A joint AAC and ULTC Academic Honesty Working Party considered sector benchmarking and stakeholder feedback which informed a proposal to reconfigure and amend the existing Academic Honesty Policy and its related Procedures and Framework.
The Framework for Academic Integrity has been reconfigured into a new Promotion of Academic Integrity Procedures and the Academic Honesty Policy and associated Procedures have undergone substantial reordering including the further separation of policy statements and procedural matters and improvements to language for greater clarity.
The terms ‘academic integrity’ and ‘misconduct’ from the Higher Education Standards Framework have been adopted and other key revisions are listed below.
Applicants for admission have been removed from the scope of the Policy as they are now dealt with by the Admissions to Coursework Policy.
Intention is no longer a test to determine academic misconduct; however degree of intention may be considered in gravity of breach (and therefore penalty) decisions.
Three levels of breach with associated penalties that may be applied have been specified. Given the differences in treatment of students where it is determined that a breach is either minor, moderate or minor, the minimum conditions for the determination are now prescribed.
It is recommended that breaches of examination conditions, such as a mobile phone ringing in a bag are dealt with under the Examinations Policy. Cheating in an examination remains an academic misconduct matter.
References to the use of forged, falsified or incomplete documents have been removed as they are now dealt with in the Dealing with Instances of Falsified, Fraudulent or Misleading Documentation Policy.
Given neither the processes nor penalties alter according to the ‘type’ of misconduct (plagiarism, collusion etc), ‘academic misconduct’ is broadly defined and the examples are included in a Schedule to the Policy. This avoids the ‘currency’ problem of needing to continually capture new and emerging methods of academic misconduct.
Formerly Procedures for Dealing with Alleged Breaches of Academic Honesty.
Given the investigation into academic misconduct will have been concluded and the student has been given their opportunity to respond, a responsible officer will need to make their decision within 10-working days (rather than 20). This reduces the total time for resolution of a matter from 50-working days to 40-working days.
The key structural change is the reconfiguration of the Framework for Academic Integrity. The academic integrity principles from the Framework have been incorporated into the Policy and the processes for the promotion of academic integrity and detection of academic misconduct have been developed into a new Promotion of Academic Integrity Procedures.
The Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy now excludes breaches of examination conditions. A consequential change was made to the Examinations Policy to make this clear with a new clause at 17.2.2. Cheating remains an academic misconduct matter at clause 17.2.3.
The supporting documents such as guiding matrices for determining the seriousness of a case of academic misconduct, flowcharts for dealing with academic misconduct and associated letter templates are being updated and will be available from the Policy and Procedures website in 2018.
I would like to encourage academic staff and any professional staff who have a role in the academic integrity and misconduct process to familiarise themselves with the new Policy and Procedures.
General queries regarding the implementation of the revised policy can be directed to: