Malpractice and Maladministration Policy


This policy aims to define malpractice and maladministration in the context of the design, delivery and assessment of our counselling training. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of students/learners and staff, outlining the procedures to be followed should malpractice or maladministration be suspected or identified. 



DS Counselling Training defines malpractice as an intentional act that threatens the integrity and/or validity of delivery, assessment or certification of its qualification. Examples of candidate malpractice can include:

  • Introducing unauthorised material in external assessment or passing off work by someone else as if it was their own (plagiarism);
  • Altering assessment documents or certificates, falsifying evidence or documentation. Examples of malpractice within the centre can include:
  • Failing to follow CPCAB procedures for conducting external assessment, moderation or verification;
  • Compromising the integrity of external assessment materials or falsifying assessment records;
  • Failing to declare a conflict of interest (e.g. when a candidate is a family member, close friend or client).
  • Overly assisting students/learners with coursework or assisting/prompting them during external assessment;
  • Assessment prejudice or behaving in such a way as to undermine the integrity of the qualification. Examples of DS Counselling Training malpractice can also include:
  • A member of our staff failing to declare a connection with another centre, tutor or learner;
  • Disclosure of assessment material to unauthorised persons;



DS Counselling Training defines maladministration as a lack of judgment, care or competence by anyone involved in the development, delivery and assessment of the qualification/s offered. Continued maladministration could constitute malpractice. Examples of centre maladministration can include:

  • Administrative error, failure to follow available procedures or inadequate record-keeping;
  • Inaccurate action or failure to take a required action;
  • Failure to provide information or providing misleading, inaccurate or out-ofdate information;
  • Insufficient communication, unacceptable delay or failure to investigate concerns;
  • Any action likely to lead to an Adverse Effect. Examples of DS Counselling Training maladministration can also include:
  • Error/s in assessment handling;
  • Delays in delivery of results or delivery of inaccurate results;
  • Misinformation.



In the event of malpractice or maladministration being suspected at our centre, a member of staff must:

  • Inform CPCAB at once; Ofqual’s definition of an Adverse Effect: ‘An act, omission, event, incident or circumstance has an Adverse Effect if it – (a) gives rise to prejudice to Learners or potential Learners, or (b) adversely affects - The ability of the organisation to undertake the development, delivery or assessment of the qualification/s offered
  • Inform the person implicated (preferably in writing) of the nature of the alleged event;
  • Give that person the opportunity to respond (in writing);
  • Keep CPCAB informed of the progress and outcome of the centre’s investigation;
  • Co-operate with any further investigation that may be required and take steps to prevent a re-occurrence. DS Counselling Training will:
  • Inform CPCAB should any allegations of malpractice or maladministration come to our attention;
  • Initiate an investigation appropriate to the gravity of the allegations.
  • We will agree an appropriate time frame for the investigation;
  • Take reasonable steps to mitigate any Adverse Effect that may have resulted and take action against those responsible proportionate to the gravity and scope of the occurrence;
  • Monitor our arrangements for preventing and investigating malpractice and maladministration. We will take responsibility as a centre to carry out an investigation into allegations of malpractice or maladministration at the centre. An investigation may be initiated by the centre itself or a nominated person at the request of CPCAB. In the event of an allegation of malpractice or maladministration against the head of centre, the investigation will be carried out by the appropriate nominee and reported to CPCAB when completed. Investigations will be carried out rigorously, effectively and by persons of appropriate competence who have no personal interest in their outcome.



CPCAB reserves the right in suspected cases of malpractice or maladministration, both during the investigation and when the outcome is known, to apply sanctions which may include (see also CPCAB Sanctions Policy on CPCAB website):

  • Suspending candidate or group registrations;
  • Withholding results or suspending, withholding or cancelling the issuing of certificates;
  • Withdrawing approval for any tutor implicated in malpractice;
  • Withholding the centre’s Annual Practising Certificate;
  • De-registering the centre.

If this final step is necessary, CPCAB recognises a duty of care to learners. CPCAB is obliged to inform the regulators (Ofqual, Qualification Wales or CCEA) of malpractice or maladministration likely to have an Adverse Effect and is required to inform other awarding bodies if the incident is likely to affect them or their candidates. All cases of malpractice or maladministration are tracked and reported annually to CPCAB’s governing body via the Qualification Service annual report.



Centres or candidates are entitled to appeal against any action required by CPCAB following an investigation into malpractice or maladministration, using the procedures set out in the Enquiries and Appeals policy. This policy is reviewed as necessary and at least annually as part of the documentation update.  

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