Identification and management of plagiarism in coursework programs instruction

Instruction statement

These instructions provide academic and teaching staff with processes for minimising plagiarism, and a systematic approach to the management of plagiarism.

The objectives include:

  • To ensure that students are clearly informed that plagiarism is unacceptable academic practice.
  • To ensure that approaches to assessment reduce the opportunities for students to plagiarise.
  • To ensure that students are provided with information about how to avoid plagiarism.
  • To provide a fair and consistent approach to managing cases of plagiarism within Colleges.
  • To ensure that the penalties for plagiarism are clear and readily understandable by staff and students.


VCE and VCAL programs

Research misconduct within the research component of a higher degree by research program

Process Step/Action


Time Frame

1. Provisions

1.1 Strategies to reduce the opportunities for students to plagiarise will be:

  • developed and implemented by all College teaching staff;
  • consistently monitored and reviewed as part of the College’s continuous improvement processes; and
  • designed to increase students’ engagement with their study and their confidence in submitting their own work for assessment

1.2 When plagiarism is detected the process used to address it will:

  • offer a scale of successive stages for its management;
  • not advantage one group of students over another;
  • be consistent with information provided to all students; and
  • ensure that all incidents of plagiarism are recorded on the University Academic Misconduct database

2 Penalties for plagiarism shall be:

  • consistent with the University’s Student Misconduct Regulation;
  • clearly explained in student and staff induction materials; and
  • rigorously implemented

3 Design and management of assessment

3.1 All assessment items, where it is relevant, shall include the proper citation of sources as an assessment criterion

Dean/head of school

Before the commencement of teaching.

4 Statement of authorship

4.1 Students shall be provided with information about plagiarism in:

  • in orientation sessions with program staff

  • in Course Guides , and

  • on the website

Before the commencement of teaching.

At enrolment


1st week of classes

1st year of program

4.2 Students shall be informed, orally or in writing, and involved in discussion, about plagiarism, what it constitutes within the discipline, how to avoid it, and the penalties under the University’s Academic integrity and plagiarism procedure.

Academic and teaching staff.

During introductory lectures/ classes for all courses.

4.2 Students shall be instructed on the use and purpose of the Statement of Authorship form that shall be appended to all work, wherever practicable, submitted for assessment.

Academic and teaching staff

4.3 Students shall be advised, both orally and in writing, that all assessment tasks may be reproduced, communicated, compared and archived for the purposes of detecting plagiarism; and that if there is doubt of their authorship of an assessment item, they may be required to provide evidence of the development of the work before final submission and/or make an oral defence of their authorship.

Whenever assess-ment inform-ation is given to students.

4.4 Where an assessor doubts the student’s authorship of work submitted for assessment, the assessor may require the student to:

4.4.1 provide evidence of the development of the work before final submission and/or

4.4.2 make an oral defence of the work to demonstrate the student’s authorship of the work through their understanding of the material.

Where a student is required to make an oral defence of their authorship, this should be heard by another academic or teaching staff member of the relevant discipline as well as the original assessor, and both staff members should provide a written record of their view of the student’s authorship and reasons for this.

Academic and teaching staff

5. Detection of plagiarism

5.1 Poor referencing and use of sources

5.1.1 Where the assessor identifies minor lapses in referencing and/or use of sources, whether by text matching, software or other means, the assessor shall treat the incident as an assessment matter, and may reduce the overall mark or grade for the assessment task, and/or may permit re-submission.


5.2 Where plagiarism is suspected, the assessor shall document the reasons and evidence for this suspicion and refer the matter to the Dean/Head of School.


Within 5 working days of detection.

5.3 Management of plagiarism

5.3.1 The Dean/Head of School shall assess the evidence of the case and take one of the following actions:

(a) if the Dean/Head of School considers that there is insufficient evidence to warrant a hearing under Regulation 6.1.1 Student Misconduct the student will be notified of this decision in writing and a copy of this notice will be placed on the student file, or

(b) if the Dean/Head of School considers that there is sufficient evidence of plagiarism the matter will be managed in accordance with Regulation 6.1.1 Student Misconduct.

Dean/Head of School

Dean/Head of School

Dean/Head of School

Within 7 days

6 Recording – University academic misconduct database

6.1 Where a case of plagiarism is proven under section 5.3.1 (b) above, the determination and penalty will be recorded in the University Academic Misconduct Database.

Office of the Academic Registrar

Within 7 days of notification

6.2 Where a student subsequently appeals against a finding of plagiarism under section 5.3.1 (b) above and the appeal is upheld, the record described in 6.1 above will be deleted from the database.

Office of the Academic Registrar

Within 7 days of notification

7 Reporting

7.1 The Dean/Head of School and the Chair of Discipline Board shall submit an annual report to the Dean of Students detailing the number of incidents of plagiarism in each program, the process adopted and the penalties incurred. These reports shall form part of the program log.

Dean/Head of School – Chair of Discipline Board


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