Honesty and Integrity in Assessments

Honesty and Integrity in Assessments

The College expects students to act with honesty and integrity in their studies and in the submission of assignments, open and closed book assessments and examination papers. Assessment offences include copying, plagiarism, collusion and cheating.


1     Definitions

2     Principal Rules for Compiling and Submitting Coursework

3     Readers and Scribes

4     Disciplinary Procedures for Assessment Offences




Copying what someone else has written, drawn or created in either open or closed book assessment is unacceptable, including copying with the permission of the other person.  The submission of work from an essay bank would be considered copying as would the submission of another (current or previous) student’s work.


Taking someone’s words, ideas or opinions (including material and images downloaded from the Internet) and trying to pass it off as your own idea, opinion or work and includes rewording someone else’s work without referencing them.  For more information on plagiarism, visit http://plagiarismadvice.org/


While you may often work as part of a group towards a course assignment, the work of each individual person in that group must be clearly identified as their own.  Collusion may also include copying the work of another person with their agreement, getting someone else to do the assignment for you, or taking work from an essay bank and passing it off as your own.


Cheating may involve any of the following types of actions:  viewing an examination paper in advance of the examination; trying to bribe an assessor or invigilator; taking the identity of another student; taking prohibited material into a closed book assessment or examination; behaving in a manner that disadvantages other students.


Principal Rules for Compiling and Submitting Coursework

The main rules on plagiarism and collusion that candidates really need to understand are:

1.    Your coursework should be in your words, unless you are quoting from a referenced source. If you are asked to explain what you mean by a certain phrase or paragraph, you should be able to do so.

2.    You should always credit work that is not your own, regardless of where the ideas came from.  Detailed guidance on referencing your sources is available on the Library page on the VLE.

3.    You should not let anyone other than your teacher/lecturer see your coursework. In real life, it may be considered good practice to share information, but in coursework assignments this is not acceptable. It can lead to your being accused of collusion, which could mean that a penalty is applied to your award.

4.    If you ask for help, other candidates, friends, family, or teachers/lecturers should only help you to understand. They should not tell you what to write, or show you their own work (or the work of someone else).

5.    You should be aware of the risks associated with using essay banks, essay-writing services etc – these are services that are available from the internet and offer to provide candidates with coursework materials for a fee.

6.    When you sign the authentication statement on the flyleaf, you are confirming that the work is your own and that any ideas or words belonging to someone else are correctly acknowledged.

7.    You should read the SQA booklet Your Coursework (issued annually to centres) and be fully conversant with the penalties for plagiarism and collusion which are detailed in the College Policy on Plagiarism.


Readers and Scribes

The following guidelines have been issued by SQA regarding what a reader or scribe may/may not do to support a candidate for whom this type of support has been organised by the College.  You may not request a reader or scribe to do anything more than the support outlined below.


1    Readers

A reader must only:
• read as requested by the candidate. Candidates will indicate those instructions, questions or parts of questions they wish to have read.
• consult a dictionary at the candidate’s request (if this is allowed in the exam) and read out the exact wording of entries
• read the exact wording (instructions and questions) of the question paper

A reader must not:
• direct the candidate in any way, eg when to move on to another question
• give meanings of words, rephrase, or interpret anything


2    Scribes

A scribe must only:
• record responses exactly as they are dictated by the candidate. They may use their discretion regarding spelling and punctuation, except Modern Languages. They may read back what they have written when asked to do so by the candidate.

A scribe must not:
• give any advice regarding which questions to answer, which order the questions should be answered in, etc
• add refinements to the candidate’s responses
• produce any diagrammatical or graphical material


Disciplinary Procedures for Assessment Offences

In any instance where an Assessor identifies or suspects that a student has breached the College Policy on Honesty and Integrity in Assessment, the Assessor, in consultation with the Curriculum Manager, is authorised to implement any or all of the following actions:

a    The student will be deemed to have failed to attain competence

b    The student will not be reassessed

c    The student will be withdrawn from the unit

d    Invoke the student disciplinary procedures

. Students may make appeal through the Student Disciplinary Procedure.