C/5.3 Academic integrity

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Contact Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)

Approval Date


Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review


5.3.1 Purpose
5.3.2 Application
5.3.3 Roles and responsibilities
5.3.4 Academic integrity and professional capabilities
5.3.5 Supporting students to conduct academic work and assessment with integrity
5.3.6 Academic misconduct
5.3.7 Identifying academic misconduct
5.3.8 Recordkeeping and reporting
5.3.9 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

5.3.1 Purpose

QUT is committed to maintaining high academic and professional standards and expects students to undertake academic work and assessment in a manner which is fair, honest and accountable. This policy:


5.3.2 Application

While the core concepts of academic integrity apply to all students undertaking any form of academic work, this policy applies to students undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate coursework studies. For research higher degree students, integrity matters are addressed in the QUT Code for responsible conduct of research (D/2.6) and in the procedures for managing and investigating potential breaches of the QUT Code for responsible conduct of research (D/2.7).


5.3.3 Roles and responsibilities


Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar

  • monitors the effectiveness of academic integrity practices and systems, and is alert to new forms of academic misconduct

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)

  • provides training and support for academic staff to design curriculum and assessment that assists students to build their capacity in ethical scholarly and professional practice
  • utilises institutional academic misconduct data to improve practices in teaching and learning
  • oversees the development and administration of academic integrity resources, training and support for students
  • provides training, learning design support and technology-enabled systems for academic and professional staff to design and implement, and conduct student assessment with integrity
  • provides online resources on academic integrity
Chief Information Officer
  • ensures the provision of academic-integrity related software as required by Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)
Executive Dean
  • promotes a culture of personal and shared responsibility for academic and professional integrity, for all staff and students
  • promotes academic integrity training and support for academic staff, in their learning and teaching roles
  • utilises faculty academic misconduct data to improve practices in teaching and learning, in consultation with the head of school
Chair, Faculty Academic Misconduct Committee
  • provides advice and assistance to relevant faculty staff on academic integrity matters and the appropriate management of academic misconduct
Unit Coordinator
(or equivalent)
  • designs learning and assessment practices that embody appropriate standards of academic and professional integrity
  • designs and conducts authentication of learning processes
  • determines whether a matter should be managed as minor or major academic misconduct in consultation with the course coordinator (or equivalent) and the relevant Faculty Academic Misconduct Committee
Examinations Coordinator
  • determines whether an allegation relating to a central examination should be managed as minor or major academic misconduct
Teaching staff (including markers)
  • identifies possible academic misconduct
  • adopts an ethical approach to academic work and assessment in accordance with this policy and the Student Code of Conduct (E/2.1)


5.3.4 Academic integrity and professional capabilities

Courses at QUT promote ethical behaviour, including honesty, fairness, accountability and the adherence to appropriate codes of practice relevant to a discipline or professional area (C/4.3.3). Academic integrity means adopting an approach to academic work and assessment that upholds these ethical principles. Adopting this approach enables students to develop professional capabilities that are based on strong ethical foundations.


5.3.5 Supporting students to conduct academic work and assessment with integrity

QUT assists students to understand how to approach their academic work and assessment in a way that upholds appropriate standards of academic integrity by:


5.3.6 Academic misconduct

The following actions or practices by a student constitute a failure to maintain appropriate standards of academic integrity and may be dealt with as academic misconduct:

The University may impose penalties for substantiated major academic misconduct (E/8.1.8). A finding of academic misconduct may also have significant implications in professional contexts following graduation. 

Academic misconduct includes:

(a) Cheating in examinations

Cheating in examinations involves any action or attempted action on the part of a student by which the student may gain an unfair advantage in the examination. Cheating in examinations includes:

(b) Plagiarism

Plagiarism involves representing as one's own work the language, ideas or expressions of another person/s. Plagiarism includes:

(c) Self-Plagiarism

Self-plagiarism involves the re-use by a student of their own work without appropriate acknowledgment of the source. 

Students should seek express consent from the unit coordinator prior to re-using their own work in an assessment submission, noting that this is usually permitted only in situations where all of the following conditions are met:

(d) Contract Cheating

Contract cheating involves a student engaging a third party to complete assessment work on their behalf and then representing the work as their own. It is generally characterised by extensive use of the supplied material, with limited additional input from the student. Contract cheating includes:

(e) Collusion

Collusion involves unauthorised collaboration on assessment items with any other person/s. Collusion includes:

 (f) Other Forms

Other forms of academic misconduct include:


5.3.7 Identifying academic misconduct

Teaching staff will normally identify suspected academic misconduct. If a member of the teaching staff suspects that a student may have failed to uphold appropriate standards of academic integrity, the unit coordinator must be notified. Relevant considerations for identification of academic misconduct are as follows.

