MALPRACTICE & MALADMINISTRATION POLICY

Introduction

This policy is aimed at our customers, including learners, who are delivering/registered on Smudge Makeup Academy programmes or courses, approved qualifications or units within or outside South Africa and who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice/maladministration. It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all malpractice and maladministration investigations in a consistent manner.

It sets out the steps our Centre, and learners or other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice/maladministration and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases. It also sets out the procedural steps we will follow when reviewing the cases.

Centre’s responsibility

It is important that all staff involved in the management, assessment and quality assurance of our qualifications, and learners, are fully aware of the contents of the policy and we have arrangements in place to prevent and investigate instances of malpractice and maladministration.

Definition of Malpractice

Malpractice is essentially any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of the internal or external assessment process and/or the validity of certificates.

It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:

·         the assessment process;

·         the integrity of a regulated qualification;

MALPRACTICE & MALADMINISTRATION POLICY

Introduction

This policy is aimed at our customers, including learners, who are delivering/registered on Smudge Makeup Academy programmes or courses, approved qualifications or units within or outside South Africa and who are involved in suspected or actual malpractice/maladministration. It is also for use by our staff to ensure they deal with all malpractice and maladministration investigations in a consistent manner.

It sets out the steps our Centre, and learners or other personnel must follow when reporting suspected or actual cases of malpractice/maladministration and our responsibilities in dealing with such cases. It also sets out the procedural steps we will follow when reviewing the cases.

Centre’s responsibility

It is important that all staff involved in the management, assessment and quality assurance of our qualifications, and learners, are fully aware of the contents of the policy and we have arrangements in place to prevent and investigate instances of malpractice and maladministration.

Definition of Malpractice

Malpractice is essentially any activity or practice which deliberately contravenes regulations and compromises the integrity of the internal or external assessment process and/or the validity of certificates.

It covers any deliberate actions, neglect, default or other practice that compromises, or could compromise:

·         the assessment process;

·         the integrity of a regulated qualification;

·         the validity of a result or certificate;

·         the reputation and credibility of Smudge Makeup Academy; or,

·         the qualification or the wider qualifications community.

Malpractice may include a range of issues from the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems, to the deliberate falsification of records in order to claim certificates.

For the purpose of this policy this term also covers misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain or groups of learners.

 

 

Definition of Maladministration

Maladministration is essentially any activity or practice which results in non-compliance with administrative regulations and requirements and includes the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration.

Examples of maladministration

·         Persistent failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.

·         Persistent failure to adhere to our Centre recognition and/or qualification requirements and/or

·         associated actions assigned to the Centre

·         Late learner registrations (both infrequent and persistent)

·         Unreasonable delays in responding to requests and/or communications from Smudge Makeup Academy

·         Inaccurate claim for certificates

·         Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence

·         Withholding of information, by deliberate act or omission, from us which is required to assure Active

Examples of malpractice

·         Failure to carry out internal assessment, internal moderation or internal verification in accordance with our requirements

·         Deliberate failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.

·         Deliberate failure to continually adhere to our Centre recognition and/or qualification approval requirements or actions assigned to your Centre

·         Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence

·         Fraudulent claim(s) for certificates

·         Intentional withholding of information from us which is critical to maintaining the rigor of quality assurance and standards of qualifications

·         Collusion or permitting collusion in exams/assessments

·         Learners still working towards qualification after certification claims have been made

·         Plagiarism by learners/staff

·         Copying from another learner.

 

 

Process for making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration

Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately notify the Director of Smudge Makeup Academy. In doing so they should put them in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence.

·         All allegations must include (where possible):

·         Learner’s name and Smudge Makeup Academy registration number

·         Smudge Makeup Academy’s staff members name and job role - if they are involved in the case

·         Details of the course/qualification affected or nature of the service affected

·         Nature of the suspected or actual malpractice and associated dates details and outcome of any initial investigation carried out by the Centre or anybody else involved in the case, including any mitigating circumstances

The Directors will then conduct an initial investigation prior to ensure that staff involved in the initial investigation are competent and have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation.

