Horse Bit Fit treats all cases of suspected malpractice* very seriously and will investigate all suspected and reported incidents of possible malpractice.
The purpose of this Policy and Procedure is to set out how allegations of malpractice in relation to all Horse Bit Fit Assessment Centre and training events are dealt with.
The scope of the policy is to provide:
a definition of malpractice
examples of learner and centre malpractice and maladministration;
possible sanctions that may be imposed in cases of malpractice.
*The term ‘malpractice’ in this policy is used for both malpractice and maladministration.
For the purpose of this document ‘malpractice’ is defined as:
Any act, or failure to act, that threatens or compromises the integrity of the assessment processor the validity of Horse Bit Fit qualifications and training events and their certification.
maladministration and the failure to maintain appropriate records or systems; the deliberate falsification of records or documents for any reason connected to the award of qualifications and training events;
acts of plagiarism or other academic misconduct; and/or actions that compromise the reputation or authority of its Consultants or associates. Horse Bit Fit will report all relevant cases of suspected malpractice to the relevant authority, accepting that in certain circumstances they may take action of its own, including imposing sanctions.
2. Malpractice by learners
Some examples of learner malpractice are described below. These examples are not
exhaustive and all incidents of suspected malpractice, whether or not described below,
will be fully investigated, where there are sufficient grounds to do so.
Obtaining examination or assessment material without authorisation.
Arranging for an individual other than the learner to sit an assessment or to submit an assignment not undertaken by the learner.
Impersonating another learner to sit an assessment or to submit an assignment on their behalf.
Collaborating with another learner or individual, by any means, to complete a coursework assignment or assessment, unless it has been clearly stated that such
collaboration is permitted.
Damaging another learner’s work.
Inclusion of inappropriate or offensive material in coursework assignments or
Failure to comply with published examination regulations.
Disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct, including the use of offensive language, at centre or assessment venue (including aggressive or offensive language or behaviour).
Producing, using or allowing the use of forged or falsified documentation, including but not limited to:
o personal identification;
o supporting evidence provided for reasonable adjustment or special consideration
o competency documents
o results documentation, including certificates.
Falsely obtaining, by any means
Misrepresentation or plagiarism Horse Bit Fit certificate.
Fraudulent claims for special consideration while studying.
3. Malpractice by employees and associates
Examples of malpractice by, Consultants, tutors and assessors are listed below. These examples are not exhaustive and all incidents of suspected malpractice, whether or not described below, will be fully investigated, where there are sufficient grounds to do so.
Failure to adhere to the relevant regulations and procedures, including those relating to Horse Bit Fit approval, security undertaking and monitoring requirements as set out by these regulations.
Knowingly allowing an individual to impersonate a learner.
Allowing a learner to copy another learner’s assignment work, or allowing a learner to let their own work be copied.
Allowing learners to work collaboratively during an assignment assessment, unless specified in the assignment brief.
Completing an assessed assignment for a learner or providing them with assistance
beyond that ‘normally’ expected.
Damaging a learner’s work.
Disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct, including the use of offensive language
(including aggressive or offensive language or behaviour).
Allowing disruptive behaviour or unacceptable conduct at Horse Bit Fit to go unchallenged, for example, aggressive or offensive language or behaviour.
Divulging any information relating to learner performance and / or results to anyone other than the learner.
Producing, using or allowing the use of forged or falsified documentation, including but not limited to:
o personal identification;
o supporting evidence provided for reasonable adjustment or special consideration applications;
o competency documents
o results documentation, including certificates
Falsely obtaining by any means a certificate.
Failing to report a suspected case of learner malpractice, including plagiarism, to your Line Manager.
Possible malpractice sanctions
Following an investigation, if a case of malpractice is upheld, Horse Bit Fit may impose sanctions or other penalties on the individual(s) concerned. Where relevant we will report the matter, and may impose one or more sanctions upon the individual(s) concerned. Any sanctions imposed will reflect the seriousness of the malpractice that has occurred.
