The Malpractice & Maladministration Policy
This policy applies to CTSafe Center staff who are suspected of being involved in such cases. It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all malpractice and maladministration investigations in a consistent manner.
It sets out the steps learners or other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice and/or maladministration and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases. It also sets out the procedural steps to be followed when reviewing any cases of malpractice and/or maladministration.
It is important that all personnel involved in the management, delivery, assessment and quality assurance of CTSafe Center regulated qualifications and learners are fully aware of the contents of the policy of malpractice and/or maladministration.
If a failure to report suspected or actual cases of malpractice and/or maladministration cases is found, it may lead to serious management consequence. If you wish to receive guidance and/or advice from CTSafe Training Center on how to prevent, investigate, and deal with malpractice and maladministration then please contact us and we will happily provide you with such advice and/or guidance.
Should an investigation be undertaken into the CTSafe Center, the center coordinator must:
- Ensure the investigation is carried out by competent investigators who have no personal involvement in the incident or interest in the outcomes
- Ensure the investigation is carried out in an effective, prompt and thorough manner
- Respond speedily and openly to all requests relating to the allegation and/or investigation
- Cooperate and ensure their staff cooperate fully with any investigation and/or request for information.
Definition of Malpractice
Malpractice is defined as any deliberate activity, neglect, default or other practice that compromises the integrity of the internal or external assessment process and/or validity of certificates of a qualification awarded by CTSafe Center. It covers the deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise the following:
- The assessment process
- Integrity of a regulated qualification
- The validity of a result or certificate
- The reputation and credibility of CTSafe Center qualifications
- The qualification of the wider qualification’s community.
Malpractice may include a range of issues from the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems to the deliberate falsification of records in order to claim certificates. For the purpose of this policy this term also covers misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain learners.
Examples of Malpractice
The categories listed below are examples of malpractice. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of malpractice:
- Deliberate misuse of our logo, brand, name and trademarks or misrepresentation
- Deliberate failure to continually adhere to CTSafe Center recognition and/or qualification approval requirements.
- Intentional withholding of information from CTSafe Center which is critical to maintaining the rigor of quality assurance and standards of qualifications
- Deliberate failure to carry out internal assessment, internal moderation or internal quality assurance monitoring in accordance with our requirements
- The unauthorized use of inappropriate materials/equipment in assessment settings
- A loss, theft of, or a breach of confidentiality in, any assessment materials
- Insecure storage of assessment materials
- Inappropriate circulation/distribution of assessment materials
- Unauthorized amendment, copying or distributing of assessment papers/materials
- Plagiarism by learners or center personnel
- Cheating by learners or center personnel
- Personation, assuming the identity of another learner or having someone assume their identity during an assessment
- Collusion or permitting collusion in assessments
- Deliberate contravention by learners of the assessment arrangements we specify for our qualifications
- Fraudulent claim for certificates and/or deliberate submission of false information to gain a qualification or unit
- False records
- Deliberate failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures
- Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence
- Learners still working towards qualification after certification claims have been made
- Selling certificates for cash
- Selling papers/assessment details
- Extortion and Fraud
- Threatening or abusive behavior that threatens the safety of center personnel and/or staff and/or is intended to put undue influence on the outcomes of an assessment/award.
Definition of Maladministration
Maladministration is defined as any activity, neglect, default or other practice that results in tutor, assessor, learner or quality assurer not complying with CTSafe Center requirements, the General Conditions of Recognition, or regulatory principles.
Maladministration is in effect any activity or practices which results to non-compliance with administrative requirements and regulations. This includes the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration within the center including inappropriate learner records.
Examples of Maladministration
The categories listed below are examples of center and learner maladministration. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of maladministration:
- Persistent failure to adhere to learner registration and certification procedures
- Persistent failure to adhere to center approval criteria and/or qualification requirements
- Late learner registrations (both frequent and persistent)
- Unreasonable delays in responding to requests and/or communications from CTSafe Center
- Inaccurate claim for certificates
- Late learner certification requests, e.g. beyond the certification end date for the qualification
- Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence
- Withholding or the delaying of information, by deliberate act or omission
- Misuse of our logo and trademarks or misrepresentation of CTSafe Center and/or its recognition and approval status with CTSafe Center
- Poor administration arrangements and/or records
- Persistent mistakes in relation to our delivery arrangements
Process for Making an Allegation of Malpractice or Maladministration
Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately notify CTSafe Center. In doing so, they should put this in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence.
All allegations must include (where possible):
- Learner’s name and reference number
- CTSafe Center personnel’s details (name, job role) if they are involved in the case
- Details of the course/qualification affected, or nature of the service affected
- Nature of the suspected or actual malpractice or maladministration and associated dates
- Details and outcome of any initial investigation carried out by in-charge person and anybody else involved in the case, including any mitigating circumstances.