In all cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration reported we’ll protect the identity of the ‘informant’ in accordance with our duty of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

Confidentiality and whistle blowing

Sometimes a person making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration may wish to remain anonymous. Although it is always preferable to reveal your identity and contact details to us; however if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences you may request that the Directors do not divulge your identity.

While we are prepared to investigate issues which are reported to us anonymously we shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those the allegation relates.

Responsibility for the investigation

In accordance with regulatory requirements all suspected cases of maladministration and malpractice will be examined promptly by Smudge to establish if malpractice or maladministration has occurred and will take all reasonable steps to prevent any adverse effect from the occurrence.

We will acknowledge receipt, as appropriate, to external parties within 48 hours.

Our Director will be responsible for ensuring the investigation is carried out in a prompt and effective manner and in accordance with the procedures in this policy and will allocate a relevant member of staff to lead the investigation and establish whether or not the malpractice or maladministration has occurred, and review any supporting evidence received or gathered by Smudge Makeup Academy.

Notifying relevant parties

Where applicable, our Director will inform the appropriate regulatory authorities if we believe there has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration which could either invalidate the award of a qualification or if it could affect another awarding organisation.

Where the allegation may affect another awarding organisation and their provision we will also inform them in accordance with the regulatory requirements and obligations imposed. If we do not know the details of organisations that might be affected we will ask the relevant organisation to help us identify relevant parties that should be informed.

Investigation timelines and summary process

We aim to action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 10 working days of receipt of the allegation.

The fundamental principle of all investigations is to conduct them in a fair, reasonable and legal manner, ensuring that all relevant evidence is considered without bias. In doing so investigations will be based around the following broad objectives:

·         To establish the facts relating to allegations/complaints in order to determine whether any irregularities have occurred.

·         To identify the cause of the irregularities and those involved.

·         To establish the scale of the irregularities.

·         To evaluate any action already taken

·         To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered learners and to preserve the integrity of Smudge and the qualification.

·         To identify any adverse patterns or trends.

The investigation may involve a request for further information from relevant parties and/or interviews with personnel involved in the investigation. Therefore, we will:

·         Ensure all material collected as part of an investigation must be kept secure.

·         If an investigation leads to invalidation of certificates, or criminal or civil prosecution, all records and original documentation relating to the case will be retained until the case and any appeals have been heard and for five years thereafter.

·         Expect all parties, who are either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation, to fully co-operate with us.

Either at notification of a suspected or actual case of malpractice or maladministration and/or at any time during the investigation, we reserve the right to withhold a learner’s, and/or cohort’s, results.

 

Where a member of Smudge Academy staff is under investigation we may suspend them or move them to other duties until the investigation is complete.

Throughout the investigation our Director will be responsible for overseeing the work of the investigation team to ensure that due process is being followed, appropriate evidence has been gathered and reviewed and for liaising with and keeping informed relevant external parties.

Investigation report

After an investigation, we’ll produce a draft report for the parties concerned to check the factual accuracy. Any subsequent amendments will be agreed between the parties concerned and ourselves. The report will:

·         Identify where the breach, if any, occurred.

·         Confirm the facts of the case.

·         Identify who is responsible for the breach (if any)

·         Confirm an appropriate level of remedial action to be applied.

We’ll make the final report available to the parties concerned and to the regulatory authorities and other external agencies as required.

If it was an independent/third party that notified us of the suspected or actual case of malpractice, we’ll also inform them of the outcome – normally within 10 working days of making our decision - in doing so we may withhold some details if to disclose such information would breach a duty of confidentiality or any other legal duty.

If it’s an internal investigation against a member of our staff the report will be agreed by the Managing Director, along with the relevant internal managers and appropriate internal disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

Investigation outcomes

If the investigation confirms that malpractice or maladministration has taken place we will consider what action to take in order to:

·         Minimise the risk to the integrity of certification now and in the future.