Listed below are examples of sanctions that may be applied to a learner, tutor or other associates who has had a case of malpractice upheld against them. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and other sanctions may be applied on a case-by-case basis.
Possible sanctions that may be applied to learners
A written warning about future conduct.
Notification to an employer, regulator or the police.
Removal from the course.
Possible sanctions that may be applied to employees
Imposition of special conditions for the future involvement of the individual(s) in the conduct, teaching, supervision or administration of learners and/or examinations.
Informing any other organisation known to employ the individual in relation to courses or examinations of the outcome of the case. Horse Bit Fit may carry out unannounced monitoring of the working practices of the individual(s) concerned.
5. Reporting a suspected case of malpractice
This process applies to, Consultants, tutors, learners and other associates to Horse Bit Fit and to any reporting of malpractice by a third party or individual who wishes to remain anonymous.
Any case of suspected malpractice must be reported as soon as possible and at the latest within two working days from its discovery to the Centre Manager (Quality Nominee).
A written report should then be sent to the Centre Manager, clearly identifying the factual information, including statements from other individuals involved and / or affected, any evidence obtained, and the actions that have been taken in relation to the incident.
Wherever possible, and provided other learners are not disrupted by doing so, a learner suspected of malpractice should be warned immediately that their actions may constitute malpractice, and that a report will be made to Horse Bit Fit.
In cases of suspected malpractice by Horse Bit Fit Consultants, tutors and other associates, and any reporting of malpractice by a third party or individual who wishes to remain anonymous, the report made to the Centre Manager should include as much
information as possible, including the following:
the date time and place the alleged malpractice took place, if known.
the name of the Consultant, tutor or other third party involved
a description of the suspected malpractice; and
any available supporting evidence.
In cases of suspected malpractice reported by a third party, or an individual who wishes to remain anonymous, Horse Bit Fit will take all reasonable steps to authenticate the reported information and to investigate the alleged malpractice.
6. Administering suspected cases of malpractice
Horse Bit Fit will investigate each case of suspected or reported malpractice, to ascertain whether malpractice has occurred. The investigation will aim to establish the full facts and circumstances. Horse Bit Fit will promptly take all reasonable steps to prevent any adverse effect that may arise as a result of the malpractice, or to mitigate any adverse effect, as far as possible, and to correct it to make sure that any action necessary to maintain the integrity of our training and reputation is taken. Horse Bit Fit will acknowledge all reports of suspected malpractice within five working days. All of the parties involved in
that, if malpractice is considered proven, sanctions may be imposed by reflecting the seriousness of the case;
that, if they are found guilty, they have the right to appeal.
that Horse Bit Fit has a duty to inform the relevant authorities / regulators, but only after time for the appeal has passed or the appeal process has been completed. This
may also include informing the police if the law has been broken and to comply with any other appropriate legislation.
Where more than one individual is contacted regarding a case of suspected malpractice, for example in a case involving suspected collusion, we will contact each individual separately, and will not reveal personal data to any third party unless necessary for the purpose of the investigation.
The individual has a right to appeal against a malpractice outcome if they believe that the policy or procedure has not been followed properly or has been implemented to their detriment.
Records of all malpractice cases and their outcomes are maintained by Horse Bit Fit for a period of at least five years, and are subject to regular monitoring and review.
This policy has been approved & authorised by:
Name: Carol Cobbett
Position: Founder and Director Horse Bit Fit
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS POLICY
Conflicts of interest arise when there is an influence or appear to be influence by personal and professional interests. A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organisation is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.
This policy applies to all Horse Bit Fit Ltd employees, as well as “sub-contractors” acting on behalf of Horse Bit Fit Ltd through a third-party arrangement; this may be for paid or unpaid work. Sub-contractors include external quality assurers, instructors, assessors, internal quality assurers and those involved in training and qualification development, authors, consultants, committee or Board members.
