Maladministration and Malpractice Policy

Maladministration and Malpractice Policy

Last review: 2024.01

Estimated reading time: 51 minutes

This policy relates to maladministration and malpractice and covers all of our staff and students; this document sets out our formal procedure for dealing with such incidents.

Forest Skills Ltd t/a Chris Garland Training, hereinafter known as “the Company”, will strive to ensure that all work carried out by our staff, training centres and contractors is of the highest quality.

The Company Management and Staff aim to provide a high standard of service to all learners, so that they have the opportunity to develop to the fullest of their potential.

Quality is at the heart of everything the Company does. It is vital that all of our learners receive the highest standard of training, and that our examinations are both valid and held up as an example of good practice within the wider training sector, therefore it is essential that our policies are both rigorous and thorough.

The Company has policies, procedures, protocols, work systems and instructions in place to ensure that all of our work is of the highest standard at all times, therefore any allegations of Maladministration within the business side or the examinations and assessment side will be treated with the respect and urgency they deserve.

Definition of Maladministration

Maladministration is essentially any activity or practice which results in non-compliance with administrative regulations and requirements and includes the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration within a centre (e.g., inappropriate learner records).

Definition of Malpractice

Malpractice is defined as any activity, practice or act that;

  • deliberately contravenes regulations
  • undermines or compromises the integrity and validity of assessment,
  • undermines or compromises the certification of qualifications,
  • damages the authority of those responsible for conducting assessment and certification.

Malpractice could involve learners, centre staff, external verifiers and awarding organisation staff or contractors.

It is the responsibility of all training and development staff to be vigilant regarding malpractice and where it occurs or where it is attempted it must be dealt with in an open and fair manner.

For the purpose of this policy the terms maladministration and malpractice also cover misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards learner(s).

The Company has policies and procedures in place to minimise the possibility of malpractice or maladministration occurring within the centre. In particular, qualifications have to be delivered according to a specified process, all staff and contractors’ work is subject to quality assurance, and both paper-based and IT administration is carried out according to specified procedures.

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:

  • Contravention of our centre and any qualification approval conditions
  • Denial of access to resources (premises, records, information, learners, and staff) when requested by any authorised awarding body representative and/or the regulators
  • Failure to carry out delivery, internal assessment, internal moderation, or internal verification in accordance with awarding body requirements
  • Deliberate failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures
  • Deliberate or persistent failure to adhere to our centre recognition
  • Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g., certification claims, starter, leaver, and evaluation records
  • Persistent instances of maladministration within the centre, by staff, trainers, assessors, internal verifiers, or contractors
  • Fraudulent claim for certificates
  • The unauthorised use of inappropriate materials / equipment in assessment settings (e.g.: mobile phones)
  • Staff intentionally withholding information from The Company Management which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance and standards both the centre and of the qualifications the Company deliver
  • Deliberate misuse of logo and trademarks or misrepresentation of a training centres relationship with The Company
  • Forgery of evidence
  • Collusion or permitting collusion in exams
  • Trainers allowing learners to still be working towards a qualification after certification claims have been made
  • Contravention by our training centres, trainers, assessors, Internal Verifiers, and learners of the assessment arrangements the Company specify for our qualifications
  • Insecure storage of assessment materials and exam papers issued by any awarding body
  • Plagiarism of any nature by learners
  • Unauthorised amendment, copying or distributing of exam papers issued by any awarding body
  • Inappropriate assistance to learners by centre staff (e.g., unfairly helping them to pass a unit or qualification)
  • Submission of false information to gain a qualification or unit
  • Deliberate failure to adhere to the requirements of our policies.
  • Conduct during assessment

The Company will treat all allegations of Maladministration and Malpractice as a serious incident and will launch a full investigation and where appropriate suspend staff, trainers, assessors, internal verifiers, or students, as detailed in our Disciplinary and Grievance Policy.

All awarding bodies that the Company are registered with will be informed of the allegations and the outcome of our investigation. The Company will comply with any external investigations that are required by the examining organisations or any regulatory authorities, including Police investigations as appropriate.

In the event of serious Maladministration or Malpractice, such as fraudulent activity, theft, dishonesty, corruption and abuse, the issue may be referred to the police for a full criminal investigation. Telephone: 101 All staff and students will be able to appeal any sanctions imposed using either the assessment appeals procedure or the employee grievance procedure.

Preventing malpractice

The centre will take all reasonable steps to minimise the possibility of malpractice. These will include:

  • Informing candidates of the centre’s policy on malpractice and the penalties for attempted and actual incidents of malpractice. This information should be given during the induction period and be included in written information given to the candidate.
  • Photographic records of the exam room layout during the examination. This may also include the use of video recordings.
  • Checking the validity and authenticity of candidates’ written answers to questions.
  • Use of oral questions with candidates to check their knowledge and understanding and explore how this is applied in their workplace.
  • Developing an awareness of candidates’ written style, way of working and abilities so that a judgement can be made on the authenticity of evidence that has been provided by other means than through direct observation or oral questioning.
  • Ensuring the integrity of candidate login and passwords to computer systems.

Dealing with malpractice

Any malpractice or attempted act of malpractice which has influenced the assessment outcome, must be reported to the Centre Manager (Quality Nominee) so that this can be logged, and the incident communicated to the awarding organisation.

The centre will be required to carry out an investigation and to report the findings to the awarding organisation. The centre manager must notify the individual under investigation of the nature of the alleged malpractice and of the possible consequences should malpractice be proven. The individual must be given the opportunity to respond in writing to the allegations made. The centre manager must also inform the individual of the avenues for appealing should a judgement be made against him/her.

A full investigation will then take place by the awarding organisation and the centre will be expected to cooperate fully with this. Where a candidate certificate has been awarded, this may be recalled and declared invalid.

Confidentiality and whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is a term used to refer to an individual who discloses information relating to actual malpractice or maladministration and/or the covering up of such practices. The malpractice or maladministration is often committed by the individual’s employer, although this is not necessarily the case. Whistle-blowers have protection in law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act in certain circumstances.

Ofqual has published guidance on this which can be found at

In this guidance, Ofqual states that centre staff who wish to make a whistleblowing disclosure to someone outside their organisation should normally do so to the relevant awarding organisation. If the issue is about the awarding organisation itself, the disclosure should be directly to Ofqual.

Ofqual contact details:

  • Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
  • Spring Place
  • Coventry Business Park
  • Herald Avenue
  • Coventry
  • CV5 6UB
  • Switchboard: 0300 303 3344
  • Textphone: 0300 303 3345
  • Email: [email protected]

The Company will always endeavour to keep a whistle blower’s identity confidential when asked to do so, although the Company cannot guarantee this and the Company may need to disclose your identity to the police or other law enforcement agencies, the courts, or another person to whom the Company are required by law to disclose your identity. A whistle-blower should also recognise that he or she may be identifiable by others due to the nature or circumstances of the disclosure.

While the Company will consider investigating issues which are reported to us anonymously, the Company shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those to whom the allegation relates. It is not always possible to investigate or substantiate anonymous disclosures. The Company will make every effort to ensure that all of our staff, including management, administrators, trainers, assessors and internal verifiers and all learners follow all the requirements of our training centre and the awarding bodies.

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