This policy provides learning providers with an outline of actions that should be taken in the event that any malpractice and maladministration is identified by a learning providers, and also actions that IQ Verify will take to address those concerns.

Definition for “Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments”;

“Malpractice which includes maladministration and non-compliance, means any act, default or practice which is a breach of regulations or which:

  • Compromises, attempts to compromise, or may compromise the process of assessment, the integrity of any certification scheme or the validity of a result or certificate and / or
  • Damages the authority, reputation or credibility of any certification body or learning provider or any officer, employee or agent of any certification body or learning provider.”

Any allegation or instance of malpractice must be reported to IQ Verify immediately and failure to do so is itself malpractice.

Each case of suspected malpractice and maladministration will be considered on an individual basis, however, until the matter has been investigated, further registrations may be suspended and results may not be issued to prevent potential further adverse effects.

Scope

This policy covers actual or suspected malpractice or maladministration perpetrated by candidates, learning providers, or IQ Verify members of staff.

Conflicts of interest

In accordance with IQ Verify’s Conflict of Interest Policy, where any person responsible for tasks outlined within this policy is considered to be in conflict, an appropriate nominee will be appointed by agreement of at least 2 members from the Senior Management Team to undertake the tasks ordinarily assigned to the role within this policy.

Examples of malpractice / maladministration

At learner / candidate level:

  • Copying of assessments from course mates.
  • Presenting another learners work as their own or plagiarism from external sources.
  • Taking unauthorised materials, resources or equipment into an examination room.
  • Impersonating other candidates, or allowing themselves to be impersonated during an assessment, or colluding in the act of impersonation.
  • Obtaining, receiving, exchanging, or passing on information related to an assessment or examination taking place by; talking, written paper or notes or any information passed on by electronic means.
  • Unauthorised access to any IQV assessment or examination paper.
  • Failure to follow the instructions of the invigilator.
  • Claiming false accreditation of prior learning.
  • Disturbing learning or assessment of other candidates.

 At learning provider staff level:

  • Fraudulently misrepresenting achievements or held competencies.
  • Conducting assessment, invigilation or any other activities in contravention with IQV’s conflicts of interest policy.
  • Failing to supply an appropriate invigilator, i.e. free from conflicts of interests
  • Failing to supply an adequate assessor, i.e. with no knowledge of the subject being assessed / examined.
  • Changing the date of an IQ Verify assessment/examination without IQ Verify approval.
  • Obtaining unauthorised access to assessment material prior to an IQ Verify assessment or examination.
  • Allowing candidates access to previous IQ Verify assessments or examination papers without IQ Verify approval.
  • Photocopying IQ Verify assessments or examination papers without IQ Verify approval.
  • Failing to keep completed assessments or examination scripts secure.
  • Failing to complete internal assessment documentation, or adhere to any assessment evidence requirements.
  • Failing to record results in the prescribed way.
  • Failing to return completed work in accordance with IQ Verify policies.
  • Failing to conduct internal assessment using agreed assessment criteria.
  • Failing to adhere to security regulations.
  • Failing to comply with IQ Verify assessment/examination policies, procedures or guidance documents.
  • Assisting or prompting students with answers.
  • Allowing candidates to access unauthorised materials during an assessment.

At certification body level:

  • Providing coaching or training to learning providers and / or candidates using material from confidential external assessments
  • Allowing certification on the basis of incomplete or incorrect assessment records
  • Assisting or prompting students with answers.
  • Failing to comply with IQ Verify policies and procedures.
  • Failing to keep IQ Verify assessments and examination paper contents secure.
  • Failing to keep the IQ Verify database contents secure in accordance with IQV’s Data Protection Policy.
  • Failing to send assessments and other related paperwork in accordance with IQ Verify’s policies and procedures.
  • Failing to keep assessment records, scripts and other materials secure.
  • Failing to send accurate or complete assessment results in the prescribed timescales.
  • Failure of assessors, examiners and verifiers to retain, provide and return documents to and for IQ Verify in accordance with policies and procedures.
  • Inappropriate correspondence with IQ Learning Provider and prospective Learning Providers.  

Suspected Malpractice by an IQ Verify Employee

The Learning Provider should report this to IQ Verify, if necessary in accordance with IQ Verify’s Whistle Blower’s Policy. The enquiry will be dealt with the Investigation Policy and Procedure, IQV’s Disciplinary Procedure or other applicable policy / procedure as necessary.

