Safe Hands First Aid Training Ltd

Plagiarism Policy

1. Introduction

This policy is intended to provide information and guidance to Centre Staff, Trainers, Assessors, Internal Quality Assurers (IQAs) and Learners on what constitutes plagiarism, cheating and collusion, what we can do to prevent it from occurring and how any instances that do occur should be managed.

Victoria O’Neill Directorpage3image66842240

2. Definitions

Plagiarism is defined as the submission of someone else’s work, either willingly or unwittingly, as your own work for your own personal gain.

In relation to Learner assessment, a Learner will be said to have plagiarised someone else’s work if it has been confirmed through the assessment marking, moderation or verification processes that the work they have submitted has either been directly copied from, or is highly comparable to, another Learner’s work or it has been directly taken from another academic source without appropriate references to that source being included.

Collusion is defined as a collaboration between two or more individuals through the process of Learner assessment which leads to an assessment outcome being generated which is a false representation of the Learner’s knowledge, skills or ability.

Collusion may take place not only between Learners but also between Trainers/Assessors/Internal Verifiers and Learners to ensure Learners pass any assessment. It may also take place between Trainers/Assessors and IQAs responsible for any course delivery and Learner assessments to ensure a Learner or cohort of Learners successfully pass assessment (e.g. when an approved Centre trains their own staff for the purposes of making financial gain for the organisation).

Cheating is defined as any deliberate act by a Learner (or those in collusion with a Learner) which leads to an assessment outcome being generated which is a false representation of the Learner’s knowledge, skills or ability.

Acts such as a Trainer providing Learners answers to written question papers, giving hints throughout the course that will provide Learners with an unfair advantage in an assessment, or Learners passing answers to each other during the assessment process would be considered as cheating. Approved Trainers/Assessors or Internal Verifiers who have obtained or been provided with unauthorised access to assessment papers/guidance documents which have been used to give them an unfair advantage when undertaking assessment as a Learner themselves are considered to have cheated.

3. Learner Assessments – Acceptable Assessment Responses

Through the Learner assessment process, Learners are required to demonstrate that they have obtained and retained the knowledge, skills and ability required to satisfy the learning outcomes and assessment criteria of any qualification. Therefore, in order to be awarded any qualification and in terms of assessment evidence, Learners are required to submit their own work and prove through this that they have gained the necessary knowledge, skills and ability required to merit the award of any qualification and the issue of a qualification certificate.

Written Question Papers:

Learners undertaking any written assessment or invigilated exam must complete the assessment paper(s):

  • in full and as instructed by their course Trainer/Assessor
    under the applicable assessment conditions (which should be explained by their Trainer/Assessor)
  • on their own merit
  • without obtaining any assistance from any other Learners orTrainers/Assessors to answer assessment questions.

    If it is identified that any answers submitted by Learners as their own work have been obtained from another source (e.g. a Learner or Trainer) either prior to or during the assessment process, then this will be considered as either plagiarism, cheating and/or collusion and will result in the assessment outcome being invalidated. Any Trainer/Assessor or IQA that is found guilty of providing answers to Learners for the purposes of submission may have sanctions imposed upon them by the Awarding Body (QA), as may the Learner(s) involved.

    Practical Assessments:

    Learners undertaking practical assessments are required to demonstrate specific skills they have obtained through course delivery when requested by their Assessor in order to pass assessment. In terms of assessment evidence, Learners must carry out the practical tasks being assessed:

  • as instructed by their course Trainer/Assessor
  • under the applicable assessment conditions (which should be explained bytheir Trainer/Assessor)
  • of their own accord
  • without obtaining any assistance from any other third party to carry out thepractical tasks required.

    The assessment must be viewed by the Trainer/Assessor who is then required to pass judgement on whether or not the level of skill demonstrated by the Learner merits the award of a pass.

    If any evidence comes to light which confirms that any Learner was illegitimately given any assistance to carry out a practical task assessed but was still awarded a pass by the Trainer/Assessor, then the assessment outcome will be invalidated, as this will be considered to be collusion/cheating. Similarly, if any evidence confirms that a Learner undertook a practical assessment and could not demonstrate the necessary skills to merit a pass but was awarded such by a Trainer/Assessor regardless, then the assessment outcome will be invalidated. Again, sanctions may be imposed on any Centre, Trainer/Assessor or IQA found guilty of such activity.

