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Malpractice and Maladministration Procedure

1. Introduction

1.1 Norman Gentry Consulting, is committed to actively monitoring and preventing the occurrence of malpractice and maladministration and has processes in place to achieve this. Protecting the integrity and validity of all assessments and certificates is a paramount concern and we expect the highest professional standards of our staff and trainers. If any form of malpractice or maladministration is identified or suspected by any other party, Norman Gentry Consulting encourages this to be reported. In all cases, Norman Gentry Consulting will take decisive action to prevent, resolve or mitigate any occurrence of malpractice or maladministration.

2. Definitions and Examples

2.1 An act of malpractice/maladministration may be committed by any individual, such as a trainer, centre staff member, candidate or client. Incidents of malpractice are considered to be more serious than acts of maladministration. They may be either deliberate or inadvertent actions. The terms are defined as follows:.

  • Malpractice: Any activity, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise the assessment process, the integrity of a regulated qualification or the validity of a result or certificate.
  • Maladministration: Any activity, neglect, default or other practice that results in the centre or candidate not complying with the specified requirements for delivery of the qualifications and as set out in the relevant legislation.

2.2 Examples of malpractice and maladministration that might be carried out by a candidate may include (not exhaustive):

  • Obtaining or distributing confidential examination materials without authorisation
  • Referring to prohibited items or materials during exam, such as reference books, notes, mobile phones or other electronic devices
  • Collusion or copying during an exam or plagiarising work from other sources
  • Impersonation – undertaking an exam on the behalf of someone else
  • Disruptive behaviour or use of offensive language during an exam
  • Making fraudulent claims for additional time or assistance for an examination (fraudulent claims for reasonable adjustment or special consideration)
  • Failing to follow the examination instructions and/or requirements of the invigilator or trainer.

2.3 Examples of malpractice and maladministration that might be carried out by a trainer, invigilator or centre employee may include (not exhaustive):

  • Failing to securely store examination materials
  • Delivery of shortened courses or poor quality training
  • Guiding candidates in their answers to examination questions
  • Failing to arrange sufficient resources to administer and invigilate the examination
  • Failing to identify, intervene, stop or report any form of malpractice or maladministration
  • Failing to observe the correct examination times
  • Tampering or making any amendments to candidate answer papers

3. Reporting

3.1 Malpractice/maladministration may be identified and reported by any individual, such as a candidate, client, trainer or centre employee. All reports should be made as soon as possible to help prevent or mitigate the consequences of any wrongdoing.

3.2 Reports of malpractice/maladministration can be made anonymously, though this may limit the effectiveness of any subsequent investigation. As far as possible reports of malpractice/maladministration will be stored securely and treated confidentially, except where Norman Gentry Consulting is obligated to disclose information to the regulator, to the Awarding Organisation (C.I.E.H. / R.S.P.H. /H.A.B.C. / City and Guilds), or by law.

3.3 Reports of malpractice/maladministration to Norman Gentry Consulting may be submitted verbally, in writing or by email. If written/emailed, the report should include:

  • The name of the individual making the report and contact details (optional)
  • The relevant course details (qualification, training date, training venue)
  • The name of the trainer and invigilator
  • The name of any candidate/s affected by the malpractice/maladministration
  • A detailed description of the malpractice/maladministration
  • Any supporting evidence

3.4 If any individual wishes to report malpractice/maladministration direct to the Awarding Organisation, but to do so may jeopardise their position or employment, the C.I.E.H. / R.S.P.H. /H.A.B.C. / City and Guilds Whistleblower Policy provides support and guidance. Whistle blowing is defined as a confidential disclosure relating to malpractice, often against a person’s employer, and is considered distinct from complaints, appeals and employment disputes. Disclosures can be made by any person, including trainers, candidates, centre staff and centre clients. The C.I.E.H. / R.S.P.H. /H.A.B.C. / City and Guilds Whistleblower Policy can be found on the Quality Assurance page of the C.I.E.H. / R.S.P.H. /H.A.B.C. / City and Guilds website. Full contact details of the C.I.E.H. / R.S.P.H. /H.A.B.C. / City and Guilds are provided below.

