Exams Guidance and administration

Malpractice and plagiarism

This page provides our approved centres with guidance on how to let us know about any suspicions or incidents of malpractice, in accordance with JCQ regulations.

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How to report malpractice if you're not from an approved centre

Whether the malpractice involves candidates, teachers, invigilators or other administrative staff, this cooperation is essential to guarantee the fairness and integrity of Pearson qualifications.

The process for reporting suspected malpractice is slightly different depending on the type of qualification. Select the relevant tab below for more information.

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Candidate malpractice

If you discover any irregularity in the internally assessed components of examinations before a candidate has signed the declaration of authentication, you don't need to report this to us. Instead, you may decline to accept the work for assessment purposes.

If you discover an irregularity after a candidate has signed the declaration of authentication, or you suspect any malpractice by a candidate during an examination, you must submit full details of the case to us at the earliest opportunity by emailing a JCQ Form M1 with supporting documentation to pqsmalpractice@pearson.com.

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Staff malpractice

If you suspect that a member of staff has committed malpractice or that maladministration of the qualification may have occurred, you must let us know by emailing a completed JCQ M2a Form to pqsmalpractice@pearson.com. Our Investigations Team will review the documentation that you provide and advise you on the next steps.

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Additional guidance

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Candidate malpractice

For internally assessed units, you do not need to inform us of learner malpractice. You should follow your own centre’s malpractice policy in resolving the matter.

Where you suspect malpractice may have occurred in any externally assessed units or which may have influenced assessment outcomes, you must report this to us by by emailing a JCQ Form M1 with supporting documentation to pqsmalpractice@pearson.com.

We reserve the right, in cases of suspected malpractice, to withhold the issuing of results or certificates while an investigation is in progress.

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Staff malpractice

If you suspect that a member of staff has committed malpractice or maladministration of the qualification may have occurred, you must let us know by emailing a completed JCQ M2a Form to pqsmalpractice@pearson.com. Our Investigations Team will review the documentation that you provide and advise you on the next steps.

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Additional guidance

For more information about malpractice in vocational qualifications, see the 'Centre guidance for dealing with malpractice' document in the Policies section.

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