Policy

Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy

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1.0    Purpose, Principles and Scope

1.1    Purpose

  1. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the standards of behaviour recorded in the Student Code of Conduct.  Students are prohibited from engaging in conduct that amounts to misconduct as defined in the Student Code of Conduct.

  2. These standards of behaviour and prohibition on misconduct are intended to promote and foster the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity, a safe environment for members of the UQ community and the good order and management of the University.

  3. This policy and procedure govern how allegations of misconduct against students at the University are reported, investigated, heard and determined, and penalties are imposed where allegations are  proven on the balance of probabilities.  This policy and procedure permit the University to regulate its student membership, including by expelling students who engage in misconduct that is serious and/or repeated. 

1.2    Principles

This policy and procedure should be interpreted and applied by reference to:

  1. the purpose of the policy as articulated in subsection 1.1 and the purpose of each section where articulated at the beginning of the section;

  2. the Principles for the Protection of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, recorded in the UQ Governance and Management Framework;

  3. relevant human rights, in compliance with the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld); and

  4. the University's commitment to promoting and fostering a safe environment for all members of the UQ community, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) made under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth).

1.3    Scope

  1. This policy and procedure apply to conduct of a student which:

    1. occurred on land or property owned, leased or occupied by the University (or entities it controls) or a University-affiliated residential college;

    2. occurred using, or was facilitated by, the University's ICT resources or other University equipment;

    3. occurred in relation to any academic or work experience or placement program which has a connection to the University;

    4. occurred when the person was representing the University in any capacity;

    5. relates to another member of the UQ community; or

    6. otherwise has the potential to affect their suitability to continue as a student of the University having regard to:

      1. whether they may be trusted to comply with the Student Code of Conduct; or  

      2. the wellbeing and safety of members of the UQ community.

  2. This policy and procedure apply regardless of whether the conduct occurred: 

    1. in the person's capacity as a student or in circumstances associated with their status as a student;

    2. before the commencement of this version of the policy and procedure. 

  3. The policy and procedure apply regardless of whether an allegation notice was issued before the commencement of this version of the policy and procedure.  Where an allegation notice was issued before the commencement of this version of the policy and procedure:

    1. where the allegation has not already been determined – the Associate Director may refer the matter to a Misconduct Body under the procedure; or

    2. where the allegation has already been determined – the student may appeal the decision under the procedure:

      1. if the student would have had an appeal available to the Senate Discipline Appeals Committee – to the University Misconduct Appeals Board; or

      2. otherwise – to the University Misconduct Board. 

  4. For the avoidance of doubt, the Associate Director has a discretion not to proceed in relation to an allegation of misconduct in accordance with this policy and procedure. 

1.4    Definitions

The dictionary in section 6.0 defines particular words used in this policy.

2.0    Misconduct

2.1    Prohibition on misconduct

  1. Students must not engage in misconduct.

  2. Misconduct is defined in the Student Code of Conduct and includes academic misconduct and general misconduct.

2.2   Procedures for dealing with misconduct

  1. The Associate Director will have primary responsibility for administering the procedures for dealing with misconduct.  Given the volume of allegations of misconduct, Integrity Officers are also empowered to make particular decisions and take steps under the policy and procedure.  Where so empowered, Integrity Officers may consult with the Associate Director on the making of decisions and taking of steps under the policy and procedure.

  2. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will decide how to deal with an allegation of misconduct in accordance with the procedure.

  3. Where the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer decides to refer a matter to a misconduct proceeding, it will be heard and determined by a Misconduct Body in accordance with the procedure (and where relevant, will include the imposition of a penalty permitted by the policy).

  4. A student may appeal a final decision made by a Misconduct Body in accordance with the procedure.

  5. Where a student decides to appeal a decision of a Misconduct Body, it will be heard and determined by an Appeal Body in accordance with the procedure.

2.3    Conduct Register

The Associate Director must ensure the Conduct Register is established and maintained, to record details required by this policy and procedure in relation to allegations and findings of misconduct.

3.0    Decision making bodies in relation to misconduct

The purpose of this section is to constitute (or provide for the constitution of) bodies to make decisions under this policy.

3.1    Authorised persons

The Associate Director must ensure that the following details relating to authorised persons are maintained on the Conduct Register:

  1. their name;

  2. whether they have:

    1. completed the Student Misconduct Framework Training Module; or

    2. been granted an exemption from the need to complete the module by the Academic Registrar;

  3. the date they last completed the Student Misconduct Framework Training Module (if relevant);

  4. the date they are due to complete the Student Misconduct Framework Training Module again (if relevant).

3.2    Constituting a Misconduct Committee

  1. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer may:

    1. constitute a Misconduct Committee as a Misconduct Body under this policy by entering the name of the committee on the Conduct Register;

    2. convene as many Misconduct Committees as are required, with staff members within a School, Faculty, across Faculties and centrally;

    3. manage the allocation of matters to Misconduct Committees; and

    4. in consultation with the relevant line manager, manage the allocation of staff to Misconduct Committees.

  2. A Misconduct Committee can be constituted as:

    1. a standing committee, constituted for an indefinite time; or

    2. an ad hoc committee, constituted for a limited time. 

  3. A Misconduct Committee will comprise two authorised persons who are staff of the University, with one member to serve as the chairperson. 

  4. Both members of a Misconduct Committee are required to constitute a quorum.

  5. Members of a Misconduct Committee will endeavour to make consensus decisions.  In the event both members cannot agree on a particular decision, the chairperson holds a casting vote.

  6. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer may:

    1. appoint authorised persons to serve on any Misconduct Committee;

    2. appoint the chairperson of any Misconduct Committee;

    3. remove or replace a member of a Misconduct Committee at any time.

  7. The powers in subsection (6) can be exercised even whilst a disciplinary proceeding is being heard by a Misconduct Committee.

  8. The Associate Director must ensure that the following details relating to Misconduct Committees are maintained on the Conduct Register:

    1. for each committee:

      1. its name (for example, the "Engineering Misconduct Committee");

      2. the date it was constituted;

      3. whether it was a standing committee or an ad hoc committee;

      4. its historical and current membership;

      5. the period during which each member served on the committee;

      6. where relevant, the date it was disbanded;

    2. for each misconduct proceeding heard and determined by a committee:

      1. whether it was a standing committee or ad hoc committee;

      2. the names of members of the committee who heard and determined the misconduct proceeding, including any replacement authorised persons.

3.3    Constituting the University Misconduct Board

  1. The University Misconduct Board is established by this policy as a standing committee of the University, constituted for an indefinite period of time.

  2. The University Misconduct Board will comprise: 

    1. a chairperson, who is a senior member of academic staff;

    2. the member of academic board who has been elected as a member of Senate;

    3. five further members of staff;

    4. five students; and

    5. any ad hoc members of staff, who are appointed for a limited time in accordance with section 3.3(5)(e).

  3. Three members of the University Misconduct Board, including the chairperson or acting chairperson appointed in accordance with section 3.3(5)(c), are required to constitute a quorum.  A quorum for a misconduct proceeding cannot include any member that was involved in determining a misconduct proceeding from which the student is appealing. 

  4. Members of the University Misconduct Board will endeavour to make consensus decisions.  In the event members cannot agree on a particular decision, decisions will be made by majority vote and the chairperson or acting chairperson holds a casting vote.

  5. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may:

    1. appoint persons to serve on the University Misconduct Board for:

      1. in the case of a student – a 1 year period, with an option to serve for up to a 2 year period at the discretion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);

      2. in the case of a member of staff – a 2 year period, with an option to serve for up to a 3 year period at the discretion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic);

    2. appoint the chairperson of the University Misconduct Board;

    3. in the event that the chairperson appointed under subparagraph (b) is unavailable (including, without limitation, as a consequence of the chairperson having to recuse themselves due to a conflict or perceived conflict of interest either before or during a hearing) appoint another member of the University Misconduct Board (including an ad hoc member appointed in accordance with subparagraph (e)) to act as the chairperson for a limited time or for a particular misconduct proceeding;

    4. remove or replace a member of the University Misconduct Board at any time; and

    5. appoint an additional ad hoc member to the University Misconduct Board for a particular misconduct proceeding, where considered necessary or appropriate to bring specialist skills, expertise and experience to bear in hearing the misconduct proceeding.  The ad hoc member will enter into an employment contract with the University for the limited purpose of serving on the University Misconduct Board.  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may determine that the ad hoc member will serve as chairperson of the Board for the hearing and determination of the misconduct proceeding.

