Academic integrity

Changes to the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy and Academic Misconduct Procedures were recently approved and will be implemented from January 2022. These changes arose out of recommendations from the extensive 2020 review into academic integrity at ACU.

Major changes include:

  • a compulsory ‘Student Academic Integrity Module’ (Student AIM) for all commencing students
  • the introduction of a finding of ‘poor academic practice’
    • this is not a formal breach
    • available for inexperienced students only
    • applicable in cases where misunderstanding has occurred, and the impact on the assessment task has been minor
  • a single level of breach
    • removal of minor, moderate and major breaches
  • the ability to require the student to complete mandatory education
    • in addition to, or replacing, any academic penalty.

There will also be a major change to the sequence of decision making around academic integrity issues. New academic assignments will be created within the schools/faculties (or equivalent) by Academic Integrity Officers (AIO). When a Lecturer in Charge (LIC) becomes aware of an issue, they will make a preliminary analysis of whether the matter should proceed. The LIC will not undertake a full investigation but will refer cases with sufficient evidence to their AIO.

The AIO assesses the situation, and proceeds to a full investigation, if they believe the allegation has merit. This process will remove time-consuming work from the LICs and help ensure consistent application of penalties.

As noted above, there is only one level of breach. In most situations, the AIO will usually not need to refer the case on to a higher authority but will be able to make the final decision. The exception will be very serious matters, involving bribery or contract cheating, or where the penalty the AIO wishes to apply is outside their remit. In these cases, the matter is referred to an Academic Integrity Committee, chaired by the relevant Executive Dean. This streamlining of the process will ensure reduced double-handling of cases, and a faster final decision.

There will also be a new Academic Integrity Team within the Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) and one of its roles will be receiving allegations of misconduct from AIOs, case management and record keeping. This will remove responsibility for these actions from the Schools and Faculties.

If you have any queries, please contact

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