IME Policies

Organisation Structure

Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations

Recognition of Prior Learning

Policy and Procedures for Assessment and Internal Verification

Equality Strategy

Procedure Governing Allegations of Academic Misconduct

Assessment Appeals Procedure

Complaints Procedure

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

1.
Organisation Structure

The main aims of IME are to develop and deliver foundation level qualifications (HE Level 0 / FE Level 3) to increase educational opportunities for students from the UK and around the world to enable them to prepare, primarily, for entry to universities, either in the UK, located in the country of residence, or in third party countries. The initial focus is on entry to degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, associated bio-medical sciences, nursing and allied health professions.

IME is managed by two directors and a team of Associate Lecturers (AL):

Director of Education: Dr Keith Burn PhD

Director of Medicine: Dr Mohan Pawa MBBS

Additionally there will be two non-executive directors appointed who will meet with the directors on a minimum of a bi-annual basis to provide commentary on progress and development. It is anticipated to be from the field of medicine or science and the second will have experience of higher education.

Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations

i.At interview, enrolment or on-course, when students declare a Learning Difficulty or Disability (LDD), each case is dealt with on an individual basis. At this point students are requested to give permission to be included in a centrally held database that has restricted access to those who have an interest in the student’s progression.

ii.Any prior recommendations are noted onto the database e.g. note taker required for an exam, e.g. 10 minutes extra time for exam; a two week extension for coursework.
Those who have an evidenced medical condition that is not covered by mitigation prior to an exam/assessment date may also be considered.

iii.Dr. Pawa will make decisions and liaise with the relevant academic group with regard to implementing adjustments for coursework and exams and update the database accordingly. The database will be updated continuously as and when students declare.

iv.Dr. Pawa communicates the decision to the student and where adjustments are to be made, these are also communicated at this time.

v.Students may appeal using the academic appeal procedure.

vi.The database is held centrally with restricted access.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning Policy

1.All applicants to the Diploma in Medical Studies course will be expected to hold relevant entry qualifications gained through their formal education in addition to evidence of competence in English through an international assessment exercise.

2.As the qualification is designed to build upon and further develop existing academic attainment it is not anticipated that applicants will have other / alternate experiences that would warrant Recognition of Prior Learning.

3.Evidence from prior achievement and learning will be welcomed and will be valued for the contribution this makes in terms of an applicant’s potential to succeed in the qualification.

4.All applicants will be invited to take part in a professional discussion / interview with senior International Medical Education staff.

5.Exemption from any of the modules that are integral to the qualification is not permitted.

Policy and Procedures for Assessment and Internal Verification

Contents
1. Assessment
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Initial Assessment
1.3 Formative Assessment
1.4 Summative Assessment
1.5 Feedback
1.6 Procedure for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities

2. Assessors
2.1 Role and responsibilities of assessor
2.2 Judging evidence against criteria to make assessment decisions
2.3 Providing feedback and support to candidates on assessment decisions
2.4 Contributing to internal quality improvement process
2.5 Recording assessment activity

3. Internal Verification
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Role and responsibilities of internal verifier
3.3 Responsibilities
3.4 Sampling assessments
3.5 Standardising assessment judgements

4. Appeals Procedure

1.Assessment

1.1 Introduction
This document sets out the procedure for assessment and internal verification of assessments and assessment decisions. The roles and responsibilities of assessors and internal verifiers are specified in order that each has a clear understanding of the integral parts they play in ensuring the effective, valid and reliable practices can clearly be demonstrated to have been undertaken. Quality of practice and procedure is a developmental process and this policy will be reviewed annually in light of feedback received from AIM subsequent to their external moderation procedures.

1.2 Initial Assessment
Well-planned and executed initial assessment is integral to the induction process.
Initial assessment commences prior to or at the enrolment stage with a pre-course exercise to establish learners’, experience and competence with use of language and to assist with assessing their level of motivation. It may be part of the “getting to know you” activity in induction. Written feedback will be provided to the applicant with advice and guidance as appropriate and pertinent to the resultant evidence.
Initial assessment:establishes the existing skill and knowledge levels of learners;
may establish how each learner learns;
introduces learners to some of the skills and knowledge they will need to acquire on the programme:
provides information to help tutors plan the programme;
can provide a helpful introduction to assessment in a non-threatening way;
aids identification of support mechanisms that may be required to ensure successful completion of the qualification.

1.3 Formative Assessment
This takes place throughout the course and involves checking that learning is taking
place including:
finding out what knowledge and skills the learners have acquired;
helping to plan the next steps; enabling the tutor to give feedback; encouraging motivation;
helping the tutor to modify the course if necessary; enabling learners to identify what they have learned and what they need to learn next

1.4 Summative Assessment
This is used at the end of a course/unit/module to:
enable learners to recognise their achievements; justify awarding a qualification or other recognition of achievement; help the tutor review current delivery and plan future courses;
guide learners through their next steps.

1.5 Feedback
Learners appreciate feedback, which should always be given after assessment. It is a vital
part of the learning process and may be given verbally or in writing.

1.6 Procedures for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities:
Assessment should be a fair test of learners’ knowledge and what they are able to do.
However, for some learners the usual format of assessment may not be suitable. Based on evidence from the initial assessment tutors should ensure that the needs of individual learners are anticipated. Therefore, reasonable adjustments must be made in advance of any assessment activities, as well as during the assessment process, so that the equity, validity and reliability of the assessments can be assured eg adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in larger fonts, use of coloured paper or other identified support needs.

2. Assessors
2.1 Role and responsibilities of assessor
An assessor must:
have relevant qualifications, knowledge and/or experience in the subject area being assessed;
have relevant experience in the assessment process and undertake appropriate training;
ensure that learners are fully briefed on assessment procedures and methods,including appeals procedures; involve learners in the assessment planning process; provide constructive feedback to learners on assessments, discuss targets and areas for development on an individual basis;
record outcomes of assessment using appropriate documentation; follow agreed procedures for recording, storing, reporting and confidentiality of information; develop plans for assessing competence with learners; judge evidence criteria to make assessment decisions; provide feedback and support to learners on assessment decisions; contribute to the internal quality assurance process.

The methods selected will, in general, be agreed in advance, be valid,
reliable, safe and manageable, and suitable to the needs of the candidate and the material being assessed.

2.2 Judging evidence against criteria to make assessment decisions
The assessor should:
ensure that the work being assessed is the learner’s own work; make fair, safe, valid and reliable assessment decisions based on the agreed
standards; apply any agreed special arrangements to make sure the assessment is fair; make a record of the outcomes of assessments by using an agreed recording system.

2.3 Providing feedback and support to candidates on assessment decisions
The assessor should:
give learners feedback at an appropriate time and place; give learners feedback in a constructive and encouraging way, which meets their needs and is appropriate to their level of confidence; clearly explain assessment decisions; provide advice and encouragement to learners where it is necessary for them to re-submit work or to provide more evidence; follow the agreed complaints and appeals procedures if candidates disagree with the assessment decision.

2.4 Contributing to the internal quality improvement process
The assessor should:
ensure assessment records are accurate and up-to-date; contribute to standardisation arrangements so that assessment decisions are in line with others; contribute to the agreed quality improvement process.

2.5 Recording assessment activity
Assessment decisions should be recorded using current documentation available.

3 Internal Verification
3.1 Introduction
The internal verification process establishes and maintains the quality of assessment for
internally assessed, externally accredited qualifications. The process provides the
link between internal assessment and external verification systems and plays a key role in the continual Quality Monitoring and Improvement process.
Internal verification ensures that learners receive fair and equal access to assessment, which
is free from discrimination and is made by well-informed and well-supported assessors. It
also ensures that the standard of assessment remains consistent across time and candidates
with respect to individual assessors, and that there is consistency and standardisation
between assessors.

3.2 Role and responsibilities of internal verifier
The internal verifier must:
understand the process of assessment and verification within the context of
quality improvement; have a relevant expertise and knowledge which can be related to the
subject/exercise/task to be verified; ensure, where relevant, health, safety and environmental protection procedures are applied; apply and monitor equal opportunities and access procedures throughout all assessment procedures; have a clear understanding of the standards to which the candidate is being assessed; work with others to ensure the standardisation of assessment practice and outcomes; follow agreed procedures for the recording, storing, reporting and
confidentiality of information.

3.3 Responsibilities
The internal verifier has responsibility for the following:
carrying out and evaluating internal assessment and quality improvement systems; supporting assessors; monitoring the quality of assessors’ performance; meeting external quality improvement requirements; ensure arrangements for carrying out internal verification, recording and reporting outcomes meet AIM Awards requirements; standardisation of assessments. is carried out

3.4 Sampling assessments
The internal verifier must ensure that the sampling strategy:
meets the requirements of the IME Internal Moderation Policy; covers all assessors, candidates, units, assessment methods and locations for each qualification; is an on-going process; confirms that evidence presented is valid, sufficient, authentic, current, reliable and consistent; ensures that internal verifiers do not verify evidence that they have assessed.

