Your Advice Service

Academic Misconduct Meetings

Have you received an invite to an ACV, ACO or ACP? If you have, no matter what the case of academic misconduct is, Your Advice Service is here to guide you through the process.

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Have you received an invite to an ACV, ACO or ACP meeting? All of these are meetings with Academic Conduct Officers, and potentially other staff, because you have been suspected of academic misconduct. We will provide guidance below on what to expect in these meetings and how to prepare yourself.


What should I do in an academic misconduct meeting?

For any meeting:

  • Answer the questions you are asked clearly and briefly (This can be more difficult than it sounds when you’re nervous!)
  • Ask for a time out of you feel you need a break
  • Do not talk over people
  • Ask if you have any questions
  • We would always recommend attending a meeting if you can.
  • The outcome for the meeting will be confirmed in writing to your University email, usually within two weeks
  • If you are unhappy with the outcome, you have the right of appeal , on grounds. Your outcome letter will include more information about this


Academic Misconduct meeting:

If you are invited to an Academic Misconduct Meeting, the meeting will be led by an Academic Conduct Officer (ACO). Most meetings are virtual.

The ACO is not trying to trick you or catch you out, but they will ask you a lot of questions.

Some questions they might ask you are:

  • Do you understand why you’ve been invited to the meeting?
  • Is the work your own?
  • Is this your first piece of submitted work?
  • Did you understand the brief for this assessment?
  • Did you share your work with anyone else, or did someone share their work with you?
  • Have you have had training on academic writing?

The ACO will go through evidence in the meeting (most commonly done by sharing the Turnitin report) and explain what they think is an issue.

You will then have an opportunity to explain what happened, ask any questions which you have and mention any mitigating circumstances.

If you deny the offence, you will need to present evidence supporting your version of events. This could be research notes, draft versions of your assessment, or anything else showing that the work is your own.

We would not advise arguing that the Turnitin report is incorrect. The Turnitin report is a way of flagging any possible issues to the marker to investigate - your work is unlikely to go to an ACO based on the Turnitin report alone. There is no “safe” Turnitin score.  

The ACO will usually give you a decision in the meeting, but not always.

The outcome and any penalties will be confirmed to you by email, this is usually within 2 weeks of the meeting.

If an outcome is upheld, you can see the different outcomes on the Academic Misconduct Outcome Table. The level of seriousness is usually based on the amount of affected work.

The ACO will not expel you. Expulsions are only done in the case of very serious or repeated offences, by a panel.


Viva Voce/ Academic Conduct Viva:

A viva voce happens when the marker thinks the work may not be your own, or if there are multiple allegations which need to be addressed.

There will be two academics in the meeting– the ACO, and an academic with experience in the subject.

They will ask you questions about your work. These could include:

  • terms, vocabulary, and arguments which you have used in the assessment, to see whether you understand them
  • how you put the assessment together
  • whether you copied and pasted from other sources
  • Any theories and ways of working that have not been taught, and why you did that.

If you can answer these questions to the ACO’S satisfaction it’s likely that the viva will not proceed into an ACO meeting-there will be no case to answer.

If you cannot, the viva will proceed to an ACO meeting.

You can find more about these above or on our Academic Misconduct webpage.


Academic Misconduct Panel:

An Academic Misconduct Panel meeting is used in the case of complex, serious, or repeated offences, for postgraduate research students, or if a student has appealed the outcome of an ACO.

You must be given at least 7 working days’ notice and copies of all written evidence prior to your ACP, so we will have some time to prepare for the meeting.

You will be asked to provide a statement in advance which explains your perspective, and any evidence which supports your case.

An ACP is a more formal and lengthier process than an ACO. The Panel will include several members of academic staff and representatives from the Registry team.

During an ACP the ACO presenting the case will give their evidence and explain why they think academic misconduct has been committed, and the Panel will ask them questions.

You will then explain your version of events, explain any mitigating circumstances, present your evidence and be asked questions. You may bring a supporter to the meeting as long as the Panel is notified in advance. Neither you nor the ACO can present evidence that has not been circulated in advance.

After both sides have presented their case, you, any supporters and the ACO will be asked to leave the meeting while the Panel comes to a decision. This usually takes about half an hour. You will then be asked to re-join the meeting to be learn the decision.


What should and should not happen at a meeting:

  • The ACO or panel won’t know when any resits are likely to happen, or how many attempts you’ve had at an assessment. You will need to check this with your Faculty after the meeting.
  • The ACO or panel won’t know whether you have previous offences before making their decision.
  • Offences in the same assessment period will not be classed as repeated offences, though you may have separate meetings for each affected module.
  • The ACO or panel should answer any questions which you have and make sure you get the support you need.
  • Academic misconduct meetings are to find out what’s gone on and help you put it right. They should be supportive, they will not be aggressive.
  • They should give you information about the support services available at University, like the Wellbeing Team and the Centre for Academic Writing,
  • They should tell you about your right to appeal if you disagree with the outcome.
  • Students accused of collusion should be invited to separate meetings.


What support is available?

If you are looking for help with an allegation of academic misconduct, please contact Your Advice Service as soon as possible upon receipt of your invitation.

Attach your meeting invite letter, a copy of your Turnitin Report and any other evidence sent with your invite. We can help you prepare for the meeting and support you in the meeting, subject to Advice Caseworker availability. You must give 24 hours’ notice to the meeting organiser if you are being supported as outlined in your invite email.


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