  6. The powers of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in subsection (5) can be exercised even whilst a misconduct proceeding is being heard by the University Misconduct Board.

  7. The Associate Director:

    1. will ensure that a quorum is achieved to hear and determine all misconduct proceedings;

    2. will use best endeavours to arrange for a student member to attend to hear and determine all misconduct proceedings (but a student member is not required in order for there to be a quorum); and

    3. if there are insufficient members available to achieve a quorum in any case (including, without limitation, as a consequence of members having to recuse themselves due to a conflict or perceived conflict of interest either before or during a hearing), will request the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) to appoint a replacement member for the purpose of achieving a quorum to hear and determine the misconduct proceeding.

  8. The Associate Director must ensure that the following details relating to the University Misconduct Board are maintained on the Conduct Register:

    1. its historical and current membership;

    2. the period during which each member served on the board;

    3. for each misconduct proceeding heard and determined by the board, the names of members of the board who heard and determined the misconduct proceeding, including any replacement and/or ad hoc members.

3.4    Constituting the University Misconduct Appeals Board

  1. The University Misconduct Appeals Board is established by this policy as a standing committee of the University, constituted for an indefinite period of time.

  2. The University Misconduct Appeals Board will comprise: 

    1. a chairperson, who is a senior member of academic staff and not a member of a Misconduct Committee or the University Misconduct Board;

    2. the president of the academic board;

    3. five further members of staff;

    4. five students; and

    5. ad hoc members of staff, who are appointed for a limited time in accordance with section 3.4(5)(d) or 3.4(6)(a).

  3. Four members of the University Misconduct Appeals Board, including the chairperson or acting chairperson appointed in accordance with section 3.4(5)(c), are required to constitute a quorum.  A quorum for a misconduct proceeding cannot include any member that was involved in determining the misconduct proceeding from which the student is appealing. 

  4. Members of the University Misconduct Appeals Board will endeavour to make consensus decisions.  In the event members cannot agree on a particular decision, decisions will be made by majority vote and the chairperson for the misconduct proceeding holds a casting vote.

  5. The Vice-Chancellor may:

    1. appoint persons to serve on the University Misconduct Appeals Board for:

      1. in the case of a student – a 1 year period, with an option to serve for up to a 2 year period at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor;

      2. in the case of a member of staff – a 2 year period, with an option to serve for up to a 3 year period at the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor;

    2. appoint the chairperson of the University Misconduct Appeals Board;

    3. in the event that the chairperson appointed under subparagraph (b)is unavailable (including, without limitation, as a consequence of the chairperson having to recuse themselves due to a conflict or perceived conflict of interest either before or during a hearing) appoint another member of the University Misconduct Appeals Board (including an ad hoc member appointed in accordance with subparagraph (d)) to act as the chairperson for a limited time or for a particular misconduct proceeding;

    4. remove or replace a members of the University Misconduct Appeals Board at any time; and

    5. appoint an additional ad hoc member to the University Misconduct Appeals Board for a particular misconduct proceeding, where considered necessary or appropriate to bring specialist skills, expertise and experience to bear in hearing the misconduct proceeding.  The ad hoc member will enter into an employment contract with the University.  The Vice Chancellor may determine that the ad hoc member will serve as chairperson of the board for the hearing and determination of the misconduct proceeding.

  6. The chairperson of the University Misconduct Appeals Board may:

    1. appoint additional ad hoc members of staff to the University Misconduct Appeals Board for a particular misconduct proceeding;

    2. remove or replace an ad hoc member of staff appointed under this subsection at any time.

  7. The powers of the Vice-Chancellor in subsection (5) and the powers of the chairperson of the University Misconduct Appeals Board in subsection (6) can be exercised even whilst a misconduct proceeding is being heard by the University Misconduct Appeals Board.

  8. The Associate Director:

    1. will ensure that a quorum is achieved to hear and determine all misconduct proceedings;

    2. will use best endeavours to arrange for a student member to attend to hear and determine all misconduct proceedings (but a student member is not required in order for there to be a quorum); and 

    3. if there are insufficient members available to achieve a quorum in any case (including, without limitation, as a consequence of members having to recuse themselves due to a conflict or perceived conflict of interest either before or during a hearing), will request the Vice-Chancellor or chairperson to appoint a replacement member for the purpose of achieving a quorum to hear and determine the misconduct proceeding.

  9. The Associate Director must ensure that the following details relating to the University Misconduct Appeals Board are maintained on the Conduct Register:

    1. its historical and current membership;

    2. the period during which each member served on the board;

    3. for each misconduct proceeding heard and determined by the board, the names of members of the board who heard and determined the misconduct proceeding, including any replacement and/or ad hoc members.

4.0    Penalties that may be imposed for misconduct

The purpose of this section is to specify the penalties that can be imposed where there is a finding of misconduct by a Misconduct Body or an Appeal Body.

  1. A Misconduct Committee may impose one or more of the following penalties:

    1. for general misconduct:

      1. a written warning or reprimand;

      2. direct the student to undertake counselling;

      3. direct the student to undertake remedial or educational activities;

      4. direct the student to take action or behave in a specified way that it considers is necessary or appropriate;

      5. direct a student to pay compensation of not more than $1,000 to the University, in accordance with directions to be issued by the Associate Director;

      6. a campus service order in accordance with section 5.1 of this policy;

      7. impose a probationary enrolment that is provisional on the student's good behaviour;

      8. suspend the student from school, institute, library or information technology facilities or services for a specified period of time of 2 weeks or less;

      9. suspend the student from the University for a specified period of time of 2 weeks or less.

    2. for academic misconduct:

      1. any of the penalties referred to in subparagraph (a);

      2. direct the student be allocated a mark for the student's assessment item, based on the portion of the assessment item that was unaffected by the academic misconduct;

      3. direct that the student be allowed to resubmit or amend an assessment item to achieve a mark no higher than the minimum "pass" mark for the item;

      4. direct the student to undertake replacement assessment to be awarded a grade no higher than a 4 for the course;

      5. direct the student to exclude the affected work from an honours/postgraduate coursework dissertation/thesis;

      6. direct the student to rewrite an honours/postgraduate coursework dissertation/thesis within a specified timeframe;

      7. direct there be a reduction in the total marks or final grade obtained by the student in the course in which misconduct occurred;

      8. direct the student receive a nil mark for the assessment item (or part thereof) affected by the academic misconduct;

      9. direct the student receive a fail grade for the course in which the academic misconduct occurred;

      10. direct the imposition of a limit on the grade the student may be awarded in the course, or piece of assessment in which misconduct occurred;

      11. annul a thesis examination report.

  2. Subject to subsection (3), the University Misconduct Board may impose one or more of the following penalties:

    1. any of the penalties referred to in subsection (1)(a) (for general misconduct or academic misconduct) or subsection (1)(b) (for academic misconduct);

    2. refuse or cancel credit for any course.

    3. revocation of an award;

    4. suspension from the University (or any part of it) for a specified period of up to 5 years;

    5. expulsion from the University.

  3. An Appeal Body may only impose a penalty that the Misconduct Body had power to impose at first instance.

5.0    Other matters

5.1    Campus Service Orders

  1. A campus service order:

    1. requires the student to perform campus service of not more than 30 hours without remuneration at the places and times, in the way and subject to the conditions the Misconduct Body imposing the order decides;

    2. may include a direction that the student not be awarded a result in any assessment or receive or be granted credit for any course or program or receive any degree or other award of the University, until all service is completed to the satisfaction of the Misconduct Body;

    3. is not complied with until the Misconduct Body considers that the service required has been satisfactorily completed; and

    4. will not lead to an offer of employment to carry out similar services for the University in the future.

5.2    Withholding results

If a student has been given an allegation notice under the procedure, the Academic Registrar may withhold the student's academic results until the misconduct proceeding (including an appeal) is finalised or until any penalty has been served or discharged to the satisfaction of the Academic Registrar.

5.3    Direction or interim suspension issued by the Academic Registrar

  1. This section applies if there is a report of misconduct, concerning a student, under the procedure. 

  2. The Academic Registrar may issue a written direction to the student, including (without limitation) to direct a student to leave the University's land (or a part of the University's land) (interim suspension), if the Academic Registrar considers it necessary to avert a substantial risk:

    1. to the safety of persons;

    2. of damage to property; or

    3. of serious disruption of a University activity.