3.5 Standardising assessment judgements
The internal verifier must ensure that:
consistency and reliability of assessment is maintained; records of standardisation meetings/exercises are kept; feedback is provided to assessors; any issues identified with individual candidates are discussed with them and appropriate action taken.

3 Appeals Procedure

3.1 See International Medical Education Appeals Policy document

Policy dated July 2017

Equality Strategy

1. Strategy statement

Equality is integral to everything we do and we are committed to ensuring that all who are employed by, are studying with, or are associated with International Medical Education (IME) are assured of the same opportunities and that we address their needs and aspirations in a similar manner.

We will achieve this by:

1.Knowing and engaging with our students, staff and colleagues and understanding their needs
2.Delivering excellent, responsive services and customer care
3.Being exemplary employers reflecting the values of an inclusive society and diverse workforce.

2. Objectives

Our vision and values for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will be communicated clearly to everyone:-

To students from enrolment, through induction, lessons, tutorials and all aspects of their student life
To staff, partners and colleagues throughout their involvement with IME

IME will strive to:

Challenge and eliminate any discrimination where it is perceived to occur or reported;
promote equality of opportunity through all documentation and interaction with all groups: students, staff, colleagues, external agencies;
foster good relations between different groups;
ensure that people have trust and confidence in each other and in our organisation through the way we deal with incidents that contravene our equality strategy

3. Monitoring

We will monitor our progress through annual reviews of all incidents, their management and outcomes which will be used to inform our future actions.

Procedure Governing Allegations of Academic Misconduct

1
Background

The Purposes of the Procedure is:
1.1 To ensure that International Medical Education (IME) meets its obligations to the awarding bodies and its academic partners
1.2 To maintain the academic standards of the qualifications for which IME has responsibilities;
1.3 To maintain equity of treatment of all IME’s learners.

2
Underlying Considerations
2.1 IME has contractual obligations under civil law to uphold the procedures which the relevant awarding bodies have laid down to maintain the robustness and fairness of their awards. If members of staff act or collude to subvert these, then they place IME in a situation where it is in breach of its obligations and where IME may have its status as a centre for the awarding body’s qualification withdrawn.
2.2 Secondly, certain serious breaches of awarding body regulations may constitute a criminal offence.
2.3 Thirdly, misconduct by staff in relation to awarding body regulations may constitute professional misconduct.
2.4 Misconduct by students, either cheating directly for their own benefit, or colluding with another or others, is not only a breach of the awarding bodies’ regulations, but is also a breach of IME’s disciplinary policy.
2.5 It is the obligation of any member of IME, staff or student, to inform the Director of Education in respect of which the offence occurs, if s/he has evidence that misconduct has occurred in regard to any qualification.
.
3
General principles
3.1 All work submitted for assessment must be the student’s own work
3.2 It is an offence for any student to be guilty of, or party to, collusion, plagiarism, the fabrication of research results, or any other act which may mislead the examiners about the development and authorship of work presented in assessments, including misleading examiners about the source of information included in an assessment
3.3 All work must fully acknowledge, in an approved format, all sources of information used in preparing the work being submitted. This includes acknowledging all written and electronic sources. Where work is produced under examination room conditions it will be sufficient to acknowledge the source without providing a full reference.
3.4 Students must not take notes or other means of accessing information into an examination room unless the rules explicitly state that this is allowed.
3.5 The development of academic skills is an important part of student learning. It is recognized that students new to UK higher education may be inexperienced, and may need time to develop good academic referencing skills. For this reason, students are strongly recommended to refer to harvardgenerator.com.

Definitions
4
Assessment
Assessment includes any submission made by a student for which marks contributing to a course are awarded, including those courses which are marked pass/fail. This includes oral, electronic, physical and written material, including examinations.

4.1
Collusion
Collusion is the preparation or production of work for assessment jointly with another person or persons unless explicitly permitted by the examiners. An act of collusion is understood to encompass those who actively assist others as well as those who derive benefit from others. Where joint preparation is permitted by the examiners but joint production is not, the submitted work must be produced solely by the student making the submission. Where joint production or joint preparation and production of work for assessment is specifically permitted, this must be published in the appropriate course documentation.

4.2
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the use, without acknowledgement, of the intellectual work of other people, and the act of representing the ideas or discoveries of another as one’s own in written work submitted for assessment. To copy sentences, phrases or even striking expressions without acknowledgement of the source (either by inadequate citation or failure to indicate verbatim quotations), is plagiarism; to paraphrase without acknowledgement is likewise plagiarism. Where such copying or paraphrase has occurred the mere mention of the source in the bibliography shall not be deemed sufficient acknowledgement; each such instance must be referred specifically to its source. Verbatim quotations must be either in inverted commas, or indented, and directly acknowledged.

