Course Title: Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: HWSS5407C

Course Title: Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4323 - Certificate IV in Justice

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Bradley Deacon
Rm: 37.4.13
Available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to exhibit ethical conduct required of those in public service and the responsibility to encourage ethical conduct in others, colleagues or supervised staff.
It includes contributing to an ethical public sector workplace and participating in ethical decision making.
In practice, ethical conduct is demonstrated in the context of other generalist or specialist work activities such as applying government processes, delivering and monitoring services to clients, using resources, conducting interviews, giving evidence, awarding contracts, etc.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service


1. Contribute to an ethical public sector workplace

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Information on the ethical values and principles of the workplace is accessed, its interpretation confirmed with others and applied accordingly
1.2 Application of ethical values and principles is discussed with senior management and colleagues to ensure common understanding and application
1.3 Others are assisted to access and use public sector ethics legislation and guidelines to ensure their work practices comply with requirements
1.4 The differences between public sector ethics/values and personal beliefs/values are explained to others to encourage understanding and compliance
1.5 Hypothetical work practices that would constitute unethical conduct are identified and discussed with work colleagues, and strategies to avoid or deal with them are identified in accordance with organisational policy and procedures


2. Participate in ethical decision making

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Real and potential ethical problems are identified, and decision making processes are used to resolve or refer them in accordance with organisational policy and procedures
2.2 Information is regularly accessed to ensure currency in ethical knowledge, and ethical judgment is developed through involvement in workplace discussions or ongoing professional development related to ethical standards and practices
2.3 Other staff are supported as necessary to contribute to ethical discussions and problem solving to develop their ethical judgment
2.4 Processes for preventing and reporting unethical conduct are used and others are assisted in their application

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, you will be able to demonstrate and support in others ethical conduct in a range of contexts (occasions/situations) where contexts include generalist or specialist work activities such as applying government processes, delivering and monitoring services to clients, using resources, conducting interviews, giving evidence, awarding contracts, etc.

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of learning activities and include:
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• Blog/Wiki or other online discussions and participation
• analysis/critique of relevant reading material
• seminars/workshops
• group activities/projects
• group discussion
• research
• independent project based work
• Simulated and/or practical placement.

Teaching Schedule

Week1: Orientation to Values and principles in justice.
Semester overview
Course Guide
Assessments for unit distributed and discussed

Week: 2: Legislation and ethical practice in government
Privacy law and its application in Justice

Week:3-4- The philosophy of Professional Ethics (underpinning theory)
Formative assessment 1

Week: 4-6 Introduction to Ethical Principles and the Code of Conduct for VPS

Week: 7 Professional Boundaries in the delivery of justice services.
Formative assessment 2

Week 8: Labelling theory, explanation for criminal and other deviant behavior and its consequences v. ethical practice
Formative assessment 3 – online test

Week 9: Contemporary models for ethical decision
Summative assessment 1- Report on ‘Gifts and benefits’ policy
Review and workshop of summative assessment 2

Week 10: Ethics in various arms of justice (Police)

Week11: Ethics in various arms of justice
(Police continued)

Week 12: Ethics in various arms of justice

Summative assessment 2, written assignment due

Week13: Ethics in various arms of justice (Courts
and the Judiciary)

Week 14: Group presentations – Summative assessment 3

Week 15: Group presentations- Summative assessment 3

NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

We expect that students engage in learning through a combination of lectures, individual reading and study, meaningful feedback on written work and structured activities that encourage critical thinking and the development of discipline specific knowledge and practical skills.

Students are active participants and this course prioritises learning by doing. It is essential that students take ownership of their studies and work on developing skills as independent learners in time allocated away from lectures and class time.

As a student you need to demonstrate both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content within the classroom environment. Engagement with educators and other students is critical to you maximising learning opportunities and achieving satisfactory results. Participation in classroom discussion and activities will allow educators to apply observational assessment during role-plays, exercises and assignments and provide you with feedback.

You will be required to sign an attendance sheet and if you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to advise your educator and complete any written tasks that may have been allocated.
Students are required to carefully plan and use their time productively and submit assessments as required. All assessments tasks should be researched and drafted well in advance of the set submission dates.

The course will use blended learning techniques, including; lectures, discussions, activities in class and learner directed activities supported by a range of resources available in class and on Blackboard system

Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Victorian Public Service Code of Conduct
Public Administration Act 2004
Graham., G. ‘Eight Theories of Ethics’ Routledge, London


All required readings and case studies will be available either:
Via My RMIT/Studies Blackboard
Handed out in class as a hard copy
Accessible by CD/DVD
Via the internet/assigned website
Accessible via the RMIT Library

Other Resources

PowerPoint’s for the lectures will generally be made available AFTER the class; however these are not a replacement for attending lectures. Lectures may have additional information, activities or visual material, which will not be available through Blackboard.