  3. Before imposing the interim suspension, the Academic Registrar will make a reasonable effort (having regard to the seriousness and urgency of the risks) to provide the student with an opportunity to explain why the suspension ought not to be imposed.

  4. The Academic Registrar must, as soon as practicable, give written notice of the suspension to the student (suspension notice).

  5. A suspension takes effect when the suspension notice is received by the student, or is reasonably expected to have been received by the student.  Without limitation, the suspension notice can reasonably be expected to have been received by the student 24 hours after the suspension notice has been sent to the student's University email address.

  6. Subject to subsection (7), a suspension ends if 28 days after the date of the suspension notice (notice end date) no allegation notice has been given to the student.

  7. The notice end date may be extended for up to a further 28 days by the Vice-Chancellor if a decision has not yet been made on whether to give the student an allegation notice.

  8. If an allegation notice has been given to the student by the notice end date, the suspension will continue until the misconduct proceeding (including any appeal) is finalised or it is lifted by the Academic Registrar.

  9. The power of the Academic Registrar to impose an interim suspension supports the good operation of the University having regard to an assessment of risk by the Academic Registrar.  The decision to impose an interim suspension is not a determination or imputation that the allegations of misconduct have or will be proven.

  10. The Academic Registrar must end the suspension if satisfied that the risk that necessitated the suspension has passed.  The student may request that the Academic Registrar exercise their power at any time during the misconduct proceeding.

  11. A decision of the Academic Registrar under this section is not subject to any appeal or review at the University.

5.4    Notices

  1. A notice to a student under this policy is sufficient if it is in writing and is:

    1. given to the student via the student’s University email address; or

    2. posted by mail to the student at the address which was most recently advised by the student as their mailing address.

5.5    Refund of fees for suspension or expulsion

  1. No fees paid by a student relating to a period when the student’s enrolment is cancelled under this policy are refundable or repayable to the student.

  2. No fees paid by a student are refundable or repayable to the student when the student is suspended or expelled from the University under section 4.0 of this policy.

5.6    Undischarged penalties

  1. If a penalty imposed on a student under this policy and procedure remains outstanding the Associate Director may issue a notice requiring the student to appear before the Misconduct Body or Appeal Body to review the original penalty or penalties imposed on the student and determine whether to impose a new and/or further penalty.

  2. The notice must include:

    1. a description of the penalty or penalties that remain outstanding;

    2. the date, time and location of the hearing;

    3. a statement inviting the student to attend the hearing and advising that the student may be accompanied by a support person who is not a lawyer; and

    4. a statement that the hearing may proceed in the student’s absence if the student does not attend the hearing.

  3. The hearing must proceed in accordance with the procedures described in subsections 3.2(4) to 3.2(12) of the procedure.

  4. After considering any evidence presented by the student, the Misconduct Body or Appeal Body must review the appropriate penalty or penalties and may, in their discretion, impose any penalty or penalties available to the Misconduct Body or Appeal Body.

  5. As soon as practicable after the Misconduct Body or Appeal Body makes a decision, they must:

    1. give the student a written notice of the decision, including reasons for the decision; and

    2. give a copy of the written notice to the Associate Director.

  6. Despite subsection (4), the University may, during the period in which any penalty imposed on a student remains outstanding:

    1. refuse to release to the student the result for any assessment item completed by the student;

    2. refuse to grant to the student credit for the completion of any course at the University; or

    3. refuse to confer on the student an award for which the student is otherwise eligible.

  7. A student may apply to the Academic Registrar for the release of results, or the grant of credit or the conferral of an award, which will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

6.0    Dictionary

In this policy:

academic integrity has the meaning given in the Student Code of Conduct.

academic misconduct has the meaning given in the Student Code of Conduct. 

allegation notice means the notice which contains the allegation(s) and which the Associate Director gives to a student to commence a misconduct proceeding.

Appeal Body means the University Misconduct Board or the University Misconduct Appeals Board, hearing and determining a misconduct proceeding on appeal.

Associate Director means the Associate Director, Student Conduct and Integrity, Academic Services Division.

For the avoidance of doubt, if the Associate Director deals with a particular allegation of misconduct in accordance with section 1.0 of the Procedure, they will not participate in a hearing of a misconduct proceeding in relation to that allegation as a member of a Misconduct Body or Appeal Body.

authorised person means any staff member of the University who confirms their willingness to satisfy the training requirements if requested by the Associate Director and includes the following positions:

  1. Head of School or Deputy Head of School;

  2. Executive Dean or Deputy Executive Dean;

  3. Dean or Deputy Dean of the Graduate School;

  4. Institute Director;

  5. Associate Dean (Academic);

  6. Chief Operating Officer;

  7. Director, Deputy Director or Associate Director; and

  8. Faculty Executive Manager or School Manager.

conduct means a positive act, or the failure or omission to act.

Conduct Register is a register which the Associate Director ensures is maintained recording:

  1. details of allegations of misconduct about a student;

  2. details of actions taken to resolve allegations under this policy and procedure;

  3. findings made where an allegation of misconduct against a student is referred to a misconduct proceeding to be determined under this policy and procedure; and

  4. details required by this policy and procedure in relation to:

    1. an authorised person;

    2. a Misconduct Committee;

    3. the University Misconduct Board; and

    4. the University Misconduct Appeals Board.

expulsion means a student is expelled from the University, their enrolment is cancelled and they are prohibited from enrolling in any courses or programs at the University in the future except with written permission from the Vice-Chancellor granted in their absolute discretion (provided permission is not given within 5 years from the date the expulsion took effect).

general misconduct has the meaning given in the Student Code of Conduct.

Integrity Officer means an officially appointed academic staff member who promotes the values and practice of academic integrity to students and staff, conducts investigations, provides guidance to academic staff about the delivery of educational strategies associated with academic integrity, and provides guidance and support to decision-makers in relation to student misconduct. A person appointed to this role must be:

  1. at school level – the chair of the School Teaching and Learning Committee, or their written nominee/s;

  2. at faculty level – the Associate Dean (Academic), or their written nominee/s;

  3. for the graduate school – the Deputy Dean of the Graduate School, or their written nominee/s;

  4. for institutes – the Director of Post-Graduate Studies; and

  5. for general misconduct matters associated with:

    1. the Halls of Residence, Gatton Campus – the Manager, Residential Programs; and

    2. Kev Carmody House – the General Manager, Kev Carmody House.

For the avoidance of doubt, an Integrity Officer that deals with a particular allegation of misconduct in accordance with section 1.0 of the Procedure will not participate in a hearing of a misconduct proceeding in relation to that allegation as a member of a Misconduct Body or Appeal Body.

lawyer means a person who holds a degree or formal training in law (e.g. LLB or JD or equivalent) and/or a person admitted or qualified to be an Australian lawyer.

misconduct means either academic misconduct or general misconduct.

Misconduct Body means a Misconduct Committee or the University Misconduct Board, hearing and determining a misconduct proceeding at first instance.

misconduct proceeding means a misconduct process commenced by the Associate Director or Integrity Officer and carried out in accordance with the procedure. 

policy means the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

procedure means the Student Integrity and Misconduct Procedure.

student means a person enrolled as a student at the University or undertaking courses or programs at the University at the time of the alleged misconduct, regardless of whether they are a student at the time of the hearing of the misconduct proceeding.

Student Misconduct Framework Module means the training module approved from time to time by the Academic Registrar for staff or students of the University or external members who are eligible to be appointed to a Misconduct Body. 

support person means a person accompanying a student at a hearing before a decision-maker.

suspension from the University means that a student’s enrolment in programs and courses is suspended, and the student is prohibited from entering the University’s land, sites or part of the land or sites or engaging in an activity as a student of the University for the duration of the period of the suspension.

training requirements means:

  1. on request from the Associate Director, completing the Student Misconduct Framework Training Module within 6 months of receiving the request (or such further time as may be permitted by the Associate Director, which permission can be granted at any time); or

  2. upon receiving such a request from the Associate Director, being granted an exemption from the need to complete the Student Misconduct Framework Training Module by the Academic Registrar.

University means The University of Queensland.

