Malpractice and Maladministration Policy  

This policy covers malpractice by apprentices, staff or others involved in the end point assessments for apprenticeship standards, and maladministration on the part of the provider or any other party involved in the assessment process.  

 

Definitions of Malpractice and Maladministration

 

These are defined as follows:  

 

  • Any actions The Real Consultancy Company (TRCC) defines under malpractice will be any acts of dishonesty, any that are wilfully negligent or any practice which compromises, or threatens to compromise, the validity of the assessment process and which brings the reputation of TRCC into disrepute (See attached for some examples of malpractice).  

  • Any actions TRCC defines under maladministration will be any failure to adhere to TRCC policies and procedures in relation to assessment or to comply with the requirements of TRCC’s published procedures either through mistakes or poor administration.  

 

Mitigation

 

TRCC seeks to ensure the avoidance of malpractice or maladministration in every aspect of the assessment process, to undertake careful review of any reports of malpractice/maladministration, and to take robust action to resolve any proven cases and prevent any Adverse Effects that may subsequently impact on apprentices or standards.  

 

TRCC is committed to complying with the Ofqual’s Conditions of Recognition on malpractice and maladministration and to taking notice of any written guidance provided by them.  

 

Responsibilities  

 

The Governing Board will:  

 

  • Ensure that it takes all reasonable steps to prevent the occurrence of any malpractice or maladministration.  TRCC has policies and procedures in place that aim to reduce the risk of malpractice and maladministration, to safeguard the integrity of the qualification/

assessment and to protect the interests of apprentices.  

  • Acknowledge and act upon the information given by whistle-blowers and protect their anonymity, when requested.  

  • Carry out all its duties in line with its procedures and without undue delay.  

  • Take appropriate and proportionate action against those responsible for malpractice or maladministration.  

  • Report the incident to the relevant regulators and other stakeholders, where appropriate.  

 

Investigations into alleged incidences of malpractice/maladministration  

 

Each of the following steps will be undertaken:

 

  • Investigations are supervised by TRCC’s Head of Assessment.  Each case is judged on an individual basis in the light of the information made available.  

  • Alleged incidences of malpractice will be investigated by the Lead Internal Quality Assurer (Lead IQA).

  • Alleged incidences of maladministration will be investigated by the Centralised Services Manager.

  • Any investigation will endeavour to determine the facts and will include a review of TRCC’s own documentation relating to its respective policies and procedures and/or to the delivery and assessment guidance provided for a particular apprenticeship standard.  

  • During an investigation, interviews may be required with staff and TRCC may communicate directly with an apprentice, if circumstances dictate this is required.  

  • TRCC will provide a written report within one month of completing the investigation, detailing the circumstances of the alleged malpractice or maladministration, details of any interviews with staff or apprentices, and any remedial action which needs to be taken.  

  • All reports will be approved and signed off by the Head of Assessment and a full record maintained for presentation to the Governing Board.

 

Procedures for dealing with proven cases of Malpractice and Maladministration  

 

Where malpractice or maladministration is established, TRCC will, where appropriate, endeavour to protect the interests of all apprentices who through no fault of their own have been caught up in an incident.  

 

Any decisions made by the Governing Board will be commensurate with the gravity of the malpractice/maladministration identified and associated risk. The Governing Board may apply conditions on the future involvement of any designated personnel in the conduct, supervision or administration of its assessments.  

 

The Governing Board will report the outcome to the regulatory authorities and any suspected criminal activity will be reported to the police.

 

Whistle-blowers  

 

TRCC will act upon any disclosure received from any member of its staff, subcontractors, providers, employers, apprentices or members of the public who feel that any malpractice or maladministration has taken place.  

 

Any person who believes that one of TRCC’s staff or a sub-contractor has committed an offence or breach of TRCC’s procedures in the past, now or is likely to in the future, may disclose information by contacting the Centralised Services Manager or by completing a Whistle-blower Report Form available from the Centralised Services Manager.  

 

Where information is provided over the telephone, TRCC will request this is provided in writing and may ask for further information to enable a thorough investigation to take place.  

Any disclosure will be dealt with in confidence wherever possible, but TRCC may need to disclose a whistle-blower’s identity to:  

 

  • The police, fraud prevention agencies or other law enforcement agencies (to investigate or prevent crime, including fraud).  

  • The courts (in connection with court proceedings).  

  • Another person to whom TRCC is required by law to make a disclosure.  

  • Ofqual or its successor. 

 

Whistle-blowers should also be aware that they may be identifiable by others due to the nature or circumstances of the disclosure.  

 

Where possible whistle-blowers will receive an update on any planned course of action. However, TRCC has a responsibility to all concerned with respect to confidentiality and may not be entitled to divulge the details of any on-going investigation or its outcome. It will, however, confirm that action has been taken where required.

  

Appeals against Malpractice or Maladministration Decisions

 

Individuals may appeal against any decisions taken by TRCC as a result of a malpractice or maladministration investigation.  Any initial enquiry regarding decisions made will be investigated by the Lead IQA or Centralised Services Manager, who will review the evidence and the decisions made.

 

If the outcome of this review is to uphold, the original decision and the individual is still dissatisfied, the individual may make a formal appeal.  The appeal will be judged by the Governing Board and an Independent Reviewer.  A report will be issued and the decision by the Governing Board and Independent Reviewer will be final.

  

Quality Assurance  

 

This policy will be reviewed annually to meet regulatory compliance or following any case of confirmed malpractice or maladministration.  

 

Malpractice  

 

This list is not exhaustive, but examples of malpractice would include:  

 

  • Insecure storage of assessments. 

  • Inappropriate adjustments to assessments or assessment decisions. 

  • Failure to comply with The Real Consultancy Company’s assessment requirements including the retention of assessment evidence and internal moderation records. 

  • Deliberately ignoring plagiarised/copied material. 

  • Prompting apprentices during assessments or giving the answers. 

  • Failure to comply with The Real Consultancy Company assessment procedures. 

  • Deliberate falsification of records to claim certification. 

  • Manufacture of evidence. 

  • Allowing reasonable adjustments without the appropriate evidence or without notifying The Real Consultancy Company. 

  • False claims for certification.  

 

Candidate Malpractice  

 

This list is not exhaustive, but examples of apprentice malpractice may include:  

 

  • Plagiarism.  

  • Collusion.  

  • Copying.  

  • Unauthorised aids during assessment e.g. notes, mobile phone.  

  • Inappropriate behaviour during assessments.  

  • Inappropriate/abusive comments in assessment evidence.