Maladministration and Malpractice Policy and Procedure

HSQE Consultancy will seek to promote the Conservation and Sustainable use of natural resources and to eliminate Environmental Pollution in all its activities and where possible, by its influence over others.

The Company’s overall mission is to carry out our undertakings to a high quality and to provide our clients with a superior service. Underpinning this philosophy is the firm belief that the delivery of a qualitative service requires active consideration of the environment and social impacts associated with our works. Higher Standards of Practice in these areas can also deliver not only to the environment, but to society and the economy.

1. Summary statement

1.1          HSQE Consultancy is committed to protecting the interests of its Learners and ensuring the prescribed standards are applied consistently and fairly to all courses registered with HSQE Consultancy.  Trainer/Assessors MUST ensure that internal administration, course delivery and assessments are conducted in line with policies, protocols and procedures outlined by HSQE Consultancy. HSQE Consultancy is committed to preventing maladministration or malpractice from occurring and will take all reasonable steps to achieve through the implementation of rigorous policies and procedures to cover course & Learner registration, the delivery and assessment of qualifications and quality assurance.

1.2          HSQE Consultancy takes very seriously actions by Trainer/Assessors that fail to meet the standards required. Should a situation arise where HSQE Consultancy are required to take disciplinary action, it will be dealt with in-line with the sanctions outlined in the HSQE Consultancy Internal Quality Assurance Policy.

2. Introduction

2.1          This policy is aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at HSQE Consultancy registered Trainer/Assessors who are delivering regulated qualifications or units and Learners who are working towards these. It sets out the steps Trainer/Assessors and Learners should follow when reporting alleged maladministration or malpractice and HSQE Consultancy responsibilities and processes in dealing with such cases.

3. Trainer/Assessor responsibility

3.1          It is important that Trainer/Assessors involved in the delivery, assessment and quality assurance of regulated qualifications, and their Learners, are aware of this policy – particularly if a potential complaint arises.

3.2          On monitoring visits, the person conducting the visit may check that colleagues and Learners are aware of the policies contents and purpose.

4. Definition of maladministration

4.1          Maladministration is a non-deliberate activity or practice indicating a lack of care or judgement, non-compliance, or error in managing or administering activities relating to HSQE Consultancy registered courses.

4.2          We will investigate all cases of maladministration in liaison with the parties concerned. If an investigation confirms maladministration, we will impose an appropriate sanction and take the necessary steps to ensure that Learners’ interests are protected as far as is reasonably possible. This may include planning for re-assessment or certification, as appropriate.

4.3          The items listed below are examples of Trainer/Assessor maladministration. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are guidance on our definition of maladministration:

  • Non-compliance with HSQE Consultancy policies and procedures.
  • Failure to adhere to HSQE Consultancy course registration and certification process.
  • Failure to meet HSQE Consultancy credit control policy, such as late payment for invoices.
  • Inaccurate claims for certification.
  • Unreasonable delays in responding to quality assurance requests or any other reasonable request.

5. Definition of malpractice

5.1          Malpractice is essentially any deliberate activity or practice which contravenes required standards or regulations and ultimately compromises the integrity of the assessment process and/or the validity of qualifications.

5.2          The items listed below are examples of Trainer/Assessor and Learner malpractice.  Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are guidance on our definition of malpractice:

  • Contravention of HSQE Consultancy Trainer/Assessor and qualification approval conditions.
  • Denial of access to resources (premises, records, information, Learners, and staff) to any authorised HSQE Consultancy representative and/or the regulatory authorities.
  • Failure to carry out the delivery, assessment, and quality assurance of qualifications in accordance with HSQE Consultancy requirements.
  • Failure to maintain auditable records, e.g. certification claims.
  • Fraudulent claim for certificates.
  • Intentional withholding of information from us which is critical to maintaining the rigour of quality assurance.
  • Deliberate misuse of the HSQE Consultancy brand including logo, trademarks, and copyrighted materials.
  • Forgery of evidence.
  • Contravention of the assessment arrangements for each qualification.
  • Insecure storage of assessment materials and exam papers.
  • Unauthorised amendment, copying or distributing of assessment materials.
  • Failure to adhere to the requirements of the Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policies.

5.3          Examples of Learner malpractice can include:

  • Cheating or plagiarism of any nature.
  • Forgery of evidence.
  • Collusion.
  • Impersonation of another Learner.

6. Process for making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration

6.1          Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration, at any time MUST immediately report their findings to HSQE Consultancy. In doing so they should put the claim in writing/email and enclose supporting evidence.

6.2          All allegations should include (where possible and relevant):

  • Trainer/Assessors name, business name and contact details.
  • Learner’s name.
  • Title and number of the HSQE Consultancy course/qualification affected or nature of the service affected.
  • Date(s) of the alleged maladministration or malpractice.
  • Full nature of the suspected or actual maladministration or malpractice.
  • Contents and outcome of any investigation carried out by the Trainer/Assessor or anybody else involved in the case, including any mitigating circumstances.
  • Written statements from those involved in the case, e.g. witness statements.
  • Date of the report and the informant’s name, position and signature.

