Marking IV Malpractice Policy

Releasing Potential Marking, Internal Moderation & Malpractice Policy 2022-2023

Releasing Potential is committed to ensuring that all work is marked fairly and reliably.

1.0 The marking process:

1.1 Work submitted towards ASDAN & NCFE qualifications will be marked and returned to students within 14 working days of submission. Staff will endeavour to mark work on the day of submission or shortly after where it is possible.

1.2 Portfolios submitted via the external online training portal will be marked within 20 working days and results will be communicated to students within this time frame.

1.3 Sometimes evidence does not meet the minimum threshold for the level of the award or qualification. This can happen when the evidence submitted is not sufficient (in word length, scope or content), not valid (it does not meet the specified criteria), or has not been drawn from current or reliable sources. If this happens, students will be given the opportunity to amend/develop/rectify the evidence and resubmit where this is appropriate and does not breach the awarding body’s own rules.

1.4 Sometimes evidence may be found to breach confidentiality, or the student may have used inappropriate materials or methods of assessment. If this happens, students will be informed and the necessary steps will be taken to secure confidentiality; this may in extreme cases involve the destruction of evidence. Students will be asked to resubmit more appropriate evidence where this is appropriate and does not breach the awarding body’s own rules.

1.5 Where the students feels the decision not to pass a portfolio or other evidence is unfair, the learner must seek redress via the appeals process outlined in the Appeals (Against Internally Assessed Marks) Policy before availing themselves of the Releasing Potential Complaint Policy (general) if they remain unsatisfied.

2.0 Internal Moderation/ Verification Process:

2.1 Aims:

The aim of the internal moderation/ verification process is to ensure there is an accredited Lead Internal Verifier in each principal subject area and to ensure that moderation/ verification is valid, reliable and covers all assessors and programme activity.

Releasing Potential is committed to ensuring that the internal moderation/verification procedure is open, fair and free from bias and that there is accurate and detailed recording of internal moderation/verification decisions.

2.2 Staffing:

Releasing Potential will ensure that:

  • Where required by the qualification, an Internal Moderator/Verifier has been appropriately appointed for each subject area; registered with ASDAN and/or NCFE; and trained in the necessary standardisation processes.
  • An Exams Officer has been appointed to distribute marking and assessment activities to appropriate Internal Moderators/Verifiers.
  • Each Lead Internal Moderator/Verifier oversees effective Internal Moderation/ Verification systems in their subject.

 Please see below for details of Internal Moderators/Verifiers:

QualificationInternal Verifier(s)
ASDAN Employability EL2-L2Carol Page (Head of Curriculum) Susan Bayne (Post 16 Co-Ordinator Havant) Lesley Brown (Post 16 Co-Ordinator Chichester)
ASDAN Personal & Social Effectiveness L1-L2Charlotte Denman (Project Subject Lead)
NCFE English Functional Skills EL1-L2Carol Page (Maths Subject Lead) Paul Watts (Maths Subject Specialist)
NCFE Maths Functional Skills EL1-L2Carol Page (Maths Subject Lead) Paul Watts (Maths Subject Specialist)
NCFE Level 1 Award in Personal & Social DevelopmentNicky Gilbert (PSD Subject Lead) Heidi Rothwell-Walker (PSD Subject Specialist)
NCFE Level 1 Award in Exercise StudiesKarl Stepney (Outdoor Education Subject Lead)
NCFE Level 1 Creative Craft with CookeryLee Sheard (Food Studies Subject Lead)
NCFE Level 1 Creative Craft with Design TechnologySteven Palmer (CDT Subject Lead)
NCFE Level 1 Award in Personal Development using Outdoor ActivitiesKarl Stepney (Outdoor Education Subject Lead)
  • Staff are briefed and trained in the requirements for current internal moderation/ verification procedures.
  • Effective internal moderation/ verification roles are defined, maintained and supported.
  • Internal moderation/verification is promoted as a developmental process between staff and discussed regularly in Department meetings and Department Advisor meetings.
  • Standardised internal moderation/verification documentation is provided and used.

2.3 Resources

All centre assessment instruments/resources are verified either internally or externally as fit for purpose.

Assignment briefs for students (or “assessment plans” for staff) must be internally verified by the IV before being issued to students. If any issues are identified by the IV, they must be addressed by the Assessor prior to issue ensuring that:

  • Tasks and evidence allow the learner to address the targeted criteria.
  • It is written in clear and accessible language.
  • The tasks are relevant and appropriate to the qualification.
  • Equal opportunities are incorporated.

Assignment briefs should be written during the planning and preparation stage. If they are reused from a previous academic year, dates and deadlines must be checked and carefully revised. They must also be reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose; appropriate for the new cohort; and improved on if necessary.

When internally moderating/verifying assignment briefs, Internal Moderators/Verifiers need:

  • The unit specification, assessment criteria and guidance.
  • The assignment brief/assessment plan.
  • The internal verification form for assignment briefs/assessment plans.

The Internal Moderator/ Verifier should check that the brief and/or assessment plan:

  • Has accurate programme and unit details.
  • Has clear deadlines and a time period of appropriate duration.
  • Shows all relevant assessment criteria and indicates relevant assessment criteria targeted against each task.
  • Clearly states what evidence the student needs to provide.
  • Is likely to generate evidence which is appropriate and sufficient.
  • Uses suitable language and a clear presentation format.