4.3
Personation
Personation is where someone other than the student prepares the work submitted for assessment. This includes purchasing essays from essay banks, commissioning someone else to write an assessment or asking someone else to sit an examination.

4.4
Misconduct in unseen examinations
Misconduct in unseen examinations includes having access, or attempting to gain access, during an examination, to any books, memoranda, notes, unauthorised calculators, or any other material, except such as may have been supplied by the invigilator or authorised by an official of IME or university bodies. It also includes aiding or attempting to aid another student, or obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from another student, or any other communication within the Examination Room. All instances of plagiarism, collusion, fabrication of results, or misconduct in an unseen exam are serious failures to respect the integrity and fairness of the examination process.

4.5
Fabrication of results
Fabrication of results or observations in practical or project work

4.6
Identifying and classifying Academic Misconduct
The IME assessment procedures are designed to enable the identification of plagiarism, personation and collusion, and IME may make use of electronic means in reviewing student work. All allegations of misconduct are referred by means of a written report to the Director of Education who shall appoint an Investigating Officer. If upon reviewing the case the Investigating Officer has sufficient reason to believe that misconduct has taken place, an investigation into the case will be held. The Investigating Officer will determine whether the alleged misconduct is a Minor or Major breach of the regulations.
5
Procedures for reporting allegations of Academic Misconduct
5.1
Examinations
If, during an examination, an invigilator believes that a student has committed an offence under these Regulations, he or she shall inform the student, and endorse the student’s answer book with his or her initials, the time, and a brief note of the circumstances. Any prohibited material will be removed and retained until the incident has been investigated. The student shall then be permitted to continue, in a new answer book. A written report of the incident shall be made to the Director of Education by the invigilator or examiner concerned, as soon as possible and normally within five working days of the incident.

6
All Assessments
6.1 Where an internal examiner establishes to their satisfaction that there is sufficient evidence of academic misconduct, they shall provide a written report to the Director of Education as soon as possible after the alleged offence has been identified.
6.2 Where a student makes an allegation of academic misconduct against another student, the student shall report the incident to the Director of Education. If the Director of Education establishes to their satisfaction this will be dealt with as per 4.6.

7
Written Report into Suspected Academic Misconduct
The written report into the suspected Academic Misconduct shall:
7.1 in the case of an allegation relating to an examination, state the time and date when, and the place where, the academic misconduct is alleged to have occurred; and, in the case of an allegation relating to coursework, the date when the internal examiner identified reasonable grounds for the allegation of academic misconduct;
7.2 specify the full name and the student ID number of the student to whom the allegation relates;
7.3 be in writing and signed by the person making it;
7.4 state the evidence on which the allegation is based and be accompanied by any relevant evidence which is available;
7.5 provide details of the assessment including the coursework or examination questions, the weighting of the item of assessed work and any information provided to students concerning academic conventions and practices.
7.6 provide the current student transcript
7.7 All of the above documentation must be completed and passed to the Director of Education within 5 working days of identifying the potential offence.
8
Minor Misconduct
8.1 Minor misconduct is where a small proportion of a piece of assessed work is found to be plagiarized or has been subject to minor collusion (for example, where two students work together on producing a small section of an assessment; or where the misconduct occurs in one of several small components of assessment), or where minor examination room infringements occur.
8.2 Misconduct is more likely to be considered ‘minor’ when a student is inexperienced and the misconduct relates mainly to the poor use of referencing protocols.
8.3 Multiple instances of minor misconduct are likely to lead to a charge of ‘major’ misconduct.
8.4 In the case of non-assessed work which contains material that would be subject to misconduct procedures were the work to be assessed, and such potential misconduct is identified, students will be referred to the published guidance on avoiding plagiarism and may receive advice as to future conduct. A ‘notice of advice’, which should include an indication of the guidance provided, may be held on the student’s file. The student will be notified if such a notice is retained. The notice of advice may be used only to establish that appropriate guidance has been provided, and may not be used to establish the extent of guilt should subsequent cases arise.