It is essential that you access the Blackboard site at least once a week, as announcements and emails are considered an effective means of communication between educators and students.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including case studies, observations, scenarios, simulation and/or role plays, lectures, tutorials, class discussions, practical exercises, audio-visual presentations, research and interaction with individuals and/or groups within the justice industry.

Assessments will include; 


Assessment Type

Word limit or equivalent

Assessment One

Essay on Conflict of interest

 1500 words

Assessment Two

Essay on Values and Principles

 1500 words

Assessment Three


 Multiple choice and short answer










If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca





Assessment Tasks

All assessment tasks are based on the requirements of the performance criteria, range statements and the assessment guidelines of the course and include:
Formative Assessments - Conflict of interest online module and interactive assessment
Students are required to complete the State Services Authority online conflict of interest module and provide evidence by way of automatically generated certificate from the website.
Scenario based workshops where students must provide evidence of applying ethical framework and decision-making models to practical everyday justice scenarios will be applied during class time as Formative assessment tasks.

Summative Assessment One – a 500 word written essay on police ethics.
The topic you will need to consider and explore in your essay is whether the private life of police officers and their off-duty conduct has an impact on the performance of official duties. “Should Police officers be allowed to do anything they like when not in uniform?”
Please use a minimum of 2 academic references. This assessment task will contribute to 20% of the overall mark for the semester.

Summative Assessment Two – a 1500 word written essay on the following;
“Write an essay discussing the issue of medical use of marijuana. What do medical studies indicate about the benefits of medical marijuana? What do critics argue in their opposition of medical benefits? If you or a loved one was suffering from a medical condition and you were told marijuana could ease your pain, would you violate current laws and use this? Why or why not”?
Please ensure that you incorporate and identify theoretical values/principles, identify all possible moral dilemma’s, decide what is the most immediate moral/ethical dilemma, and resolve by using ethical decision making systems based on theories.
A minimum of 3 academic references must be used. This assessment task will contribute to 50% of the overall mark for the semester.

Summative Assessment Task 3 - Oral presentation (Summative)
“Why is it important for criminal justice professionals to study ethics?” Prepare a group presentation with reference to four theoretical perspectives and the practical application of these theories to the criminal justice sector.
The Group presentation (6-8 minutes per student) needs to relate to theoretical principles used in practice in a justice setting to support the Code of Conduct for a justice organisation.
The oral presentation assessment will contribute 30% of the overall mark for the semester.
Comprehensive outlines will be provided in Week 2.



Assessment Matrix

This is available via MyRMIT/Studies
The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

Assessment Grading Table

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did not Submit for Assessment

Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)

CA Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit For Assessment

Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. You can submit work at any time prior to the submission date; it must be submitted into the Assessment Box on level 2, in Building 37 with a signed cover sheet, or electronically submitted into the Justice VET email box with an electronically attached cover sheet, by close of business on the day the submission is due.

Assessment Format
A major part of your course requires writing, for essays, research and reports. ALL Justice VE educators will expect you to maintain a high standard of presentation in your writing. These standards include the following:

1. For a CERTIFICATE IV written assessment task/s – no less than 1500 words, 3 academic references and ONE in-text citation per paragraph.
2. A paragraph is usually between 200 – 250 words.
3. A sentence is usually between 20 - 25 words.
4. American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is the EXPECTED referencing style for the school of Criminal Justice (VE).
5. We highly recommend that all students download a copy of the APA Referencing Guide which is available on the Blackboard or purchase a Pocket Guide to APA style from the campus bookshop.
6. APA Referencing system is to be used and all in-text citations must be recorded according to APA standards.
7. An academic reference is a scholarly source (journal articles that are peer reviewed, a published book, an approved government or organisation website etc).
8. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
9. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical ordered and organised manner.
10. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research.
11. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.
12. All assignments to be submitted via the Drop Box (Building 37, level 2) and submitted via email to the Advanced Diploma email address to verify submission ( Assessments must be submitted by 5pm (close of business).
13. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

If you have any difficult with understanding or completing these writing standards, please speak with your Educator or the Program Manager.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Other Information

Please refer to RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by a due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
In accordance with RMIT policy, you may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.

• Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
You must keep a copy of your assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted.

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

An extension up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.

Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by Course coordinators or individual educators.

Longer extensions

Extension of time longer than 7 days can only be granted through special consideration.

Other Information Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission of assignments will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
• You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
• You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
• You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).
• Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity.

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.
For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 (unresolved) – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y (unresolved)

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview