Academic and Non-Academic Discipline

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1. Interpretation

1.1 Definitions

The following words and phrases have the following meanings:

  • “Academic Misconduct” means the misconduct described in paragraph 3.2; 
  • “Appeals Committee” means an ad hoc committee of three BCFSA employees appointed by the Superintendent or the equivalent senior executive of BCFSA, including at least one member from the executive team, who were not involved in the original case and/or decision related to the appeal. 
  • “Course” means a course offered by BCFSA that forms part of the licensing or re-licensing education requirements under the Real Estate Services Act
  • “Evaluation” means an evaluation of the learner’s knowledge of Course content that the Learner must complete to BCFSA’s satisfaction for each Course taken; 
  • “Learner” means an individual enrolled in one or more Courses at the time of the conduct in question; 
  • “Licensee” means a person licensed under the Real Estate Services Act
  • “BCFSA” means the British Columbia Financial Services Authority, a regulatory body established under the Financial Services Authority Act
  • “Report” means a written report of alleged Misconduct containing the information specified in paragraph 5.1; 
  • “Manager” means BCFSA’s Manager, Education or the equivalent senior executive; 
  • “Misconduct” means Academic Misconduct and/or Non-Academic Misconduct; 
  • “Non-Academic Misconduct” means the misconduct described in paragraph 4.2; and 
  • “Vice President” means BCFSA’s Vice President, Education or the equivalent senior executive. 

1.2 Miscellaneous.

  1. Where the context requires it, the masculine gender includes the feminine and/or other genders and vice-versa and words in the singular includes the plural and vice-versa.
  2. Courses, Evaluations and their administration may change from time to time without notice due to regulatory, legislative and/or administrative requirements.
  3. These policies may be accessible through different sources. In case of conflict, the version posted on the BCFSA website is the official version.

2. Scope and Purpose

2.1 Scope

These policies apply to Learners and BCFSA employees and representatives involved in the delivery and administration of Courses.

2.2 Purpose

These policies outline the rights and responsibilities of Learners and BCFSA concerning academic integrity and conduct of Learners.

3. Academic Misconduct and Discipline

3.1 Academic integrity

BCFSA ascribes to the highest standards of academic integrity. Adhering to these standards of academic integrity means observing the values on which good academic work must be founded: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Learners are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with these values. These standards of academic integrity require Learners to not engage in or tolerate Academic Misconduct, including falsification, misrepresentation or deception, as such acts violate the fundamental ethical principles of BCFSA and compromise the worth of work completed by others.

3.2 Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct that is subject to discipline includes, but is not limited to, engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others to engage in the following:

  1. Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to:
    • Falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation;
    • Use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work;
    • Use or possession in an Evaluation of any materials (including devices) other than those permitted by BCFSA;
    • Use, possession, or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an Evaluation (e.g., receiving unauthorized assistance from another person or providing that assistance); and
    • Dishonest practices that breach rules communicated to the Learner governing Evaluations or submissions for academic evaluation.
  2. Plagiarism, which occurs where a Learner submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as their own. When another person’s words, ideas, or entire works are used, the author must be acknowledged in the text, in footnotes, in endnotes, or in another accepted form of academic citation. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to copying of solutions from answer guides, copying directly from a textbook or lesson notes, copying another Learner’s assignments or projects and copying from the internet without providing proper attribution.
  3. Impersonating a Learner at or in respect of completion of a Course, or availing oneself of the results of an impersonation.
  4. Submitting false records or information, orally or in writing, or failing to provide relevant information when requested.
  5. Falsifying or submitting false documents, transcripts, or other academic credentials.
  6. Disclosing without authorization any evaluation content, or any other product owned by BCFSA including but not limited to questions, answers or topics, in whole or in part.
  7. Failing to comply with the discipline imposed for Academic Misconduct.

