Anti-fraud, malpractice and maladministration policy
In this policy:
- Scope of the policy
- Policy aims and objectives
- Access to the policy
- Reporting process
- Reporting process for recognised qualifications
- Investigation process for assured and CITB products
- Investigation findings
- Approved Training Organisation (ATO) malpractice, maladministration or fraud
- Candidate/delegate malpractice, maladministration or fraud
- This policy aims to protect the integrity, reliability and reputation of CITB approved training organisations (ATOs) and the related products;
- This policy relates to ATOs, delivery/administration staff, candidates and learners;
- This policy sets out the process for reporting and any investigation;
- This document is an amplification of the ATO contract requirements.
2. Scope of the policy
- Approved Training Organisation (ATO) contract and supplementary terms;
- CITB guidance - requirements for Approved Training Organisations.
3. Policy aims and objectives
The policy sets out the process an individual or organisation needs to follow to report cases of alleged fraud (including bribery), malpractice and maladministration.
The policy will detail how alleged cases should be reported and the time scales in which CITB will investigate and act upon its findings.
The policy will also layout how CITB will deal with alleged cases if the allegations are proven.
4. Access to the policy
CITB will ensure that the policy is communicated and understood by centre staff through its team of senior quality consultants. The senior quality consultant team will, through the ATO and scheduled monitoring visits, explain the policy to ATO/CITB Centre staff and answer any questions relating to the policy.
The policy is available on the CITB website for all to access. Additional guidance can also been obtained from the CITB quality assurance department.
Malpractice/maladministration is a deliberate or reckless act of an individual or business to dishonestly claim learning outcomes and or certificates for candidates, delegates and learners. Furthermore malpractice/maladministration is an act that does not comply with CITB or regulatory authority’s conditions and brings the authenticity, reliability and integrity of a qualification or learning outcome into question.
Fraud is a criminal activity defined as an act of deception intended for personal gain or to cause loss to another person or party. This can include theft, the misuse of funds or resources, failure to disclose information, false representation or abuse of a position of trust.
As well as the above, the term “fraud” is also used to describe acts such as deception, bribery, forgery, extortion, corruption, conspiracy, embezzlement, misappropriation, money laundering and collusion. Fraud can affect individuals, businesses, charities, the treasury or the industry as a whole.
Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain. This can involve a party being influenced in exchange for a reward or a promise or the expectation of a reward to unreasonably use their position to gain some advantage to another. In this context, reward need not be financial.
Examples of malpractice/maladministration/fraud could be, but are not limited to:
- Delegate/candidate malpractice/maladministration/fraud
- plagiarism of work;
- forgery of candidate/delegate evidence;
- forgery of signatures.
- ATO malpractice/maladministration/fraud
- failure to follow CITB requirements for ATO/centre approval including action plans;
- failure to allow the senior quality consultant or authorised regulator access to centre, records and candidates when requested without good reason;
- unqualified trainers, assessor and quality assurance staff claiming learning outcomes;
- fraudulent claims for certificates or course completion with possible links to grant payments;
- absence of quality management systems as required by CITB and/or standards;
- failure to follow invigilation guidelines or other externally set requirements from CITB/awarding organisations/regulators;
- failure to input candidates/delegate information in a timely manner or intentionally adding incorrect details on to the Construction Training Register;
- knowingly adding incorrect details to the Construction Training Directory;
- sharing of confidential passwords to CITB systems, i.e. Construction Training Register.
- Training and assessment staff malpractice/maladministration/fraud
- forgery or tampering with assessments and training records;
- forgery of signatures;
- forgery or tampering candidate/delegate evidence.
6. Reporting process
Anyone involved in the training delivery process for ATOs and approved CITB centres that have had an instance of alleged malpractice/maladministration/fraud brought to their attention, is duty bound to report it to CITB. Every reasonable effort will be made to protect the identity of the person making the report.
