Academic Integrity Policy


Next review
Tue, 15 September 2026

Eastern College Australia (ECA) is committed to promoting academic integrity amongst staff and students and to detect and manage breaches of academic integrity.

Approved on: 15 Sep 2023
Review cycle: 3 Years
Owned by

Academic Standards and Risk Committee

Approved by

Academic Board

Policy Contact: 
Dean of Studies

This policy was rewritten in July 2023 with Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) assistance from Bard.


Eastern College Australia (ECA) is committed to promoting academic integrity amongst staff and students and to detect and manage breaches of academic integrity.


All staff.  All students. Past Students.


Academic in Charge

Unit Coordinator: the academic staff member responsible for the day-to-day teaching and assessment in individual units. Visiting lecturers invited to teach units or segments of units are responsible to Unit Coordinators. 
Unit Guide: is the prepared unit delivery details based on the Unit outline. The Unit Guide is developed by the Academic in Charge and includes all the elements of the unit outline plus the assessment tasks and delivery schedule.  
 Academic Integrity Officer: the staff member authorised to investigate reported breaches of academic integrity.


Academic Integrity is the practice of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility, and courage in all academic matters. It is an ethical commitment regarding the creation, development, application and use of ideas or information. It includes avoiding plagiarism, cheating, collusion, and other forms of academic dishonesty. Academic integrity is important for students, staff and the College's reputation. 
This means that: 
  • all academic work claimed as original is the work of the author making the claim; 
  • when the ideas and information of others are used, they are acknowledged appropriately, as are all academic collaborations; and 
  • academic work and research are not falsified in any way. 
All academic and professional staff involved in learning, teaching and research are expected to display leadership in this area. 
The College desires to produce graduates who are grounded in the Christian faith, Christian worldview and the Scriptures and who will engage morally and ethically in: relationships, employment, innovation and creativity, and citizenship. This applies not only to the life of a graduate but to their academic work while a student of the College. Breaches of academic integrity undermine the integrity of the College’s awards and assessment processes, whilst reducing the effectiveness of a student’s experience at the College.

Promoting Academic Integrity

Institutional Commitment

The College is committed to a College-wide framework for academic integrity across all academic areas. The Academic Standards and Risk Committee is responsible for monitoring the application of this policy across the College.

Academic Writing

The College's short course "Academic Writing" is made available online to help students start their journey of learning as a part of the academic community at Eastern College Australia.

Promoting a Culture of Academic Integrity

The College has a responsibility and an obligation to: 
  1. inform students of their requirements by providing a style guide (or guides) for the presentation of assessment tasks. This (or these) must set out the styles of writing appropriate for the different tasks and the form(s) of referencing demanded for each task; 
  1. ensure all academic staff are aware of the need to introduce and reinforce, from the outset, student understanding of the professional and academic skills demanded by the disciplines at all levels; 
  1. ensure that all academic staff are aware of the appropriate sources of assistance for students seeking to develop their skills in academic writing; and 
  1. include in each Unit Guide a statement which: 
  • states or links to the College’s definition of academic integrity; 
  • makes clear that an academic integrity breach is unacceptable. 
  1. ensure academic staff model academic integrity in their teaching materials and scholarship.

Ensuring Academic Integrity in Assessment

Students are expected to adhere to high standards of academic integrity and honesty at all times. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.  
All teaching staff are expected to be observant of academic integrity aspects in their work, especially in assessment design and grading.  
The College broadly endorses the principles within the AAIN Generative Artificial Intelligence Guidelines (2023) to develop student skills in the use of GenAI, whilst giving clear direction so as to maintain academic integrity in assessment.  
Breaches of academic integrity will be managed as an educative process for students in the first instance unless an intention to cheat has been found. The College will act on new information which reveals breaches of academic integrity, even where results have been announced. 

Breaches of Academic Integrity 

The following are examples of breaches of academic integrity: 
  • Plagiarism: Presenting someone else's work as your own. 
  • Cheating: Using unauthorized materials or assistance during an assessment. 
  • Collusion: Working together with another student on an assessment that is intended to be completed individually.  
  • Contract cheating: Obtaining or providing assistance with an assessment from a third party, such as a commercial essay writing service, family, or through GenAI and associated tools. 
  • Recycling: Submitting work that has been submitted previously, without permission from the lecturer. This includes work that has been submitted for another course, work that has been published elsewhere, or a previous attempt at the unit. 
  • Falsification of data: Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. 
Breaches of academic integrity can take many forms and may overlap categories. 
The use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools (including, but not limited to, ChatGPT, Bard or similar), in any assessment task is an example of Contract Cheating unless one of three exceptions applies:  
  1. Where the use of the tool is for preliminary research on a topic, in which case the use of the tool including its name must be acknowledged. 
  1. The use of GenAI for the purpose of grammar and spell checking is permitted, with care, and referencing. Students are required to keep a draft of their original work before submitting to the GenAI, to demonstrate authenticity should an investigation be required. 
  1. In the case where a lecturer provides written authorisation for the use of an artificial intelligence tool for any other aspects of an assessment task, in which case any student use must be fully referenced. 
The example of breaches above were written with AI assistance from Bard. (2023).  If this policy required a reference section under APA7, it would include: 
Google. (2023). Bard (July 13 version) [Large language model]  
Library staff, faculty, and the Eastern College Australia Style Guide can provide additional support for referencing GenAI contributions.

