student. In determining this, the Head of School/College should consult the Academic Misconduct Register for any previous Caution/s of Potential Academic Misconduct provided to the Student.

4.3.3 Allegation of Minor/Major Academic Misconduct

Where the Head of School/College considers the allegation to be Minor or Major Academic Misconduct, they will, within five University Business Days of making a Decision to proceed, write directly to the Student using the Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct which:

  1. informs the Student of the alleged Academic Misconduct.
  2. invites the Student to respond to the allegation, whether in writing or in person or other agreed method of communication (e.g. teleconference) at a meeting with the Head of School/College or nominee, and Course Examiner. A meeting in person will be held as soon as practicable after 10 University Business Days, but no later than 15 University Business Days from the date of the Notice.
  3. informs the Student that they may elect to have supporting representation by a member of the Student Guild or other support person. International Students may elect to have supporting representation by a member of the overseas partner institution or other support person.

If the Student fails to respond to the Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct, a Decision about the allegation will be made without any input by the Student, and this normally will mean that the Student will have no right to Appeal the Decision.

4.4 Response to Notice

4.4.1 Unsubstantiated allegation of Academic Misconduct

If, following consideration of any response to the Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct, any interviews conducted and all material submitted, the Head of School/College is satisfied that the Student was not trying to seek an unfair academic advantage, and an allegation of Academic Misconduct cannot be substantiated, they will, within five University Business Days of receiving a response from or meeting with the Student:

  1. send to the Student a Notice of Unsubstantiated Academic Misconduct which:
    1. informs the Student of the Decision regarding the alleged Academic Misconduct, that no penalty is to be imposed and that their name will not be held on the Academic Misconduct Register; and
    2. informs the Student about the potential consequences of a determination of Academic Misconduct.

4.4.2 Caution of Academic Misconduct

If, following consideration of any response to the Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct, any interviews conducted and all material submitted, the Head of School/College is satisfied that the Student was not trying to seek an unfair academic advantage, and that the allegation has resulted from a misunderstanding of academic conventions or poor academic practice, they will, within five University Business Days of receiving a response from or meeting with the Student:

  1. send to the Student a Notice of Caution of Potential Academic Misconduct which:
    1. informs the Student of the Decision regarding the alleged Academic Misconduct that no penalty is to be imposed and that their name will not be held on the Academic Misconduct Register; and
    2. informs the Student about the potential consequences of a determination of Academic Misconduct and provides advice in relation to improving their skills in this regard.

4.4.3 Minor Academic Misconduct

If, following consideration of any response to the Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct, any interviews conducted and all material submitted, the Head of School/College is satisfied that the Student was trying to seek an unfair academic advantage, and an allegation of Minor Academic Misconduct can be substantiated, they will, within five University Business Days of receiving a response from or meeting with the Student:

  1. consult the Student Academic Misconduct Register and determine an appropriate penalty in accordance with the Academic Integrity Procedure Penalty Schedule;
  2. send to the Student a Notice of Minor Academic Misconduct which:
    1. informs the Student of the Decision regarding the alleged Academic Misconduct and penalty (if any) imposed; and
    2. if a penalty is imposed, informs the Student that they have 20 University Business Days from the deemed receipt of the Notice of Minor Academic Misconduct to Appeal the process that was followed. The Student will be directed to the Academic Appeal Procedure to establish whether there are grounds available for Appeal. If no Appeal is made within that period, there will be no further right of Appeal.
  3. will complete the Student Academic Misconduct Report Form, including requesting the update of the Student Academic Misconduct Register, and ensuring that all documentation is sent to the University's records management system.

4.4.4 Major Academic Misconduct

If, following consideration of any response to the Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct, any interviews conducted and all material submitted, the Head of School/College is satisfied that the Student was trying to seek an unfair academic advantage, and an allegation of Major Academic Misconduct can be substantiated, they will, within five University Business Days of receiving a response from or meeting with the Student:

  1. consult the Student Academic Misconduct Register and determine an appropriate penalty in accordance with the Academic Integrity Procedure Penalty Schedule; and
  2. make a recommendation to the Associate Dean (Students) via the Student Academic Misconduct Form.