·         Maintain public confidence in the delivery and awarding of qualifications.

·         Discourage others from carrying out similar instances of malpractice or maladministration.

·         Ensure there has been no gain from compromising our standards.

The action we take may include:

·         Imposing actions in order to address the instance of malpractice/maladministration and to prevent it from reoccurring

·         In cases where certificates are deemed to be invalid, inform the Awarding Organisation concerned and the regulatory authorities why they’re invalid and any action to be taken for reassessment and/or for the withdrawal of the certificates.

·         Informing relevant third parties (e.g. funding bodies) of our findings in case they need to take relevant action in relation to the centre.

In addition, to the above the Director will record any lessons learnt from the investigation and pass these onto relevant internal colleagues to help prevent the same instance of maladministration or malpractice from reoccurring.

If the relevant party (ies) wishes to appeal against our decision to impose sanctions, please refer to our Complaints Procedure.

·         the validity of a result or certificate;

·         the reputation and credibility of Smudge Makeup Academy; or,

·         the qualification or the wider qualifications community.

Malpractice may include a range of issues from the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems, to the deliberate falsification of records in order to claim certificates.

For the purpose of this policy this term also covers misconduct and forms of unnecessary discrimination or bias towards certain or groups of learners.

 

 

Definition of Maladministration

Maladministration is essentially any activity or practice which results in non-compliance with administrative regulations and requirements and includes the application of persistent mistakes or poor administration.

Examples of maladministration

·         Persistent failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.

·         Persistent failure to adhere to our Centre recognition and/or qualification requirements and/or

·         associated actions assigned to the Centre

·         Late learner registrations (both infrequent and persistent)

·         Unreasonable delays in responding to requests and/or communications from Smudge Makeup Academy

·         Inaccurate claim for certificates

·         Failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence

·         Withholding of information, by deliberate act or omission, from us which is required to assure Active

Examples of malpractice

·         Failure to carry out internal assessment, internal moderation or internal verification in accordance with our requirements

·         Deliberate failure to adhere to our learner registration and certification procedures.

·         Deliberate failure to continually adhere to our Centre recognition and/or qualification approval requirements or actions assigned to your Centre

·         Deliberate failure to maintain appropriate auditable records, e.g. certification claims and/or forgery of evidence

·         Fraudulent claim(s) for certificates

·         Intentional withholding of information from us which is critical to maintaining the rigor of quality assurance and standards of qualifications

·         Collusion or permitting collusion in exams/assessments

·         Learners still working towards qualification after certification claims have been made

·         Plagiarism by learners/staff

·         Copying from another learner.

 

 

Process for making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration

Anybody who identifies or is made aware of suspected or actual cases of malpractice or maladministration at any time must immediately notify the Director of Smudge Makeup Academy. In doing so they should put them in writing/email and enclose appropriate supporting evidence.

·         All allegations must include (where possible):

·         Learner’s name and Smudge Makeup Academy registration number

·         Smudge Makeup Academy’s staff members name and job role - if they are involved in the case

·         Details of the course/qualification affected or nature of the service affected

·         Nature of the suspected or actual malpractice and associated dates details and outcome of any initial investigation carried out by the Centre or anybody else involved in the case, including any mitigating circumstances

The Directors will then conduct an initial investigation prior to ensure that staff involved in the initial investigation are competent and have no personal interest in the outcome of the investigation.

In all cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration reported we’ll protect the identity of the ‘informant’ in accordance with our duty of confidentiality and/or any other legal duty.

Confidentiality and whistle blowing

Sometimes a person making an allegation of malpractice or maladministration may wish to remain anonymous. Although it is always preferable to reveal your identity and contact details to us; however if you are concerned about possible adverse consequences you may request that the Directors do not divulge your identity.

