The PMA is a UK provider of leadership, management and practice management training all recognised by ILM and other ILM qualifications. PMA offers an education and workshop training programme focussed on Excellence in Practice Management.

Definitions and examples of plagiarism, collusion and cheating that might occur in connection with qualifications at PMA centres. The process for preventing, investigating and dealing with Plagiarism, Collusion and Cheating along with the need for a formal declaration of authenticity by the learner.

Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating which applies to all assessments and or examinations. There are many definitions but they all have in common the idea of taking someone else’s intellectual effort and presenting it as your own.

PMAs definition is that plagiarism is the unacknowledged incorporation into a learner’s work or materials derived from published or unpublished work by another person and presented as if it were the learner’s own work. A struct interpretation could include the original ideas as well as the actual words, produced by another. Unless the learner has submitted an extensive and unacknowledged paraphrases of another person’s writings PMA will not include paraphrasing under the definition or plagiarism.

Published work includes books, articles and materials found on the Internet. Examples of unpublished work could be course notes, a piece of work previously submitted be another learner, or work about to be submitted by another learner, or perhaps copied a work colleague or family member.
Some assignments require learners to work together at the planning stage. However, group assessment is not allowed so the resulting assignments must be submitted individually and it is essential that each is then ratified as being the learners own work.

Examples of Plagiarism

  • Extract or copying and pasting word for word from another person’s work, published or unpublished, without using quotations marks and acknowledgement of the original source.
  • Use of diagrams, images, course notes without acknowledgement of the source, paraphrasing, summarising extensively the work of another or using their ideas without an acknowledgement of the source.
  • Copying or using the work of another learner – past or present – without that person’s knowledge or agreement.
  • Purchasing essays to submit them as your own work.
  • Downloading content including text, images, diagrams etc from the Internet without acknowledgement of
    the source.

Learners are required to present their own work to demonstrate knowledge and understanding, therefore references to other sources should be limited. As indicated above copying from other sources is deemed plagiarism.

Collusion and Cheating
Within PMA programme we consider Collusion to have taken place if two or more learners use materials/content which they have not created themselves. PMA appreciates in some circumstances learners may work together on projects, however we expect learners to write up the assignment individually and reflect on their own learning from completion of the joint project. Any materials shared within the project must be acknowledged in order to avoid plagiarism and where possible content should be created independently to avoid this occurring.

Cheating is an attempt to deceive the PMA assessors, examiners and or external verifiers and includes:

  • Providing or receiving information about the content of an examination before it takes place, except when allowed by the PMA e.g. case study materials issued before an examination.
  • Centres giving excessive help to learners in writing an assignment, or writing any of it for them
  • Impersonating or trying to impersonate a learner or attempting to procure a third party to impersonate
  • Learners using books, notes, instrument, computer files or other materials or aids that are not permitted –
    (usually relevant only to examinations and online tests)
  • Assistance or the communication of information by one learner to another in an assessment where this is not permitted – (usually relevant only to examinations and online tests)
  • Copying or reading from the work of another or from another learner’s books, notes, instruments, computer files or other materials or aids
  • Offering a bribe of any kind to an invigilator, examiner or other person connected with assessment
  • Any attempt to tamper with assignment or examination scripts after they have been submitted by learners
  • Fabricating or falsifying data or results by individual learners or groups of learners.

Because of the nature of cheating, this mainly applies to examinations and online tests.

Learner Cheating Definitions:
If learners are undertaking examinations and break the rules applied at the time of the examination, they will be considered as cheating.

This Policy therefore applies to assessments submitted for all PMA qualifications and programmes, whether regulated or unregulated and whether assessed by the PMA. The Policy also applies to examinations and online tests as well as assignment tasks that are completed independently by the learner in their own time.

Examples of Cheating

  • Presenting group work within assessment without acknowledgement of the source ➢ Use of diagrams and or images without acknowledgement of the source
  • Taking notes into an examination, unless it is an open book examination
  • Impersonation
  • Offering a bribe of any kind to an invigilator, a member of the PMA staff
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain secure/assessment material
  • Submission of work purchased from a third party – for example from an essay or assignment writing service
  • Introduction of unauthorised material into the examination room
  • Disruptive, violent, or offensive behaviour
  • Any form of communication with other learners during an examination (written, verbal, gestures, expressions, pointing etc etc)
  • Failure to abide by the instructions of an invigilator or supervisor
  • Copying answers during an examination.