Sometimes, a person making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration may wish to remain anonymous, although it is always preferable to reveal your identity and provide us with contact details. However, if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences that may occur should your identity be revealed to another party then please inform us that you do not wish for us to divulge your identity and we will work to ensure your details are not disclosed. We will always aim to keep a whistleblower’s identify confidential where asked to do so
The investigator(s) assigned to review the allegation will not reveal the whistleblower’s identity unless the whistleblower agrees or it is absolutely necessary for the purposes of the investigation (as noted above). The investigator(s) will advise the whistleblower if it becomes necessary to reveal their identity against their wishes. A whistleblower should also recognize that he or she may be identifiable by others due to the nature or circumstances of the disclosure (e.g. the party which the allegation is made against may manage to identify possible sources of disclosure without such details being disclosed to them).
Responsibility for the Investigation
All suspected cases of malpractice and maladministration will be passed to our General Director of CTSafe Center and we will acknowledge receipt, as appropriate, to external parties within 48 hours.
Our General Director will be responsible for ensuring the investigation is carried out in a prompt and effective manner and in accordance with the procedures in this policy and will allocate a relevant member of staff to lead the investigation and establish whether or not the malpractice or maladministration has occurred. At all times we will ensure that CTSafe Center personnel assigned to the investigation have the appropriate level of training and competence and they have had no previous involvement or personal interest in the matter.
Notifying Relevant Parties
In all cases, we will tell the person who made the allegation who will be handling the matter, how they can contact them, what further assistance we may need from them and agree a timetable for feedback. In cases of suspected or actual malpractice and/or maladministration, we will notify the center coordinator involved in the allegation that we will be investigating the matter.
Where applicable, General Director of CTSafe Center will inform the appropriate regulatory authorities if we believe there has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration.
Investigation Timelines and Summary Process
Once CTSafe Center has received an allegation of malpractice or maladministration you will be sent an acknowledgement of receipt within 7 working days. The allegation will be reviewed in line with our policies and procedures and an investigation will be conducted where necessary. To ensure a fair and thorough process is followed the duration of the investigation will depend on the nature and severity of the allegation we receive at this stage, or the complexity of the response required.
We do aim to provide this as soon as the outcome is available or within a maximum of 28 days. Please note that in some cases the investigation may take longer. In such instances, we will advise all parties concerned of the likely revised timescale.
The fundamental principle of all investigations is to conduct them in a fair, reasonable and legal manner, ensuring that all relevant evidence is considered without bias. In doing so investigations will be underpinned by terms of reference and based around the following broad objectives:
- To establish the facts relating to allegations/complaints in order to determine whether any irregularities have occurred
- To identify the cause of the irregularities and those involved
- To establish the scale of the irregularities and whether other qualifications may be affected
- To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered learners and to preserve the integrity of the qualification
- To ascertain whether any action is required in respect of certificates already issued
- To identify any adverse patterns or trends.
The investigation may involve a request for further information from relevant parties and/or interviews with center personnel involved in the investigation. In any interviews carried out with the person(s) accused of malpractice or maladministration they can choose to be accompanied by a representative, this could be a colleague, trade union representative, or other third party.
If we believe there is sufficient evidence to implicate an individual in malpractice and/or maladministration we will:
- Inform them (preferably in writing) of the allegation
- Inform them of the evidence we found to support our judgment
- Inform them that information in relation to the allegation and investigation may be, or has been, shared with the regulators and other relevant bodies (e.g. police)
- Provided them with an opportunity to consider and respond to the allegation and our findings
- Inform them of the appeals policy should they wish to appeal against the decisions.
After an investigation, we will produce a draft report for the parties concerned to check the factual accuracy. Any subsequent amendments will be agreed between the parties concerned and ourselves. The report will cover the following areas:
- Identify where the breach, if any, occurred
- Confirm the facts of the case (and any mitigating factors if relevant)
- Identify who is responsible for the breach (if any)
- Contain supporting evidence where appropriate (e.g. written statements)
- Confirm an appropriate level of remedial action to be applied.
We will make the final report available to the regulatory authorities and other external agencies as required. If it was an independent/third party that notified us of the suspected or actual case of malpractice and/or maladministration we may also inform them of the outcome, normally within 7 working days of making our decision. In doing so we may withhold some details if to disclose such information would breach a duty of confidentiality or any other legal duty.
If the investigation confirms that malpractice or maladministration has taken place, we will consider what action to take to:
- Minimize the risk to the integrity of certification now and in the future
- Maintain public confidence in the delivery and awarding of qualifications
- Discourage others from carrying out similar instances of malpractice or maladministration
- Ensure there has been no gain from compromising our standards.
Monitoring and Review
We will review this policy annually as part of our quality assurance requirements and revise it as and when necessary in response to learner feedback, changes in our practices, actions from the regulatory authorities or external agencies, changes in legislation, or trends identified from previous allegations.
The Board of Directors
20 Jan, 2020