While we are prepared to investigate issues which are reported to us anonymously we shall always try to confirm an allegation by means of a separate investigation before taking up the matter with those the allegation relates.

Responsibility for the investigation

In accordance with regulatory requirements all suspected cases of maladministration and malpractice will be examined promptly by Smudge to establish if malpractice or maladministration has occurred and will take all reasonable steps to prevent any adverse effect from the occurrence.

We will acknowledge receipt, as appropriate, to external parties within 48 hours.

Our Director will be responsible for ensuring the investigation is carried out in a prompt and effective manner and in accordance with the procedures in this policy and will allocate a relevant member of staff to lead the investigation and establish whether or not the malpractice or maladministration has occurred, and review any supporting evidence received or gathered by Smudge Makeup Academy.

Notifying relevant parties

Where applicable, our Director will inform the appropriate regulatory authorities if we believe there has been an incident of malpractice or maladministration which could either invalidate the award of a qualification or if it could affect another awarding organisation.

Where the allegation may affect another awarding organisation and their provision we will also inform them in accordance with the regulatory requirements and obligations imposed. If we do not know the details of organisations that might be affected we will ask the relevant organisation to help us identify relevant parties that should be informed.

Investigation timelines and summary process

We aim to action and resolve all stages of the investigation within 10 working days of receipt of the allegation.

The fundamental principle of all investigations is to conduct them in a fair, reasonable and legal manner, ensuring that all relevant evidence is considered without bias. In doing so investigations will be based around the following broad objectives:

·         To establish the facts relating to allegations/complaints in order to determine whether any irregularities have occurred.

·         To identify the cause of the irregularities and those involved.

·         To establish the scale of the irregularities.

·         To evaluate any action already taken

·         To determine whether remedial action is required to reduce the risk to current registered learners and to preserve the integrity of Smudge and the qualification.

·         To identify any adverse patterns or trends.

The investigation may involve a request for further information from relevant parties and/or interviews with personnel involved in the investigation. Therefore, we will:

·         Ensure all material collected as part of an investigation must be kept secure.

·         If an investigation leads to invalidation of certificates, or criminal or civil prosecution, all records and original documentation relating to the case will be retained until the case and any appeals have been heard and for five years thereafter.

·         Expect all parties, who are either directly or indirectly involved in the investigation, to fully co-operate with us.

Either at notification of a suspected or actual case of malpractice or maladministration and/or at any time during the investigation, we reserve the right to withhold a learner’s, and/or cohort’s, results.

 

Where a member of Smudge Academy staff is under investigation we may suspend them or move them to other duties until the investigation is complete.

Throughout the investigation our Director will be responsible for overseeing the work of the investigation team to ensure that due process is being followed, appropriate evidence has been gathered and reviewed and for liaising with and keeping informed relevant external parties.

Investigation report

After an investigation, we’ll produce a draft report for the parties concerned to check the factual accuracy. Any subsequent amendments will be agreed between the parties concerned and ourselves. The report will:

·         Identify where the breach, if any, occurred.

·         Confirm the facts of the case.

·         Identify who is responsible for the breach (if any)

·         Confirm an appropriate level of remedial action to be applied.

We’ll make the final report available to the parties concerned and to the regulatory authorities and other external agencies as required.

If it was an independent/third party that notified us of the suspected or actual case of malpractice, we’ll also inform them of the outcome – normally within 10 working days of making our decision - in doing so we may withhold some details if to disclose such information would breach a duty of confidentiality or any other legal duty.

If it’s an internal investigation against a member of our staff the report will be agreed by the Managing Director, along with the relevant internal managers and appropriate internal disciplinary procedures will be implemented.

Investigation outcomes

If the investigation confirms that malpractice or maladministration has taken place we will consider what action to take in order to:

·         Minimise the risk to the integrity of certification now and in the future.

·         Maintain public confidence in the delivery and awarding of qualifications.

·         Discourage others from carrying out similar instances of malpractice or maladministration.