3.5 Reports of potential malpractice/maladministration may also be received by Norman Gentry Consulting direct from the Awarding Organisation. Reports from the Awarding Organisation may include specific requirements along with confirmation of any actions taken. Candidate results and certificates may be withheld, pending the outcome of enquiries. All affected candidates will be notified of the reasons for any delays and will be given support and guidance on any requirements and potential outcomes.

4. Investigation

4.1 Norman Gentry Consulting will take all reasonable steps to fully investigate allegations of malpractice/maladministration, subject to a consideration of any potential conflicts of interest and any requirements made by the Awarding Organisation.

4.2 In all cases, the Awarding Organisation will be notified immediately of any allegation of malpractice/maladministration. As a registered training centre, all investigations concerning Norman Gentry Consulting will be subject to the authority of the Awarding Organisation. If required, the conduct of investigations, either in part or entirely, will be deferred to the Awarding Organisation.

4.3 If an investigation is to proceed following a report of malpractice/maladministration, [Name of centre contact] will assume overall responsibility and open a case record. A written or emailed response will be provided within [Timeframe] to acknowledge that the report has been received and confirm an investigation has begun.

4.4 Norman Gentry Consulting will conduct a review of the allegations made and set a plan for the investigation. The plan will include the identification of key individuals and the required actions.

4.5 Any individual suspected of malpractice/maladministration will be informed in writing or by email of the allegations made against them, along with any evidence that supports the allegation. Individuals suspected of malpractice will be given the opportunity to provide their response or seek advice. They will be informed of the potential consequences of the investigation and that other parties may be notified of the eventual outcome, for example: the regulators, the police and other Awarding Organisations. Individuals suspected of malpractice/maladministration will be informed of their right to appeal.

4.6 It may be necessary during an investigation to conduct interviews. Those being interviewed have the right to request the presence of another individual of their choosing and do not have to answer questions. Where an interviewee is a minor or vulnerable adult, arrangements will be made to have a parent, guardian or carer present, or to have the permission of a parent, guardian or carer, prior to the interview taking place. Interviews with centre staff will be conducted in alignment with disciplinary procedures.

4.7 Norman Gentry Consulting will aim to conclude its investigation and provide a full response to all relevant parties, with confirmation of any corrective actions taken/planned, within 5 working days – or sooner, if required. If a resolution is not possible within this timeframe, an update on the investigation will be provided with an estimated completion date.

5. Investigation

5.1 Once a resolution and final malpractice/maladministration report has been produced, the parties affected have the option to appeal any decision made if dissatisfied with the outcome. Appeals must be made within 5 working days in writing or by email to Norman Gentry, Norman Gentry Consulting, 19 Lansdowne Court, Carlisle CA3 9HW providing full details of the concerns and basis for appeal.

5.2 Norman Gentry Consulting will provide a written or emailed response to the appeal within 5 working days. If the appeal has not been successful, no further appeals will be considered.

5.3 If the appeal has not been satisfactorily addressed, the affected individual/s may refer their appeal to the Awarding Organisation, who will consider if there are grounds to investigate and will respond accordingly.

6. Investigation

6.1 Appeals and reports of malpractice/maladministration should be made in the first instance to Norman Gentry, Norman Gentry Consulting, 19 Lansdowne Court, Carlisle CA3 9HW. Candidates may also report their concerns direct to the trainer. Alternatively, if deemed appropriate or necessary, appeals and reports of malpractice/maladministration can be submitted to:

The Awarding Organisation

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (C.I.E.H.)
Chadwick Court, 15 Hatfields, London, SE1 8DJ
Quality Assurance Team: 0207 827 5875
Email: QualityAssurance@cieh.org

The Regulator

England

Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual)
Spring Place, Coventry Business Park, Herald Avenue, Coventry CV5 6UB.
Switchboard: 0300 303 3344 (Monday to Friday, between 08:00 and 17:30) Email: info@ofqual.gov.uk

Reviewed: May 2015

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