3.3 Discipline for Academic Misconduct

Learners found to have committed Academic Misconduct may, at the discretion of the Manager, be subject to discipline that includes, but is not limited to, one or more of the following, as applicable:

  1. A letter of reprimand;
  2. A requirement to re-do the work at issue or to do supplementary work, together with an administrative fee that may be imposed at BCFSA’s discretion;
  3. A failing grade or mark of zero in the evaluation or Course in which the Academic Misconduct occurred;
  4. An academic suspension for a specified period of time, with the following consequences:
    1. The Learner will be de-enrolled from all Courses they are enrolled in at the time of suspension without refund or credit for fees paid;
    2. No credit will be granted for any modules, assignments or evaluations completed for any Course that they are enrolled in at the time of suspension;
    3. The Learner will not be permitted to enroll in any Courses until the suspension period ends; and/or
    4. If the Learner is a Licensee, a referral to BCFSA’s Compliance and Enforcement for investigation under Part 4 of the Real Estate Services Act.

4. Non-Academic Misconduct and Discipline

4.1 Standard of Conduct

BCFSA ascribes to the highest standards of conduct. Adhering to these standards of conduct means observing the values on which BCFSA’s Learner community must be founded: respect, safety, civility, inclusiveness, and freedom from harassment and discrimination. Learners are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with these values. These standards of conduct require that Learners obey the law, be aware of and abide by applicable BCFSA policies, behave in a safe and civil manner, demonstrate respect for BCFSA employees and representatives, other Learners and the public, and respect for their property and resources.

4.2 Non-Academic Misconduct

Non-Academic Misconduct that is subject to discipline includes, but is not limited to, engaging in, attempting to engage in, or assisting others to engage in any of the actions described below:

  1. Misconduct against persons, including:
    1. Physically aggressive behavior, assault, harassment, intimidation, threats or coercion;
    2. Conduct that threatens or endangers the health, safety or property of any person;
    3. Conduct that creates conditions that endanger the health, safety, property, or well-being of any person;
    4. Engaging in a Course of vexatious conduct, harassment, or discrimination that is directed at one or more specific persons and that is based on any of the protected grounds under the BC Human Rights Code; and
    5. Engaging in unwelcome or persistent conduct that the Learner knows, or ought to reasonably know, would cause another person to feel demeaned, intimidated, or harassed.
  2. Misconduct against property, including:
    1. Taking without authorization, or misusing, destroying, defacing, or damaging BCFSA property or property that is not their own, or information or intellectual property owned by BCFSA, including Course materials;
    2. Possessing BCFSA property or property that is not their own, if the Learner knows, or ought to reasonably know, that property to have been taken without authorization; and
    3. Creating a condition that unnecessarily endangers or threatens destruction of BCFSA property or property that is not their own.
  3. Any action or threat that would disrupt any activity organized by BCFSA, or the right of other persons to carry on their legitimate activities, to speak or to associate with others
  4. Unauthorized use of facilities, equipment, or services of BCFSA or service providers of BCFSA, including:
    1. Using any facility, equipment, or service, or entering or remaining on any premises, to which they do not have legitimate access, or contrary to the expressed instruction of authorized persons;
    2. Using any computing equipment, facility, network, or system for any disruptive or unauthorized purpose, or in a manner that violates any law, these policies, or other BCFSA policy or procedure; and
    3. Destroying, misplacing, misfiling, or rendering inoperable any stored information such as books, film, data files, or programs from a library, computer, or other information storage, processing or retrieval system.
  5. Refusing to comply with a reasonable direction to do, or not to do, something that is made by a BCFSA employee or representative authorized to make such a direction;
  6. Refusing to comply with discipline imposed under these policies; and
  7. Knowingly furnishing false information to any person or office acting on behalf of BCFSA, or forging, altering or misusing any BCFSA document, record or instrument of identification, or knowingly furnishing false information to any person regarding their standing, status, or academic record at BCFSA.