·         Ensure there has been no gain from compromising our standards.

The action we take may include:

·         Imposing actions in order to address the instance of malpractice/maladministration and to prevent it from reoccurring

·         In cases where certificates are deemed to be invalid, inform the Awarding Organisation concerned and the regulatory authorities why they’re invalid and any action to be taken for reassessment and/or for the withdrawal of the certificates.

·         Informing relevant third parties (e.g. funding bodies) of our findings in case they need to take relevant action in relation to the centre.

In addition, to the above the Director will record any lessons learnt from the investigation and pass these onto relevant internal colleagues to help prevent the same instance of maladministration or malpractice from reoccurring.

If the relevant party (ies) wishes to appeal against our decision to impose sanctions, please refer to our Complaints Procedure.

Appeals Procedure

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to describe the process and procedure to follow where a dispute arises from any assessment that took place on any learning that has been applied.

 

Scope

The scope of this procedure will cover the appeals on assessments done, the moderation that follows and the investigatory panel that would provide a resolution on the outcome the appeal.

 

Grounds for Appeal

·         Important features of performance necessary to achieve the specified level, not being clearly stated.

·         Acceptable levels of performance in relevant work roles not clearly stated

·         Basis on which assessments decisions are made not clearly stated.

·         Description of any alternative method available to meet individual needs not clearly stated.

·         Communication on regarding information, guidance and counselling not clearly stated

·         Conditions under which assessments are carried out should be fair, equitable and consistent to all students on the same programme

·         Other valid grounds for appeal may be identified by the Learner and discussed with the Quality Assurance Coordinator and the Internal Verifier. The Learner may be accompanied by a friend/guardian.

Preliminaries to the Appeal

Discussions and counselling with a Learner making an appeal will require open access to the Learner’s records, e.g. individual assessments. Discussion with the learner should confirm the method by which recognition/credit is given and recorded.

 

Phase One – Informal Discussion/Telephone Call

·         This will usually take place between the Learner and Tutor

·         The Learner is required to speak to the tutor within 20 days of the announcement of the assessment results

·         The Learner will give clear reasons for the appeal against the assessment

·         The tutor will provide the Learner with specific details as to why he/she has not been successful in meeting the criteria for success – within 10 working days

·         The tutor will give clear advice and guidance with regard to a successful outcome.

 

Phase Two – Formal Appeal

If the issue cannot be settled informally then the Learner should appeal in writing within 10 working days of Phase One to the Internal Verifier.

 

The appeals notification must include the following information:

·         Learner’s name

·         Registration details

·         Provide Reason/s for requesting an Appeal

·         Detail of assessment undertaken

·         Date of the assessment undertaken

·         Results of assessment undertaken

·         Assessor’s name

·         Feedback provided by Assessor

·         Guidance offered by Assessor

The Quality Assurance Coordinator will convene an Appeals Panel within 10 working days of receipt of the written application whose membership shall be:

 

·         Assessor (other than primary assessor)

·         Internal verifier

·         Company Representative

The learner will be able to bring a friend or guardian to this meeting and the Appeals Panel should always include at least two members not previously involved in the issue.

 

A decision will be made known to the Learner making the appeal within 5 working days of the Appeals Panel meeting.

 

A brief report of the proceedings and a copy of the appeals Panel decision will be passed to the Quality Assurance Coordinator, Internal verifier, external verifier and the Company Representative.

 

The Assessment Appeals procedure will be dealt with internally by the training provider although external verifiers may be consulted to provide advice where applicable.

 

The Appeals Panel decision is final.

Complaints handling policy

1.    Definitions

Complaint

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of government education and training. It may be general in nature or relate to particular staff, a part of the organisation, a policy or a decision. Any person may lodge a complaint, however staff employed by the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) cannot use this process if they are acting in an official capacity. A complaint must contain sufficient detail to enable it to be addressed and recorded.