Academic Integrity Breach Outcomes

Classification of Academic Integrity Breach  

The seriousness of the academic integrity breach will be determined by considering the combination of the following indicative factors: 
Nature and intent of breach 
Extent of breach 
Student experience  
Least Serious 
Most Serious 
References are unclear or inadequate  
Inappropriate paraphrasing 

Determined to be an inadvertent breach 

One to two sentences are problematic. 
Completed less than 24 credit points 
Cultural considerations or English language skills involved 
No prior experience of academic breaches 
Submitting aspects of other’s work as own 
Recycling assessments 
Two or more paragraphs are problematic 
More than 24 credit points completed, but not in their final year 
At most one previous experience of an academic breach 
Contract cheating 

Substantial appropriation of other’s ideas and work as own. 

Determined to be a deliberate or planned breach 
Over 20% of the assessment is problematic. 
Breaches are identified in multiple assessments and/or units. 
In final year of study 
Multiple previous academic breaches
The overall extent of the alleged academic integrity breach shall be determined to be low, medium or high. 

Academic Integrity Breach Decisions

Decision Makers

The Academic Integrity Officer will consult with the relevant person depending on the level of the breach as follows: 
Level of Breach 
To Be Consulted 
Marker or Academic in Charge or Unit Co-ordinator 
Unit Co-ordinator 
Dean of Studies 
Involving graduates, or previously published results 
Dean of Studies will conduct the investigation 

Decision Making Process

The steps to determine a breach will be: 
  1. Notification received from marker.  
  1. The Academic Integrity Officer verifies whether it is an Academic Integrity Breach. 
  1. Review of Complaints and Grievances Register to determine the student’s history with academic integrity.  
  1. The level of alleged breach is determined. 
  1. The student is notified of the alleged breach, advised their rights and a proposed outcome/remediation. 
  1. Determination of outcome. 
The Decision Maker(s) shall make a decision based on the balance of probabilities and are not required to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.  
In the case of previously published results where the student has not yet graduated, the Dean of Studies shall provide an investigation report to the Academic Standards & Risk (ASR) committee, who shall be the decision maker. In the case of graduates, the Dean of Studies shall provide an investigation report to ASR, and then report to the Academic Board, with the governing Board being the final decision maker. In either case, the relevant committee shall be advised before the student is notified as per step 5 above.

Student’s response to allegation of academic integrity breach

A student will be requested to respond to any allegations of academic integrity breach within 7 calendar days of being notified of an investigation by the Academic Integrity Officer. The student may or may not decide to respond and may request additional time to respond if circumstances dictate. A student may either write, email, or organise an appointment with the Academic Integrity Officer and the relevant person to be consulted as indicated above.  
In the case of graduates, or previously published results, students will be requested to respond to any allegations of academic integrity breach within 21 calendar days of being notified of an investigation. 

Communicating the decision

Dependent on the outcome of an investigation and the student response, or lack thereof, one of the following outcomes will be communicated to the student: 
  1. Closure - specifying an academic integrity breach has been identified and the decision regarding the outcome for that academic integrity breach. 
  1. No case - specifying an academic integrity breach has not been found.


All records regarding an academic integrity breach will be securely stored within Academic Administration, noted in the Grievance Register. All communications shall be recorded in the College’s CIVI (CRM) system.  
Where any amendment to a decision about an academic integrity breach occurs because of an appeal, the student’s file will be amended to reflect such outcomes. No findings of a breach of academic integrity attached to a student’s record will ever appear on a student’s official transcript.

Appealing the decision

A student may appeal the decision made by following the College’s Complaints and Grievance Policy.

Academic Integrity Breach Outcomes 

In all cases where a breach has been determined it shall be securely recorded in the Grievance Register. The student will be advised in writing of the outcome(s), be directed to education and study resources and be advised that future breaches will be treated more seriously.  
A breach of academic integrity may lead to one or more of the following indicative penalties and remedial actions: 

  • The student being required to undertake study skills training 
  • receiving a mark based on the portion of the assessment task unaffected by breach(es) of academic integrity 
  • requesting the student to resubmit the assessment task acknowledging the appropriate sources of information with correct references/citations; with a possible grade being no higher than a pass (64%) 
  • require the student to resubmit the same assessment on an alternative topic selected from those provided in the unit guide or on alternative topic provided by the Academic in Charge; with a possible grade being no higher than a pass (64%) 
  • a mark of no more than 50% for the assessment 
  • a mark of zero for the assessment 
  • a grade of Fail for the subject. 
  • The student being required to show cause as to why the College should continue their enrolment. 

Consequences for graduates 

If a graduate is found to have breached academic integrity, but it is only detected after graduation, a report of the investigation and findings must be submitted to the Academic Board for consideration to rescind unit(s), and therefore the qualification as a whole.  
The consequences for graduates who are found to have breached academic integrity are serious and include rescinding the graduate’s qualification and notifying relevant professional bodies. The decision to rescind a graduate's qualification is not taken lightly. The Academic Board will carefully consider all the evidence before recommending a decision to the governing Board. If the governing Board decides to rescind a graduate's qualification, the graduate will be notified in writing. 
The graduate is entitled to access the College’s Complaints and Grievance Policy.