4.5 Review of Recommendation

Upon receiving advice from the Head of School/College that there is sufficient evidence to substantiate an allegation of Major Academic Misconduct, the Associate Dean (Students) will, normally within three University Business Days, review the recommendation and proposed penalty to either confirm, amend or reject the recommendation.

4.5.1 Recommendation not confirmed

If the Associate Dean (Students) determines that the inquiry and recommendation by the Head of School/College has provided insufficient evidence and/or inappropriate penalty for Academic Misconduct, the recommendation and/or proposed penalty shall be referred back to the Head of School/College with specific action for further review and enquiry.

4.5.2 Recommendation confirmed

If the Associate Dean (Students) determines that the inquiry and recommendation by the Head of School/College has provided sufficient evidence to substantiate an allegation and the penalty of Academic Misconduct is appropriate, then the Associate Dean (Students) will send to the Student a Notice of Major Academic Misconduct which:

  1. informs the Student of the Decision regarding the alleged Academic Misconduct and penalty (if any) imposed; and
  2. if a penalty is imposed, informs the Student that they have 20 University Business Days from the deemed receipt of the Notice of Major Academic Misconduct to Appeal the process that was followed. The Student will be directed to the Academic Appeal Procedure to establish whether there are grounds available for Appeal. If no Appeal is made within that period, there will be no further right of Appeal.

The Associate Dean (Students) will complete the Student Academic Misconduct Report Form, including requesting the update of the Student Academic Misconduct Register, and ensuring that all documentation is sent to the University's records management system.

4.6 Repeated Major Academic Misconduct

In the case of repeated Major Academic Misconduct, with no further Appeal pending, the Associate Dean (Students) will recommend, through the Executive Dean, to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, exclusion due to academic misconduct in accordance with the Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure.

4.7 Record keeping

At each stage of the process, only the forms and templates specified in this procedure are to be used.

At each stage of the process, records must be kept of all relevant documentation including:

  1. any work where the Academic Misconduct is alleged to have occurred;
  2. records of any meetings, telephone calls, emails with the Student or other person, or any other details in any way connected with the allegation and inquiry;
  3. copies of all correspondence;
  4. Decisions reached on the allegation.

A Decision reached in a matter of Student Academic Misconduct will be recorded in the Student Academic Misconduct Register and copies of all relevant documentation maintained on the Student's record in the University's records management system. At the conclusion of each Academic Year, the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor will submit a report to the Academic Board through the Education Management Committee listing by Course and School the number of inquiries carried out, the Penalties imposed and a report as to whether the final Decisions were made by the Associate Dean (Students) or an Appeals Committee. No individual Student names or numbers will be listed in the report.

A Student should also keep a record of all material and evidence submitted in respect of an allegation of Academic Misconduct.

4.8 Student Academic Misconduct Register

The Student Academic Misconduct Register will:

  1. retain relevant records of Academic Misconduct of individual Students in accordance with the Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure and the approved University Sector Retention and Disposal Schedule;
  2. be kept as a confidential database, maintained by and accessed via the Office of the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
  3. record, for each case of Student Academic Misconduct including Caution of Potential Academic Misconduct;
    1. the name of the Student, Student number, Course and Program;
    2. the date and nature of the Academic Misconduct;
    3. the outcome of the inquiry, that is, Caution, Minor or Major.

4.9 Appeals

Where any penalty for Academic Misconduct is imposed as provided for in the Academic Integrity Procedure Penalty Schedule, a Student may Appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee under the provisions of the Academic Appeal Procedure provided they are able to establish grounds to do so. The Student is informed of the right of Appeal in the correspondence advising of the imposition of a penalty.

4.10 External Complaints

If a Student is dissatisfied with the outcome of his or her Appeal or Complaint, or the University's handling of it, external sources of advice or review may be available, including the Student's State or Territory Ombudsmen or the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office (in relation to the application of policies and procedures and administrative processes).

