TAFE SA aims to create an intellectual environment where academic honesty, critical judgment, and independent scholarly learning are well understood and highly valued by staff, students, employers, schools, and the community.


Academic integrity is like an extension of your own personal trustworthiness and principles. When you graduate from TAFE SA, employers and professional organisations want to know you have met the standards of the qualification you have been awarded. Doing something that undermines the academic integrity of your learning or TAFE SA could affect your reputation in the future.

Group of happy students sitting under a banner which says integrity

What is Academic Integrity?

Academic Integrity means acting with honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage in your learning, even when faced with difficult situations.

You can show academic integrity by:

  • Working independently and submitting your own work
  • Always acting ethically or doing the 'right thing'
  • Referring to someone else’s ideas or words by acknowledging them correctly through the referencing system for your course (e.g., Harvard Referencing)
  • Following copyright and privacy laws when using information.


What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic misconduct is acting dishonestly in an assessment task or examination in order to gain an unfair advantage for yourself or other students.

Any form of cheating means that you could miss important professional knowledge and practice needed for you to succeed in your career.

Academic misconduct includes:

  • Plagiarism - Intentionally or unintentionally presenting someone else’s academic work or ideas as your own without acknowledging or referencing the true author or creator. It is a type of intellectual theft.
  • Collusion - A form of cheating where people work together in a deceitful or secretive way on an assessment task that is meant to be completed individually.
  • Contract cheating - Engaging a third-party to undertake part or all of an assessment task or other academic work on your behalf or doing someone else’s work for them.
  • Bribery or coercion - Persuading someone to act for you by offering money or another bribe, or by using force or threats, in order to gain an academic advantage.
  • Fabrication or falsification of data - Altering or making untrue statements in an academic context e.g., falsifying academic records of attendance, participation or identity, or reports from a practicum or work placement; or changing data or other information that is not your own.


What do I do if I suspect someone is copying my work?

Have a private conversation with your lecturer who will help decide what to do next. If there is a case, they will help you to find evidence and make a formal report.


What do I do if an external organisation offers to do my work or offers to pay me if I share my previous assignments?

This is known as contract cheating. It is illegal in Australia and it’s very important to report this organisation or website to your lecturer.

These organisations have been known to blackmail students who pay for their services, threatening to report the cheating to the university or training organisation. It is really important you protect yourself through being honest and doing your own study and submitting your own work.


What happens if your lecturer or another student suspects you of academic misconduct?

If another student suspects you of academic misconduct, they may report this to a lecturer. The lecturer will then follow the Academic Integrity Procedure, which covers:

  • Determining the type of misconduct
  • Conducting an investigation and a student interview
  • Making a decision and choosing the appropriate outcome.


Help and Support

Please seek help if you are having difficulties that are affecting your study. Your lecturer is there to assist you.  Additionally, you can contact Student Services who offer counselling services and other support.



Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) 2021, What is academic integrity? TEQSA, viewed 23 September 2021, https://www.teqsa.gov.au/what-academic-integrity.

La Trobe University 2021, Academic Integrity, La Trobe University, 15 June, viewed 23 September 2021, https://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/admin/academic-integrity.

University of South Australia 2021, Academic Integrity Module, University of South Australia, viewed 23 September 2021, https://lo.unisa.edu.au/mod/book/view.php?id=252142&chapterid=39186.

Further Information

This page provides a summary of information (also available for download as a Fact Sheet). For more detail, please refer to the full Academic Policy and Procedure documents.


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