CITB will accept any written report or letter that sets out the details of the alleged malpractice/maladministration the correspondence must be sufficiently detailed to allow an investigation to commence. CITB also has its own fraud email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please ensure that the following information is included in any correspondence:
- ATO/centre name, address and number;
- reporting person's name, job title and address (if different from ATO/centre address);
- candidate/delegate name(s) and number(s) of those affected or involved;
- individuals involved;
- programme details (i.e. qualification involved);
- the details of the allegation including dates, times and venues.
7. Reporting process for recognised qualifications
For qualifications that are awarded via other awarding organisations (AO), the relevant malpractice/maladministration policy must be followed by the centre (as identified by the AO).
ATOs are required to make CITB aware of any instances of alleged malpractice/maladministration as part of the ongoing approval status. Failure to do so could affect the ongoing approval status when brought to CITB’s attention.
CITB reserve the right to take any reasonable action to safeguard candidates/delegates/employers interests.
8. Investigation process for assured and approved CITB products
Upon receipt of this information, CITB will confirm receipt in writing and detail the process for investigating the alleged malpractice/maladministration within 10 working days.
The investigators will where practical carry out the investigation remotely and the process will be concluded within 28 working days. However if further enquiries are required, then arrangements will be made for the centre to be visited and interviews conducted with the people involved.
Wherever possible, we will aim to complete the investigation in 40 working days. However, on occasions the investigation may take longer. CITB reserves the right to extend the amount of time to conclude an investigation to ensure thorough and appropriate action can be taken.
Following the investigation, we will detail our findings in a letter to the authorised representative along with any remedial action required by the ATO/centre. This report will be sent within five working days following the completion of the investigation.
There is an expectation that all parties that are involved in the investigation process co-operate with CITB staff. Failure to cooperate at any stage of the investigation process will result in sanctions being applied to the ATO/centre. Where relevant, third party organisations will be made aware of suspected malpractice/maladministration/fraud.
From time to time, the investigation will require additional information to be supplied. CITB will be clear on what is required, the format and the deadline to supply the additional information.
CITB reserves the right to interview anyone involved in the delivery process that may be able to provide evidence about the suspected malpractice/maladministration/fraud. If the investigation requires a visit, this will be arranged. The date given to the ATO/centre will normally have a short lead time.
CITB will use their staff who have an understanding of that particular ATO/centre to guide investigators. The investigation and findings will be conducted by impartial staff.
The ATO/centre will be given the name of the investigators prior to the investigation. It is the centres responsibility to inform CITB in writing if there is a conflict of interest before the investigation commences.
9. Investigation findings
CITB will make an informed decision based on the investigations findings. CITB will exercise due diligence when formalising its decision, using the evidence gathered during the investigation.
For candidate/delegate and ATO/centre malpractice/maladministration/fraud, CITB findings will be presented to the ATO's authorised representative (or named head of centre for a non-ATO), either face to face or by written letter.
The ATO's representative (or named head of centre for a non-ATO) will be involved with setting the action plan before it is put in place. As required, the CITB quality assurance department will provide guidance on the actions plan and how to meet any given points.
10. ATO/centre malpractice, maladministration or fraud
If malpractice/maladministration/fraud has been identified at ATO/centre level, or with anyone employed by the ATO/centre, the sanctions that are applied will be in accordance with the published tariff of sanction and CITB contract.
CITB will work with the ATO/centre to ensure remedial actions are followed.
11. Candidate malpractice, maladministration or fraud
If the malpractice/maladministration is at a candidate/delegate level, the individual(s) may be removed from the training programme or have their achievement removed from the Construction Training Register (if listed as achieved).
The ATO/centre will be given an action plan to prevent further occurrences of candidate/delegate malpractice/maladministration/fraud. However, this may still be viewed as a break down of the ATO/centre's management systems.
CITB will keep any relevant regulatory authorities apprised of the investigation, findings and conclusion. In line with this, CITB will if required, remove achievements to protect the integrity of the Construction Training Register.
If you do not agree with the findings of the investigation, you can appeal.
CITB has an appeals procedure that must be followed - this can be found on the CITB website.
The appeal must be made within 10 working days of the date of the correspondence to the ATO/centre's authorised representative.
Further guidance of the appeals procedure can also be found in the CITB requirements for Approved Training Organisations.