Both the Independent Wine Education Guild (IWEG) and Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) have policies and procedures in place to protect WSET students and safeguard the integrity of WSET qualifications.
IWEG ensures compliance with IWEG ‘s and WSET’s policies through this malpractice and maladministration policy, which gives a framework for both us and you to identify, report and manage potential malpractice or maladministration.
Non-compliance with IWEG’s or WSET’S policies and procedures can fall into two distinct, but related, categories:
- Maladministration, where the non-compliance is generally unintentional, or the result of mistakes, carelessness, inexperience, or poor processes; and
- Malpractice where the non-compliance is intentional or the result of a negligent or reckless action without consideration of the consequences of the action.
Context is important and the line between maladministration or malpractice is not always clear. For example, maladministration incidents may become malpractice (e.g., if you fail to implement corrective measures, repeat the same or similar incident, or attempt to misrepresent or hide information during an investigation); or there may be mitigating factors that turn potential malpractice into maladministration. Though malpractice and maladministration are distinct concepts, they can shade into one another. Malpractice and maladministration are always case, context and fact specific. Both Approved Program Providers (APP) and students can commit malpractice and maladministration.
There are many ways that malpractice or maladministration could occur, including new ways we have not seen yet. But some examples of malpractice or maladministration include but are not limited to:
- Failure to adhere to WSET policies and procedures
- Cheating, or facilitating cheating, including the use of unauthorised devices or materials;
- Disruptive behaviour in an exam;
- Plagiarism of any nature by students;
- Impersonation (including forgery of signatures); and
- Unauthorised reading/amendment/copying/distribution of exam papers.
In general, we also expect that both IWEG staff, instructors and students should treat others and be always treated professionally and respectfully.
We will treat inappropriate behaviour including verbal, written or physical abuse, persistent or unrealistic demands, or threats that cause stress to staff and instructors as misconduct and may report student misconduct to WSET as necessary.
Reporting and Investigation of Malpractice or Maladministration
As an APP, we aim to ensure compliance with WSET policies and IWEG policies and will keep records of potential or actual malpractice or maladministration by you, our students, or our staff.
We are required to notify WSET immediately of any non-compliance issues that could be malpractice or maladministration, so that WSET can investigate the non-compliance under their own malpractice and maladministration policy.
We ask that you also raise any concerns or non-compliance issues that may be malpractice or maladministration with IWEG as soon as possible by following the process outlined in our complaints policy.
During WSET’s investigation, they may reach out to IWEG or to you directly to request further information or conduct an interview. Please respond to any requests promptly and honestly.
If WSET identifies malpractice or maladministration, they will consider its impact and may apply sanctions. WSET will take all reasonable steps to ensure the sanctions do not disadvantage uninvolved students affected by malpractice or maladministration. However, in some cases, they may need to disallow or withhold results and/or certificates.
WSET will consider all relevant information on a case-by-case basis, balancing the facts with potential or actual effects, and against the seriousness of the sanctions against those effects.
WSET records all malpractice and maladministration incidents for both APPs and students. If WSET determines that a student has committed malpractice or maladministration, they may apply one or any of the following sanctions:
- Written warning: the student is issued with a written warning that if the offence is repeated within a set time period, then further specified sanctions will be applied.
- Exam result declared null and void: a student’s exam result is disallowed. This may include invalidation and recall of a certificate already issued.
- Disqualification from a qualification: The student is disqualified from participating in the concerned qualification with immediate effect and further excluded from participating in any further WSET qualifications for a period of 12 months. This includes access to WSET materials.
- Student Disqualification: The learner is disqualified from participating in any courses or assessments leading to WSET qualifications. This includes access to WSET materials.
- Disqualification from use of WSET certified logos and postnominals: actions bringing WSET into disrepute may result in the student or graduate being barred from use of WSET postnominals and WSET certified logos.
If you wish to appeal penalties or sanctions WSET has imposed due to malpractice or maladministration, please follow the procedures laid out in WSET’s complaints policy.