MTE Malpractice & Maladministration Procedure

Aim

This section sets out the procedure for investigating alleged malpractice and maladministration by providers, directors, course staff and Mountain Training England (MTE).

MTE considers maladministration to be any activity or practice which results in non-compliance of provider or MTE administrative requirements e.g. late submission of course reports.

MTE considers malpractice to be any activity or practice conducted by a provider or MTE which deliberately contravenes requirements and compromises the integrity of the training and assessment process. e.g. exceeding candidate/staff ratios.

MTE, providers and course staff may use the ‘Malpractice and Maladministration Procedure’ to report suspected malpractice or maladministration. In the case of a complaint arising from a candidate the ‘Complaints Procedure’ should be used.

Reporting suspected malpractice or maladministration

If course staff or Mountain Training staff suspects a provider of malpractice or maladministration they should report it immediately in writing to MTE.

If providers or course staff suspects MTE of malpractice or maladministration they should report it immediately to the Mountain Training UK CEO in writing.

All written reports should include (where possible):
  • Factual summary of what happened. This should clearly evidence why administration or practice contravenes conditions laid out in the quality manual.
  • Who the incident concerns (name of individual and their role)
  • If the complaint involves multiple/recurring issues then dated examples should be provided.
  • An acceptable potential resolution.
Mountain Training aim to acknowledge receipt within 3 days.

Responsibility for the investigation

Mountain Training will ensure that any individuals assigned to the investigation have the appropriate level of training and competence and they have had no previous involvement or personal interest in the matter. The Investigation Lead is named and the timescale is outlined for the malpractice/maladministration to be investigated.

Requests for anonymity will be respected by Mountain Training except where this is not possible for legal reasons.

Investigation

The Investigation Lead will seek to ascertain the key facts. To assist in this process the Investigation Lead will appoint an advisory panel consisting of two representatives, one each from two other national Mountain Training Boards. In most cases this will involve the technical staff from the other training boards; however each board will determine a suitable person to represent.

Normally cases are dealt with within 28 days of Mountain Training acknowledging receipt. Please note that in some cases the investigation may take longer; for example, if a provider visit is required. In such instances, all parties will be notified of any likely revised timescale.

The Investigation Leader reports on the case. This:
  • Outlines details of the case
  • Provides evidence to support any judgment e.g. written statements
  • Informs individuals that information may be, or has been, shared with other parties
  • Confirms any actions to be taken, if appropriate
  • Informs of the possible consequences
  • Provides individuals with an opportunity to consider and respond to the outcome
  • Informs of the ‘MTE Provider, director and course staff appeals procedure’ should they wish to appeal against the outcome
If it was an independent/third party who notified Mountain Training of the suspected or actual case of malpractice or maladministration, they will also be informed of the outcome.

Investigation Outcome

If the investigation confirms that malpractice or maladministration has taken place Mountain Training will consider the action to take to:
  • Minimize the risk to the integrity of Mountain Training now and in the future
  • Maintain public confidence in the delivery and awarding of qualifications
  • Discourage others from carrying out similar instances of malpractice or maladministration
  • Ensure there has been no gain from compromising standards
Although not exhaustive, as an investigation outcome, MTE may request:
  • Updated documentation/course notes sent to candidates
  • Evidence of current competence
  • Access to candidates to seek feedback on further course delivery
  • Additional visits to the provider to increase the level of support and/or monitoring
  • Specific course staff undergo additional training and/or scrutiny by Mountain Training
  • Specific staff not be involved in the delivery of Mountain Training qualifications
  • MTE suspends/removes provider and/or director approval
If the investigation concerns a member of MTE staff the report will be agreed with the Mountain Training UK CEO and appropriate internal disciplinary procedures will be implemented. Where a member of MTE’s staff is under investigation they may be suspended or moved to other duties until the investigation is complete.

In proven cases of malpractice and/or maladministration by a provider, MTE reserves the right to charge the provider or candidate for any reassessments and reissuing of certificates and/or additional moderation visits. The fees for this will be the current MTE’s prices for such activities at the time of the investigation.

The Investigation Lead will record any lessons learnt from the investigation and pass them onto the other national training board officers to help Mountain Training prevent the same instance of maladministration or malpractice from reoccurring.

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