ACT Academic Misconduct Policy

ACT Academic Misconduct Policy

Academic Misconduct Policy

Responsible officer Geoff Treloar, Director Of Learning And Teaching
Contact (02) 9262 7890,
Approved by Coursework Committee
Responsible Body Coursework Committee
Approval date 5 August 2016
Effective date 5 August 2016
Review date 5 August 2018
Superseded documents none
Related documents Grievance Resolution Policy for Domestic students

Grievance Resolution Policy for Overseas Students


  1. 1. PURPOSE


To uphold the highest possible standards of academic integrity within ACT

coursework awards.




Academic Board is the Academic Board of the ACT.


Academic Dean refers to an Academic dean or equivalent officer of an affiliated college.


Academic integrity is academic and research honesty, including observance of ethical standards.


Academic misconduct is engaging in practices including but not limited to cheating in tests, examinations, essays or other assessable work, plagiarism, unauthorised collusion, fraudulent or unethical research and scholarship practices.


ACT is the Australian College of Theology Limited.


ACT award is a qualification conferred by the ACT which is certified by a testamur.


Affiliated College is an institution approved to offer an accredited higher education award of the ACT.


Assessment is the evaluation and measurement of student performance.


Cheating is attempting to obtain advantage in an assessment through dishonesty, deception or in contravention of any applicable regulations.


Coursework is work done by a student within a unit of study to a set curriculum and assessment schedule.


Coursework Committee is the ACT committee with oversight of coursework units.


Director of Academic Services is the officer of the ACT who manages academic administration, performance assessment and quality assurance.


Director of Learning and Teaching is the officer of the ACT who oversees all learning and teaching within coursework.





Domestic student is a student who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.


Handbook is a publication detailing the information such as courses and policies for different courses of study. The ACT produces several handbooks for different purposes.


Marker is a qualified person appointed to mark assessments by an affiliated college.


Overseas student is a student who is in Australia on a student visa enrolled with the

ACT through its affiliated colleges.


Plagiarism is to take and use another person’s ideas and to fail to give appropriate acknowledgement. This includes material from any source, including other staff or students, the Internet, published and un-published works.


Registrar is the registrar or equivalent officer of an affiliated college.


Student is a student of the ACT. They may be a prospective, enrolled or former student.


Student records are records kept by the ACT and its affiliated colleges about each student and include enrolment, attendance, assessment and other information pertaining to their study.


TAMS is the Theological Academic Management System used to maintain the ACT

student records.


Turnitin is an online based text-matching software service. It facilitates electronic assessment marking, formative feedback and originality checking.


Unit is a block of study in a particular field.


  1. 3. SCOPE


This policy applies to all ACT coursework awards.




The Australian College of Theology, in line with tertiary institutions throughout Australia, regards academic misconduct as a serious matter.  Affiliated colleges are responsible for rigorously pursuing the highest possible standards of academic integrity.




Definition of Academic Misconduct


5.1       Academic misconduct may encompass the following actions:


  1. a) taking unauthorised materials into an examination;


  1. b) submitting work for an assessment knowing it to be the work of another person;


  1. c) improperly obtaining knowledge of an examination paper and using that knowledge in the examination;






















  1. d) endeavouring to gain unfair access to content and information where such access is not permitted;


  1. e) arranging for another person to sit an examination in the place of the candidate;


  1. f) failing to acknowledge the source of material in an assessment, including project or thesis, in any ACT program;


  1. g) submitting a false medical certificate;


  1. h) submitting incorrect, incomplete or misleading informatio



5.2       The ACT provides access to Turnitin to its affiliated colleges as a tool in the identification of instances of potential academic misconduct.


Acknowledgment and Usage of Sources


5.3       Students are expected to acknowledge the source of their ideas and expressions used in their written work.  To provide adequate documentation is not only an indication of academic honesty but also a courtesy enabling the marker to consult sources with ease. Deliberate failure to provide documentation may constitute plagiarism, which is subject to a charge of academic misconduct.


