DEALING WITH MALPRACTICES AND MALADMINISTRATION

Title

Dealing with Malpractice and Maladministration

Process Ownership

President HR & Strategic Affairs

Created

01 Aug, 2019

Category

Learning Delivery Function

Approval Body

Chairman IIMT Studies Ltd. UK

Review Date

01 Jul, 2021

Category

Learning Delivery Function

Approval Body

Chairman IIMT Studies Ltd. UK

Version 2

30 Aug 2021 To 01 Jul, 2022

Category

Learning Delivery Function

Approval Body

Chairman IIMT Studies Ltd. UK

Version 3

30 Aug 2022 To 01 Jul, 2023

IIMT Studies Ltd
Company Number: 11649333
Registered Office Address: Havelock Hub 14 Havelock Place Harrow London HA1 1LJ

(B) Policy Statement:
IIMT Studies is a system driven and process-oriented organization. IIMTS believes in compliance of all systems and processes in true words and spirits, hence it has been ensured that every professional associated with IIMTS in any form ensures due respect to and ownership of every policy and process, however considering human interface within any organization, this policy has been formed to eradicate the possibility of any ambiguity, maladministration and malpractices at IIMTS as a Centre at authorized centres. 
(C) Objectives of Policy:
 
This policy applies to IIMT and its centre; wherever any malpractice or maladministration is identified, reported or spotted. The sole aim of this policy is to ensure that a healthy, honest, transparent environment and also no instance of malpractice or maladministration occur at AO (Awarding Organization) or its authorized centres, intentionally or unintentionally. The major precise objectives of this policy are as under:
 
1. To ensure that a transparent, accountable and honest work environment is maintained all across the organization – at the centre.
2. The working professionals of the centre remain accountable and subject to the public domain so that transparency prevails.
3. The system and process have inbuilt checks, controls and measures to identify any possibility or instance of malpractice, maladministration, investigate such instance neutrally if it occurs and ensure appropriate actions against the defaulting professional, or learner responsible for or involved in any such instance.
(D) Scope of Coverage of this policy :
 
This policy will cover and will be uniformly applicable to all working professionals associated with IIMT Studies and it’s authorized centres, at all locations across the globe and include:
 
i. Employees of Permanent role or fulltime basis.
ii. Professionals associated with a fixed-term contract or for the time-bound period.
iii. Professionals working on a part-time or temporary basis
iv. Professionals associated on assignment based contract or on a freelance basis.
v. Professionals in any position, cadre, with any designation, with or without remuneration, on the honorary basis or advisory role including members of Governing Body.
vi. Any vendor, business associate or contractor or service  provider, associated with centre for any business activities or services.
 
This policy can also be read with Whistle blowing policy and dealing with allegation against employees.
(E) Definitions of Malpractice and Maladministration:
 
Malpractice: -means any act, default or practice (whether deliberate or resulting from neglect or default) which is a breach of SQA requirements including any act, default or practice which:
 
Compromises, attempts to compromise or may compromise the process of assessment, the integrity of any SQA qualification, the validity of a result or certificate; and/ or
 
Damages the authority, reputation or credibility of SQA or any officer, employee or agent of SQA.
 
Malpractice can arise for a variety of reasons:
 
  • Some incidents are intentional and aim to give an unfair  advantage or disadvantage in an examination or assessment (deliberate non-compliance).
  • Some incidents arise due to ignorance of SQA requirements, carelessness orneglect in applying the requirements (maladministration).
Malpractice includes both deliberate non-compliance with SQA requirements and maladministration in the assessment and  delivery of SQA qualifications.

It is necessary to investigate any suspected instances of malpractice, whether they are intentional or not, to protect the integrity of the qualification and to identify any wider lessons
to be learned.

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).
 
A few critical areas where malpractices and/or maladministration can be identified are in:
• The assessment procedures and compliances
• The integrity of regulated qualifications/courses
• The validation of results declared for regulated qualifications/courses and their certificates
• The learners registration and identification
• The integrity of centre’s staff, employee, third party or freelancer
• The record maintenance as per the Data record policy
• The failure in complying Equality law and/or policies of reasonable adjustments and special consideration.
 
