Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism involves passing off the work of another as one’s own. It is necessary and normal that learners learn from the work of others, including academic staff, fellow learners and published materials, but it is essential that learners always acknowledge the source of the ideas and information used in their work.
Plagiarism can involve copying from the work of a fellow learner or downloading material from the internet. In these and all other cases, learners must clearly state their source. Plagiarism involves not only written work, but all forms of work which learners may submit for assessment, including, for example, musical composition, artefacts and data in electronic form on a computer.
All forms of plagiarism will be treated very seriously by staff at NICON. In addition, learners should be warned that plagiarism may involve breach of intellectual property rights, infringement of which may result in legal action being taken against a learner by the owner, publisher or distributor of that intellectual property.

Policy on Plagiarism

Avoidance

  • All learners will be given a copy of this plagiarism policy, as a basis for discussion, as part of course induction.
  • To minimize the possibilities for plagiarism essay titles and assignments will be, as far as possible, designed so as to make ‘copying’ or using the work of others unhelpful or inappropriate.

Detection

  • NICON has access to plagiarism detection software and will periodically run random pieces of work through the program to check instances of plagiarism.

Treatment

  • If an assessor suspects plagiarism as defined above, s/he will investigate the matter in confidence with the learner(s) concerned to establish whether plagiarism has indeed taken place.
  • If an assessor judges that plagiarism has occurred, the assessor will normally follow validating partner procedures. However, where the college is required to use its own procedures, the assessor will report the case to the Internal Verifier, and submit the relevant evidence.
  • The Internal Verifier will make a decision based on the evidence provided and, occasionally, further investigation, seeking advice if necessary from one of the Quality Nominee. Where the learner is requested to attend an investigatory hearing, they may seek support with the hearing from the Academic Advisor. The decision should always be reported to the Programme Manager.
  • Depending on the extent of the offence and the evidence submitted, first time offenders may be allowed to resubmit the work within two weeks of establishing that plagiarism has taken place. The maximum mark or grade for such re-submitted work will be a pass.
  • Second time offenders will incur severe penalties, more specifically, the piece of work in question will be awarded no marks, nor will it be able to be used as evidence for the achievement of any learning outcomes. This will result in non-completion of the learning outcome and failure of the module. The learner’s personal assessor and/or course assessor/coordinator will also be fully informed.
  • Any case of repeated or final year plagiarism will be treated very seriously and may result in the learner being asked to leave the course.

Appeals

  • Any appeals concerning the application of this policy should, in the first instance, be directed to the appropriate Internal Verifier who will investigate the case within ten working days, consulting both the learner(s) and subject assessor(s) concerned.
  • If a learner is not satisfied with the outcome of this procedure, then s/he will have access to the college’s formal academic appeals procedure. If you have any questions about plagiarism and the policy, you can speak to either your assessor or the Academic Advisor.
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