4.3 Discipline for Non-Academic Misconduct

Learners found to have committed Non-Academic Misconduct may, at the discretion of the Manager, be subject to discipline that includes, but is not limited to, the following, as applicable:

  1. The discipline outlined in paragraph 3.3(a) or (d);
  2. Payment of costs or compensation for loss, damage, or injury that may be monetary or in the form of appropriate service or material replacement;
  3. Issuance of a satisfactory statement, apology, or retraction in an appropriate form in public or in private; and/or
  4. A denial for a specified period of time of, or conditions imposed on, a Learner’s right to access to or use of any part or all of BCFSA’s equipment, facilities, services, activities, programs, meetings, or events or those held by, on, or in association with BCFSA.

5. Reporting, Investigation and Disposition

5.1 Report of Alleged Misconduct

If a BCFSA employee or representative suspects or receives a complaint that a Learner has committed Misconduct, that employee or representative will provide to the Manager a Report that includes the following information:

  1. The circumstances of the alleged Misconduct;
  2. The date when the incident occurred;
  3. The name and session of the Course in which the Learner is enrolled (if applicable);
  4. The name and contact information of the Learner who is alleged to have committed the Misconduct;
  5. The names and contact information of witnesses (if applicable); and
  6. All relevant supporting documentation.

5.2 Investigation

Text: After receiving the Report, the Manager will investigate the incident and conduct an interview with the Learner in order to provide the Learner with an opportunity to discuss the matter. The Learner will be provided with the Report in advance of the interview. The Learner may bring one support person to the interview, but the support person may not speak on behalf of the Learner.

5.3 Failure of Learner to Participate in Investigation

In the event that the Learner fails to attend the interview, declines to participate in the interview, and/or chooses not to participate or fully cooperate in the investigation, the Manager will proceed with the investigation without the benefit of the Learner’s participation. In such a case, the outcome of the investigation will be based on the information that the Manager has gathered from other sources.

5.4 Interim Measures

The Manager may impose interim measures while alleged Misconduct is being resolved, investigated or decided. Such measures will be precautionary and are expressly not disciplinary. Interim measures will be reassessed on a weekly basis and the parties involved will be notified of any changes to interim measures as soon as possible. Interim measures may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Withholding the issuance of final grades or confirmation of Course completion (in the case of alleged Academic Misconduct);
  2. Prohibiting further enrollment in Courses (in the case of alleged Academic Misconduct or Non-Academic Misconduct);
  3. Prohibiting use of BCFSA information and communication technology resources (in the case of alleged Academic Misconduct or Non-Academic Misconduct); and
  4. Exclusion of the Learner from all or any part of any premises on which Courses take place (in the case of alleged Non-Academic Misconduct).

5.5 Outcome of Investigation

In determining whether Misconduct has occurred, BCFSA adheres to a standard of proof based on a balance of probabilities. A balance of probabilities means that an act is more likely than not to have occurred. If, at the conclusion of the investigation, the Manager believes that the Learner has committed Misconduct, the Manager will make a decision on the findings and discipline, if any.

5.6 Factors in Determining Discipline

The Manager will determine the discipline that will be applied for Misconduct by considering the following factors:

  1. The nature and severity of the Misconduct;
  2. The impact the Misconduct has had on BCFSA, other Learners and the public;
  3. The inadvertent or deliberate nature of the Misconduct;
  4. Whether the Learner accepts responsibility for the Misconduct;
  5. Whether the Misconduct is an isolated incident or not;
  6. Where a monetary disciplinary measure is imposed the costs to BCFSA and the degree of financial hardship imposed upon the Learner, if any; and
  7. Any other mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

5.7 Decision Letter

The Manager will issue a letter to the Learner setting out the decision, the reasons for the decision, a description of the nature and duration of any discipline imposed, and notice that the Learner has a right to appeal the decision in accordance with these policies.

5.8 Record of Decision

A record of the decision will be retained in the Learner’s file. In the event of any further allegations of Misconduct, the incident may be used in determining the discipline to be imposed for subsequent Misconduct of a similar nature.