UQ community means any current UQ student, graduate, staff member, member of Senate (or other governance body of the University), contractor, volunteer, official visitor, holder of an honorary appointment, adjunct academic and support position holder, or supplier of academic placements or academic related services, or a representative group thereof. 

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Procedures

Student Integrity and Misconduct - Procedure

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1.0    How the Associate Director or Integrity Officer deals with alleged misconduct

The purpose of this section is to govern how an allegation of misconduct will be dealt with by the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer, including without referring the matter to a misconduct proceeding. 

1.1    Reports of misconduct

  1. A person may report alleged misconduct by a student to the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer.

  2. Staff members who receive a report of alleged misconduct by a student must refer it to the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer, unless authorised by another policy or procedure of the University not to do so. 

  3. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer may, of their own initiative, make a report of alleged misconduct by a student based on information received or of which they become aware.

  4. All such reports are to be recorded in the Conduct Register.

1.2    Options available to the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer

  1. Upon receipt of a report of alleged misconduct, or on their own initiative, the Associate Director or any Integrity Officer may do one or more of the following:

    1. cause an investigation to be undertaken into any possible misconduct by a student (including, without limitation, by a staff member from the Student Grievance Resolution Unit or Integrity Unit or a person external to the University);

    2. decide that no further action should be taken on that report because:

      1. the alleged misconduct does not fall within the scope of the policy; or

      2. the allegation concerns conduct of a trivial nature, and it would be inexpedient to impose any penalty;

    3. decide to defer any immediate action on that report, including because the student is subject to a parallel process in which the conduct is being investigated and which might ultimately lead to the University determining not to proceed with further action;

    4. decide to offer the student conduct counselling in accordance with subsection 1.3;

    5. decide to issue the student with a conduct notice in accordance with subsection 1.4;

    6. refer an allegation of misconduct by a student for hearing and determination by a Misconduct Body in accordance with section 2.0;

    7. request the Academic Registrar to consider reporting the matter to the police or another law enforcement agency.

  2. Any decision made under subsection 1.2(1) may be revoked at any time, unless:

    1. subsections 1.3(2)(c)(ii) or 1.4(2) apply; or

    2. the matter has been referred to a misconduct proceeding under subsection 1.2(1)(f), after which no further or other action under subsection 1.2 may be taken.

  3. Subject to subsection (2), the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will have discretion as to how to proceed in relation to alleged misconduct having regard to (without limitation):

    1. the nature of the allegations;

    2. the seriousness of the allegations;

    3. the misconduct record of the student, including whether the student has previously been counselled or issued with a conduct notice under this policy and procedure; and

    4. whether the University has previously made a finding that the student engaged in misconduct as recorded on the Conduct Register.

  4. In exercising their discretion, the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer:

    1. may seek advice from the Academic Registrar and/or an Integrity Officer;

    2. is not required to give the student an opportunity to make submissions or otherwise be heard in relation to the exercise of the discretion;

    3. may only offer conduct counselling or issue a conduct notice if it is considered that it is appropriate to take a purely educative response or it is not otherwise necessary or appropriate to proceed to investigate and determine whether misconduct occurred in all the circumstances of the case. 

1.3    Conduct counselling

  1. If the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer is considering making a decision to offer conduct counselling to a student, they may:

    1. send correspondence to the student identifying alleged conduct of the student that does not meet the University's expectations as recorded in the Student Code of Conduct;

    2. invite the student to meet with the Associate Director or an Integrity officer to discuss the conduct alleged and how it might be resolved without the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer referring the matter to a misconduct proceeding.

  2. An offer of counselling is a proposal, made in writing by the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer to the student, that:

    1. identifies alleged conduct of the student that does not meet the University’s expectations as recorded in the Student Code of Conduct;

    2. invites the student to resolve these concerns (without admission) by undertaking to do one or more of the following (without limitation):

      1. making an apology to any person specified by the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer, in the form specified by the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer;

      2. taking the benefit of specified learning services available to students at the University;

    3. advises the student that:

      1. the proposal can be accepted, by returning a completed form of offer, within a specified time period; and

      2. if the proposal is accepted, and the student satisfies the University that their undertaking has been performed, then no misconduct proceedings will be taken upon the conduct alleged.

  3. Where an offer of conduct counselling has been accepted, and the Associate Director is satisfied that the student has performed their undertaking, then no finding of misconduct will be made in relation to that conduct and no misconduct proceedings will be taken upon the conduct alleged.  However, the record of the matter on the Conduct Register pursuant to subsection (3) may be considered in determining how to proceed in relation to any future allegations of misconduct made against the student pursuant to subsection 1.2(3)(c).

  4. A decision by the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer to offer conduct counselling, a student's acceptance of that offer, and the extent to which the student has satisfied any undertaking given will be recorded on the Conduct Register.    

1.4    Conduct notices

  1. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer may issue a student with a written conduct notice, which:

    1. identifies alleged conduct of the student that is alleged to constitute a breach of the Student Code of Conduct;

    2. advises the student that:

      1. they are being provided with an opportunity to make an early admission of their conduct and accept the imposition of a stated penalty (being a penalty that could be imposed by a Misconduct Committee);

      2. this opportunity can be accepted, by completing and returning the notice, within a specified time period (being no less than 14 days after issuance of the conduct notice); and

      3. if that occurs, then no misconduct proceedings will be taken upon the conduct alleged and no finding of misconduct will be recorded in the Conduct Register.   

  2. Where a conduct notice has been accepted by a student, no finding of misconduct will be made in relation to that conduct, no misconduct proceedings will be taken upon the conduct alleged and the penalty accepted by the student will be enforceable as if it were imposed by a Misconduct Committee.  However, the record of the matter on the Conduct Register pursuant to subsection (3) may be considered in determining how to proceed in relation to any future allegations of misconduct made against the student pursuant to subsection 1.2(3)(c).

  3. A decision by the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer to issue a student with a conduct notice, the student's admission of the conduct by the due date in the required form and any penalty imposed, will be recorded on the Conduct Register. 

2.0    How a matter is referred to a misconduct proceeding

The purpose of this section is to govern the referral of a matter to a misconduct proceeding, to be heard and determined by a Misconduct Body.  The allegation notice is intended to provide the student with particulars of the allegation made, which enable the student to understand and respond to the allegation.  The document bundle is intended to ensure that the student has copies of the materials available to the Misconduct Body to be considered in determining the allegation.

2.1    Referral of matter to a Misconduct Body

  1. If the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer determines that an allegation of misconduct by a student is to be referred to a Misconduct Body for hearing and determination pursuant to subsection 1.2(1)(f), the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer must refer it to either:

    1. a Misconduct Committee constituted under the policy; or

    2. the University Misconduct Board constituted under the policy.

  2. In determining whether to refer the allegation to a Misconduct Committee or the University Misconduct Board, the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will have regard to their assessment of the range of potential penalties that may be imposed if the totality of the alleged misconduct is proven.

  3. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer must refer an allegation to the University Misconduct Board if they consider that a penalty imposed for misconduct may include one or more the following:

    1. refusing or cancelling credit for any course;

    2. revocation of an award;

    3. suspension from the University for a specified period of more than 2 weeks; or

    4. expulsion from the University.

2.2    Producing the allegation notice and document bundle

  1. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will prepare or arrange the preparation of:

    1. an allegation notice;

    2. the document bundle.

  2. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer is not confined to the conduct in the original report of misconduct in the preparation of the allegation notice or the document bundle.

  3. The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer refers the matter to a misconduct proceeding by ensuring:

    1. the commencement of the proceeding is entered on the Conduct Register;

    2. a copy of the allegation notice and the document bundle are provided to the Misconduct Body; and

    3. a copy of the allegation notice and the document bundle are provided to the student.

2.3    Amendments to the allegation notice and/or document bundle

  1. If the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer determines prior to the Misconduct Body making its decision that the allegation notice should be amended and/or further material should be provided to the Misconduct Body, the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will ensure the preparation and issue of an amended allegation notice and/or supplementary document bundle to the student and the Misconduct Body. 

  2. Where an amended allegation notice and/or supplementary document bundle is issued, the Misconduct Body will make necessary directions to ensure that the student has a reasonable opportunity to consider and respond to the amended allegation notice and/or supplementary document bundle (including by making submissions and providing further new material to the Misconduct Body). 