Horse Bit Fit Ltd employees, as well as a “sub-contractors” acting on behalf of Horse Bit Fit Ltd through a third-party arrangement have an obligation to:
• To act in the best interests of Horse Bit Fit Ltd
• Declare any personal or business interests which may conflict with their responsibilities
• To ensure a conflict of interest will be recorded and reported outlining the, nature and extent of the conflict and actions taken to manage the conflict
• Not misuse official positions or information acquired in official duties to further private interests or those of others if they are responsible for money or financial matters, directly or indirectly, or in handling contract
• Perform duties fairly and impartially and that decisions are not affected by self- interest and/or personal gain
• Take personal responsibility for actions
• Never hide or ignore a conflict of interest or gain personally from an opportunity encountered
• Report all conflicts of interests that cannot be avoided and for persons to participate in their resolution or management
Having a conflict of interest is sometimes unavoidable and persons or companies will not be adversely treated just for having a conflict of interest, unless conduct in dealing with it is corrupt, criminal or otherwise demonstrates lack of integrity.
Action should only be considered where an individual or sub-contractor:
• Fails to identify a conflict (where they are reasonably expected to identify)
• Fails to avoid a conflict that could have been avoided
• Fails to report an unavoidable conflict
• Takes action on a conflict to benefit their personal or private interests
• Fails to cooperate in the management of a conflict
• Fails to comply with the policy
The risks associated with conflicts cannot always be eliminated. Horse Bit Fit Ltd operates a risk register that captures and minimises risks to an acceptable level. The risk register is monitored on a regular basis.
• Employee ownership: Disclosing a conflict, or updating the disclosure as things change over time, is every employee’s and sub-contractor responsibility.
• Compliance oversight and objectivity: The role of compliance is the responsibility of the Director of Horse Bit Fit Ltd who is the guardian of the conflict of interest program, ensuring independent and consistent reviews and responses.
• System of record: We hold conflict of interest declarations for employees and sub- contractors this also includes a declaration where no conflict of interest exists.
• Clear communication: We encouraging employees and sub-contractors that disclosing conflicts is the best solution so it can be managed and transparent.
The policy outlines:
• The meaning of a conflict of interest
• Identifies the conceivable areas where a perceived or real conflict of interest is a possibility
• Communicates the responsibilities for identifying, managing and documenting real or perceived conflicts of interest
Conflicts of interests may arise where an individual’s personal or family interests and/or loyalties conflict with those of Horse Bit Fit Ltd. Such conflicts may create problems that can:
• Inhibit free discussion
• Result in decisions or actions that are not in the interests of Horse Bit Fit Ltd Risk the impression that Horse Bit Fit Ltd has acted improperly
Types of conflicts of interest
There are three main types of conflicts of interest: actual, perceived and potential. Each of these presents the same personal and organisational risks and therefore need to be managed appropriately. If you are unsure if a conflict exists, you should discuss the matter with a Horse Bit Fit Ltd Director.
• Actual conflict of interest where a conflict exists between your responsibilities and your private interests.
• Perceived conflict of interest Where it could be seen by others that your private interests could improperly interfere with or influence your responsibilities, whether or not this is in fact the case
• Potential conflict of interest where your private interests could interfere with or influence your responsibilities in the future.