9
Major Misconduct
9.1 Major misconduct is where a significant proportion of a piece of work is found to be plagiarized, where there is substantial collusion or fabrication of results or abuse of examination room protocols, where there is evidence of serial minor misconduct, or where personation has occurred.
9.2 Students found guilty of submitting work which they describe as their own but which has been produced on their behalf by another person, or found guilty of soliciting another person to undertake an assessment on their behalf (for example by commissioning someone to write an essay for them), or of undertaking to solicit or prepare an assessment on behalf of someone else shall be guilty of personation. Students guilty of personation are likely to receive the most severe penalty available.
10
Investigation of Minor Misconduct
If the Investigating Officer determines that the breach is minor, the case will be referred to the Director of Education for consideration. The Director of Educaton will review the case material and interview the student within 10 working days of the case being referred by the investigating officer. The Director of Education may dismiss the case or may apply a penalty as set out below.

11
Penalties to be applied: Minor Misconduct
The following penalties are available to the Director of Education or Misconduct Panel:
a) A caution (usually reserved for a first offence where improvements to referencing would be sufficient to avoid a charge)
b) Reduce the mark for the assessment by n%, short of causing module failure
11.2 In all cases of plagiarism the student will be required to attend an academic practice workshop
11.3 The Director of Education will normally inform the student either of the penalty to be imposed, or of the dismissal of the case, at the end of the hearing (or else in writing as soon as possible thereafter, and no later than 5 working days).
Note: If the work is not of pass standard and the overall module does not achieve a pass mark, the student must resit/resubmit/retake (according to their current standing).
12
Investigation of Major Misconduct
If the Investigating Officer determines that the breach is Major, the case will be put before a Misconduct Panel. The composition of Misconduct Panels is given below. The following is a summary of the procedure:
12.1 The student will be notified of the time and place of the hearing, and copied the initial report along with any evidence collated, at least five days in advance of the hearing. A copy of these regulations will also be provided;
12.2 The student can be accompanied at the hearing by a member of staff or another student from the course
12.3 The student is entitled to attend misconduct hearings but may ask a representative to attend on their behalf in their absence, or they may submit a written statement. Students and their representatives may appear by Skype if preferred. Misconduct hearings can proceed in the student’s absence unless the Panel decides their presence is key to reaching a conclusion;
12.4 The Misconduct Panel will not consider the student’s intentions when determining whether academic misconduct has actually occurred. It may consider intent when determining a penalty;
12.5 If the student is found guilty, the Misconuct Panel will normally inform the student of the penalty to be imposed at the end of the hearing (or else in writing as soon as possible thereafter).
12.6 if found guilty by the Panel the student can appeal against the decision within 21 days of learning of the Panel’s decision (see below for further information).
12.7 If found guilty of misconduct the student will be penalised more severely than those who simply did not submit a piece of work.
12.8 The penalties that may be applied vary depending on whether the misconduct is found to be minor or major.
13
Major Misconduct Panel Composition
The Director of Education shall appoint two Academics and assign one member as Chair, to investigate all allegations.
No person shall be eligible to be a member of the Panel who has:
any responsibility for the teaching or assessment of the module in question; or,
been involved in a previous hearing of the same allegation or a previous hearing involving the same student. (This does not apply to procedures to consider new evidence relating to the same case.)

14
Penalties to be applied: Major Misconduct
The following penalties, which may be applied singly or in combination, are available only to a formal Misconduct Panel:
14.1 Reduce the mark for the assessment component to the pass mark
14.2 Require the student to resit/resubmit/retake (according to their current standing) the assessment component (or equivalent) to pass level. Module mark capped at Pass.

15
Appeal procedure
Appeals against the decision of the Academic Misconduct Panel are governed by the Academic Appeals Procedure.

Assessment Appeals Procedure

1
Background

1.1
The procedure applies to decisions on assessments made by lecturers.

1.2
A candidate may not lodge an appeal on the grounds of dissatisfaction with the design, curriculum or delivery (teaching, departmental support, etc) of a course.

1.3
It is important to ensure that the deliberations and decisions of assessors, and any consequences of such decisions are dealt with strictly in relation to assessment.

2
Grounds for Appeal
2.1
A request for a review of an assessment decision may be made on one or more of the following grounds:
(1) that a candidate had submitted evidence of mitigating circumstances as specified in the course handbook but these were not considered under mitigation review
(2) that the mitigation reviewer was not aware of mitigating circumstances affecting the candidate’s performance because the candidate had been for valid reasons unable to bring them to the attention of the reviewer before the decision was reached.
The student will have to show valid reason why the mitigation procedure was not followed.
(3) that the assessment procedures were not followed in accordance with the regulations resulting in an error in the candidate’s assessment;
(4) that some other material irregularity had led to a breach of the procedures resulting in a decision detrimental to the student.

