Malpractice and Maladministration Policy
This policy sets out STS Training Solutions approach to spotting, recording and acting upon malpractice and maladministration that could affect our reputation, or learner achievement.
STS Training Solutions take allegations of malpractice and/or maladministration seriously and will investigate all allegations to establish whether malpractice has occurred and take appropriate action where this is found to be the case.
Definitions Malpractice is defined as any deliberate activity, neglect, default or other practice that compromises the integrity of the assessment process, and/or the validity of our awards. 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. Failure by a Centre to deal with identified issues may constitute malpractice.
Maladministration is any activity, neglect, default or other practice that results in STS Training Solutions or the candidate not complying with the specified requirements for delivery of any qualifications.
Maladministration may or may not be deliberate. Malpractice and maladministration overlap.
Malpractice and maladministration can lead to Adverse Effects.
An Adverse Effect is defined thus:
An act, omission, event, incident, or circumstance has an Adverse Effect if it –
- gives rise to prejudice to Learners or potential Learners,
- or adversely affects –
- the ability of the awarding organisation to undertake the development, delivery or award of qualifications in accordance with its Conditions of Recognition,
- (ii) the standards of qualifications which the awarding organisation makes available or proposes to make available, or
- (iii) public confidence in qualifications.
Preventing malpractice and maladministration
STS Training Solutions take all reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence of any malpractice or maladministration in the development, delivery and award of qualifications.
Examples of maladministration
The categories listed below are examples of schools and learner maladministration. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of malpractice:
- Persistent failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.
- Persistent failure to adhere to our centre recognition and/or qualification requirements and/or associated actions assigned to the centre.
- Late learner registrations (both infrequent and persistent).
- Unreasonable delays in responding to requests and/or communications from the awarding body Inaccurate claim for certificates.
- Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence.
- Withholding of information, by deliberate act or omission, from us which is required to assure the awarding body of the centre’s ability to deliver qualifications appropriately.
- Misuse of our logo and trademarks or misrepresentation of a centre’s relationship with the awarding body and/or its recognition and approval status with the AO.
- Failure to adhere to, or to circumnavigate, the requirements of our Reasonable Adjustments policy.
Examples of malpractice
The categories listed below are examples of centre and learner malpractice. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of malpractice:
- Denial of access to premises, records, information, learners and staff to any authorised the awarding organisation representative and/or the regulatory authorities.
- Failure to carry out internal assessment, internal moderation or internal verification in accordance with our requirements.
- Deliberate failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures. Deliberate failure to continually adhere to our centre recognition and/or qualification
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 Highfield. In doing so they should put them in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence All allegations must include (where possible):
- Centre’s full name, address and telephone number;
- Learner’s full name and Highfield registration number;
- Centre 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 and associated dates;
- Details and outcome of any initial investigation carried out by the Centre or anybody else involved in the case, including any mitigating circumstances.
In addition, STS Training Solutions asks that the person making the allegation declares any personal interest they may have in the matter to us at the outset.
STS Training Solutions Senior Management Teams have overall responsibility for ensuring that this policy is implemented. If there is any form of malpractice or maladministration, STS Training Solutions Senior Management Team will follow the stages below
Conducting of an investigation led by an Internal Quality Assurer.
Establishing the facts by completing a Malpractice & Maladministration report.
Face-to-face interviews should normally be conducted by two people with one person primarily acting as interviewer and the other as note-taker. In some cases, learners or employers may need to be contacted for facts and information. This may be done via face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, by post or by email.
Wherever possible documentary evidence should be authenticated by this may include asking learners and others to confirm in writing, dated and signed.
Once the investigators have gathered and reviewed all relevant evidence, a decision is made on the outcome.
A report is prepared and a factual accuracy agreement obtained and shared by members of the Quality Team at the relevant qualification board.
Confidentiality and Whistleblowing
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 contact details, if a staff member is concerned about possible adverse consequences that may occur should their identity be revealed to another party then
STS Training Solutions will notify the awarding body of this. STS Training Solutions will always aim to keep a whistle-blower’s identity confidential when asked to do so, although we cannot guarantee this.
The investigator(s) assigned to review the allegation will not reveal the whistle-blower’s identity unless the whistle-blower agrees or it is absolutely necessary for the purposes of the investigation (as noted above).
The investigator(s) will advise the whistle-blower if it becomes necessary to reveal their identity against their wishes.
A whistle-blower should also recognise that he or she may be identifiable by others due to the nature or circumstances of the disclosure (for example the party which the allegation is made against may manage to identify possible sources of disclosure without such details being disclosed to them).
STS Training Solutions
Review date: 25.05.24