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

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

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

Karen Linstrom


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 competency.
You are expected to attend all scheduled classes and some classes will have sessions that are compulsory to attend (please see individual course guides). If you cannot attend a class you should advise your RMIT Educator, as RMIT monitors all student attendance.
As a student, competency is demonstrated through both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content and 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.
Absence from class can seriously limit your ability to pass or achieve good results. You may be asked to attend a meeting to explain more than three absences from a subject and enter into a negotiated plan of action with your Educator. This meeting is recommended as an early intervention approach that may possibly identify any underlying issues which may be affecting your attendance and identify support that RMIT may be able to give you.
Clearly, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment. If your academic progress is reviewed, a good class attendance may be helpful in showing evidence of your commitment to your studies in Justice.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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


All readings and other resources necessary for this course will be available through Blackboard.
GUSS Skills Central ( is a site developed specifically for students in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT. It provides links to a range of resources for supporting student work on assessments and negotiating university studies more generally.

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 3 academic references. This assessment task will contribute to 20% of the overall mark for the semester.

Due Date: 9th March 2016

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.

Due Date: 1st April 2016

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.

Due Date: 13th May 2016


Assessment Matrix

This is available via MyRMIT/Studies

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, but it must be into the Administration office by close of business (5pm) of 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 each written assessment task/s – up to 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.

Other Information

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

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 implications of plagiarism.
Please refer to the following link for on-line submission statements;

Cover sheets do NOT form part of your word limit for written assessment tasks.

Assignment Submissions:
The submission of assessments on the due date is the responsibility solely of the student. Students should not leave assignment preparation until the last minute and must plan their workloads so as to be able to meet advertised or notified deadlines.
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, you need to submit any work that has been completed on the due date.
The penalty for assignments submitted late will be 10% of the maximum mark per day late or part thereof.
Weekends and holidays will attract the same penalty as weekdays.
Assignments that are late by 7 days or more will not be marked and will be awarded zero.


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.

Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. Speak with your teacher or course coordinator regarding applying for an extension.

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:

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:
1. 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;
2. Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
3. Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
4. Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
5. Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
6. Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
7. Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
8. 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 – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations –;ID=r7a7an6qug93

Course Overview: Access Course Overview