5.4       Plagiarism is understood to be the presentation of another person’s words or thoughts either as one’s own or without appropriate acknowledgement. Students are required to acknowledge by use of footnotes the origin of extracts, quotes and paraphrases contained in their work.  Quoted material shall be identified by relevant conventions.


5.5       Except in the case of ACT approved study and assessment schemes, students ought not to assist other students in the writing of individual assessments, such as providing written material to be copied.


5.6       Material submitted for assessment in one unit by a student may not be submitted for assessment by the student in any other unit of the award.




5.7       Where a marker suspects intentional or inadvertent academic misconduct, the marker is to consult the Academic Dean who will make a determination regarding the nature of the student’s intentions.


5.8       In the case of inadvertent academic dishonesty resulting from misunderstanding of academic conventions rather than deliberate deception, students are to be granted an opportunity  to resubmit a corrected assessment, the marker shall deduct marks from the assessment and the Academic Dean is to counsel the student concerning the academic conventions prevailing in the ACT.


5.9       Students who have knowingly divulged, or caused to be divulged, the





content of an examination to other students who are yet to complete the examination, will be dealt with by separate disciplinary processes approved by the Academic Board.


5.10     Students who have intentionally and knowingly received information relating to the content or nature of an examination for a unit in which they are enrolled, except that which was commonly released by the lecturer/s as part of the unit, will be dealt with by separate disciplinary processes approved by the Academic Board.


5.11     Affiliated colleges are required to report to the Director of Academic Services all offences with respect to plagiarism and cheating for recording in TAMS. Such information shall be available to registrars by means of a note on the student’s record on TAMS to any affiliated college with which a student is either enrolled or intends to enrol.




5.12     Wilful academic misconduct may result in the following penalties:


  1. a) the awarding of a fail grade for the whole unit of which the assessment is a part,


  1. b) the awarding of 0% for the assessment or thesis or project with or without the opportunity to redeem it,


  1. c) the student’s exclusion from the ACT award in which he or she is enrolled for a period not exceeding two years,
  2. d) exclusion from any award of the Australian College of Theology, or e) another outcome appropriate to the case but with an impact less

serious than exclusion from enrolment in any ACT award.


5.13     Since plagiarism and cheating are both serious academic offences, notwithstanding the prescriptions otherwise stated in this policy the following penalties are the ACT standard for plagiarism and cheating in coursework awards:


  1. a) First offence


For a first offence a student will be subject to academic counselling, with and the maximum penalty being to fail the assessment item with no marks awarded. Where deemed appropriate, the minimum penalty available will be that a student may be granted an opportunity  to resubmit the assessment with a maximum of 50% for the assessment.


  1. b) Second offence:


For a second offence a student will fail the unit, with no remedial opportunity.


  1. c) Third or major offence:





For a third offence a student may be excluded from any ACT award, or excluded from the enrolled ACT award for up to two years, or any other outcome appropriate to the case but with an impact less serious than exclusion.


5.14     In the case of severe plagiarism and/or cheating, a student may be subject to a separate disciplinary process approved by the Academic Board.




5.15     For domestic students enrolled in a coursework unit, any appeal against an outcome will be dealt with in accordance with the Dispute Grievance Resolution Policy for Domestic Students (section 3) which can be accessed on the ACT website and in the Handbooks.


5.16     For overseas students enrolled in a coursework unit, any appeal against an outcome will be dealt with in accordance with the Dispute Grievance Resolution Policy for International Overseas Students (section 3) which can be accessed on the ACT website and in the Handbooks.












Version Approved by Approval Date Effective Date Changes made
1 Dean 12 March 2008
2 Dean 30 October 2010
3 Academic Board 14 March 2014


















5 August 2016






5 August 2016

Recognition of ACT’s

use of Turnitin; change to the penalty of a first instance of wilful academic misconduct; requirement that the Academic Dean in each college be responsible for identifying wilful academic misconduct.



Any hard copy of this electronic document may not be current as the ACT regularly reviews its policies. The latest version can be found online