Academic misconduct policy

1.0 Introduction

1.1 These guidelines have been prepared to outline the policy established by Governance Institute of Australia to deal with allegations of academic misconduct committed by a student.  

2.0 General principles applicable to academic misconduct

2.1 Governance Institute is committed to academic integrity, honesty and the promotion of ethical scholarship. It expects students to respect these values and to learn and observe the accepted academic referencing and other academic requirements of their field/s of study.

2.2 In view of their serious nature, all academic misconduct matters will be dealt with by Governance Institute without undue delay.

2.3 Students are entitled to be regarded as not having behaved in the alleged manner until and unless they admit to that behaviour or a fair and proper inquiry leads to a reasonable conclusion that they have so behaved.

2.4 Each case will be dealt with on its own merits and in accordance with its own circumstances.  

3.0 Academic misconduct

3.1 This policy concerns alleged and established academic misconduct only. Student academic misconduct is one or more of the following: Plagiarism; Collusion; and any other academic misconduct as described below.

3.2 Academic misconduct is defined as any form of dishonesty displayed by a student with respect to an assessment element for a subject whereby the student seeks to gain an unfair advantage. Academic misconduct includes dishonest behaviour which conflicts with the study and assessment instructions given by Governance Institute and any attempt by a student to submit assessment work that is not the student’s own work.

3.3 Accordingly, copying or using another’s work in assessment tasks by means of collaboration, plagiarism or contract cheating will not be tolerated by Governance Institute. These are regarded by Governance Institute as serious offences.

4.0 Collaboration

4.1 Any work submitted by a student should not be the product of collaboration with others, unless Governance Institute clearly instructs students that collaborative work is permitted for that particular assessment item.

4.2 In order to facilitate their learning, Governance Institute encourages students to study together and discuss the reading and research they have done in preparation for the assessment task. However, students must ensure that the material they submit for assessment is their own work and that it has been written independently from the work of others.

5.0 Plagiarism

5.1 Plagiarism in an assessment item refers to a student’s use of or attempt to pass off, whether intentionally or carelessly, all or part of the wording, analysis or content as their own when it has been derived from other sources, including but not limited to websites, textbooks, journal articles and presentations. It includes the failure by the student to acknowledge by way of appropriate acknowledgement that certain material submitted for assessment is in fact the intellectual property of another person, having been derived from that person’s work. It also includes the deliberate adoption or misuse of another’s work with the intention of deceiving the marker into accepting that it represents the student’s own independent thought and effort.  'Appropriate acknowledgement' is defined as the conventions of citation recognised as acceptable to Governance Institute.

5.2 Course directors and markers are instructed to draw to the attention of the Academic Misconduct and Assessment Appeals Committee (AMAAC) for investigation any evidence supporting a case of plagiarism or contract cheating which they encounter when marking assessments.  

5.3 All student assignments will be uploaded to text matching software to indicate where plagiarism or insufficient referencing may have occurred. If, after initial review it is deemed that the assignment is not the student’s own work or is insufficiently referenced, the assignment will be referred to the AMAAC and the student will be notified.

6.0 Misconduct during examinations

6.1 During the Governance Institute examinations, any student who speaks to another examination candidate either in the examination room or outside during a convenience break will be guilty of academic misconduct.

6.2 It will be the responsibility of the Director, Education to provide a student against whom an allegation of academic misconduct is made with a precise statement of the nature of the allegation, together with the supporting evidence, in order to ensure that the student has a clear understanding of what is being alleged against them and the case they have to answer.

6.3 The Director, Education will then refer the allegation of academic misconduct to the Governance Institute’s AMAAC for hearing.

7.0 Other academic misconduct

7.1 Collusion is when two or more students, or a student and any other person(s), act together to plagiarise or engage in academic misconduct, or incite others to do so.

7.2 Tampering, or attempting to tamper, with class work, grades or class records;

7.3 Failing to abide by directions of a member of academic staff regarding individual responsibility for the submission of assessable work, including that for any group work submitted;

7.4 Impersonating another student, or arranging for anyone to impersonate a student, in an assessment task;

7.5 Falsifying or fabricating reports;

7.6 Use of taped, recorded or videotaped lectures, tutorials or other classes in a way that infringes another person's privacy or intellectual property rights - for example, by publishing or distributing a recording without permission from the Course Director of the Subject.