Assessing your situation
Conflicts of interest can arise in a variety of circumstances. In assessing whether you have a conflict of interest there are a number of factors about your private interests you need to consider. It is impossible to list every potential conflict of interest relating to Horse Bit Fit Ltd activity. Some examples include where an employee or sub-contractor:
• Has a position of authority in one organisation that conflicts with his or her interests in another organisation
• Carries out work on Horse Bit Fit Ltd behalf, but may have personal interests (paid or unpaid) in another business which either uses Horse Bit Fit Ltd products or services, or produces similar products
• Secondary employment which is perceived as a conflict of interest with Horse Bit Fit Ltd activity
• Makes a media comment that is perceived as a conflict of interest
• Makes a public comment that is perceived as a conflict of interest
• Makes an endorsement that is perceived as a conflict of interest
• Release information to third parties and is perceived as a conflict of interest
• Provides a character reference that results in a conflict of interest
• Influences part of the selection and recruitment process that is perceived as a conflict of interest
• Has an interest in a family or private business
• Has a secondary employment commitment
• Has associations with, or obligations to, for profit and non-profit organisations and associations in a personal or professional capacity or through relationships with people living in the same household
• Has directorships of other companies
• Is a director who is also an examiner or provider
• Has close relatives which may conflict with their status as a director, examiner, assessor, instructor, quality assurer, verifier, member of staff
• Enters into a financial or operational agreement with an organisation or individual in which there is a vested interest
• Interests of one job held by an individual contradicts another job held by that same individual (e.g. a person working for two competing organisations)
• Has purchased goods or services from a relative of an individual or a company controlled by a relative
• Accepts gifts from others to promote their interests within the organisation
• Involved in development, delivery and awarding of training, qualifications, trailblazer/apprenticeship assessments
Horse Bit Fit Ltd is committed to identifying, managing, recording and, where relevant, disclosing actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interests. The aim of this policy is to protect both the organisation and the individuals involved from any real or perceived or potential impropriety.
Managing conflicts of interest is a shared responsibility that requires Horse Bit Fit Ltd to work together with employees and sub-contractors involved with any activity connected with Horse Bit Fit Ltd resources and services, to identify and implement solutions to resolve any conflicts. All employees and sub-contractors who carry out services for Horse Bit Fit Ltd whether paid or unpaid will strive to avoid any conflict of interest. A failure of either party to appropriately contribute to the management of a conflict of interest is a potential misconduct issue that may result in management action, including removal /dismissal from Horse Bit Fit Ltd
To manage conflicts of interest effectively Horse Bit Fit Ltd will:
• Provide advice and guidance when a conflict of interest is identified
• On receiving a disclosure of a conflict of interest, record the conflict of interest and make appropriate enquiries to allow a thorough risk assessment to occur
• Assess the risks associated with the conflict of interest
• Consult with the individual involved and identify solutions appropriate to the risk level
• Manage the conflict of interest with the cooperation of the individual involved
• Monitor the conflict of interest for the individual, or until it is resolved
Under company law a connected person includes the following:
• Family members (including spouse or civil partner)
• Corporate bodies committee members of a trust
• Business partner. It is unlikely that conflicts of interest can be completely avoided but the conflict should be managed to avoid any adverse effect on the organisation and to promote maximum accountability and transparency in the organisation’s affairs.
5. INDIVIDUAL PROCEDURE
IDENTIFY While it remains the responsibility of the individual to identify conflicts of interest, other circumstances may lead to the identification of a conflict of interest including:
• Complaint investigations
• Information from colleagues
• Other sources
If a conflict of interest is not self-reported by an individual and comes to the attention of Horse Bit Fit Ltd by other means, consideration should be given as to why they did not self-report and whether it is reasonable to
expect that they should have.
AVOID You are required to taking reasonable steps to avoid conflicts of interest where possible, this includes:
• Abstaining from involvement in official decisions and actions that could be compromised by your personal interests, affiliations and associations
• Avoiding activities where you could be seen to accrue an advantage from inside information because of your duties
• Not using your position for your own personal gain or the gain of others close to you
• Ensuring that there can be no real or perceived benefit that may influence the performance of your duties
• Not taking advantage of your position or access to privileged information
REPORT Where a conflict of interest cannot be avoided you must report the conflict
by raising a disclosure to Horse Bit Fit Ltd
MANAGE Once you have reported a conflict of interest the risk is shared with
Horse Bit Fit Ltd will work with you to identify and implement an appropriate solution for dealing with the conflict.
MONITOR Monitoring the conflict is essential to ensure that any changes are accounted for and dealt with.
