If you have been sent an email or letter accusing you of an assessment offence, please get in touch with the Students' Union Advice Service for help and support as soon as you can, our Adviser can help you decide what to do next.
Assessment Offence = a situation where ‘a student has sought to gain unfair academic advantage in the assessment process for him/herself or another student'.
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The Academic Regulations have all the information you should need about allegations of assessment offences, please do read up on this to help you prepare what to do
Stage 1: If you admit to the allegation
If you admit to the allegation, the case will be dealt with by ARU London.
Stage 2: If you deny the allegation
If you deny the allegation, the matter will be referred to the Director of the Academic Office (or nominee), who will organise a hearing to take place normally no later than three months after the formal allegation is made. The full details of a Hearing of the Panel are contained within the Academic Regulations.
If you are present at the Hearing, you will be informed of the decision of the Panel at the conclusion of the meeting. You will also be notified in writing within 10 working days. If you do not appeal, the Panel’s decision will be forwarded to the Faculty Awards Board for implementation. In all cases where an assessment offence has been proved, you should expect to be interviewed by a member of ARU London Staff.
Appeal against the decision of the Panel
The only ground for appeal is that the procedures for considering the allegation set out in the Academic Regulations were not followed. If you have evidence to support this, you may submit it to the Clerk to the Board of Governors within 10 working days of the notification of the decision. An Appeals Committee of the Board of Governors will be convened (full details of the procedure are contained in the Rules, Regulations and Procedures for Students).
Following a hearing by the Appeals Committee of the Board of Governors, if you are dissatisfied with their decision, you may take your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.
In very exceptional cases a decision by the Director of Studies (Stage 1) or by the Appeals Panel (Stage 2) may be referred to the Deputy Vice Chancellor by the Chair of the Panel or senior member of the Academic Office. This may result either in the original decision being upheld or rejected. A referral of this kind must be supported by relevant documentary evidence.
A reference to the proved assessment offence is made on your student record but not on your transcript.
It should be noted that cheating in an examination is never considered as poor academic practice at any level of study.
Forms of Assessment Offences
• Breaching regulations relating to exams and assessments
• Impersonating another student
• Submitting someone else’s work as one’s own
• Falsifying data
• Unauthorised and unattributed submission of an assessment item produced by another
Plagiarism is a term used when a student has submitted work as their own but which has been copied from another source, without acknowledgement. This could be another student, a publication or from the internet. Collusion is the term used when two or more students submit work for assessment as the work of one student alone. If you are required, within the structure of a module, to work with other students to produce a piece of work that is submitted as the work of more than one student, that is acceptable. If you are unsure, check your Module Guide and/or ask the Module Leader.
How accusations are made
If the allegation arises during an exam, the invigilator will inform you of his/her suspicion and mark your answer book accordingly. He/she will then make a report to your Director of Studies. If the allegation arises during the marking of a written assessment, the Module Leader will be informed and a report will be sent to your Director of Studies.
If the Director of Studies decides that the alleged offence is a question of poor academic practice, you will be referred for academic counselling.
If the Director of Studies decides that there is a case to answer the allegation progresses to a full investigation by the Faculty.
Within 20 working days of being notified of the alleged offence, the Director of Studies sends all documentary evidence with a request for you to respond within 15 working days, either accepting or denying the allegation. If you do not respond, it will be assumed that you admit to the allegation. Please speak to the Students' Union Adviser who can talk you through your options which can help you decide what to do and how to respond.
An assessment offence for which new evidence comes to light after the 20 working days reporting window (30 working days for Major Project modules) can be investigated and progressed.
If you deny the assessment offence alegation you will be referred to an Assessment Offence Panel Hearing, if you are invited to this type of panel hearing please contact a Students' Union Adviser and they will be able to help you prepare for the hearing and will be able to attend with you if you are happy for them to be there.
You will be informed of the decision of the Panel at the conclusion of the meeting. You will also be notified in writing within 10 working days.
The Panel’s decision will be forwarded to the Faculty Awards Board for implementation. In all cases where an assessment offence has been proved, you should expect to be interviewed by your Dean of Faculty, please contact the Students' Union Advice Service if you would like an Adviser to help you prepare for this meeting, they can also attend the meeting with you for support if you would like them to.
Appeal against the decision of the Panel
If you are not happy with the decsion of the panel hearing, you may complain to the Office of the Independant Adjudicator. For these purposes, the final communicaiton to the student also serves as the ‘Completion of Precedures Letter’ requried under the OIA procedures. More info on the OIA can be found here
A range of penalties exist which are implemented according to:
• the academic level at which the offence occurred;
• whether the offence occurred at the initial assessment or re-assessment stage of a module;
• whether the offence is admitted by the student during Stage 1 of the Assessment Offences process or the offence is proved through a Panel hearing during Stage 2 of the Assessments Offences process.
Penalties are complex and full details can be found in the Academic Regulations Section 10