Revocation of Awards

Revocation of Awards Procedure

Policy Code: LT1603

Purpose

This Procedure supports and mandates the implementation of Federation University Australia’s Nomenclature of Sealed Awards Policy.

This procedure provides a framework for the revocation of an award – degree, advanced diploma, diploma, certificate or other award conferred by Federation University Australia or the issuance of an unsealed award or statement, obtained through either fraud or administrative error. It incorporates the actions required for investigating, notifying and recording revocation processes.

Scope

This procedure applies to all awards conferred or granted whether before or after the date of commencement of Statute 5.8 and includes awards granted by Federation University Australia or an antecedent or affiliated institution.

Legislative Context

  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • University Statutes and Regulations
  • Statute 5.1 – Academic Awards and Courses
  • Statute 5.1 – The Schedule
  • Statute 5.6 – Admission to Academic Awards
  • Statute 5.8 – Revocation of Awards

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Federation University Australia's Nomenclature of Sealed Awards Policy.

A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
Academic Board (AB) Academic Board is the principle academic body of Federation University Australia. Its purpose is to provide academic oversight of prescribed higher education and VET academic programs and courses of study within the University and provide advice to Council on the conduct and content of those programs and courses
Administrative Error A degree, diploma, certificate or other award that was conferred or granted by the University to a person who had not fulfilled the conditions prescribed for admission to the award
Fraud

A degree, diploma, certificate or other award (sealed or unsealed) conferred or granted by the University or an antecedent institution that has been obtained by a person as a result of fraud or improper means

Fraud includes but is not limited to:

a.  the use of material in any thesis or work which was knowingly false or fabricated;

b.  appropriating the ideas or work of another person and passing them off as one’s own;

c.  transgression of ethical research practice

d. knowingly misrepresenting previous qualifications, experience, achievement or any other attribute in order to gain entry to a program.

Council The governing authority of Federation University Australia responsible for its direction and superintendence
Revocation of Award The permanent destruction by the University of a degree, diploma, certificate or other award conferred or granted by Federation University Australia or an antecedent or affiliated institution
Sealed Awards (HE) Issued to recognise successful completion of qualifications prescribed in the University’s Statute 5.1 – The Schedule
Sealed Awards (VET) Issued to recognise successful completion of nationally recognised whole (AQF) qualifications listed on the University’s Scope of Registration and Statute 5.1 – The Schedule
Unsealed Awards (VET) Includes all certificates which do not require the University seal, and are signed by an Executive Director, and where assessment has been undertaken, the Chair, Academic Board.  (Refer to Schedule of Certificates)

Supporting Documents

Responsibilities

  • Academic Board is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure
  • Chair, Academic Board is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by Academic Board.
  • Manager, Program Management and Graduation is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of this Procedure as directed by the Chair, Academic Board.
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Actions

Revoking Sealed Awards

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.

Investigating revocation of a sealed degree, advanced diploma, diploma, certificate or other award if:

a)   the University is satisfied that it was conferred or granted to a person as a result of fraud or improper means

b)   the University is satisfied that it was conferred or granted to a person who had not fulfilled the conditions prescribed for admission to the award

Executive Dean of Faculty or delegate/DVC (R&I) or nominee
  1. Undertake initial investigation of circumstance surrounding the issuing of the award
  2. If sufficient grounds are proven, provide notification to Vice-Chancellor in writing (refer B. Step 4) detailing the circumstances and reasons for proposed revocation including student ID number, program student graduated from and date of graduation
B. Verifying details Graduation Coordinator
  1. Ensure the following details are correct:
    • Student name
    • Student number
    • Course/program name
    • Graduation date
    • Award number
  2. Confirm if the award has been issued/collected/student invited to graduate
  3. Add appropriate agency debt/negative service indicator to the student's details within the University’s approved Student Management System to prevent the student from obtaining an academic transcript during the investigation period NOTE: if a transcript is requested during this time, seek advice from the Vice-Chancellor's office
  4. Attach documentation to a Revocation of Award memorandum summarising details of the revocation request
C. Making an initial determination Vice-Chancellor
  1. Determine if a prima facie case exists for revoking a person’s award, based on the evidence provided by the Faculty
  2. Refer the matter with supporting evidence provided by the Faculty to Academic Board for investigation/examination if revocation is required
D. Determining circumstance of  issuing of the award Chair, Academic Board
  1. Determine if the degree, diploma, certificate or other award was obtained by a person as a result of fraud or improper means; OR
  2. If the award has been conferred or granted to a person who has not fulfilled the conditions prescribed for admission to the award
E. Notifying of proposed revocation Executive Officer, Academic Board
  1. Notify the Manager, Program Management and Compliance in writing of the student name, ID number, date graduated, program graduated from and summary of reason for the investigation to ensure that no further action can be taken in the University's approved Student Management System
  2. Notify the student of the impending investigation and possible revocation of award – in the case of possible fraud, provide the student with an opportunity to respond to the claim within 20 University working days - refer Student Appeal Process, if required
  3. NOTE: do not contact the student if they have never been notified that they have qualified for the award
F. Reporting to Council Executive Officer, Academic Board
  1. Compile and forward a report on the investigation, findings and recommendation for consideration
G. Notifying outcome Council Secretary or delegate
  1. Notify student of Council resolution and request return of the testamur if decision is for revocation of the award
  2. NOTE: do not contact the student if they have never been notified that they have qualified for the award
  3. Notify Graduation Coordinator of Council's decision
  4. Notify relevant Faculty of Council decision and action taken
H. Assisting the student Executive Dean of Faculty or delegate
  1. Endeavour to assist the student to complete the award in a timely fashion when Council revokes an award which was issued by administrative error
I. Updating Award Records Executive Officer, Academic Board
  1. Ensure student's graduation details are removed from:
  • Graduation Program
  • Council List
  • Academic Award Register
  1. Attach a copy of the relevant extract of Council minutes to documentation
J. Updating systems Graduation Coordinator
  1. Remove the negative service indicator from the student's record if revocation is not approved
  2. Update the University’s approved Student Management System if revocation is approved, adding comments such as: ‘Extract of Council minutes dated … confirming revocation of award of …for student ID no … received by Graduation Office. As per minutes, deleted graduation status (date). Copy of extract and relevant screen prints from the University’s approved Student Management System placed on student’s file’
  3. Follow up with the student to return the original testamur to the Executive Officer to Council
  4. Note the date the testamur was returned, on the student’s file
K. Destroying the original testamur Executive Officer to Council
  1. Destroy the original testamur, on its receipt, in the following manner: shred and place the shredded contents in a University supplied locked confidential waste destruction bin in accordance with the University's approved records disposal process
  2. Append the original Revoked Testamur - Confirmation of Destruction form to the official copy of the Council Minutes where approval to revoke was granted, as evidence of confirmation of destruction
  3. Forward a copy of the Revoked testamur - Confirmation of Destruction form to the Graduation Coordinator for noting

