The purpose of this policy is to ensure ACIPC takes a consistent approach to academic integrity among students to protect and enhance the College’s reputation and academic standards.
This policy applies to students enrolled in all online courses, including Foundations of Infection Prevention and Control Course.
- Academic integrity: the moral code of academia. It involves using, generating and communicating information in an ethical, honest and responsible manner.
- Academic misconduct: conduct by which a student seeks to gain for himself, herself or another person an unfair or unjustified academic advantage in a course or unit of study and includes, cheating, collusion and plagiarism. It may be intentional or reckless.
- ACIPC: Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control.
- Cheat/cheating: to seek to obtain an unfair advantage in an assessment, written, oral or practical work, required to be submitted or completed for assessment in a course or unit of study and includes the resubmission of work that has already been assessed on another unit.
- Collusion: collusion is when a student wholly or partially, copies another student’s work and tries to pass it off as their own. Being party to collusion is when a student knowingly gives their assignment or their research to another student who copies it. In this situation, both students will have committed an academic offence.
- Course: Foundations of Infection Prevention and Control or other online certificate courses.
- EMT: Executive Management Team (comprising ACIPC President, Past President and President-Elect).
- File sharing or illegal cheating services: an illegal cheating service is one which offers to sell you essays or assignments, ask you to upload previous work from your course, sells your study notes or exams, or sit exams on your behalf.
- FIPC: Foundations of Infection Prevention and Control Course.
- Online certificate course: any course delivered online over two or more sessions and provides a certificate of completion.
- Plagiarism: to take and use another person’s ideas and/or manner of expressing themselves and to pass them off as one’s own by failing to give appropriate acknowledgment including the use of material from any source, staff, students or the internet, published and unpublished works.
- Student: any person enrolled into FIPC or other online certificate course.
Legal and policy framework
This policy will be published in the relevant student guide for each course. All course students must agree to abide by this policy upon enrolment in a course. A statement of academic integrity will be mandatory in the relevant Moodle course and must be electronically agreed to within the course prior to the learning materials being available to the student. A cover sheet is required for marked written assessment submissions. A coversheet will be submitted with the final written assignment. (See Appendix A)
The Centre for International Academic Integrity defines academic integrity as a commitment to “six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage” (2014). ACIPC is committed to upholding standards of academic integrity and honesty. Therefore, students are expected to:
- undertake studies and assessments with honesty and integrity;
- ensure that no academic work is in any way falsified;
- seek permission to use the work of others where required;
- acknowledge appropriately the work of others;
- take reasonable steps to ensure that other students are unable to copy or misuse their work.
ACIPC staff involved in learning and teaching are expected to display leadership in academic integrity and use a range of approaches to educate students to practice honesty in their academic work.
Plagiarism, collusion and cheating, including assisting others to cheat, are unacceptable and will be fully investigated by the education officer.
Sharing your essay with another student or with a file sharing website (sometimes referred to as a ‘cheating service’) is considered a major breach of academic integrity. If you use such services, you could: fail your subject or course, lose your professional accreditation, or be blackmailed by cheating service operators. Students may have their certificate revoked by the College if found to be in breach of academic integrity. Using a revoked certificate may constitute fraud and carry serious professional consequences.
Conflict of interest
An ACIPC staff member dealing with a case of student academic misconduct has a responsibility to ensure that there is no actual or perceived conflict of interest. Where necessary, matters should be escalated to EMT, who may choose to delegate the matter to another appropriate person.
Use of Turnitin
Turnitin is an anti-plagiarisim software that is widely used and encourages original work, investigates authorship and deters students from submitting assignments which may compromise ACIPC’s integrity.
Assignments will be submitted through Turnitin. Students will be encouraged to use Turnitin as a learning tool, checking for similarity with other texts, prior to submission of the final assignment, providing the opportunity to amend, cite or reference their work correctly. Students will have access to Turnitin tutorials on how to submit and interpret a Turnitin report prior to assignment submission.
Investigations and allegations
The purpose of the investigation in all cases is to make an independent evidence-based determination of whether it can be established, on the balance of probabilities, that the misconduct did occur, and whether there are any associated extenuating circumstances.