Even if you have already reported a conflict of interest and think it has been resolved you might find circumstances where the conflict arises again or affects you in another way. If there are any changes or the conflict arises again you must report the conflict again to ensure that it is
6. MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE
RECORD Conflict of interest disclosure is raised to Horse Bit Fit Ltd
ASSESS Horse Bit Fit Ltd undertakes a risk assessment of the disclosure and in doing so, they consider the likelihood and consequence of the:
• reliability of the source and validity of information
• recent contact or involvement with the conflict of interest
• location and nature
• previous issues regarding integrity and conduct of the individual
• reputation of Horse Bit Fit Ltd
• frequency, method and type of contact
• willingness to report and acknowledge the conflict of interest
MANAGE The disclosure is managed and controlled through Horse Bit Fit Ltd risk register.
Horse Bit Fit Ltd will identify and implement an appropriate management solution for dealing with the conflict by applying either a restrict or
MONITOR The disclosure is monitored by Horse Bit Fit Ltd. Monitoring the conflict is essential to ensure that any changes are accounted for and dealt with.
• All potential conflicts of interest are recorded
• Any potential high risk conflicts of interest are identified on Horse Bit Fit Ltd risk register and elevated to the Board
• Control measures are listed against each risk identified
• Monitoring of conflicts is continuous
• The conflict of interest policy is reviewed and updated annually
7. DECLARATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Any gifts or hospitality received in connection with Horse Bit Fit Ltd activity must be declared to Horse Bit Fit Ltd.
Gifts and hospitality:
• All gifts and hospitality should be declared and recorded
• The information recorded should include its estimated value, the date on which it was received, who it was given by and the reason for the gift
• Gifts and hospitality should never be solicited
• Gifts and hospitality with a nominal value for example, flowers, chocolates can be accepted but only if the gifts are not given or received with an expectation that there is an obligation owed as a result of the gift
• If a gift is received that exceeds the nominal value, the gift should be returned to the sender, the market price should be paid or the gift should be donated to a charitable organisation
• Gifts and hospitality intended to influence organisational decision making should NEVER be accepted.
All Individuals employed or contracted by Horse Bit Fit Lts must raise a declaration whether it holds a disclosure or nothing to declare.
8. EXAMPLE OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST ACTIONS
[Horse Bit Fit Ltd] take all reasonable steps to make sure that no conflicts of interest have an adverse effect and/or that such effects are mitigated as far as possible. When a disclosure is raised Horse Bit Fit Ltd will apply either a restricted or relinquished action.
Restrict action is most appropriately applied when the employee or sub-contractor can be effectively separated from parts of an activity or process including restricting the:
• Involvement in critical criteria setting or decision making
• Involvement in debate on related issues
• Involvement in discussion of affected proposals or operational plans
• Involvement in operations
• Involvement in the development of qualifications
• Involvement in the development of assessment
• Involvement in the development of materials
• Access to information and confidential information
• Board or committee members with a conflict of interest who will abstain from casting a vote that may cause a material gain for that particular member or a company that they have a vested interest in.