(a) Determining nature of academic misconduct

In considering a suspected failure to uphold appropriate standards of academic integrity, it must be determined whether the case represents a possible case of minor or major academic misconduct.

The following considerations can be used to assist in assessing whether a case should be considered minor or major:

(b) Minor academic misconduct

Minor cases of academic misconduct are dealt with in accordance with E/8.1.6.  Minor cases include:

Where it is determined that minor academic misconduct has occurred no penalty is applied and the assessment item is graded according to the assessment criteria. Deduction of marks or reduction of grade/s must be justified against the assessment criteria or marking guide for the assessment item.

(c) Major academic misconduct

Where not characterised as minor under C/5.3.7(b), allegations of academic misconduct are dealt with as major cases in accordance with E/8.1.7. If a major case of academic misconduct is substantiated, the Executive Dean or Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar may impose the penalties set out in E/8.1.8.

(d) Content matching and authenticity tools

To assist in identifying potential academic misconduct, students can be required to use content matching or authenticity software as part of the preparation or submission of assessment tasks.

(e) Authentication of learning

If a unit coordinator has reasonable concerns that a student’s actions could be dealt with as a case of major academic misconduct, the unit coordinator may require the student to authenticate their learning.  The authentication process must provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate their competence or knowledge in the subject matter of the assessment item in question, in a manner that is appropriate to the nature of the assessment item.

This might include (but is not limited to) the unit coordinator:

The following conditions apply to the authentication of learning process:

The unit coordinator will consider the outcome of the authentication of learning process in determining whether to deal with the matter as a case of major academic misconduct under the Management of student misconduct policy (E/8.1).

If authentication of learning has not previously been undertaken or attempted, a Faculty Academic Misconduct Committee may refer a case back to a unit coordinator to conduct an authentication of learning process, provided that no findings have yet been made on the allegations by the Committee.


5.3.8 Recordkeeping and reporting

Consistent with E/8.1.12, records must be maintained for minor and major cases of academic misconduct.  An annual report on academic misconduct is prepared and presented to University Academic Board.

Appeals Committee reports to University Academic Board and Council annually, including on appeals for academic misconduct cases.


5.3.9 Delegations

Refer to Appendix 3 Schedule of Authorities and Delegations (C132).


Related Documents

MOPP C/4.3 Capabilities for QUT graduates

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

MOPP D/2.6 QUT Code for responsible conduct of research

MOPP D/2.7 Managing and investigating potential breaches of the QUT Code for Responsible Conduct of Research

MOPP E/2.1 QUT Student Code of Conduct

MOPP E/6.1 Examinations

MOPP E/8.1 Management of student misconduct

Higher Education Standards Framework - Guidance Note: Academic Integrity (Consultation Draft)

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015

International Centre for Academic Integrity – Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
30.09.19 All Provost Approved position title change for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)
13.03.19 C/5.3.3 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) Revised responsibilities resulting from organisational structure changes
17.11.17 All University Academic Board Revised policy to include specific information relating to contract cheating and minor clarification to roles and resonsibilities
09.12.16 C/5.3.3 Enhancing the Student Experience REAL Difference Change Manager Revised policy to include REAL Difference initiative, approved name change for position title, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Learning Support) to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Technology, Information and Library Services) - effective 03.01.17
07.12.16 C/5.3.6 Chair, University Academic Board Revised to clarify academic misconduct - cheating in examinations
25.11.16 All University Academic Board Revised policy - effective 01.01.17
23.03.12 C/5.3.6 University Academic Board Inclusion of specific information on the use of content matching software and other minor changes
02.12.10 All Chairperson, University Academic Board Periodic review - Minor changes executively approved
31.08.10 All Governance Services Policy revised to reflect introduction of new student discipline framework from 01.09.10
14.11.08 All University Academic Board Policy renumbered to C/5.3 (formerly C/9.3)
15.12.07 C/5.3.2 Vice-Chancellor Removed reference to Executive Director, Northern Campuses (position disestablished from 31.12.07)
06.02.03 C/5.3.5 Chairperson, University Academic Board Revised procedures for dealing with cheating in central examinations
29.11.02 All University Academic Board

New procedures, effective from beginning of 2003 academic year (replaces procedures for dealing with cheating and plagiarism)