  3. At any time prior to making its decision, the Misconduct Body may request the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer to amend the allegation notice.  The Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will ensure the allegation notice is amended in response to the request, and the amended allegation notice is issued to the Misconduct Body and the student.  Upon receipt of the amended allegation notice, the Misconduct Board will follow the requirements of subsection (2).

3.0    How a Misconduct Body hears and decides allegations

The purpose of this section is to record that it is the function of a Misconduct Body to hear and determine a misconduct proceeding and ensure it has all the powers necessary and incidental to the discharge of that function. 

3.1    Powers upon referral

  1. It is the function of the Misconduct Body to receive referrals made under this procedure to hear and determine a misconduct proceeding in accordance with this policy and procedure, including (without limitation) to determine or resolve all allegations of misconduct referred regardless of their seriousness.   

  2. Subject to subsection (3), the Misconduct Body has all powers necessary and incidental for the discharge of this function and may at any time (without limitation):

    1. request the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer to arrange further inquiries to be undertaken and report back to the Misconduct Body on the outcome of those inquiries;

    2. conduct further inquiries itself;

    3. adjourn the misconduct proceeding (including any hearing), until after the conclusion of any related criminal process or proceeding pursued against the student;

    4. take no further action because:

      1. the alleged conduct does not fall within the scope of the policy;

      2. the allegation concerns conduct of a trivial nature, and it would be inexpedient to impose any penalty;

    5. offer the student conduct counselling in accordance with subsection 1.3 (with references to the 'Associate Director or an Integrity Officer' to be read as references to the 'Misconduct Body');

    6. proceed to decide the alleged misconduct and, if one or more of the allegations is proven, impose a penalty in accordance with this procedure;

    7. where the Misconduct Body is a Misconduct Committee and has made findings that one or more allegations were proven, refer the allegation back to the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer on the basis that the Misconduct Committee considers that it does not have power to impose the most appropriate penalty having regard to the totality of the allegations proven.  In this scenario, the Associate Director or an Integrity Officer will refer the matter to the University Misconduct Board, with a copy of the written reasons of the Misconduct Committee.  The University Misconduct Board will be entitled to rely on any findings of the Misconduct Committee, without having to determine again whether those allegations are proven, in determining the most appropriate penalty to impose.

  3. The Misconduct Body does not have power to compel:

    1. the production or disclosure of documents by any person;

    2. the giving of evidence by or attendance at hearings of any person.

3.2    Hearing the allegations

  1. The Misconduct Body will proceed in the way the chairperson decides, subject to the following requirements.

  2. The student must be given a reasonable opportunity to:

    1. advise the Misconduct Body whether they admit or wish to contest the allegations of misconduct;

    2. provide any evidence or submissions they wish to rely upon to contest the allegations of misconduct or which relate to the appropriate penalty;

    3. request an oral hearing. Students may appear remotely if approved by the chairperson (for example, if practically necessary because of health directives). 

  3. The Misconduct Body will allow at least 14 days between the date that the allegation notice and document bundle are provided to the student under subsection 2.2(3) and the scheduled date for the hearing.

  4. Where considered appropriate (which will usually be in exceptional circumstances only), the Misconduct Body may request the Associate Director to make arrangements for assistance to be provided to the Misconduct Body to fulfil its functions, including the following (without limitation):

    1. secretarial services;

    2. transcription services;

    3. legal services, either from a lawyer from UQ Legal Services and/or an external lawyer selected and engaged by the General Counsel (or delegate), for either or both:

      1. giving confidential legal advice to the Misconduct Body in relation to the misconduct proceeding;

      2. appearing as counsel assisting at any hearing of the Misconduct Body.

  5. Hearings must be conducted in compliance with the rules of procedural fairness. 

  6. An oral hearing is required only when requested by the student.  At an oral hearing, the student may be accompanied by a support person. If the student does not appear within 15 minutes of the scheduled commencement of the hearing, the hearing may proceed in the student’s absence.

  7. The rules of evidence (that apply in some court proceedings) do not apply. 

  8. Subject to subsection (11), the student together with any support person is entitled (but is not required) to be present throughout the hearing except where the members of the Misconduct Body wish to confer privately among themselves or to consider their decision. 

  9. The student is not entitled to be represented by a lawyer or other representative at the hearing, except by prior written approval of the chairperson of the Misconduct Body. 

  10. Hearings before the Misconduct Body are to be closed to the public.

  11. The Misconduct Body has complete authority to keep order in the proceedings including the authority to order the removal of a person including a student, witness, lawyer or support person.

  12. When two or more students are alleged to have committed misconduct in circumstances that are related, the Misconduct Body may decide to hear their cases together (and may seek advice from a lawyer engaged pursuant to subsection (4)(c)(i) to advise the Misconduct Body on whether that is appropriate in the circumstances).

  13. If the Misconduct Body considers that more information about the allegation is required:

    1. it may adjourn the hearing and request the Associate Director or counsel assisting (appointed under subsection (4)(c)(ii)) to make further inquiries or obtain further information, evidence or materials; 

    2. the Misconduct Body must make directions to ensure that the student receives a copy of any additional information or material provided to the Misconduct Body, and is given a reasonable opportunity to consider and respond to the additional information or material (including by making submissions and providing further new material to the Misconduct Body); and 

    3. for the avoidance of doubt, the Misconduct Body is not required to hold a further oral hearing and may instead direct any further submissions be made in writing.

3.3    Deciding the allegations

  1. The Misconduct Body must make one of the decisions referred to in subsections 3.1(2)(c)to 3.1(2)(g).  The Misconduct Body will endeavour to make a decision within 28 days of the allegation notice and document bundle being provided to the student under subsection 2.2.

  2. If the Misconduct Body proceeds to decide the alleged misconduct in accordance with subsection 3.1(2)(f), it must decide with respect to each allegation in the allegation notice that either:

    1. the allegation is not proven; or

    2. the allegation is proven. 

  3. In making a decision under subsection (2), the Misconduct Body must consider whether the document bundle, as supplemented by other material before it and any evidence taken at hearing, satisfies it on the balance of probabilities whether the allegation is proven. 

3.4    Imposing a penalty

  1. If the Misconduct Body decides that one or more allegations are proven, it may impose a penalty in accordance with this policy and procedure. 

  2. The Misconduct Body is not bound to impose the proposed penalty in the allegation notice, and may impose a less or more serious penalty within the scope of its authority in the policy.

  3. If the Misconduct Body determines that some allegations are proven, and some are not, the Misconduct Body will consider whether it is necessary to inform the student of that outcome, and provide the student with a further opportunity to make submissions in relation to the penalty that should be imposed, prior to making a decision as to penalty.  For the avoidance of doubt, if the Misconduct Body decides to allow the student a further opportunity to make submissions in relation to penalty, the Misconduct Body is not required to hold a further oral hearing and may instead direct any further submissions be made in writing.

  4. A Misconduct Body may decide that a suspension or expulsion is to take effect retrospectively (provided it does not place the student in breach of a direction or order by doing so), from the date of the decision, or at any time after the decision.

  5. A Misconduct Body will impose a penalty that it considers is appropriate in the circumstances and is proportionate to the misconduct that is proven.  In determining an appropriate and proportionate penalty, the Misconduct Body may consider one or more of the following (without limitation):

    1. the nature and extent of the misconduct;

    2. the length of the student's tertiary experience;

    3. the student’s record, including by reference to the Conduct Register;

    4. whether the misconduct was deliberate or premeditated;

    5. any matters that demonstrate a pattern of behaviour or course of conduct by the student;

    6. the impact of the misconduct on other persons, including members of the UQ community;

    7. any mitigating circumstances (for example, any admission by the student or expression of regret or remorse); and

    8. any guidance from the Associate Director indicating the usual range of penalties and other misconduct orders made in particular categories of matter.

3.5    Giving notice of the decision

  1. As soon as practicable after the Misconduct Body makes a decision, the Misconduct Body will:

    1. give the student and the Associate Director written notice of the decision;

    2. inform the student of any appeal rights and timeframes.

  2. The written notice must state:

    1. the decision;

    2. any penalty imposed;

    3. the reasons for the decision and any penalty imposed;

    4. the student’s right to appeal and the applicable appeal timeframes; and

    5. the possible outcomes of any appeal.

3.6    Recording the decision

The Associate Director will record the outcome of the misconduct proceeding on the Conduct Register.