Locally Managed Complaint

A locally managed complaint is a verbal or written complaint made in relation to a school or staff member, and managed by the school.

Centrally Managed Complaint

A centrally managed complaint is a complaint lodged in writing with the Director General of the DHET, and managed at Central Office. Such complaints may be redirected to the local level to be managed if it is deemed appropriate.

Complainant

A complainant is a person or persons lodging a complaint.

1.    Objectives

To ensure that complaints lodged at Smudge Makeup Academy are resolved in a prompt and efficient manner. To promote the highest standard of professionalism in dealing with the College community.

2.    Policy

Staff at Smudge Makeup Academy are responsible for managing the resolution of disputes and complaints lodged with it. The Academy will make every effort to promptly resolve disputes and complaints lodged with it according to the principles of procedural fairness. Where the Academy cannot resolve a complaint, the complainant, Principal or Regional Director can forward written complaints to the Director General of the DHET. The Academy’s complaints handling policy will demonstrate the following.

Commitment

The College recognise your right to complain and to have your complaint dealt with seriously.

Fairness

The Academy understands the need to be fair in our complaints handling processes.

 

 

Resources

The Academy has adequate resources for effective handling of complaints.

Visibility

The Academy’s complaints handling processes are available from the Academy’s website on: www.smudge-makeup.co.za

Access

The Academy accepts complaints lodged by telephone, in writing, fax and via email.

Assistance

Upon request, the Academy will provide a complainant with the support needed to formulate and lodge a complaint.

Responsiveness

Complaints will be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Remedies

Where a complaint results in the identification of changes that should be made to the Academy processes, those changes will be made within the boundaries of relevant Government Acts, Regulations and Industrial agreements.

Data Collection

Data about complaints lodged with the Academy is collected and recorded.

Accountability

The Academy reports its complaints handling processes against our documented performance standards.

Reviews

The Academy reviews its complaints handling process annually. Help is available at the Academy to support complainants to formulate, write and lodge a complaint.

 

Written complaints should be addressed to:

“Private and confidential”

Smudge Makep Academy

Suite 5, Postnet Meadowridge

Private Bag x80

Bergvliet, 7864

 

3.    Procedure

Minimum information when making a complaint:

You should provide the following information when making a complaint.

(a) Your name and contact details.

(b) Copies of any relevant correspondence or documents relating directly to the complaint.

(c) The nature of the complaint.

(d) What you consider is needed to resolve the complaint. In the case of a verbal complaint, where you do not want to be identified or to lodge the complaint in writing, the Academy will endeavour to work directly with you to resolve the matter.

 

Responsiveness

The Academy will acknowledge written complaints within five (5) College working days. The Academy seeks to resolve local complaints within fourteen (14) working days. If because of the serious nature of the complaint, it is deemed necessary to forward it on to another section of the DHET, the Academy will do this without delay. In all cases you will be kept informed of the progress of your complaint.

Enquiring on a complaints progress

You may enquire as to the progress of your complaint at any time by directly contacting the person with whom you have made contact. At the time of lodging a verbal complaint, or in the acknowledgment letter for a written complaint, this person will be identified for you.

Outcome of a complaint:

The Academy will advise you verbally or in writing of the outcome of the complaint. The outcome of all written complaints will be provided to you in writing.

When a complainant is unhappy with the outcome of a complaint:

If you are unsatisfied with the College’s attempts to resolve your complaint, you may wish to express your concerns to the DHET Regional Director.

To do this contact:

Department of Higher Education & Training

Cape Town Postal Address

Private Bag X9192

Cape Town

8000

Tel + 27 21 469 5175 / Fax + 27 21 461 476

 

While this request can be made verbally, it is preferable that it is made in writing. Help in making this request will be provided by the Academy, or the Regional Office, upon your request.

Rejecting a Complaint Complaints judged to be vexatious, trivial or without substance, or where it is judged to not warrant further action, will not be progressed.

You will be advised of this decision in writing.