Relinquish action is a very effective management solution that involves the relinquishing of the personal interest(s) that gives rise to the conflict. Depending on the nature of the conflict, this option might involve:
• Relinquish relationship with a person, organisation or group
• Gifts are given to charitable organisation
• Remove status of sub contractor
• Remove contractual status
• Disciplinary action of employee
Example of conflicts Action
Has a position of authority in one organisation that conflicts with his or her interests in another organisation Restrict action
Carries out workhorse Bit Fit Ltd behalf, but may have personal interests (paid or unpaid) in another business which either uses
Horse Bit Fit Ltd products or services, or produces similar products Restricted or Relinquish action
Secondary employment which is perceived as a conflict of interest Restricted or Relinquish action
Makes a media comment that is perceived as a conflict of interest Relinquish action
Makes a public comment that is perceived as a conflict of interest Relinquish action
Makes an endorsement that is perceived as a conflict of interest Relinquish action
Release information to third parties and is perceived as a conflict of interest Relinquish action
Provides a character reference that results in a conflict of interest Relinquish action
Influences part of the selection and recruitment process that is perceived as a conflict of interest Relinquish action
Has an interest in a family or private business Restrict action
Has a secondary employment commitment Restrict action
Has associations with, or obligations to, for profit and non-profit organisations and associations in a personal or professional capacity or through relationships with people living in the same
Household Restrict action
Has directorships of other companies Restrict action
Is a director who is also an examiner, assessor, instructor Restrict action
Has close relatives which may conflict with their status as a director, examiner, assessor, instructor Restrict action
Enters into a financial or operational agreement with an organisation or individual in which there is a vested interest Restrict action
Interests of one job held by an individual contradicts another job held by that same individual (e.g. a person working for two competing
organisations) Restrict action
Has purchased goods or services from a relative of an individual or a company controlled by a relative Restrict action
Accepts gifts from others to promote their interests within the organisation Relinquish action
Members of the board, committee members, may unjustifiably influence decisions as to warrant a personnel or commercial gain Restrict action
Involved in development, delivery and awarding of training
qualifications and/or trailblazer/apprenticeship assessments Restricted action
Quality Assurance staff that have a part to play in the design of assessments and fail to highlight issues relating to the delivery of the assessment Relinquish action
The designers of assessment disclosing confidential information
about assessment to unofficial person/s and/or organisations Restricted action
Assessors/instructor being impartial in the assessment of the learner and no vested interest in the outcome of the assessment Restricted action
Where an individual has personal interests that conflict with
Horse Bit Fit Ltd training or qualifications Restricted action
Where an individual is writing training or assessments for Horse Bit Fit Ltd and works for a provider who delivers Horse Bit Fit Ltd training or qualifications Restricted action
An assessment and internal quality assurance activity is undertaken by the same person Restricted action
Where an individual is internally marking assessments of a learner who is a friend or relative Restricted action
Where an individual carries out work on Horse Bit Fit Ltd behalf, but may have personal interests (paid or unpaid) in another business
which uses Horse Bit Fit Ltd training or qualifications Restricted action
9. ADVERSE EFFECT
Horse Bit Fit Ltd will take all reasonable steps to prevent any potential adverse effect to any incident that may arise. Where an incident brings the outcome of other results into serious question this would be considered a potential ‘adverse effect’ as other learners may be affected.
An act, omission, event, incident, or circumstance has an adverse effect if it: -
• Gives arise to prejudice to learners or potential learners or
• Adversely effects;
o The ability of Horse Bit Fit Ltd to undertake the development delivery or award of the training or qualifications
o The standards of the training or qualifications
o Public confidence in the training or qualifications
Horse Bit Fit Ltd will mitigate risks that have the potential to cause an adverse effect to learners. All incidents will be logged and maintained on Horse Bit Fit Ltd risk register to ensure the issue is highlighted managed and mitigated against.
Horse Bit Fit Ltd will inform where appropriate any conflict of interest and adverse effects to the appropriate relevant parties including Awarding Organisation, Accrediting Body or
Regulator. Contact details for a regulator or a regulated Awarding Organisation can be obtained from the following regulators website.
• SQA Accreditation http://accreditation.sqa.org.uk/accreditation/home
• Ofqual https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual
• Qualification Wales http://qualificationswales.org/splash?orig=/
Notification to External Parties of an Adverse Effect (Example Form)
Title of notification:
Raised by: Date Raised:
Details of notification or adverse effect:
Summary of change or adverse effect:
Implications and relationships
Details of consultation internal and external stakeholders
(Enter details of the consultation that has taken place to ensure that all parties have been consulted)
Internal approval and level of priority:
Priority 1 = Mission critical problem resolution, immediate response required 1-2 weeks
Priority 2 = High importance, no workaround -1 month
Priority 3 = Important, workaround is available – 1-3 months
Priority 4 = Low importance – 3 -6 months’ plus
Authorised Signature: Business Deadline: Date:
This policy is reviewed regularly and updated annually or as and when required