Examples of malpractice and maladministration:
• Hiding records from IIMT Studies authorised representative and/or the regulatory authority
• Failure to ensure the compliance of policies and agreement agreed by the centre
• Direct/indirect unauthorised support to any centre(s)
• Noncompliance of any policy by the staff of IIMT Studies or its authorised centres
• Any frequent noncompliance
• Miss commitment on behalf of IIMT Studies either by staff or centres
• Use of unauthorised material or access
• Plagiarism by learner/staff
• Lost/theft/breach of confidential material/assessment material
• Giving access to material to any unauthorised person/staff
• Lose focus on policies/compliances
• Direct/indirect help to learners during assessments by any authorised/unauthorised person/staff for attainment of marks
• Unreasonable delay in responding to requests and/or communications within the organisation and/or outside the organisation.
• Inappropriate claims for certificates
• Noncompliance of centre agreement and/or policies
• Non-payment/delay in payment of invoice
• Any COI, which isn’t declared knowingly/unknowingly
 
Positive steps centres can take to avoid getting into malpractice and maladministration. For the consequences of malpractice in assessment, please read the Assessment Policy.
 
IIMT Studies will take certain steps to ensure they don’t get indulged into malpractice or maladministration:
 
1. Ensure strict compliance of all policies, equality law and reasonable adjustment and special consideration policy
2. Maintain all records as defined in policies
3. Ensure to follow all criteria of qualifications/courses defined by the Centre
4. Prepare for assessments in advance, make all arrangements as defined in policies.
5. Declare COI wherever needed and keep record of it
6. Share all required information with centre related to delivery and assessments of qualifications/courses of IIMT Studies and in support of any claims made by centre
7. Respond/communicate with Centre as per the directives in policies and procedures within specified timeframes
 
Reporting Malpractice and Maladministration:
 
Any identification of malpractice or maladministration can be reported to the process owner info@iimtstudies.co.uk which will be taken care as per the matrix defined, and the timeline specified. The issues can be reported by post:
 
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNICAL STUDIES. –Havelock hub, Havelock place, Harrow, HA1 1LJ.
 
Reporting Channel & Mechanism:
 
Any candidate or staff member or third party can report suspected cases of centre or candidate malpractice. A concern can be raised by speaking to:
 
NAME OF SQA CO-ORDINATOR: Dr. Atul Pandya
CONTACT DETAILS/ EMAIL/ PHONE : info@iimtgroup.edu.in : +91 9724130486
 
Or directly to SQA:
Malpractice Team- SQA
Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street
Glasgow, G2 8DQ
Email : malpractice@sqa.org.uk 
 
a. The SQA co-ordinator will report suspected cases of centre malpractice to SQA as soon as we have carried out an initial screening exercise to establish the nature ofthe concern. This includes any concerns where we take the view that no further action is necessary.
b. The SQA co-ordinator will also inform SQA of any investigation carried out by an awarding body, industry body, funding agency or regulator which may or may not affect the delivery of SQA qualifications.
c. The SQA co-ordinator will also promptly bring to SQA’s attention any findings of centre malpractice or maladministration communicated to us by another awarding or industry body. We will notify SQA promptly if another awarding body removes approval from our centre, regardless of the reason given for this withdrawal.
(F) Policy Framework :
1. This policy will have the following major compliance segments:
a. Clear and well laid down processes and policies.
b. Identifying accountable professionals as custodian& process owner of this policy.
c. Reporting, Investigation and Review Process of instances of Malpractices and Maladministration.
d. Clear code of conduct for Malpractice and Maladministration.
e. Process of review and reconsideration by alleged professional or agency.