Revoking Unsealed Awards

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Investigating circumstances surrounding the issuing of an unsealed award if erroneously issued due to  fraud or administrative error Executive Director or delegate
  1. Notify the Chair, Academic Board in writing detailing the circumstances and reasons for proposed revocation including student ID number, program/course student completed and date of completion
B. Verifying details Graduation Coordinator
  1. Ensure student’s details are correct:
    • Student name
    • Student ID number
    • Program/course name
    • Issue date
    • Unsealed Certificate Number
  2. Confirm if the award has been issued/collected
  3. Add appropriate agency debt/negative service indicator to the student's details within the University's approved Student Management System to prevent the student from obtaining an academic transcript during the investigation period
  4. Attach documentation to a Revocation of Award memorandum summarising details of the revocation request
C. Notifying the student Executive Officer, Academic Board
  1. Advise the student of the investigation and possible revocation of unsealed award
  2. Provide the student with the opportunity to respond to the claim within 20 University working days if due to possible fraud - refer Student Appeal Process, if required
D. Referring the matter Chair, Academic Board
  1. Determine if a prima facie case exists for revoking the award, based on the investigation and evidence provided
  2. Refer the matter, with supporting evidence and a recommendation to Academic Board if revocation is required
E. Notifying the outcome Executive Officer, Academic Board
  1. Notify the student of Academic Board’s resolution
  2. Ask the student to return the statement if the outcome is for revocation of the unsealed award
  3. Notify the Manager, Program Management and Compliance of Academic Board’s decision
  4. Notify the relevant Faculty of Academic Board’s decision and action taken
F. Updating student’s record Graduation Coordinator
  1. Ensure the student’s completion details are removed from the University’s approved Student Management System
  2. Attach a copy of the relevant extract from Academic Board minutes to documentation
G. Assisting the student Executive Director or delegate
  1. Endeavour to assist the student to complete the award in a timely fashion when Council revokes an award which was issued through administrative error

Promulgation

The Revocation of Awards Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews and on the FedUni Policy Central's Policy Library 'Recently Approved Documents’ page to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure.
  • Academic Board meetings
  • Faculty meetings
Forms

Implementation

The Revocation of Awards Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  • An Announcement Notice via FedNews and on the FedUni Policy Central's Policy Library 'Recently Approved Documents’ page to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure.
  • inclusion on the University's online Policy Library; and/or
  • distribution of e-mails to Executive Deans/Executive Directors and other relevant University staff

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Written notification and evidence re proposed revocation of sealed award Vice-Chancellor’s Office Executive Officer Retain until organisational use has concluded
Revoked Testamur - Confirmation of Destruction form University’s approved records management system Executive Officer to Council Permanent
Report on investigation findings and recommendation University’s approved records management system Executive Officer, Academic Board Retain until organisational use has concluded
Written notification and evidence re proposed revocation of unsealed award Faculty Executive Director Retain until organisational use has concluded
Report on investigation findings and recommendation University’s approved records management system Executive Officer, Academic Board Retain until organisational use has concluded
Listings of Award Applications Academic Board Re- cords Executive Officer, Academic Board Permanent
Higher Education Awards Regis- ter Graduation Office Manager, Program Management and Graduation Permanent
VET Awards Register Graduation Office Manager, Program Management and Graduation Permanent