4.0    How an Appeal Body hears and determines an appeal

The purpose of this section is to govern a student's right to appeal a decision of a Misconduct Body, and the effect an appeal has on the operation of decisions of the Misconduct Body. 

4.1    Right of appeal

  1. A student may appeal a final decision made by a Misconduct Body, either or both as to:

    1. any finding that an allegation of misconduct is proven;

    2. any penalty imposed.

  2. An appeal may only be brought upon the ground that the decision:

    1. was materially affected by a failure to act with procedural fairness or otherwise comply with relevant procedures;

    2. was materially affected by an error of law;

    3. was materially based upon findings of fact which were not reasonably open on the evidence;

    4. imposed a penalty which was manifestly excessive; or

    5. is materially affected by new evidence which was not reasonably available to the student prior to the date of the decision.

  3. To appeal a decision, the student must lodge an appeal application with the Associate Director, within 28 days of being given written notice of the decision.  The completed appeal application must:

    1. state the decision being appealed;

    2. state the ground/s for appeal; and

    3. attach all supporting documentation the student requests be considered on appeal.

4.2    Referral of appeal to the Appeal Body

  1. Upon receipt of an appeal application, the Associate Director must refer the appeal to either:

    1. in the case of a decision of a Misconduct Committee – the University Misconduct Board constituted under the policy;

    2. in the case of a decision of the University Misconduct Board – to the University Misconduct Appeals Board constituted under the policy.

  2. The Associate Director refers the appeal by ensuring:

    1. the commencement of the appeal is entered on the Conduct Register;

    2. the Appeal Body is provided a copy of:

      1. the appeal notice and any attachment;

      2. the decision under appeal;

      3. all relevant material which was before the primary Misconduct Body (including any record of the hearing);

      4. any further evidence relied upon by the Associate Director in response to the appeal;

    3. the student is provided a copy of the materials referred to in subsection (b).

  3. The Associate Director will use best endeavours to refer the appeal within 14 days of receiving the student's appeal application.

4.3    Nature of appeal

  1. In exercising its appeal jurisdiction, the Appeal Body has all the functions and powers of the Misconduct Body for the decision that is being appealed.

  2. In deciding an appeal by reference to the ground/s of appeal, the Appeal Body will consider the merits in relation to those parts of the allegation notice (as amended) referred to the Misconduct Body under section 2.0 and appealed under subsection 4.1(1). 

  3. The Appeal Body's jurisdiction to decide an appeal is not affected by any error by the Misconduct Body.  Any error by the Misconduct Body can be corrected by the Appeal Body.

  4. The Appeal Body may consider and rely on:

    1. the original material;

    2. the written notice of the Misconduct Body's decision;

    3. the appeal application and supporting materials provided by the student;

    4. any further documents, material or evidence the Associate Director has provided to the student and the Appeal Body at the time of referring the appeal; and

    5. any other documents, material and evidence provided to or obtained by the Appeal Body after the Misconduct Body's decision, provided a copy is also given to the student.

4.4    Hearing of appeal

  1. The student must be given a reasonable opportunity to:

    1. provide evidence in response to any further evidence relied upon by the Associate Director in the appeal; and

    2. provide written submissions in support of the appeal.

  2. The Appeal Body will determine whether it intends to hold an oral hearing in relation to the appeal or will determine the appeal on the papers (without an oral hearing). 

  3. If the Appeal Body decides to hold an oral hearing, it will allow at least 14 days between the date that the appeal application, original material and any further material the Associate Director considers relevant are provided to the student and the Appeal Body under subsection 4.2(2) and the scheduled date for any hearing.

  4. The Appeal Body may request the Associate Director to make arrangements for assistance to be provided to the Appeal Body to fulfil its functions, including the following (without limitation):

    1. secretarial services;

    2. transcription services; and

    3. legal services, either from a lawyer from UQ Legal Services or an external lawyer selected and engaged by the General Counsel (or delegate), for either or both:

      1. giving confidential legal advice to the Appeal Body in relation to the appeal;

      2. appearing as counsel assisting at any oral hearing of the Appeal Body.

  5. The Appeal Body may conduct oral hearings in any way it considers appropriate subject to the matters referred to in subsections 3.2(5), 3.2(6) and 3.2(9) to 3.2(13) (as if the reference to the Misconduct Body in those subsections is a reference to the Appeal Body).

4.5    Deciding appeals

  1. In deciding an appeal from a Misconduct Body's decision, the Appeal Body may:

    1. confirm or amend the decision;

    2. set aside the decision and substitute its own decision; or

    3. refer the matter back to a Misconduct Body to be heard again.

  2. An Appeal Body may impose a more severe penalty than the penalty imposed by the Misconduct Body (subject to subsection (3)).

  3. An Appeal Body may only impose a penalty that the Misconduct Body had power to impose when it first heard and determined the misconduct proceeding.

4.6    Notice of appeal decision

  1. As soon as practicable after the Appeal Body makes a decision, the Appeal Body must:

    1. give the student a written notice of the decision; and

    2. give a copy of the notice to the Associate Director.

  2. The notice must state:

    1. the decision;

    2. the reasons for the decision; and

    3. that if the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal, the student may lodge a complaint with the Queensland Ombudsman.

4.7    Recording the decision

The Associate Director will record the outcome of the appeal on the Conduct Register.

4.8    Finality of appeal decision

  1. The decision of an Appeal Body is final and there is no further recourse to further appeal within the University.

  2. Where the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome of an appeal process, the student may lodge a complaint with the Queensland Ombudsman. The student misconduct appeal process within the University should usually be exhausted before a complaint is lodged with the Ombudsman.

4.9    Appeal operates to stay Misconduct Body's decision

  1. An appeal of the decision of a Misconduct Body under this procedure suspends the implementation of any penalty imposed by the Misconduct Body that is the subject of the appeal.

  2. Notwithstanding subsection (1), a Misconduct Body may make a decision that the penalty is to be implemented despite any appeal (referred to in this section as an implementation direction).

  3. A student may apply to the chairperson of the Appeal Body to stay an implementation direction, providing any supporting material the students wants the chairperson to consider.

  4. The chairperson must consider urgently an application to stay an implementation direction, and will proceed in the way the chairperson decides.  For the avoidance of doubt, the chairperson is not required to meet with the student or otherwise hold an oral hearing to determine the application. 

  5. The chairperson, in deciding whether to stay an implementation direction, may consider the following factors (without limitation):

    1. whether the implementation of the penalty before the appeal would result in undue hardship to the student;

    2. whether the implementation or stay of the penalty would assist the Appeal Body's ability to deal with the matter;

    3. whether the implementation of the penalty would be likely to maintain the position prior to the implementation direction being made;

    4. whether there are potential risks that the student poses to themselves or others if the implementation direction is stayed; and

    5. whether there is a risk that the student will graduate before determination of the appeal if the implementation direction is stayed.

  6. The decision of the chairperson on an application to stay an implementation decision under this section is not subject to any appeal or review at the University.

5.0    Dictionary

Words or phrases used in this Procedure and not otherwise defined in this document have the meaning they have in the Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy.

In this procedure:

allegation notice is a written notice which:

  1. identifies the conduct of the student which is alleged to constitute misconduct;

  2. identifies the provision of the Student Code of Conduct or other policy which is alleged to have been breached;

  3. identifies the penalty which is sought (subject to the discretion of the Misconduct Body);

  4. identifies the particular Misconduct Body to which the matter is being referred;

  5. identifies the date and place at which the Misconduct Body is proposing to determine the matter (subject to the discretion of the Misconduct Body);

  6. advises the student that the document bundle contains the factual material which is being relied upon to establish the misconduct or to support the penalty;

  7. advises the student of their right to contest the matter;

  8. advises how a student may admit or contest an allegation notice; and

  9. requests that the student advise whether they require an oral hearing and whether they admit or propose to contest the allegations of misconduct.

days means calendar days.

document bundle comprises the statements and other documentation provided to the Misconduct Body (and the student) to provide the factual basis for the hearing and determination of the allegation of misconduct and any appropriate penalty. The document bundle may include, for example and without limitation, the investigation report, 'Turnitin' reports, and document verification checks.  

original material is the documentation which was before the Misconduct Body and is provided to the Appeal Body for reference in the hearing and determination of the appeal. 

procedural fairness is a principle that is applied by the University to ensure that decisions are made in accordance with the rule against bias and the hearing rule (i.e. a person is given an opportunity to present their case with knowledge of any prejudicial material that may be taken into account by the decision-maker).