If a PMA assessor suspects plagiarism, collusion or cheating in a learner/s assignment or script, they will check to confirm the learner/s have signed declarations of authenticity and if they have reported to the relevant assessor. Once the assessor’s findings have been verified the incident will be reported to the PMA IQA, who will review the information that has been discovered, evaluate the findings and complete an investigation report.

If plagiarism, collusion, or cheating is evident the IQA will communicate this back to the Assessor then to the learner. No marks will be attributed to any piece of work under suspicion.

The PMA Lead IQA will submit the internal report and a copy of the result sheet to the PMA Head of Education who will report the Incident to ILM

PMA Process: plagiarism, collusion or cheating detected by the PMA
The following applies to all Learner work at the point of final submission for assessment. The learner will sign a declaration of authenticity that all of the work is their own – and where necessary all source and other work is referenced correctly.

If the PMA identify plagiarism, collusion or cheating in a learner’s work prior to being externally verified the PMA Head of Education, PMA will conduct an investigation.

The PMA will immediately report all cases of cheating to ILM with the evidence, these will be submitted with any supporting evidence to ILM Regulation by emailing This will be done within 20 working days of the incident being identified. The evidence will be submitted in the format of the report template in Appendix 2.

The investigation report and evidence will then be reviewed by ILM and the outcome communicated to the PMA and other relevant parties no more than 15 working days after receipt of the final investigation report.

Process – where PMA suspect Plagiarism

  1. Plagiarism identified & learner(s) informed
  2. Report to ILM Regulation within 20 days Lead investigator appointed by ILM Regulation
  3. Investigation reviewed and outcome provided to centre
  4. Investigation undertaken and returned with evidence to ILM Regulation by the deadline set
  5. Action Plan set by ILM Quality & Compliance Manager to mitigate any further incidents
  6. Actions completed by the centre by the deadline given Quality and Compliance Manager reviews and sign off all actions

Process: cheating detected during online/paper based examinations
If cheating is suspected during an examination, the PMA has a duty to complete an internal investigation report and inform ILM. If cheating is evident then ILM Regulation will communicate this to the PMA. No marks will be attributed to any piece of work under suspicion.

The PMA will submit an internal report to ILM’s Regulation department by emailing and ILM Regulation will inform ILM Quality and Compliance Manager and an appointed External Verifier.

ILM Regulation will then commence an investigation, and ILM will appoint the assessor. The process below will then be followed.

Process – where PMA suspect Plagiarism

  1. Cheating is identified by invigilator/centre staff/learners
  2. Report to ILM Regulation
  3. Investigation will be completed by the PMA or ILM staff
  4. Evidence reviewed & Action Plan set by ILM Quality & Compliance Manager to mitigate any further incidents

Appendix 1 – Submission Cover Sheet

Instructions to the learner:
It is a regulatory requirement that every assessment submission is authenticated as the work of the named learner whether submitted to the centre or the ILM Assessment Service.

Therefore a cover sheet, or an alternative form of formal declaration of authenticity must be completed with each assessment that is submitted. Any submission that does not carry a cover sheet or a formal declaration of authenticity will not be verified and will result in the centre undergoing a Malpractice Investigation.

Appendix 2
PMA Centre Investigation Report
Please refer to the guidance contained within the policy document.

Notification contacts

Name Email address Phone number Mobile number
Ian Jones
01606 44945 07880 788985
Austin Ambrose
07726 921685
Cathryn Lyon
07964 705839

Revisions control

Date Summary of changes made Changes made by (Name)
10th Nov 2017 Plagiarism, Cheating and Collusion Policy created Cathryn Lyon
14th Nov 2017 Plagiarism, Cheating and Collusion Policy reviewed and formatted Ian Jones
16th Nov 2017 Plagiarism, Cheating and Collusion Policy agreed with PMA Directors & ILM PMA Directors
26th Nov 2017 Process ammended and submission declaration added Ian Jones & Cathryn Lyon
1st Dec 2017 Learners cheating, plagiarism and collusion investigation processes amended Ian Jones