2.2
These are the only grounds for appeal. There is no right of appeal against
assessment decisions which are matters of academic judgement.

3
The Procedure for Appeal

3.1
It is the student’s responsibility to choose whether to appeal, the grounds upon which
they do so and the evidence they decide to present.

3.2
A student, who wishes to appeal against a decision of an assessment must write to
the Director of Education to invoke the Academic Appeals Procedure within 6 weeks of
the date of publication of the results.

3.3
Where a student wishes to appeal against a mitigation decision they must write to the Director of Education to invoke the Academic Appeals Procedure within 3 weeks of receipt of the decision from the mitigation review.

3.4
A request for a review must state the decision concerned, the grounds (i.e. one or more of the acceptable grounds given above) and be accompanied by documents that are
evidence for the case on these grounds.

3.5
The decision to proceed with such a request will only be taken if it has been established that:
the case is based, prima facie, on additional information about a candidate’s personal circumstances or
on evidence of procedural irregularity; and
is not one which challenges the academic judgement of the assessor

3.6
This decision should normally be made within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal
from the student, and be advised to them in writing.
It is the appellant’s obligation to provide the evidence, it is not the duty of the appeals’ adjudicator. Her/his decision must be based only on the evidence provided and the case made by the appellant.

3.7
In the case of the student providing unequivocal evidence supporting the appeal, the Director of Education is authorised to take Chair’s Action to uphold the appeal without a hearing being convened.

4
The Function of the Appeals Adjudicator

4.1
The Appeals Adjudicator will consider appeals against assessment decisions of lecturers and assessors and of mitigation claims. It will establish whether there is, prima facie, a justified case of appeal and if so to consider whether
1.to uphold the decision of the lecturer / assessor / mitigation
2. to overturn the decision of the lecturer / assessor / mitigation
3. to require the lecturer / assessor / mitigation whose decision has been challenged, to reconsider that decision.

5
The Constitution of an Appeals Panel

5.1
The membership of the Assessment Appeals Panel shall be:
as Chair, the Director of Education or his nominee who has not previously
been involved in the assessment decision
an internal moderator who has not previously been involved in the
assessment decision;
an external academic adjudicator

Note
Any potential member who has been involved in teaching, assessing, counselling or advising an appellant will be ineligible to participate in hearing the case of that appellant.

6
Convening of Assessment Appeals Panel

6.1
The appellant may or may not be present in person or by e-conferencing, and may be accompanied by one person of his/her choosing. If the appellant is unable to appear, the appeal will be held in the appellant’s absence.

The Assessment Appeals Panel and/or the appellant may summon to appear any other person(s) whom they may reasonably consider to be a material witness.

7
Conduct of Assessment Appeals Panel Hearing

7.1
All parties to the appeal will have been circulated with written statements setting out the appellant’s grounds for appeal and any written statements of those responsible for the assessment decision which is being appealed against together with any evidence provided by the appellant.

7.2
If the appellant is present in person or by e-conferencing, the Panel will start by hearing an opening statement from the appellant, or the appellant’s representative, on the grounds for the appeal.

Note: Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities will be allowed appropriate support. At this point, the Panel may question the appellant and/or her/his representative
(if there is one).

If the appellant is not present, the Panel will receive any further documentary evidence in support of the appeal at this point. The Panel will then consider the appeal in the appellant’s absence.

7.3
The Panel will next hear from any witnesses the appellant wished to offer followed by witnesses to the assessment decision which is the subject of the appeal.

7.4
Witnesses will be heard individually and separately.

7.5
Witnesses may be questioned by the appellant or the appellant’s representative and then by the Panel.

7.6
The Chair of the Panel must ensure that witnesses are only questioned about matters germane to the case of the appellant on the grounds permitted by the Procedure. Questions may not be used to discuss complaints or other matters of dissatisfaction of the appellant.

7.7
The Chair must also ensure that witnesses do not question any party to the appeal and do not make statements that are not relevant to the questions they are asked.

7.8
After all witnesses have been heard, the appellant or her/his representative may make a concluding statement summarising what has been presented to the Panel.

7.9
The Assessment Appeals Panel is not empowered to consider any appeal on grounds other than those lodged by the appellant at time of giving notice of the appeal. Any grounds other than those made within the six week period for the notice of appeal, will not be considered and will be deemed ‘out of time’.

7.10
The Panel will then deliberate in private and announce its decision publicly to the appellant and the appellant’s representative.

