Malpractice and maladministration | NCFE

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Malpractice and maladministration

This page is intended for all those involved in or affected by malpractice incidents, including those who wish to report malpractice concerns regarding the delivery of NCFE qualifications.

In addition to the guidance below, should you need to report an invalid certificate, please complete the Invalid certificate form.

What is malpractice?

We consider malpractice as any act, default or practice which is a breach of the regulations or which:

  • Gives rise to prejudice to learners, 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.

Malpractice includes maladministration and instances of non-compliance with the regulations, and includes activities such as:

  • Failure to adhere to the regulations regarding the conduct of controlled assessments, coursework, examinations and non-examination assessments
  • Failures of compliance with NCFE/JCQ regulations in the conduct of examinations/assessments and/or the handling of examination question papers, learner scripts, mark sheets, cumulative assessment records, results and certificate claim forms
  • This list is not exhaustive.

Some incidents of malpractice can have a significant impact upon learners and their qualifications and we are obliged to notify the qualifications regulators of certain malpractice incidents.

The following are types of malpractice:

  • Breach of security
  • Deception
  • Improper assistance to learners
  • Failure to co-operate with an investigation
  • Maladministration
  • Learner malpractice

Illustrative examples of malpractice can be found in the document JCQ suspected malpractice: policies and procedures.

Supporting documents

Please read the following documents in conjunction with the JCQ suspected malpractice: policies and procedures.

Reporting malpractice or maladministration

To report malpractice or maladministration, please complete the relevant form for centre staff, learners or third parties.

Next steps

We take allegations of suspected malpractice at NCFE approved centres very seriously, and we will consider the information and evidence that you have provided. Should further information be required, we aim to contact you within five working days.

Centre staff malpractice form

This form is to be used by a head of centre following the gathering of evidence related to an investigation into an instance of suspected malpractice or maladministration. It must be completed and submitted with supporting statements and documentation.

Submit form
Learner malpractice form

This form is to be used by centres to report instances of suspected learner malpractice.

Submit form

Third party malpractice notification

This form is to be used by third parties (e.g. learners, employers, placement providers) to report instances of suspected malpractice.

Submit form