6. Appeals

6.1 Discretion of Vice President

Notwithstanding anything contained in these policies to the contrary, but subject to the outcomes of investigations and discipline proceedings under Part 4 of the Real Estate Services Act and the decisions of the Appeals Committee, where a Learner alleges that they have been unfairly prejudiced by the application of these policies, an application in writing may be made to the Vice President for relief. The Vice President may take such action on such terms as the Vice President sees fit and provide the Learner with a letter informing them of the decision, the reasons for the decision, a description of the nature and duration of any discipline imposed, and notice that the Learner has a right to appeal the decision in accordance with these policies.

6.2 Right to appeal decisions of Vice President

A Learner who wishes to appeal a decision of the Vice President must submit a written statement of appeal within 45 days after the date of the Vice President’s letter informing the Learner of the decision. The statement of appeal must be sent to Appeals Committee (Student Discipline), British Columbia Financial Services Authority, 600, 750 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 2T8, and must contain:

  1. A statement of the ground(s) for appeal;
  2. A statement of facts relevant to the ground(s) for appeal;
  3. A statement of the relief which the Learner seeks; and
  4. Copies of documents on which the Learner intends to rely for appeal.

6.3 Grounds of Appeal

A Learner may appeal a decision of the Vice President on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. The Vice President incorrectly determined that the conduct of the Learner, either as admitted or as found by the Vice President, constitutes Misconduct or the Vice President incorrectly applied a BCFSA policy or procedure;
  2. The Learner has material evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the decision of the Vice President was made;
  3. There was a breach or unfair application of BCFSA’s procedures prior to the Vice President’s decision that was raised before the decision was issued but was not adequately remedied;
  4. The investigation and/or decision-making process was unfair or operated unfairly, in that there was bias or a lack of independence, established procedures were not followed or were improperly applied, or insufficient reasons were given for the Vice President’s decision;
  5. The Vice President erred in their assessment of the evidence in the Report, including factual inferences made by the Vice President, or the credibility of the Learner or other witnesses; and
  6. The discipline imposed by the Vice President was excessive.

6.4 Hearing Procedures

  1. A Learner who files an appeal with reasonable grounds will be granted a hearing with the Appeals Committee.
  2. The Learner will be given no less than 14 days’ notice of the date of the hearing.
  3. The Learner must provide any supplementary documentation to support the appeal, that was not provided with the statement of appeal, to the Appeals Committee no later than 10 days before the hearing. The hearing will proceed by way of written submission only.
  4. On the hearing date, the Appeals Committee will meet to deliberate.
  5. Each Appeals Committee member will vote on a decision and the decision is based on the majority vote.
  6. The decision will be final and there will be no further appeal or review of the decision.
  7. All decisions of the Appeals Committee will be in writing and will contain reasons for the decision.
  8. Copies of the decision, including reasons, will be sent to the Learner within 14 days of the date of the hearing.

Text: The commencement of criminal or civil proceedings relating to the conduct in question does not preclude BCFSA from imposing discipline against a Learner under these policies. However, BCFSA reserves the right to suspend its processes under these policies where criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings are commenced regarding the conduct in question.

8. Confidentiality and Privacy

All proceedings and investigations under these policies are kept confidential. Exceptions may be made where required by law, where it is necessary to conduct the investigation into the relevant incident(s), if the individuals participating have agreed to the release of information, or if the incident(s) subsequently become the subject of disciplinary or licensing qualification proceedings under the Real Estate Services Act.

Learners consent to the disclosure of personal information obtained or generated in connection with proceedings, investigations and decisions under these policies to the Real Estate Division of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia for the purpose of enforcing decisions made under these policies.

9. Qualification for Licensing

Where a Learner applies for a new license, license renewal or license reinstatement under the Real Estate Services Act, BCFSA may consider pending matters and decisions made under these policies in determining whether the Learner satisfies the qualifications for obtaining a license set out in section 10 of that Act.