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4. Centre Responsibilities

As an approved QA Centre, we are required to meet with various requirements relating to qualification delivery and Learner assessments in order to maintain our approved status. In meeting these requirements, we are required to take all necessary steps to ensure the security and integrity of the Learner assessment process with a view to the prevention of plagiarism, collusion or cheating. This includes measures such as ensuring:

  • All Learners have read and understood their responsibilities as outlined during course induction (signing the Learner Register, Candidate Registration Form and Learner Written Paper confirms acceptance of these responsibilities);
  • Access is restricted to QA Marking Criteria (e.g. only those involved in assessing Learners, Centre Administration and Internal Quality Assurance should ideally be permitted access);
  • All Learner assessment paperwork is stored securely prior to and after assessment has taken place (this includes the transportation of paperwork between locations);
  • All assessments are carried out under appropriate assessment conditions;
  • All assessments are carried out in line with the requirements of the relevantQA qualification specifications and marking guidance;
  • Copies of all assessment paperwork that are sent electronically by the Centreare sent using secure methods.

During written assessments, Trainers/Assessors must be aware of their responsibility to ensure that Learners do not attempt to plagiarise, collude or cheat. Trainers/Assessors must be vigilant at all times to ensure no attempts are made during assessments to pass answers or view other Learner’s question papers.

Trainers, Assessors and Internal Verifiers who are responsible for managing the Learner assessment process at approved Centres must also be aware of their responsibility to check when marking and internally quality assuring assessments for any indication that plagiarism, collusion or cheating has taken place. This includes, as examples:

  • Comparing answers provided in Learner written papers to ensure they are not 100% or directly comparable to each other
  • Checking that written paper responses do not contain the exact same errors across a Learner cohort

Any Trainer/Assessor who suspects or identifies that plagiarism, collusion or cheating has taken place through any assessment process should inform the IQA (Gail Corr) of the situation immediately who will inform the Awarding Body. The situation should then be investigated in line with our Malpractice Policy. Once the events which have occurred have been established and the investigation concluded, the Responsible Person for the Centre should then provide QA with an update with respect to any actions, outcomes or sanctions the Centre itself has applied to those responsible.page6image66911232

5. Consequences for Learners

Any Learner who is found guilty of plagiarism, collusion or cheating (i.e. Learner malpractice) through the assessment process will have their assessment outcome invalidated and will not be certificated for the qualification undertaken (in cases where guilt has been established prior to the processing of Learner results). Learners who have already been certificated prior to guilt being established (in cases where information has become available after certification takes place) will have their certificates revoked.

6. Consequences for Trainers, Assessors and Internal Verifiers

Any Trainer, Assessor or IQA who has been found to have colluded with any Learner(s) with a view to aiding plagiarism or cheating through the assessment process will be considered to be guilty of malpractice and may have sanctions imposed on them by the Centre / QA. The severity of the sanctions imposed will be dependent on the severity of the circumstances.

Trainers, Assessors or IQAs who hold any professional registrations should be aware that the relevant professional bodies may be informed if sanctions have been applied to those who have been found guilty of malpractice.

7. Consequences for Approved Centres

Approved Centres must be aware that if any Trainers, Assessors or IQAs operating at the Centre are found guilty of malpractice, then QA may also apply sanctions to the Centre. The Responsible Person for any approved Centre has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that malpractice does not take place, including the aiding and abetting of Learner malpractice by any Centre staff.

8. Monitoring & Review

The procedures set out in this policy will be widely promoted and are mandatory for all Centre staff. Failure to comply with the policy and procedures will be addressed without delay and may ultimately result in disciplinary procedures and trainer/assessor privileges being revoked.

We will monitor all of the feedback that we receive in relation to the issues affected by this policy and will amend the policy as necessary. Updates will be communicated through Standardisation Meetings.

This policy will be reviewed annually as well as following:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.
  • Dated: 12.01.20Next review: January 2021