7.11
The Panel’s decision will also be communicated in writing within 7 working days to:
1. The appellant;
2. The appellant’s representative, if there is one;
3. The Academic to which the appeal refers;
4. The mitigation reviewer, if applicable.

8
Decisions of the Assessment Appeals Panel
8.1
The Assessment Appeals Panel shall consider the appeal and if it finds that the appellant has established a valid case, will either
1.overturn the decision of the assessor / mitigation review
2. require the assessor / mitigation review whose decision has been challenged, to reconsider that decision.

8.2
Where the Assessment Appeals Panel finds that the appellant has not established a valid case for a review of the decision, it will uphold the assessor / mitigation review decision. This outcome shall be communicated to the appellant. There is no further right of appeal. But see L10 below regarding the right to appeal to the awarding body.

8.3
Confidentiality
8.4
It is a requirement for all those involved in this process that information on personal circumstances presented by candidates is treated as strictly confidential and only made known to other colleagues if this is essential for due consideration to be given to the candidates’ cases.
8.5
Once an appeal has been accepted there must be no discussion of any sort between interested parties and members of the Assessment Appeals Panel or any other such communication regarding the case.

8.6
Right of Appeal to the Awarding Body
8.7
If an appeal is rejected, the appellant must be informed at the time s/he is given the decision that s/he has the right to request the awarding body to review the assessment appeals process.
In such circumstances, the appellant must be provided with the address to which to send her/his request.

Complaints Procedure

1. Aims

To ensure all complaints are handled fairly and consistently.
All complaints wherever possible, are resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.

2. Context
International Medical Education (IME) puts students first and in so doing we strive to ensure that all students have a successful and enjoyable experience. We therefore have a commitment to our students to ensure that any complaints they may have about our service are dealt with fairly, efficiently and effectively. We also recognise that complaints can be used actively to improve our performance.
We make clear to complainants how to contact us when things go wrong and will ensure that we are sensitive to issues of confidentiality. We also set ourselves a deadline to respond to complaints.
3. Definition
IME has defined a complaint as “any expression of dissatisfaction relating to aspects of the IME’s service”. This definition will apply consistently across all areas of IME’s provision.
4. Principles and Scope
4.1. This Procedure is for use by students and potential students.

4.2. The policy aims to be simple, clear and fair to all parties involved.
4.3. No complainant bringing a complaint under this procedure will be treated less favourably by any member of staff. If there is evidence to the contrary, the member of staff may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.
4.4. If a student is found to have made a malicious complaint, this could lead to disciplinary action being taken.
4.5. Anonymous complaints will be investigated. If appropriate, the results of the investigation will be used to improve our service.

5. Responsibilities of IME
IME will:
acknowledge all formal complaints and aim to respond within a stated period of time
deal reasonably and sensitively with all complaints
take action where appropriate
welcome issues being brought to its attention to enable it to improve.

6. Responsibility of the Complainant
The Complainant will be expected to:
bring their complaint to IME’s attention within 12 weeks of the reason for the complaint occurring
explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
allow IME reasonable time to deal with the matter; and
recognise that some circumstances may be beyond IME’s control.

7. Complaints Procedure: Stage 1
7.1. The complainant should raise their concerns with the member of staff who has direct responsibility for the matter in question to try to achieve a satisfactory resolution.
7.2. If the complainant does not feel that their concerns have been addressed by the member of staff with direct responsibility, then they should make a formal complaint to the Director of Education.

8. Stage 2
8.1. On receipt of a formal complaint, the Director of Education will log the complaint and acknowledge its receipt within 3 working days.
8.2. The Director of Education will then appoint an appropriate investigating officer who will conduct a full investigation who has had no involvement in the alleged circumstances.
8.3. Within 15 working days of receiving a complaint from the Director of Education, the investigating officer will provide the Director of Education with the results of the investigation and a signed letter of reply for the complainant detailing the outcome and actions arising from the investigation.

9. Appeals
The complainant has the right of appeal against the response to his/her complaint. The appeal may only be made on one or more of the following grounds:
(a)That there is additional evidence that could not have been made available at the time the original complaint was considered
(b) Proper procedures were not followed.
10. Procedure
The complainant should make their appeal by writing to the Director of Education within 15 days of the date of the letter. This letter of appeal should clearly state the grounds for appeal (see above).
The Director of Education will ask a further investigating officer to conduct the appeal.
The record of the decision of the second investigating officer will be provided within 10 working days.
In exceptional circumstances, the investigating officer leading the Appeal will convene a panel. This would only occur where significant new evidence has been received.
The complainant will be offered the opportunity to be accompanied by a friend or a representative (who may not be a practising solicitor or barrister).
The appeal panel considers the matters identified in the grounds for appeal and may uphold, amend or overturn the original decision.
The record of the decision of the appeal panel will be provided within 10 working days of the panel meeting.
There is no further right of appeal within IME’s procedures.

