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Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education: Updated 3rd edition of Contract Cheating Guidance now available

Date: September 20 - 2022

QAA has revised its Contracting to Cheat Guidance to reflect legislative changes in England to criminalise essay mills earlier this year. The revised guidance reflects on how higher education institutions may wish to review their academic integrity regulations and policies in light of the essay mill legislation.

The legislation, introduced through the Skills and Post-16 Education Act, makes it a criminal offence to provide essay writing services to students in exchange for money, or to advertise these services. The legislation does not apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but it is likely that similar provision will be introduced within their respective jurisdictions.

The original Contracting to Cheat Guidance was developed following extensive consultation with universities, colleges, expert academics and students from across the UK. The updates to reflect the new legislation are highlighted throughout the document for ease of reference.

Dr Ailsa Crum, QAA’s Director of Membership, Quality Enhancement and Standards commented: ‘This revised version of our popular Contracting to Cheat Guidance aims to support members to review institutional policies following the introduction of legislation to criminalise essay mills in England. This will be complemented later in the membership year by additional resources to support members in updating academic regulations, and in developing tariffs and penalties for academic misconduct’.

The revised edition of Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education is available on our public website.

QAA Members can join us for a roundtable event on 27 September to discuss the changes that may be prompted by the legislation.