2.4 Feedback:

When giving feedback to the Assessor, the Internal Moderator/ Verifier should:

  • Record the outcome on the form so that an audit trail is in place and signed and dated by Assessor and Internal Verifier.
  • Use the feedback section on the form to provide advice and guidance.
  • Give feedback on areas for improvement and of good practice.

If action is required, the Assessor should complete this and return it to the Internal Moderator/ Verifier for sign off before being issued to students.

2.5 Process:

Internal moderation/verification will happen half-termly (approximately each 6 weeks) and any issues identified by Internal Moderators/Verifiers fixed across the whole cohort. Completing rigorous internal moderation/verification at the first submission stage should avoid issues around resubmission.

The Internal Moderator/Verifier reviews the Assessor’s judgements against the learning aim, unit content, assessment criteria and assessment guidance in the specification. They should check:

  • The student’s work against the assessment criteria. Has it been assessed accurately?
  • Coverage of unit content and assessment guidance. Does the assessment reflect the breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding identified in the content and is it sufficient to warrant the assessment decision?
  • The feedback from Assessor to the student is accurate and linked to the assessment criteria. If the Internal Verifier judges that the work is inaccurately assessed, appropriate action must be identified on the internal verification form. The Assessor must re-assess the work before having it checked again, signed and dated.

During the course of the programme, sampling should cover as a minimum:

  • Every Assessor.
  • Every unit.
  • Work from every assignment.

A well-constructed sample should consider:

  • The full range of assessment decisions made.
  • The experience of the Assessor.
  • New programmes/qualifications or units.
  • Known issues with internal verification.

Decisions and actions are recorded as part of the Curriculum Team meeting (headed by the Curriculum Lead). Issues that require further action, or trends that have been identified will be flagged up at the next Institute meeting for Senior Leadership involvement.

3.0 Malpractice:

Malpractice is any act, omission or practice that breaches our rules or:

  • Gives rise to prejudice to candidates; and/or
  • Compromises public confidence in qualifications; and/or
  • Compromises, attempts to compromise or may compromise the process of assessment.
  • The integrity of any qualification or the validity of a result or certificate; and/or
  • Damages the authority, reputation or credibility of any awarding body or centre or any officer, employee or agent of any awarding body or centre.

Releasing Potential understands that malpractice can occur from both students and staff. In the case of student malpractice (referred to as plagiarism) the following applies:

3.1 All work submitted must be the original and authentic work of the registered student.

3.2 Work found not to be the original and authentic work of the student will be considered as plagiarism. Plagiarism includes:

  • Copying material from any source and trying to pass it off as your own work.
  • Paraphrasing material without appropriate acknowledgement.
  • Collusion, where the assessment artefact is prepared by someone else and presented as your own work.
  • Purchase of essays/reflective statements/portfolio written by someone else.
  • Submission of essays/reflective statements/portfolio written by someone else.
  • Submission of another student’s work with or without that student’s knowledge or consent.
  • Submission of witness statements that have been falsified or written by the student themselves.

3.3 Any evidence submitted by the students that is suspected to have been plagiarised will be subject to the following plagiarism investigation process:

  • Tutors will ensure that the work has been evaluated by all available resources including both the first and second marker.
  • Students and parents/carers will receive a call and/or letter and/or email to inform them that there is a plagiarism concern which needs to be discussed and resolved; students will also receive a copy of the assessed work bringing to their attention where the issues have occurred.
  • Students will be asked to respond, outlining their position and explaining any concerns or mitigating circumstances; students will have the opportunity to explain their version of events.
  • Having reviewed the evidence, including the student’s response, the Internal Verifier will determine whether the matter should be dealt with as minor or major malpractice, and whether the student is guilty or not guilty of plagiarism.
  • The outcome of the investigation will be communicated to the learner in writing within 14 working days of the decision having been made by the Internal Verifier.
  • Incidences of plagiarism by students will be reported to the accrediting body (ASDAN or NCFE) along with any actions taken.

3.4 Malpractice by staff includes:

  • Failing to register learners in a timely fashion.
  • Registering learners who do not meet the minimum skill/qualification requirements for a qualification.
  • Falsifying or fabricating students’ marks, assessment evidence, observation records, certification claims or results documentation.
  • Providing assistance to learners beyond that which is permitted by the specification, which results in a potential or actual advantage in an exam or assessment.
  • Breaching the confidentiality of question papers or confidential assessment materials.
  • Failing to report any instances of malpractice or suspected malpractice.

3.5 Process for dealing with staff malpractice:

The Head of Centre (Head Teacher) will inform the accrediting body’s investigations team of any alleged, actual, or suspected malpractice by centre staff, before any investigation is undertaken. The Head of Centre will:

  • Immediately inform the accrediting body about suspected or actual malpractice by staff.
  • Inform the member of staff of any investigation into suspected malpractice.
  • Inform Releasing Potential HR of the investigation and seek support in relation to the member of staff’s statutory rights.
  • Make clear whether the member of staff will be suspended during this process. The Head of Centre must make every effort to ensure the integrity of the assessment and qualification process (which may mean suspension is appropriate).
  • Solicit the views of the staff member (including any mitigating circumstances) during the process of investigation.
  • Having reviewed the evidence, including the staff member’s response, the Head of Centre will determine whether the matter should be dealt with as minor or major malpractice, and whether the staff member is guilty or not guilty of malpractice.
  • Inform the staff member of the outcome of the investigation in writing within 5 working days.
  • Initiate capability or performance management processes as required.
  • Initiate disciplinary processes as required, including the disqualification or dismissal under Gross Misconduct if the suspected malpractice is confirmed.

Review date: 1st August 2023