12. Student misconduct - TAFE Queensland

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12. Student misconduct

Types of Misconduct

What You Need to Know

What is Misconduct:

Misconduct is any personal conduct or behaviour that is deemed inappropriate by TAFE Queensland.

Misconduct is any behaviour or action that is deemed inappropriate and can disrupt the learning of self and others, interfere with TAFE Queensland operations, inhibit or prevent staff members from carrying out their duties, or endanger the health and safety of yourself, other students or staff.

The types of misconduct are:

  • Behavioural (Non-Academic Misconduct): Inappropriate personal conduct and behaviour.
  • Academic Misconduct: Inappropriate conduct and behaviour when undertaking education and training activities.
  • Research Misconduct: Inappropriate conduct and behaviour when undertaking research.

Examples of Misconduct:

Misconduct is generally broken into two types:

  1. Minor Misconduct; and
  2. Major Misconduct.

Whilst these are sometimes dependent on the context of what has occurred, below are some guidelines of which each involves.

Minor Misconduct:

Personal conduct and behaviour that breaches the standards of conduct set out in the TAFE Queensland Student Rules and Policies, but where the extent or impact of the breach is not substantial, such as:

Behavioural Misconduct:

  • Use of inappropriate or offensive language;
  • Failure to comply with directions from TAFE Queensland staff;
  • Inappropriate use of personal electronic devices; and
  • Inappropriate clothing, including clothing that contains offensive language or images that may offend others.

Academic Misconduct:

  • Minor breach of assessment and academic progression rules, including:
    • Failure to comply with directions from a TAFE Queensland staff member for a classroom or learning activity.

Major Misconduct:

Personal conduct and behaviour that breaches the standards of conduct set out in the TAFE Queensland Student Rules and Policies, and where the extent or impact of the breach is substantial, such as:

Behavioural Misconduct:

  • Any form of harassment, whether based on gender, race, age, sexual preference or religious belief;
  • Behaviour that subjects another person to an unsolicited act of physical intimacy, makes an unsolicited demand or request of a sexual nature to another person, makes a remark with sexual connotations relating to the other person, or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature towards the other person;
  • Abusive or aggressive behaviour that causes offence, fear, or harm to others, such as verbal abuse or making threats to others (including through online and social media methods);
  • Physical violence directed to others;
  • Being under the influence of prohibited drugs and/or substances, including alcohol;
  • Possessing dangerous articles or banned substances;
  • Wilfully obstructing or disrupting any official meeting, ceremony, activity, class or examination;
  • Wilfully damaging or wrongfully dealing with TAFE Queensland property and resources, or the property of others persons;
  • Making a false representation concerning your identity or status as a student;
  • Trespassing or knowingly entering any place within TAFE Queensland premises that is out of bounds to students;
  • Refusing to obey health and safety and emergency procedures; and
  • Repeated instances of minor behavioural misconduct.

Academic Misconduct:

  • Major breach of assessment and academic progression rules, including;
    • Directly copying another person's work without proper acknowledgement;
    • Using or developing another person’s ideas without acknowledging them;
    • Using the work of other students (with or without their permission) and claiming it as your own;
    • Handing in an assessment item that is a duplicated or copied from another person;
    • Allowing someone else to submit your work as their own;
    • Using notes or other resources without permission during formal assessment;
    • Having several people write one assessment response or exercise and hand in multiple copies, all represented (implicitly or explicitly) as individual work;
    • Obtaining and using assessment answers or solution from a teacher without permission;
    • Misrepresenting, falsifying, misstating or fabricating data, results or information used for the purposes of assessment;
    • Providing fraudulent certification in order to gain academic credit or recognition;
    • Failing to comply with instructions relating to the conduct of assessment/examinations;
    • Failing to participate in structured training, assessment or other course related activities;
    • Failing to attend the formal meetings scheduled to discuss your academic progression;
    • Failing to adhere to the learning intervention strategies developed to support your academic progression;
    • Not working towards achieving the qualification or statement of attainment stated in the training contract or confirmation of enrolment (CoE); and
    • Repeated instances of minor academic misconduct.

Research Misconduct:

Engaging in conduct which compromises or threatens to compromise the purpose and conduct of research, including any breach of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research).

Consequences of Misconduct

What You Need to Know

Immediate Suspension:

In cases of either minor or major misconduct, TAFE Queensland reserves the right to immediately suspend you from your education/training for a minimum period of 24 hours. The suspension period may be longer than 24 hours in cases of major misconduct.

You will be advised of the date you can return to your education/training.

Whilst suspended, you are not entitled to enter TAFE Queensland premises or use its facilities.

Disciplinary Process:

Informal Disciplinary Process:

If the misconduct is minor in nature, TAFE Queensland may deal with it informally.

In this case TAFE Queensland may choose an informal method of addressing the issue, such as an interview, counselling session, or offer of support, with arrangements made to improve your behaviour in the future.

Formal Disciplinary Process:

If the misconduct is major TAFE Queensland in nature (or involves repeated instances of minor misconduct) TAFE Queensland will deal it formally.

In this case TAFE Queensland will provide you with a Student Allegation of Misconduct Notice, to outline the nature of the misconduct and process of dealing with the misconduct.

You have the right to respond to the Student Allegation of Misconduct Notice via a meeting or written submission within 5 business days of the date of the notice.

If you are attending a meeting, you may invite a parent, guardian or advocate (however, they must not be another student involved in or associated with your case).

If you are not in attendance at the scheduled meeting or do not respond in writing within 5 business days, the disciplinary process will continue to determine whether misconduct is substantiated.

TAFE Queensland will then inform you of its disciplinary decision through a formal Student Disciplinary Decision Notice within 5 business days of the date of the decision. The decision notice will set out the decision findings and your right of appeal.

Misconduct Appeals

What You Need to Know

Internal Appeals:

If you feel that the disciplinary decision is unfair, you have a right to appeal to your TAFE Queensland region's Disciplinary and Appeals Committee. Your request for an appeal must be on one of the following grounds:

  1. The decision is grossly unreasonable;
  2. Procedural requirements were not followed;
  3. Relevant evidence was not considered in reaching the decision, or irrelevant evidence was relied upon in reaching the decision;
  4. Fresh evidence has become available; and
  5. A penalty imposed was excessive or inappropriate.

If you are making an appeal, it must be made in writing and submitted to the regional General Manager within 20 business days of receiving the Student Disciplinary Decision Notice.

The region's Disciplinary and Appeals Committee will then consider the appeal and respond to you.

In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to make a further appeal to the TAFE Queensland Academic Board Disciplinary and Appeals Committee.

If you are making an appeal, it must be made in writing and submitted to the TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer within 10 days of receiving the Student Appeals Decision Notice.

External Appeals:

If you are still dissatisfied with the disciplinary decision, you have the right to take the case to an external body, such as:

  1. The Queensland Ombudsman;
  2. Australian Skills Quality Authority; or
  3. Queensland Department of Education and Training (for apprentices/trainees).

If you do so, you must notify TAFE Queensland within 7 days of the final decision notice from TAFE Queensland, to be able to continue your enrolment.

You are only allowed one external appeal decision. TAFE Queensland will give due consideration to the outcome of the external appeal.