8.0 Minor and substantial misconduct

8.1 The terms 'minor misconduct' and 'substantial misconduct' in the Policy indicate Governance Institute of Australia’s view of the gravity of the impact of the alleged breach of the Policy, according to the following definitions:

  1. Minor misconduct is behaviour that is judged by Governance Institute to be a minimal threat to the integrity of assessment processes in the subject or to be the result of the student's lack of understanding of appropriate referencing or other academic conventions required for the course, or both;
  2. Substantial misconduct: is behaviour that is judged by Governance Institute to be either a significant threat to the integrity of the assessment processes or behaviour where the student's level of experience might reasonably be interpreted as evidence that the student was aware that the behaviour was not in keeping with standards or practices related to ethical scholarship, or both;

8.2 The following instances of alleged misconduct will always be treated as 'substantial misconduct':

8.2.1 once a student has been found to have committed minor or substantial misconduct, any subsequent allegation;

8.2.2 all allegations of collusion, provided students have been given clear instructions about the nature and extent of collaboration that is permissible in group work.

9.0 Academic misconduct and Assessment Appeals Committee

9.1 The AMAAC shall be comprised of a member of the Education Committee, a member of the Assessment Review Panel and the Director, Education.

9.2 Where an allegation of academic misconduct has been made against a student, the Director, Education or a nominated representative from Governance Institute will be responsible for convening a meeting of the AMAAC to conduct an inquiry which shall be held without undue delay.

9.3 The AMAAC may meet either in person or by teleconference.

9.4 In its conduct of the inquiry, the AMAAC shall observe the accepted principles of procedural fairness.

9.5 Upon completion of the meeting when the AMAAC has come to a decision:

9.5.1 if no breach has occurred, no further action will be taken and the student will be notified of the outcome.

9.5.2 If a breach has occurred, the AMAAC will notify the student of the findings and the penalty to be imposed (refer to clause 9.10).

9.6 Upon completion of the meeting and if the AMAAC deems it appropriate to investigate further, the AMAAC will:

9.6.1 Inform the student that a Summary Inquiry Panel consisting of the AMAAC and a subject matter expert, shall be convened

9.6.2 Invite the student to attend the Summary Inquiry Panel in person or via teleconference

9.7 The student will be given a minimum of 15 days notice of the meeting to prepare for the inquiry and to deal with the information provided by Governance Institute.

9.8 The student will have the opportunity to address the AMAAC in person and present either written or oral argument or both in support of their case.

9.9 The student will have the right to call other persons to provide information in support of their case and to question any person who has supplied information to Governance Institute or to the AMAAC.

9.10 In the case of an allegation of academic misconduct against a student, the AMAAC may make one of the following decisions:

  • to dismiss the allegation
  • to find the allegation proven without penalty
  • to find the allegation proven and to impose one of the following penalties:
    • a deduction of marks;
    • a zero mark or fail grade;
    • a reprimand or formal caution;
    • a requirement to undertake further assessment;
    • suspension or expulsion from the subject(s) or the course.

9.11 Governance Institute will advise the student in writing of the decision of the AMAAC and the reasons for that decision. This notice will be sent to the student no later than seven (7) business days after the date of the AMAAC meeting or the Summary Inquiry Panel hearing.

9.12 In the event that the student is dissatisfied with the outcome they may appeal in writing to the Education Committee. The appeal should:

  • contain a statement by the student detailing the grounds for the appeal: and
  • be sent within 15 business days from the date of the notice (refer clause 9.11) and addressed to the Chair, Education Committee at Governance Institute of Australia (Sydney)

9.13 If the student is still dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal (refer clause 9.12) an appeal can be made to the appointed external arbiter, Resolution Institute.

9.14 Please note that the decision of the external arbiter is final.

Version Approved by Date
3.0 Director, Education 26 February 2018

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