The investigator (ACIPC Education & PD Committee Chair or their delegate) follows the conventions of natural justice, and:
- proceeds fairly without bias, and without preconceived notions of culpability;
- makes inquiries and takes actions to determine the facts of the matter based on sound reasoning and relevant evidence;
- commences and completes the investigation without undue delay;
- informs the student/s concerned of the general substance of the allegation and the range of possible consequences if the investigation results in the allegation being substantiated;
- provides the student/s concerned with the opportunity to respond to and put forward evidence or arguments in their favour, and;
- provides opportunity for the student/s concerned to make a case concerning why a particular consequence should not follow in the event that the allegation is substantiated;
- ensures the process for investigation of allegations of misconduct and determination of appropriate penalties is detailed in the associated procedures.
Categories of misconduct
Instances of student academic misconduct in courses are classified by the degree of seriousness of the misconduct: minor and major.
Examples of minor breaches include:
- instances of plagiarism that, after investigation, is deemed to be a consequence of a student’s lack of knowledge of, or skill in, the conventions of academic writing or arising from carelessness rather than a deliberate act of deception/.
All other instances of student academic misconduct in coursework and coursework programs are regarded as major breaches.
Examples of major instances include (but are not limited to):
- plagiarism that, after investigation, is deemed to not be a consequence of a student’s lack of knowledge or, or skill in, the conventions of academic writing or arising from carelessness;
All assignments and Turnitin reports will be reviewed by the education officer and/or other assigned markers to determine the extent and nature of the similarity between the assignment and the matched texts.
High similarity index for a draft assignment
If in the experience of the education officer that the match rate is excessively high, or certain texts, papers or guidance have been copied and presented without appropriate citation/references, then the student will be invited to have a phone discussion, highlighting the nature of the concern, and identifying the student’s position. The student will be directed to the relevant referencing resources, and the correct citation and referencing convention options will be highlighted. It is suggested for the student to amend the draft and represent to Turnitin for a report.
High similarity index for a final assignment
All assignments and Turnitin reports will be reviewed to determine the nature and existence of any breach of academic integrity.
Investigated by the education officer in the first instance, significant breaches will result in paper being ‘failed’ and allowed resubmission following written feedback and a phone conversation. Resubmission capped at 50%. Assignment needs to be amended and presented with a similarity index within the expected range (education officer decision). If the problem persists in the resubmitted assignment then failed and sent to education committee for ratification and review. A final determination will be made and communicated to the student.
Educational/Remedial activities and one or more of the following penalties may be applied, depending on the seriousness of the offence and other determining factors.
- The student is given a formal written warning or reprimand.
- The student is required to resubmit the assessment task, and the mark awarded for the work will not exceed 50 percent.
- The student is required to undertake a substitute assessment task, and the mark awarded for the work will not exceed 50 percent.
Any of the above, or:
- The student is awarded a mark of zero for the assessment task in which the misconduct occurred (which may or may not result in a failing grade for the course).
- The student is awarded a failing grade for the course.
- The student is withdrawn from the course by ACIPC.
- The student is immediately excluded from enrolling in ACIPC courses for one calendar.
- The student is immediately expelled from ACIPC.
All information associated with reports, investigations and outcomes associated with individual instances of student academic misconduct must be treated as confidential and not released to any third party or external agency unless required by law or the student expressly consents to its release in writing.
Students may appeal any aspect of this policy. Appeals are to be in writing by email to The President, ACIPC to firstname.lastname@example.org and should provide full explanation and supporting material where appropriate. Appeals must be made no later than 10 working days following release of assessment marks and final course grade results being released.
The EMT or the Education and Professional Development Committee will decide the outcome of an appeal. The decision of the EMT or committee will be final. No further correspondence will be entered into.
Record keeping and reporting
All relevant records at all stages of an investigation must be captured by staff and should provide reliable and accurate evidence of business decisions and actions. All relevant records must be captured in an approved records management system, in line with the ACIPC governance requirements.
An annual report will be provided to the Education and Professional Development Committee by the education officer summarising academic misconduct. Parties involved are not identified in reports.