Malpractice and Maladministration Policy
Malpractice is essentially any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of the internal or external assessment process and/or the validity of certificates and associated achievement. It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:
Malpractice may include a range of issues from the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems, to the deliberate falsification of records in order to claim certificates.
For the purpose of this policy this term also covers misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain groups of learners.
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:
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 The Southend Personal Trainer Academy (e.g. inappropriate learner records).
The categories listed below are examples of centre and learner maladministration. Please note that these examples are not exhaustive and are only intended as guidance on our definition of malpractice:
Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately notify the appropriate
personnel at The Southend Personal Trainer Academy and Active IQ. In doing so they should put them in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence. If the area of malpractice or maladministration involves The Southend Personal Trainer Academy, then the informant may bypass us as a centre and report straight to Active IQ.
All allegations must include (where possible):
If The Southend Personal Trainer Academy has conducted an initial investigation prior to formally notifying Active IQ, The Southend Personal Trainer Academy should ensure that staff involved in the initial investigation are competent and have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation. However, it is important to note that in all instances The Southend Personal Trainer Academy must immediately notify Active IQ if they suspect malpractice or maladministration has occurred as Active IQ have a responsibility to the regulatory authorities to ensure that all investigations are carried out rigorously and effectively.
In all cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration reported to Active IQ they will protect the identity of the ‘informant’ in accordance with their duty of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.
Sometimes the ‘informant’ will wish to remain anonymous. However, it is always preferable to reveal your identity and contact details to The Southend Personal Trainer Academy or Active IQ, and if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences please inform The Southend Personal Trainer Academy or Active IQ that you do not wish for us to divulge your identity. If it helps to reassure you on this point, The Southend Personal Trainer Academy or Active IQ can confirm that we are not obliged (as recommended by the regulators) to disclose information if to do so would be a breach of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.
Whilst The Southend Personal Trainer Academy or Active IQ are prepared to investigate issues which are reported anonymously The Southend Personal Trainer Academy or Active IQ shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those that the complaint/allegation relates. At all times we will investigate such complaints from whistleblowers in accordance with relevant whistle blowing legislation.
To embed effective arrangements to investigate instances of malpractice/maladministration the following should process will ensue. It is intended that the stages involve generic key activities; however, not all these would be implemented in every case.
Anyone involved in the conduct of an investigation should have a clear brief and understanding of their role.
All investigators must maintain an auditable record of every action during an investigation to demonstrate that they have acted appropriately.
The officer assigning the investigating officer(s) will stipulate and/or provide secure storage arrangements for all material associated with an investigation in case of subsequent legal challenge. There may be occasions when a joint investigation occurs with Active IQ, with the roles of the two teams being clarified by Active IQ. It is The Southend Personal Trainer Academy responsibility to ensure their investigators are fully aware of the agreed roles and processes to follow during the investigation.
Investigators should review the evidence and associated documentation, including relevant Active IQ guidance on the delivery of the qualifications and related quality assurance arrangements.
Issues to be determined are:
Stage 3: Interviews
Interviews should be thoroughly prepared, conducted appropriately and underpinned by clear records of the interviews. For example:
Face-to-face interviews should normally be conducted by two people with one person primarily acting as the interviewer and the other as note-taker.
Those being interviewed should be informed that they may have another individual of their choosing present and that they do not have to answer questions. These arrangements aim to protect the rights of all individuals. Both parties should sign the account as a true record/reflection of what was covered/stated/agreed.
Stage 4: Other contacts
In some cases, learners or employers may need to be contacted for facts and information. This may be done via face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, by post or email.
Whichever method is used, the investigator will have a set of prepared questions. The responses will be recorded in writing as part of confirmation of the evidence. Investigators should log the number of attempts made to contact an individual. Again, accounts should be signed for agreement with written records to be formatted as non-editable PDF.
Stage 5: Documentary evidence
Wherever possible documentary evidence should be authenticated by reference to the author; this may include asking learners and others to confirm handwriting, dates and signatures.
Receipts should be given for any documentation removed from The Southend Personal Trainer Academy.
Independent expert opinion may be obtained from subject specialists about a learner’s evidence and/or from a specialist organisation such as a forensic examiner, who may comment on the validity of documents.
Stage 6: Conclusions
Once the investigators have gathered and reviewed all relevant evidence, a decision is made on the outcome.
Stage 7: Reporting
A draft report is prepared, and factual accuracy agreement obtained. The final report is submitted to the relevant staff member within The Southend Personal Trainer Academy for review and sign-off and shared with Active IQ and relevant parties within your organisation.
Stage 8: Actions
Any resultant action plan is implemented and monitored appropriately, and Active IQ notified.
If you would like to refer to Active IQ’s policy for Malpractice and Maladministration, please visit www.activeiq.co.uk/centres/guidance-for-centres
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