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Terms and Conditions

1. International Medical Education Ltd (IME) will make every effort to ensure that the information contained in publicity materials is fair and accurate at the time of publication. IME will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver programmes of study and other services in accordance with those publicity materials.

However, IME is required to manage its funds in a way which is efficient and cost effective whilst ensuring that its programmes continue to meet the standards of quality assurance demanded by the QAA as well as the relevant professional accrediting bodies. IME is also committed to ensuring that its programmes reflect the most recent developments in the relevant field of study, and will also take into account feedback from students, external examiners, and other stakeholders, in the refinement of programme content and delivery.

Similarly, our curriculum is based on the expertise of our academic staff, and delivery in some instances can be dependent on their availability. IME therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by IME.  IME will aim to keep any changes to the minimum necessary to achieve the required quality of experience, and will notify and consult with affected students and other relevant parties in advance about any changes that are required.

IME will do all that it reasonably can to provide educational services as described in our publicity materials.  Sometimes circumstances beyond the control of IME mean that it cannot provide such educational services. Examples of such circumstances include:

  1. industrial action by third parties
  2. the unanticipated departure of key members of staff
  3.  power failure
  4. acts of terrorism
  5. damage to buildings or equipment
  6. the acts of any governmental or local authority; or
  7. where the numbers recruited to a course are so low that it is not possible to deliver an appropriate quality of education for students enrolled on it.

In these circumstances, IME will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to those services and to affected students, by, for example, offering affected students the chance to move to another course or institution, or by delivering a modified version of the same course, but to the full extent that is possible under the general law excludes liability for any loss and/or damage suffered by any applicant or student as a result of those circumstances.

If IME discontinues any programme, it will use its best endeavours to minimise disruption to students and where possible will provide a suitable alternative programme.  If IME makes variations to the content or method of delivery of any programme it will provide students with reasonable notice of such changes.  Affected students will be entitled to withdraw from the programme and IME will assist students to find an alternative programme or provider.

Any complaints concerning the fairness or accuracy of the IME’s publicity materials should be addressed in writing to the Director of Education who will investigate the matter and reply in writing within 21 days of receiving the letter.

2. Our regulations

All students will be required, as a condition of enrolment, to agree to abide by and to submit to the IME statutes, ordinances, regulations, policies and procedures (‘Regulations’).  The Regulations may be amended from time to time in light of changes in the law or requirements of the IME’s regulators; or to update them to ensure they are fit for purpose; or to reflect sector guidance or best practice; or to incorporate feedback from students.  Such changes will normally come into force at the beginning of the following academic year, although may be introduced during the academic year where IME reasonably considers this to be in the interests of students or where this is required by law or other exceptional circumstances.  Students will be informed if such changes are made and if they affect a particular programme or cohort of students.

3. Admissions policies

Full details of our admissions policies can be found on our website, including information about our admissions appeals and complaints process.

4. Qualification checks

Admission to a programme of study is made on the basis that you have accurately and truthfully presented all the relevant facts in your application. IME retains the right to withdraw an offer of a place or terminate your registration if it subsequently comes to light that the information you provided in support of your application was inaccurate or incomplete or a misrepresentation of your academic and other achievements. The University requires all students to provide proof of identity and qualifications at point of registration.

5. Entry requirements

Entry requirements are clearly stated in IME’s publicity material which is regularly updated on the web site. www.internationalmedicaleducation.co.uk

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Privacy Policy

1.Data protection

Due to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) EU 2016/679 and IME’s policy on disclosure, IME will only correspond on any issue regarding an application with the applicant themselves, unless the applicant has provided written permission for IME to discuss it with another person.

2. Consent to process

For IME to operate efficiently, it needs to process information about you for administrative, academic and health and safety reasons. Any offer IME makes to you is subject to your consent to process such information and is therefore a requirement before we can register you as a student.

3. Use of contextual data

IME currently collects a range of contextual data using publicly available datasets to support best business practice. The data includes education context of the applicant’s school or college and performance of the applicant’s school at A level or equivalent. IME also collects postcode, location data to identify applicants’ geographical locations.  IME will use contextual data in the round to support the decision-making process, and to enhance business operations, it does not make lower offers solely on the basis of contextual data. See full details of IME Privacy Policy

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