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Student Integrity and Misconduct - Guidelines

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Body

1.0    Purpose and Scope

These guidelines supplement The University of Queensland's (UQ or the University) Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy and support the application of the Policy and Student Integrity & Misconduct – Procedure by providing:

  • an outline of the process for staff to identify, assess, manage and determine misconduct matters; and

  • further information on staff responsibilities to manage the misconduct process.

A flowchart on the process for managing alleged misconduct is set out in the Appendix of this document.

2.0    Staff guidelines

2.1    Course Coordinator responsibilities

Course Coordinators should:

  • be familiar with the content of the Student Code of Conduct and the academic integrity tutorial (online module) and ensure that advice to students on academic integrity is consistent with the detail and requirements as outlined in the module;

  • clearly explain academic expectations of assessment items, including referencing styles, in the course profile;

  • set realistic assessment loads, change assessment tasks from semester to semester, and design assessment tasks that encourage original thinking.

Any staff involved in teaching should refer matters of suspected academic misconduct to the Course Coordinator to raise with the relevant Integrity Officer who will determine the next steps.

2.2    Support for staff

The Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution webpage provides templates for documents referred to in these guidelines that are used throughout the misconduct process, such as:

  • investigation report

  • conduct counselling notice

  • conduct notice

  • allegation notice

  • hearing agenda

  • outcome notice.

The University acknowledges that teaching evaluation(s) for academic teaching staff may be adversely impacted where a large number of misconduct matters are identified in a particular course. Academic staff are encouraged to raise this during Annual Performance and Development conversations.

2.3    Requirement to act fairly, impartially and exercise independent judgment

Staff who investigate or decide allegations or appeals need to act fairly and impartially. While they may seek advice about the process or their responsibilities under the policy, they must exercise independent judgment about the particular allegation or appeal, based on their objective assessment of the evidence.

2.4    Confidentiality

Staff who investigate or hear allegations or appeals must treat them as confidential and not discuss them with anyone not involved in the process. Any disclosure of information to others involved in the process needs to be on a “need-to-know” basis, depending on the nature of their role in the process.

2.5     Conflicts of interest

Staff involved in misconduct or appeals processes must disclose actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest (whether personal, financial, or otherwise) as soon as they become aware of them. Staff who have previously advised or supported a student should not normally be involved in any investigation or decision-making in relation to that student’s complaint or appeal without disclosing a potential conflict of interest. The staff member’s supervisor (or other person to whom they are accountable under the process) then assesses whether the potential conflict is or is likely to (or be seen to) preclude that staff member from acting fairly and impartially. If so, then another person will be appointed to replace the staff member. If in doubt, a cautious approach should be taken, and the situation discussed with the Integrity Officer or the Associate Director, Student Conduct and Integrity.

2.6    Investigation

The Integrity Officer or professional staff member who conducts an investigation should consider the following:

  • whether the student should attend a preliminary meeting;

  • whether the student’s written response to the concerns be sought in the first instance;

  • whether IT investigations would be useful in determining the allegation;

  • whether others should be approached to provide statements.

Once the information has been collected, an investigation report on the findings should be developed. The report should include:

  • an impartial summary of the evidence collected;

  • copies of the information collected (including meeting minutes if relevant);

  • on the balance of the evidence collected, a recommendation on whether there is sufficient evidence to allege misconduct;

  • whether the investigation has uncovered any other concerns that should be considered prior to deciding the outcome of the matter.

2.7    Investigation outcome

Once the Integrity Officer or Associate Director has an investigation report, their role is to consider what, if any further, action should be taken.

At this stage, a recidivist check should be sought from the Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution Unit to determine whether the student has previously been subject to allegations of misconduct. To do so, send an email to studentconduct@uq.edu.au with details of the student including their name and student number. A history of poor academic practice or lapses in general conduct may suggest the current allegation should be considered in respect of the penalties applicable under the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy.

Following review of the investigation report, the Integrity Officer or Associate Director will:

  • take no further action as there is not enough evidence to substantiate a claim of misconduct; or

  • issue a conduct counselling notice if the misconduct has been determined to be inadvertent or unintentional; or

  • issue a conduct notice to the student; or

  • refer the matter to the University Misconduct Board if a more significant penalty than those available to a Misconduct Committee could be considered appropriate.

2.8    Conduct Counselling

Where the Integrity Officer or Associate Director concludes from an investigation that the alleged actions of the student warrant an educative outcome then a Conduct Counselling notice can be issued.

This would be an appropriate outcome in circumstances where the actions of the student are due to poor academic practice, unintentional or inadvertent consequences to their actions, or actions from a misunderstanding.

2.8.1    Description of the conduct being counselled

A description of the alleged conduct or action by the student and the circumstances in which if occurred, including reference to evidence to support the conclusions about the behaviour or action. When framing and/or setting out the conduct, reference to and language used should be consistent with section 3 of the Student Code of Conduct - Policy.

2.8.2    Directions

Conduct counselling notices may specify one or more directions to the student, including a direction to refrain from engaging in specified conduct in the future and the consequences should such conduct be repeated. It may also direct the student to access specified learning activities or to reflect on their actions through an apology.

2.8.3    Response

The conduct counselling notice should provide advice for the student to respond with an acceptance of the conduct counselling and a due date for the response. Students should be given 14 calendar days to respond.

If a student responds within the timeframe and accepts the counselling, the directions listed in the conduct counselling notice can be applied. The information that the Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution unit record on the Conduct Register with this outcome will not be conveyed to external agencies in formal student conduct reports but will be available through recidivist checks if future matters arise.

If a student does not respond in the prescribed timeframe, or does not accept the counselling, the matter may then proceed to the issuing of a conduct notice, which may include alternative outcomes such as a penalty; or be heard by a Misconduct Committee through the issuing of an allegation notice.

2.9    Conduct notices

Where a matter requires the imposition of a penalty, an allegation of misconduct can be addressed with a conduct notice in the first instance.

As the conduct notice is the first formal notification to a student subject to formal misconduct proceedings, it will contain the information as set out at section 2.9.1 – 2.9.3 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Procedure.

2.9.1    Description of the alleged misconduct

A description of the alleged student misconduct and the circumstances in which it occurred, including reference to evidence to support the allegations of misconduct, must be included in the conduct notice. When framing and/or setting out the allegation, reference to and language used should be consistent with section 3 of the Student Code of Conduct - Policy.

2.9.2    Penalty

The conduct notice must list the penalty that will be imposed if the student admits they engaged in the misconduct that has been alleged. The full range of penalties listed in Section 4.1 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy are available to be included in the conduct notice.

2.9.3    Response

The conduct notice should provide advice for the student to respond with an admission to the alleged misconduct and a due date for the response. Students should be given 14 calendar days to respond.

If a student responds within the timeframe and admits to the misconduct, the penalty listed in the conduct notice can be applied. The information that the Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution unit record on the Conduct Register with this outcome will not be conveyed to external agencies in formal student conduct reports but will be available through recidivist checks if future matters arise.

If a student does not respond in the prescribed timeframe, or does not admit to the alleged misconduct, the matter will then proceed to be heard by a Misconduct Committee through the issuing of an allegation notice.

2.10    Misconduct Committee

Misconduct Committees are comprised of two authorised staff who have undertaken training in decision making. They may be senior academic or professional staff. The Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution Unit is required to keep records of the staff who are authorised to act as members of Misconduct Committees. Misconduct Committees do not need to be comprised only of staff from within one organisational unit. Some matters may benefit from forming the Committee from authorised staff across multiple disciplines.

When a matter is referred to be heard by a Misconduct Committee, the Integrity Officer responsible needs to convene the committee and issue the allegation notice.

2.11    University Misconduct Board

The University Misconduct Board is established in accordance with section 3.3 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct – Policy.

2.11.1    Guidance on referral of matters to the University Misconduct Board

Section 2.1 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Procedure sets out when matters should be referred to the University Misconduct Board rather than a Misconduct Committee. Integrity Officers may seek advice from the Associate Director, Student Conduct and Integrity on particular matters if required.

