Site Navigation

Part C - Dealing with Alleged Breaches of Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty Policy


1. Responsibility for dealing with matters of academic dishonesty

1.1 Any breach of University standards of academic honesty will be dealt with in accordance with the Academic Honesty Policy, these Procedures and/or Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline.

1.2 Failure to comply with the University’s standards for academic honesty may lead to failure in an assessment task or failure overall in a unit or in imposition of a penalty in accordance with these Procedures or with Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline.

2. Principles for dealing with an alleged breach of academic honesty

2.1 Any case of alleged breach of academic honesty will be dealt with by procedures which ensure:

  1. equity;
  2. consistency;
  3. procedural fairness;
  4. timely resolution of the case; and
  5. achievement of appropriate and effective outcomes.

2.2 The University may use text matching software or other tools to assist in identifying cases of breach of academic honesty, provided that students are notified in the Unit Outline of the availability of such tools to students for self-evaluation and, if relevant, of the intended use of any such software or tools in management of the unit.

2.3 In any case in which a Lecturer-in-Charge, Course Coordinator, Head of School, Executive Dean or other University officer has an oral communication with a student regarding a matter arising under the Academic Honesty Policy and/or these Procedures, that officer will make a written note of such communication and retain it within an appropriate secure file(s).

3. Academic assessment of work which includes evidence of academic dishonesty

In determining the result which a student should receive in a unit, the Head of School or Lecturer-in-Charge may consider not only the results of all work submitted for assessment but also the student’s compliance with University requirements for academic honesty and the severity of any breach of academic honesty.

4. Identification of academic dishonesty

4.1 Where a Lecturer-in-Charge detects or is made aware of the possible occurrence of academic dishonesty, the Lecturer-in-Charge will arrange a consultation/email communication with the student to further investigate the matter and should advise the Head of School.

4.2 If the Lecturer-in-Charge is satisfied that the student did not act dishonestly or with intention to deceive, he/she should first consult with the Head of School and then provide the student with relevant feedback and counselling.

4.3 If the Lecturer-in-Charge has sufficient evidence to conclude that the student acted inappropriately but without the intention to deceive he/she should check the student’s (electronic) personal file and/or the central repository of breaches of academic honesty for any written warnings related to previous occurrences of possible academic dishonesty.

4.3.1 Where the Lecturer-in-Charge identifies that two written warnings related to previous occurrences of possible academic dishonesty have been issued to the student, the matter should be dealt with in accordance with Section 4.4 below.

4.3.2 Where the student’s personal file and/or the central repository of breaches of academic honesty contains one, or no, written warnings related to previous occurrences of possible academic dishonesty, the Lecturer-in-Charge should:

  1. counsel the student by explaining referencing guidelines, providing a copy of the Academic Honesty Policy and the Code of Practice for Academic Honesty and referring the student to services such as the Academic Skills Unit or Library for assistance; and
  2. issue a written warning about the consequences of breaching University policy on assessment and academic honesty. In the case of a second written warning, the letter should include advice about the outcome of a third possible occurrence of academic dishonesty. A copy of any warning letter should be:
    1. signed and dated by both the student and the Lecturer-in-Charge;
    2. retained by both the student and the Lecturer-in-Charge;
    3. recorded on the central repository of breaches of academic honesty; and
    4. forwarded by the Lecturer-in-Charge to the relevant Team Leader, Student Centre for addition to the student’s personal file and to the Head of School for information.

4.4 If the Lecturer-in-Charge has sufficient evidence to conclude that the student acted with the intention to deceive, or was otherwise acting dishonestly, the Lecturer-in-Charge will immediately refer the matter to the Head of School. In doing so the Lecturer-in-Charge will provide a report on investigations undertaken and all relevant materials, viz:

  1. the examination paper or work submitted by the student for assessment; and
  2. evidence of the basis on which the allegation is based, for example:
    1. the Examination Supervisor’s report and any associated evidence;
    2. reference to and preferably copies of other resources which are considered to have been plagiarised; (a printout from any internet site is appropriate, in case that site is subsequently changed); or
    3. evidence of collusion or recycling;
    4. evidence from text matching software or other detection tools;
  3. information about any other written warnings related to possible previous occurrences of academic dishonesty found on the student’s personal file or the central repository of breaches of academic honesty.

4.5 Where any member of staff other than a Lecturer-in-Charge detects or is made aware of the possible occurrence of academic dishonesty, the staff member will report the matter to the staff member’s supervisor who may refer the matter to the relevant Head of School for consideration under Section 6 of these Procedures or may take action under Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline.

5. Hold on results while any allegation of academic dishonesty is investigated

In any case in which an allegation of academic dishonesty is referred to the Head of School or Provost, the student cannot withdraw from the unit and no result can be finalised for the unit until the investigations under these Procedures are completed, the decision is communicated to the student, and the time for appeal has elapsed.

6. Consideration of any allegation of academic dishonesty

6.1 The Head of School will, within 10 working days of receipt of any allegation of academic dishonesty, initiate such investigations as considered appropriate.

6.2 If the Head of School considers that the evidence does not support the allegation, the student and the Lecturer-in-Charge or other complainant will be advised accordingly and no further action will be taken.

6.3 If the Head of School considers that the allegation has substance, he/she will notify the student in writing of the nature of the allegation/s and provide the student with a copy of the Academic Honesty Policy, these Procedures and the Framework for Academic Integrity and with the opportunity to prepare and submit a written response to the Head. Unless otherwise specified in the particular case, the student’s response should be lodged within 20 working days of notification by the Head.

