Formal vs informal investigation procedure

The formal procedure should be initiated where there is reasonable suspicion that there has been misconduct, and, if proven, that the student should be penalised.

It doesn't automatically mean that misconduct has been proven, nor that the offence is deemed ‘serious’. However, a formal investigation:

  1. signals to the student(s) the importance of the issue and potential consequences
  2. allows for one of the higher penalties to be applied
  3. ensures there is a formal note on the student’s record of the investigation

The formal procedure must always be followed where there is a suspected serious offence, or when it relates to suspected academic misconduct during an examination.

The university’s procedures allow for informal investigation. This is intended to enable staff to discuss a minor offence with a student(s) or find out more about a situation of potential academic misconduct.

Informal discussion is particularly useful where the student(s) may have misunderstood the assessment brief or may be unfamiliar with academic referencing and good academic practice. The discussion may be brief, and may take place immediately, as soon as the issue occurs. This may be all that is needed to counsel the student, or to give them a ‘wake-up call’.

An informal investigation may lead to:

  1. No academic misconduct found and no further action
  2. Guidance to student highlighting poor academic practice and proper referencing protocols
  3. Admonition to student (informal warning)
  4. Initiating formal investigation of suspected academic misconduct (but this doesn’t necessarily mean a serious offence is suspected)

The student’s PAT, and the Quality Manager at the student’s HAP should be informed about the discussion, and the outcome.

UHI logo

All efforts have been made to ensure materials created by the EDU comply with current accessibility guidelines (JISC: Support for learners with disabilities).

If further assistance is required with accessibility matters please contact the student support section in your academic partner UHI: Accessing learner support.

Links

Unless otherwise stated all external links will open in a new tab/window

We welcome any comments on how to improve this unit. Please feel free to pass these on at any time.

If you have any difficulty viewing this resource please contact EDU (edu@uhi.ac.uk) with:

  • the name of the resource;
  • a description of the problem (please give as much detail as possible);
  • the section of the resource where the problem occurred;
  • your internet browser (you can check your browser version at: http://detectmybrowser.com/).

UHI provides links to external sources of information and may refer to specific Web sites, products, processes or services within this resource. Such references are examples and are not endorsements and whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy of information provided UHI is not responsible for any of the content or guidance. You are advised to exercise caution.

Audio

Video

Reading

Download

Information

External link

Activity

Print

Question

Asterisk

Discussion

Collaboration

Reflection/journal/log

History

Download a copy of this resource in PDF format.

You can also print individual pages by printing directly from the browser.