Considerations regarding referral of matters to the University Misconduct Board include:

  • A repeated report of alleged misconduct after a similar allegation has been proven may warrant referral to the University Misconduct Board, however, a student who has previously had an allegation of low-level academic misconduct proven, should not automatically be referred to the University Misconduct Board for their second offence.

  • If the relative weight of the assessment is high (for example > 50%), or the type of misconduct suggests that removal of credit for a course is appropriate, a referral to the University Misconduct Board may be appropriate.

  • If the student has no prior history of misconduct, but the matter is deemed serious due to the impact on other students, referral to the University Misconduct Board would be appropriate.

2.12    Misconduct Hearings

Sections 2 and 3 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct – Procedure includes detail of referring a matter to be heard by a Misconduct Committee, and how that Committee hears a matter. The University Misconduct Board hears matters in a manner similar to the Misconduct Committees, with support provided by the staff of the Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution unit.

2.12.1    Allegation notice

Section 2.2.1a of the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Procedure outlines the details that are required to be included in an allegation notice, and includes:

  • a description of the alleged student misconduct and the circumstances in which the alleged misconduct occurred;

  • why the allegations amount to misconduct;

  • a proposed penalty if the allegation is proven;

  • the date, time and location of the hearing;

  • a copy of all material that will be provided to the Misconduct Committee (such as the reports from any investigations);

  • advice that the student may provide material (such as written submissions) to support their case;

  • a statement advising the student they need to request attendance if they wish to be present at the hearing;

  • a timeframe to respond regarding attendance at the hearing.

2.12.2    Date, time and location of the hearing

In setting the date and time of the hearing, consideration should be given to:

  • time limits - the Committee will make all attempts to hear a case of alleged misconduct within 14 calendar days from the date that the allegation notice was issued;

  • whether the hearing will be taking place during an examinations period. Scheduling a hearing close to a student’s examination should be avoided and instead should be held well in advance of, or following, examinations;

  • the time of the hearing should avoid any clashes with the student’s academic timetable.

2.12.3    Additional information

The receipt of an allegation notice and the process that ensues can be an anxious time for a student. Generally, the more information on the process the student has, the better placed they are to manage this anxiety. In acknowledging this, the student needs to be provided with additional information in the notice, including:

  • reference to the Student Code of Conduct and Student Integrity and Misconduct – Policy and Procedures;

  • advice that the student may be accompanied to the hearing by a support person who is not a lawyer in accordance with Student Integrity and Misconduct - Procedures section 3.2.2b.

It is also advisable that Misconduct Committees encourage students to seek assistance from the Student Union or Student Services.

2.12.4    Hearing Agenda

The agenda of a Misconduct Committee hearing should follow a model where the Committee clarifies points of fact and provides the student with an opportunity to be heard before deciding on the allegation.

While there is discretion for a Misconduct Committee to conduct a hearing in a manner deemed appropriate, a hearing where the student requests attendance will usually proceed as follows:

  1. The student, and support person if applicable, is welcomed into the hearing by the Misconduct Committee and introduced to the secretary and other members if relevant.

  2. The Misconduct Committee states the allegation under consideration and provides the student with an opportunity to inspect all substantive material evidence available (if the student has not already been provided with copies).

  3. The Misconduct Committee asks for the student’s plea or, if previously indicated, whether they would like to change the plea.

  4. The student is provided with an opportunity to make verbal submissions and to provide any additional information for the Misconduct Committee’s consideration.

  5. The Misconduct Committee seeks to clarify any outstanding questions from the material provided.

  6. If applicable, witnesses are invited to appear. The witnesses and student should not interact with each other directly, but direct questions instead through the Misconduct Committee. The student and their support person should remain in the room while the witnesses give statements.

  7. Any additional points of clarification are made and the student is provided further opportunity to submit any comments before the Misconduct Committee deliberates the case.

  8. The student is given the opportunity to wait in another room for the Misconduct Committee to make a decision.

  9. The Misconduct Committee invites the student and his or her support person to re-join the hearing and asks whether there are any issues about the proceedings they would like recorded.

  10. The decision is delivered and any penalties imposed before the Misconduct Committee calls the hearing to an end.

  11. Should the Misconduct Committee determine that matters raised at the hearing warrant further investigation prior to making a decision, the hearing may be adjourned to facilitate that investigation, and subsequently re-convened at a later time.

  12. An adjourned hearing should be reconvened as soon as practicable and preferably not later than 10 working days after the original adjournment.

2.12.5    Role of Misconduct Committee Chair in a hearing

The Misconduct Committee Chair is responsible for:

  • the general conduct of the hearing and for upholding order throughout the proceedings;

  • leading the discussions and ensuring that the student has sufficient opportunity to submit evidence, including verbal submissions;

  • considering all the material presented to the Committee;

  • ensuring the decision of the Committee is based on findings of facts established on sound reasoning and relevant evidence;

  • deciding on the outcome of the matter through deliberation with the Misconduct Committee member. Where there is disagreement about the outcome of the matter, the Chair will have the casting vote; and

  • finalising the outcome of the hearing notice to the student.

2.12.6    Role of Misconduct Committee member in hearing

The Misconduct Committee member is responsible for:

  • considering all the material presented to the Committee;

  • reaching a decision based on findings of facts established on sound reasoning and relevant evidence; and

  • deciding on the outcome of the matter through deliberation with the Misconduct Committee chair.

2.12.7    Role of support person to student in hearing

If the student brings a support person to the hearing, their role is to provide support to the student throughout the hearing process, however they are not there to advocate on the student’s behalf.

It is important that the Misconduct Committee confirms that the representative is not a lawyer.

2.12.8    Role of witness

Not all hearings will require witnesses, however if they are called, the role of the witness is to provide evidence as requested by the Misconduct Committee. The witness does not have a role in suggesting outcomes of the hearing and should be judicious in providing opinion.

2.12.9    Other persons

To ensure an independent decision is made, the only people to be present for the full hearing and during deliberations are the members of the Misconduct Committee. A secretary may also be present if the Misconduct Committee decides it is required.

2.13    Decision and penalties

2.13.1    Decision

A decision made about an allegation of misconduct should be based on findings of facts that are established on sound reasoning and relevant evidence.

In forming a decision, the Queensland Ombudsman encourages Misconduct Committees to:

  • determine the weight to be given to competing factors in a decision and to be clear about which factors more weight is placed, and why;

  • clearly identify the critical issues in the decision (that is, the issues on which a decision relies). This can be done by considering what issues would need to change for the opposite decision to be made. It is important that sufficient evidence exists to establish each of these issues.

2.13.2    Penalty

Where there is sufficient evidence to substantiate a claim of misconduct a penalty should be applied. Section 4 of the Student Integrity and Misconduct - Policy lists the full range of penalties that are available for general or academic misconduct.

Section 3.4(5) of the Student Integrity and Misconduct – Procedure provides relevant factors to consider when determining a penalty. The collective consideration of these factors should assist in achieving a proportionate and appropriate penalty. A matrix of these factors to assist with achieving appropriate penalty outcomes is provided on the Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution unit website.

The University Misconduct Board is able to impose any penalty available to a Misconduct Committee, and is also able to impose:

  • refusing or cancelling credit for any course

  • revocation of an award

  • suspension from the University for a specified period of more than 2 weeks

  • expulsion from the University.

2.14    Outcome notification

As soon as possible following the conclusion of the matter, whether that is acceptance of a conduct notice or following a Misconduct Committee hearing, an outcome letter should be sent to the student to be advised of the outcome.

To ensure procedural fairness, the outcome letter should include:

  • a statement relating to acceptance of the conduct notice or the decision made by the Misconduct Committee; and

  • any penalty to be imposed.

For matters heard by a Misconduct Committee, it is important to also include:

  • the reasons for the decision;

  • the student’s right to appeal and the appeal timeframes; and

  • the possible outcomes of any appeal.

It is important to provide a copy of this outcome notification to the Student Complaints and Grievance Resolution Unit so the Conduct Register can be updated. This includes acceptance of Conduct Counselling.

Any person notifying the University of an allegation of misconduct should be advised that the matter has been resolved and an outcome reached. The notifier is not advised of the detail of the outcome unless it has a direct impact on them (such as a need for the respondent to maintain a specified distance from the notifier).

3.0    Appendix

3.1    Misconduct flowchart

Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar Mr Mark Erickson