6.4 The Head of School may also request the student to attend for interview or provide the student with the opportunity to request an interview to discuss the allegation. At any such interview, the student may, with prior written notice to the Head of School, be accompanied by another person, other than a person with qualifications in law, who will act in the role of a neutral observer; such other person will not act in the role of advocate or spokesperson on behalf of the student, except with the specific prior permission of the Head.

6.5 The Head of School will make a decision on the matter within 20 working days from the receipt of a response from the student, or, if no response is received, the due date for a response from the student.

7. Factors taken into account in determining action to be taken where allegation of academic dishonesty is proven

The following factors will be taken account in determining the gravity of an act of academic misconduct and determining action to be taken and/or penalty to be imposed:

  1. the nature of the academic dishonesty;
  2. the extent of the academic dishonesty;
  3. the experience of the student;
  4. any ameliorating circumstances identified by the student;
  5. any previous record of academic dishonesty on the part of the student; and
  6. whether, on the balance of probabilities, the student acted intentionally or whether the student’s academic dishonesty resulted from ignorance, inadvertence or lack of attention.

8. Action which may be taken by the Head of School

8.1 Following investigation of the allegation, the Head of School may take one or more of the following actions:

  1. dismiss the case with no further action, other than counselling the student;
  2. issue a written warning to the student;
  3. require the student to resubmit the work for assessment or to undertake additional and/or remedial work in substitution for the work submitted;
  4. require the student to undertake another form of assessment in lieu of the assessment work in question;
  5. apply a fail grade to the work, or part thereof, submitted for assessment;
  6. impose a maximum grade for the unit (eg a maximum grade of Pass) and/or downgrade the final grade overall in the unit;
  7. apply a fail grade overall in the unit;
  8. refuse, cancel or annul credit for any unit;
  9. refer the matter to the Provost if the Head of School considers that awarding a fail grade in the unit is insufficient to deal with the matter.
    (Note: The Head of School will access the confidential Breaches of Academic Honesty file and any information it contains regarding the student’s previous history of academic dishonesty only after determining that the student is guilty of a breach in the current investigation.)

8.2 If a student has been found guilty of academic dishonesty on more than one occasion, the Head of School will refer the matter to the Provost who may:

  1. terminate the student’s enrolment in the course and exclude the student from the University for a period of up to three semesters from the date of termination; or
  2. impose some lesser academic penalty.

9. Notification and recording of decision

9.1 The Head of School will advise the student in writing of:

  1. the process undertaken during the investigation;
  2. the decision reached;
  3. the reasons for the decision; and
  4. available avenues of appeal.

A copy of the advice to the student will be provided to the Executive Dean, any other relevant Head of School (eg Head of School responsible for the course in which the student is enrolled, if different), Course Co-ordinator, Lecturer-in-Charge and Student Administration.

9.2 The report will be filed on a confidential file on Breaches of Academic Honesty maintained by Student Administration, with limited access. A cross reference will also be included on the personal student file and the decision will be recorded on the central repository of breaches of academic honesty.

10. Action by the Provost

10.1 In the event of an allegation of academic dishonesty being referred by a Head of School to the Provost, the Provost will undertake such further investigation of the case as is considered appropriate.

10.2 Following consideration of the case the Provost may:

  1. dismiss the case;
  2. refer the matter to a Discipline Committee under Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline;
  3. terminate the student’s enrolment in the course and exclude the student from the University for a period of up to three semesters from the date of termination; or
  4. impose some lesser academic penalty.

10.3 Following determination of the case, the Deputy-Vice-Chancellor will advise the student in writing of:

  1. the process undertaken during the investigation;
  2. the decision reached;
  3. the reasons for the decision; and
  4. available avenues of appeal.

A copy of the advice to the student will be provided to the Executive Dean, the Head(s) of School, the Course Coordinator, the Lecturer-in-Charge and the Manager, Student Centres.

10.4 The Manager, Student Centres will file the report on the confidential (electronic) Breaches of Academic Honesty file with access limited to the Manager, Student Centres and the Manager, Enrolments, Fees and Scholarships and in accordance with Section 7 of this policy. A cross reference will also be included on the student’s personal file and the decision will be recorded on the central repository of breaches of academic honesty.

10.5 Where a student’s enrolment has been terminated or the student has been excluded under these Procedures, the following provisions apply:

  1. where the exclusion or suspension does not exceed two weeks, the student may resume studies after the expiry of the nominated period of exclusion;
  2. where the exclusion exceeds two weeks, the student may not resume studies, after the expiry of the nominated period of exclusion, without first obtaining the approval of the Course Co-ordinator;
  3. where the period of exclusion is greater than one standard study period, in order to be considered for re-enrolment, the person must first submit an application for readmission which will be determined by the relevant Executive Dean after consultation with the Breaches of Academic Honesty file;
  4. if the student subsequently re-enrols, no credit may be granted for any studies or other learning or practical experience undertaken at this University or elsewhere during the period of exclusion or suspension.

11. Avenues of appeal1

11.1 A student may appeal:

  1. to the Executive Dean against the decision of a Head of School, other than a decision to refer the matter to the Provost under Section 7.1(i) above;
  2. to the Provost against the decision of an Executive Dean; or
  3. to the University Appeals Committee against the decision of the Provost.

11.2 Any such appeal will be handled in accordance with the Student Appeals Policy.

12. Related documents

These Procedures should be read in conjunction with the following:

  1. Academic Honesty Policy
  2. Academic Regulations
  3. Assessment Policy
  4. Assessment Procedures
  5. Framework for Academic Integrity
  6. Glossary of Terms
  7. Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulations
  8. Statute 10 Student Conduct and Discipline
  9. Research and Professional Doctorate Degree Regulations
  10. Student Appeals Policy

1 See Policy on Review by the University Visitor of Unresolved Appeals or Complaints by Students.

Feedback