7. HSQE Consultancy action on receipt of an allegation

7.1          Upon receiving an allegation, it will be passed to the Centre Manager and HSQE Consultancy will acknowledge receipt within 5 working days.  In all cases, HSQE Consultancy will endeavour to protect the identity of the informant but dependant on the nature of the claim this may not always be possible.  Informants MUST be aware that they may be identifiable due to the circumstances of the disclosure.

7.2          In all cases where HSQE Consultancy suspect maladministration or malpractice the appropriate Awarding Organisation will be immediately informed.

7.3          Upon receipt of an allegation the Awarding Organisation will risk assess the claim and may lead the investigation itself or may require HSQE Consultancy to lead the investigation.

8. The Awarding Organisation leading the investigation

8.1          Should the Awarding Organisation decide to lead the investigation HSQE Consultancy will co-operate fully and provide the Awarding Organisation with all facts of the situation and any reasonable additional information that may be requested during the investigation.

8.2          HSQE Consultancy will require all Trainer/Assessors to also co-operate with all aspects of an investigation and provide any requested information or evidence in a reasonable time frame.

8.3          The Awarding Organisation will have a regulatory responsibility to the qualification Regulators, such as Ofqual, SQA Accreditation, Qualifications Wales & CCEA, and both HSQE Consultancy and approved Trainer/Assessors will be required to co-operate with the qualification Regulators as required.

9. HSQE Consultancy leading the investigation

9.1          Should the Awarding Organisation require HSQE Consultancy  to conduct the investigation HSQE Consultancy  will keep the Awarding Organisation informed on the status of the investigation at all times and will produce a detailed report for the Awarding Organisation with the findings of the investigation and proposed action plan and proposed sanctions. The Awarding Organisation will then review the report, proposed action plan and proposed sanctions to determine if it is suitable.

9.2          HSQE Consultancy will make preliminary checks to try to determine whether the claim is vexatious or frivolous. The Centre Manager may appoint a suitably competent person/s to lead the investigation including HSQE Consultancy personnel and, where appropriate, external appropriately qualified personnel to examine the report and supporting evidence. All persons will be independent, i.e. no direct involvement in the alleged issues and free of any conflict of interests.

9.3          HSQE Consultancy aim to complete any investigation within 30 working days of the instruction to investigate from the Awarding Organisation. Please note that in some cases, the investigation may take longer; for example, if a visit is required. In such instances, we will advise all parties concerned of the likely revised timescale.

9.4          The investigator/s review may involve:

  • A request for further information from the Trainer/Assessor, Learner or HSQE Consultancy personnel.
  • Interviews (face to face or by telephone) with personnel involved in the investigation.
  • HSQE Consultancy authorised personnel conducting a local visit. In this case, a fee may be chargeable for the visit.

9.5          HSQE Consultancy expect all parties involved in the investigation, to co-operate fully. Failure to cooperate may lead to a decision based on the evidence available. At any stage in this process HSQE Consultancy reserves the right to suspend Trainer/Assessor status and any claims for Learner certification submitted by the Trainer/Assessor. HSQE Consultancy may also reserve the right to withhold a Learner’s results and/or certificate for all the HSQE Consultancy course/qualifications they are studying if the case is deemed to be of a serious nature.

9.6          If the investigation confirms that there has been maladministration or malpractice HSQE Consultancy may have no alternative but to propose to the Awarding Organisation one or more of the following sanctions (note this list is not exhaustive). In determining the sanction HSQE Consultancy will consider all factors put forward by all parties:

  • A Suspension of the Trainer/Assessor status for all HSQE Consultancy programmes.
  • Termination of the Trainer/Assessor approved status with HSQE Consultancy.
  • Suspension of the Trainer/Assessor status to run a specific HSQE Consultancy course/qualification.
  • Suspension of the Learner’s registration and/or certification for one or more courses/qualifications.
  • Increased level of quality assurance.
  • Specify any additional training/mentoring that may be required.
  • Disallowing all or part of the Learner’s assessment evidence.
  • Not issuing the Learner’s certificate(s).
  • Not accepting any further registrations for the Learner.
  • Disqualification of the Learner from the course/qualification.

9.7          Upon completion of the investigation HSQE Consultancy will create a detailed report covering all aspects of the allegation/s and the investigation along with a proposed action plan and proposed sanctions. This report will be sent to the Awarding Organisation for approval.

9.8          Upon receipt of the decision from the Awarding Organisation HSQE Consultancy will implement its proposed action plan and sanctions or any revised action plan and sanctions as required. HSQE Consultancy will inform all relevant parties within 5 working days of the decision being made.

10. Appeals

10.1        If a Trainer/Assessor or Learner wishes to appeal against any decision to impose sanctions, please refer to the HSQE Consultancy Enquiries, Complaints and Appeals Policy.

11. Review Arrangements

11.1        We will review the policy periodically and revise it as and when necessary in response to customer and learner feedback, changes in our practices, actions from the regulatory authorities or external agencies, or changes in legislation. If you would like to feedback any views, please contact us via the details provided at the end of this policy.

12. Contact Us

Post: HSQE Consultancy Limited, Suite V2 Ferneberga House, Alexandra Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6DQ

e-mail:  [email protected]

Telephone: 01252 214075