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Academic Integrity Procedure Penalty Schedule

Accountable Officer

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

10/10/2017

Effective Date

23/10/2017

Review Date

28/3/2017

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Academic Integrity Policy

Privacy Policy

Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure

Student Code of Conduct Policy

Student Complaint and Appeal Policy

Related Procedures

Academic Appeal Procedure

Academic Standing, Progression and Exclusion Procedure

Assessment Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

The following forms and Notices may be accessed in SharePoint (restricted access):

  • Student Academic Misconduct Report Form
  • Notice of Caution of Potential Academic Misconduct
  • Notice of Allegation of Academic Misconduct
  • Notice of Unsubstantiated Academic Misconduct
  • Notice of Minor Academic Misconduct
  • Notice of Major Academic Misconduct

State Ombudsman

Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Integrity

The pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic Integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others....moreThe pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic Integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct involves providing aid or assistance in relation to, creating or making, obtaining or acquiring, or using information, services or equipment that may unfairly give a Student an unauthorised advantage relative to other Students with regard to a Formal Examination or other Assessment Item. 'Unauthorised advantage' includes any advantage not identified for the Formal Examina...moreAcademic Misconduct involvesproviding aid or assistance in relation to,creating or making,obtaining or acquiring, orusinginformation, services or equipment that may unfairly give a Student an unauthorised advantage relative to other Students with regard to a Formal Examination or other Assessment Item.'Unauthorised advantage' includes any advantage not identified for the Formal Examination or Assessment work.Academic Misconduct includes but is not limited to Collusion, Plagiarism, contract cheating, impersonation of a Student or University Employee, and Failure to Comply with Formal Examination or Assessment Instructions.

Academic Year

A period of time consisting of Semesters and teaching periods that all commence in the same calendar year....moreA period of time consisting of Semesters and teaching periods that all commence in the same calendar year.

Appeal

A formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned....moreA formal, written request made by a Student or Employee to a higher authority to have a Decision overturned.

Assessment

The process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course....moreThe process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course.

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....moreAn expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible.

Course

The basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program....moreThe basic unit of study and assessment for which a Student may be awarded a grade, and may accumulate credit units towards completion of a Program.

Course Team

Consists of the Examiner and Moderator of the Course and any other people involved with the preparation, delivery and grading of the Course....moreConsists of the Examiner and Moderator of the Course and any other people involved with the preparation, delivery and grading of the Course.

Coursework Course

A subject of study, defined by a Course Specification, for which Students may be awarded a Final Grade where the method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component....moreA subject of study, defined by a Course Specification, for which Students may be awarded a Final Grade where the method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Examiner

A University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification....moreA University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification.

Head of School/College

An academic staff member responsible for the administration of the Course offerings in one or more discipline areas....moreAn academic staff member responsible for the administration of the Course offerings in one or more discipline areas.

International Student

A Student who is not an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa....moreA Student who is not an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen, an Australian Permanent Resident or the holder of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.

Major Academic Misconduct

Major Academic Misconduct is defined to occur in all other Academic Misconduct not deemed as Minor Academic Misconduct....moreMajor Academic Misconduct is defined to occur in all other Academic Misconduct not deemed as Minor Academic Misconduct.

Minor Academic Misconduct

Minor Academic Misconduct is defined to occur where the Academic Misconduct is manifest in a Student's Assessment submission to a contribution with less than five percent of the available marks for an Assessment Item....moreMinor Academic Misconduct is defined to occur where the Academic Misconduct is manifest in a Student's Assessment submission to a contribution with less than five percent of the available marks for an Assessment Item.

Notice

A Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic. A Notice may be: given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; or sent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to...moreA Notice from the University is a document, whether physical or electronic.A Notice may be:given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided by the addressee to the University; orsent by registered or pre-paid mail to the address provided by the addressee to the University; orsent by electronic communication to the University-issued email account provided by the University to a Student during the period of Enrolment until the completion of their program; orsent by electronic communication to the email address provided to the University by an addressee not enrolled at the University.A Notice is taken to be received if:given by hand to the addressee or delivered to the address provided to the University by the addressee; orsent by registered or pre-paid mail - three University Business Days after the date of posting; orsent by electronic communication - at the time that would be the time of receipt under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 or its succeeding legislation.A Notice that would be deemed to have been received out of business hours or on a non-University Business Day will instead be deemed received on the next University Business Day.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

University Business Days

The days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or se...moreThe days of Monday to Friday inclusive between 9am and 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), with the exclusion of gazetted Public Holidays for the relevant campus location, plus the closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January in the following year inclusive as specified in the USQ Enterprise Agreement, as well as any closure of the University either at one or several campuses in accordance with a direction of the Crisis Management Team.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Keywords

Record No

14/727PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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