f. Documentation and record.
a. Clear and well laid down processes and policies :
i. The organization – centre must have a clearly laid down policies – processes on every area and discipline that is required and is critical to managing:
1. Business processes.
2. Performance of people.
3. Culture and work environment.
4. Productivity and quality.
5. Discipline and work ethics.
6. Learning delivery and learner’s interest.
ii. Each policy should cover the following major area with clarity :
1. Process owner’s designation.
2. Objectives of the process or policy.
3. Scope of policy coverage.
4. Policy framework with the explanation of all clauses and conditions.
5. Date of formation of policy and date of review of the policy.
6. Process of investigation.
7. Clear provisions for conflict of interests and malpractices and maladministration.
8. Provisions for authorised centres and applicability.
b. Identification of Custodian and Process Owner for each process :
1. Every process must have a process owner or custodian of the process who will be responsible for its implementation and execution in true word and spirit- for centre.
2. The role and responsibilities of the process owner must be clearly defined in the process.
3. The process should also define to whom the process owner will be accountable for the implementation.
4. The processes must clearly list out the details of authorities the process owner has for the respective policy.
5. Each process must have clear cut provision for the second in command or alternate custodian, in case of absence of custodian, for some period, due to any reason.
c. Reporting, Investigation and review process for any instance of malpractices and maladministration :
1. In case of any probability apprehended for any malpractice or maladministration, the same must be reported immediately but not later than 36 working hours after noticing the instance or apprehension of possibility of instance.
2. The same must be reported to the process owner of the policy by a formal mail communication with the following minimum details :
i. Name of the alleged professional or agency who is or may be involved in the instance.
ii. The details of the instance of malpractice or maladministration or its possibility or probability.
iii. The impact of the instance on the stakeholder/ organization or it’s centre.
iv. The time period during which the instance has occurred or has a possibility to occur.
v. The evidence or justification the complainant has for the instance if any.
3. The process owner, after receiving the complaint, must validate details through basic initial investigation and find out if any substance in compliant exist.
4. After the initial investigation, the process owner may submit the report along with his or her findings to the Responsible Officer.
5. The process, as mentioned in 3 & 4 above, must be completed within 48—working hours by the process owner.
6. Once the instance has been reported by Process owner, the report will be studied by the Responsible officer, and he or she will evaluate the gravity of instance of malpractice or maladministration and appoint investigation officer or team of investigation officers.
7. The investigation officer’s appointment will also depend on the position and seniority of the designation of professional involved in this malpractice or maladministration.
8. The investigation officer or team must include only those professionals who :
a. Are at least one level above the professional involved in the instance in the organizational hierarchy.
b. Possess expertise and experience in the field or are of malpractice or maladministration.
c. Has no direct or indirect relations – personal pr professional with professional involved in the instance.
9. The investigation team must submit detailed report and findings within the stipulated timeframe to the Responsible officer who will be responsible for appropriate actions based on the findings and recommendations of investigating officer/team, under the approval of Chairman or Governing Council.
10. The professional before punitive actions will be given a chance to explain his point of view of his part for defence as per the principle of natural justice.
11. The final actions must be informed to the professional involved in the instance of malpractice or maladministration in writing, and the same must be shared with all concerned stakeholders. IIMT Studies intend to finish the process within 15 business days. However, the gravity of issue may require additional time which may be communicated with stakeholder on time to time.
d. Clear code of conduct for Malpractice and Maladministration: The policy has following additional provisions to identify malpractices or maladministration :
1. Any instance where any professional refuses to carry out his or her part of duties to any stakeholder.
2. Any instance of asking any favour from the stakeholder to carry out the task or duties which the professional is responsible for.
3. Any act by the professional which leads to a conflict of interest.
4. Any violation of the code of conduct prescribed by centre.
5. Any violation of HSE policy causing a threat to the safety of any professional or agency or organization or any threat to the environment, directly or indirectly.
6. Any violation of POSH.
7. Any violation of Data Protection Law, confidentiality agreement, breach of any contract or agreement signed.
8. Any violation of standard operating process for any task or assignment.
9. Violation of quality parameters for any task or assignment as prescribed by the policy or process.
10. Any act of violence- abusive behaviour- indecent behaviour or act of disobedience for a reasonable and lawful instruction of superior.
11. Any financial transaction which is not permissible under any policy or law.
12. Any offence which is not permissible under any prevailing law or statue or not permissible by governance.
13. Any unauthorised change or manipulation of any official document or official record with or without unlawful intention.
14. Offering a bribe or any such financial or non-financial favour which is not permissible under any law or policy.
15. Using the company’s logo or stationary or property or assets for personal usage or to achieve personal gain or benefit.
16. Hiding any information intentionally or unintentionally which must be shared with the respective authority.
e. Process of review and reconsideration by alleged professional or agency: The professional involved in the act of malpractice or maladministration must be given a fair chance to :
1. Explain his point of view in his defence.
2. Produce his witnesses if any in support of his claim before investigation officer/ investigating team.
3. Submit documentary evidence in support of his defence.
4. Submit a review petition in case he or she feels that the actions are taken against him, or she are disproportionate to the gravity of the offence.
5. Raise objection against the appointment of any particular investigating team member if he or she has any apprehension of prejudiced investigation.
f. Documentation and Record: Process owners shall be responsible for ensuring all precautions and actions for :
i. All communications are done in writing.
ii. Every decision- step- discussion or investigation is recorded on the form of the proper document either in hard copy or e record.
iii. The record of every step- decision- action during the entire process, must be appropriately filed in respective files and may be produced as and when required by any authority.
iv. The documents under this process must be maintained for a minimum period of six years after closing the instance reported.
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