Academic Institution

FCB Workplace Law

Industry Focus


Project Team:

Workplace investigation into academic misconduct.

The background

Our client is a leading vocational and higher education provider. In 2014, an academic made a formal complaint against another academic in the same business unit alleging dishonest practices and fraudulent alteration of marks assigned to students.

FCB Workplace Law was instructed to undertake a legally privileged investigation to determine if the allegations of academic dishonest could be substantiated and to determine if there had been non-compliance with the institution’s academic and human resources policies and procedures.

The approach

We drafted terms of reference to define the scope of the investigation and over the course of a week, assigned a solicitor to investigate thoroughly the allegations which included an efficient process of interviews with the academics involved and their representatives. The investigative process also involved reviewing the student assessment results the subject of the complaint.

Following interviews, a legally privileged investigation report was prepared by FCB containing a summary of the allegations and the evidence, findings and recommendations for consideration by the institution’s management.

The outcome

A legally privileged investigation report was swiftly was provided to the Executive Director of Human Resources, which after a detailed analysis of the allegations, and testing of the evidence determined that the allegations of academic dishonesty and fraudulent alteration of student assessments were unsubstantiated.

The efficiency with which the investigation was conducted by FCB enabled normal working relationships at the institution to resume within a short period.