Suspected malpractice at learning provider or candidate level

If any Learning Provider staff have reason to believe that malpractice or maladministration has occurred: 

  • The Learning Provider should report the occurrence to the IQ Verify as soon as practicable at info@iqverify.org.uk. Where applicable, Learning Provider staff may notify IQ Verify through IQ Verify’s Whistle Blower Policy.
  • Failure of responsible Learning Provider staff to report any occurrence of malpractice of maladministration is in direct contravention of IQV’s Learning Provider agreement and may result in IQ Verify taking action against a Learning Provider or Learning Provider staff.
  • The accused should be made fully aware of any breach of IQV regulations in writing as soon as possible, with the possible consequences of their alleged actions.
  • Any person accused of malpractice must be given the opportunity to respond to the accusation in writing.
  • Learners should be made aware of the enquiries and appeals process if malpractice is established by the learner.
  • If an interview with the learner is conducted by the Learning Provider, it must be conducted in the presence of the Head of Learning Provider or other appropriate senior staff member. The Learning Provider should ensure that two people are present that an accurate record of the meeting is made and forwarded to IQ Verify as part of the supporting evidence. The learner must be given the opportunity to be accompanied by a person of their choice and should sign the record to indicate its accuracy.
  • The Head of Learning Provider should submit a full written report of the case with supporting evidence to IQ Verify, including any action already taken to investigate the incident, or implemented by the Head of Learning Provider. The report should contain:
    • Statement of circumstances and facts surrounding the investigation.
    • Written statements from all staff concerned.
    • A written statement from the learner(s) concerned.
    • Any extenuating circumstances e.g. medical reports.
    • Details of Learning Provider’s procedure for informing learners of IQV’s policies and procedures.
    • Any unauthorised materials found during assessment / examination.
    • Learner’s work or assessment materials relevant to the investigation.
    • Relevant registers or other records of attendance (copies).
    • Relevant schemes of work (copies).
    • A written record of any interviews that have taken place.

 IQ Verify reserve the right to observe or conduct any of the above actions, and will conduct its own investigation in to the matter.

Notification to relevant stakeholders

IQ Verify will inform:

  • The relevant regulatory authorities where any event has occurred or is likely to occur that could have an adverse effect
  • The Learning Provider, where malpractice, maladministration or any other occurrence may affect a Learning Provider undertaking any part of the delivery of a certification scheme which IQ Verify makes available
  • Another certification body where malpractice, maladministration or any other occurrence may affect that certification body. 

Where criminality is suspected, IQ Verify will also report the matter to the police or other relevant statutory agency.

Application of sanctions

As described above, it is usual for IQ Verify to suspend further registrations at your Learning Provider until such time we can establish the facts of the case to prevent further adverse effect. This is an interim measure which is reviewed regularly during the investigation.

If malpractice or maladministration is substantiated at your Learning Provider, your Learning Provider will be liable for IQ Verify’s investigation costs in dealing with the inquiry.

IQ Verify will consider all factors put forward by the Learning Provider or candidate in determining the appropriate actions, which may include further sanctions or penalties. IQ will consider the least severe sanction or penalty first, in accordance with IQ Verify’s policies and previous decisions in order to determine a reasonable and proportionate sanction for issues.

The imposition of a sanction against a candidate or Learning Provider will lead to a review of the Learning Provider’s risk rating, but will not always result in a change of the Learning Provider’s risk rating.

Learner sanctions

Learner sanctions could include, but are not limited to:

  • The learner is issued with a written warning.
  • The learner may lose some marks related to a particular criteria, assessment or unit.
  • The learner may lose all marks related to that particular criteria, assessment or unit.
  • The learner may be disqualified from the whole certification scheme.
  • The learner may be periodically barred from registering on IQ Verify certification scheme.
  • The learner may be banned from registering on IQ Verify certification scheme.

Learning Provider Sanctions

Learning Provider sanctions could include, but are not limited to:

  • The Learning Provider is issued a written warning,
  • The Learning Provider may be required to produce an action plan or to address specific action points,
  • The Learning Provider is required to take specific steps to rectify any issues arising from the occurrence,
  • The Learning Provider may have its approval status removed for some schemes, or some Learning Provider staff.
  • The Learning Provider may be required to operate under specific conditions, i.e. requiring all examinations to be invigilated by an external party nominated by IQV.
  • The Learning Provider approval status is suspended and is not allowed to register or certificate any further learners temporarily.
  • The Learning Provider may have its Learning Provider approval status removed.

 Sanctions can also be levied on specific Learning Provider staff. Learning Provider staff sanctions could include but are not limited to:

  • The member of staff is issued a written warning.
  • The member of staff must be supervised by another member of staff for a set time period.
  • The member of staff is required to undertake further training prior to conducting further responsibilities.
  • The member of staff is suspended for a period of time.
  • The member of staff may be banned from being involved in the delivery of IQ Verify certification schemes.

 In cases of significant malpractice, IQ Verify may pursue costs and damages against Learning Provider and Learning Provider staff.#

Outcome of Employee Investigations

IQ Verify will not normally disclose the outcome of internal investigations relating to IQ Verify members of staff. However, where decisions are made arising out of those investigations that impacts the Learning Provider’s status or learner achievements, IQ Verify will advise the Learning Provider on those impacts and decisions accordingly.

Decisions

IQ Verify will usually communicate the outcomes of any alleged malpractice investigations as soon as possible after the decision has been made to the Learning Provider, unless it is not practical to do so.

It is the responsibility of the Learning Provider to communicate those decisions to staff, learners and any other individuals affected by the decision. Where the Learning Provider has ceased working with IQ Verify, decisions may be communicated directly to learners.

Appeals

Learning Provider and learners may:

  • request a review of a decision in accordance with Enquiry About Results (EAR) Policy and Process
  • appeal against a decision or penalties imposed by IQV using the IQ Appeals Procedure