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QAA Members respond to survey on its guidance on preventing contract cheating and the use of essay mills

Date: November 29 - 2019
QAA has published the results of a member survey on its 2017 guidance on contract cheating, which offers practical guidance for higher education institutions to help prevent and detect the use of essay mills by students. It also includes advice regarding the education of staff and students, and on appropriate institutional processes to deal with academic misconduct involving the use of essay mills. 

There were 64 responses to the survey which sought views on the impact the guidance is having, how it can be improved, and where it might need updating. Essay mills are constantly refining and updating their tactics and methods of approach, and the responses have given us up-to-date intelligence on how to respond to this. 

The survey demonstrates that the 2017 guidance is widely used, with 84% of respondents saying they had engaged with it, and 77% saying they had implemented its recommendations. However, responses also show a perceived absence of strategic university-wide approaches. They also suggested a range of recommendations for updating and improving the guidance. 

The survey feedback will be used to update the guidance with a new version to be published for QAA Members in 2020. Members will also be able to take advantage of a programme of training and events, designed to help apply the principles in the guidance, details of which will be announced in the new year.

The survey response analysis is available exclusively to QAA Members and can be accessed at our Membership Resources site. You can find out more about the Membership Resources site, and register, on the Membership page of the QAA website.