Policies and Procedures
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
1. Admission Policy
The GC Academy Management admits qualified applicants as per guidelines for the qualification offered. Students will be informed by an e-mail when accepted to follow the course.
Admission for the Quality Assurance Postgraduate Certificate.
The student should be mature and over 21 years of age with good skills in basic IT skills to be able to follow online. The student must possess an EQF Level 6 or equivalent. The student must have an internet connection. In the English language students have to meet minimum C1 Level ( IELT 6.5 and 7.5) to follow the QA Postgraduate certificate.
The student can also apply through the Maturity clause ( student being 21 years and over) but must meet the English language requirement along with the other requirements for application.
For the application to the QA Postgraduate Certificate the student needs to submit a CV, any identification document with his/her photo along with the required fees before accessing the course content. This procedure needs to be done through the website from the sign up and sign in buttons from the student handbook.
The above requirements are applied consistently and in a transparent manner as records are well kept for auditing purposes.
No refunds are given after payment for admissions unless the candidate is not enrolled into the course because he is not qualified or there are Mitigating circumstances ( See Mitigating Policy and Procedure) that do not allow him to start the course. A 10% administration fee is charged before any refunds are given.
2. Academic Calendar Policy
GC Academy Management provides clear, accurate and timely information to its stakeholders about key academic dates and deadlines.
Academic Calendar Procedures
GC Academy Management will issue the academic calendar on the website and send an e-mail to students about the academic calendar years.
3. International Policy
GC Academy Management develops, markets and delivers modules, awards and programmes according to the strategy of GC Academy to meet the requirements of international students.
All modules, awards and programmes have an international flair added to them and this is done through the standard 3 of design development keeping in mind the educational needs, resource needs and any applicable fees.
4. Module/Award/Programme Viability Assessment Policy
The GC Academy Management continuously monitors the modules/awards/programmes in tandem with the lecturers and students.
Module/Award/Programme Viability Assessment Procedure
The GC Academy Management will review every 5 years the modules/awards/programmes through:
1. Employment rates (by asking Alumni)
2. Student online questionnaires
3. Other relevant information for ongoing monitoring like feedback from the lecturer
The GC Academy Management will make a review and take any action as necessary after having gone through the above 3 points.
5. New Modules/Awards/Programmes Policy
The GC Academy Management will accept new modules/awards/programmes where appropriate according to the strategy of GC Academy.
New Modules/Awards/Programme Procedure
See Standard 3 table in Qaulity Assurance Manual
6. Plagiarism Policy
GC Academy Management is against plagiarism and conducts a procedure in place for the long essay.
Staff and students are made aware that plagiarism is not accepted through a Welcome e mail with reference to the Policy and Procedure on the website. In the case the GC Academy Management and the lecturer find evidence that students work has been plagiarized then the student will be informed by an e mail. In the first instance, the student is given a chance to resubmit without capping marks. In the second instance, the student is given a chance, but his pass mark will be capped at 60%. In the third instance, the student will not get his award or qualification.
7. Credentials Policy
GC Academy Management is to ensure that the credentials and credits are in line with the National Commission for Further and Higher Education Malta.
The GC Academy credentials and credits are verified through a procedure by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education Malta.
Quality assurance course has modules with credits allocated. The qualification has to be completed in less than 1 year and is of an EQF Level 7. The total Postgraduate certificate carries 34 credits (ECTS).
8. Student Online Performance and Behaviour Policy
The GC Academy Management support students online with rules and regulations in the student handbook to assist them in their studies and behaviour.
Student Online Performance and Behaviour Procedure
See student handbook link.
9. Mitigating Circumstance Policy
GC Academy Management support students who have issues related to their lifestyle or medical problems.
A mitigating circumstance is an unforeseen or unpreventable situation which hinders the student from performing according to the academic calendar. The following are examples but not limited to:
Death in family
Long term sickness including Hospitalisation.
Work travel hindering meeting deadlines
Family problems like divorcing
Mental Health issues
Mitigating Circumstances Procedure
If the student decides to take a break from his studies he will need to write an e mail to the management who in turn will inform the student by an e mail the decision taken in best interest of the student. The student must inform GC Academy Management through e-mail about such circumstances. The GC Academy Management will take a decision within 5 working days and inform the student by e mail accordingly about the decision taken.
10. ICT Policy
The GC Academy Management invests in the latest affordable technology for the benefit of teaching and learning.
The GC Academy Management reviews the ICT infrastructure on an ongoing basis to make sure students, staff and management can make use of it in a friendly manner.
Students can access the course content using their registered personal email and the password they have provided during the registration procedure. They are provided with a virtual learning environment.
The computer device is the ownership and supplied by the student him- or herself for teaching and learning.
GC Academy Management provides online help as part of the ICT procedure to abide by the policy.
Each student will be communicated with the e-mail address as given during the registration procedure, which must be the personal e-mail of the student.
11. Long Essay Policy
The GC Academy Management values research as part of learning and the long essay is a research module on quality assurance at EQF level 7.
Long Essay Procedure
The students can access information on Research Methods on the website and can ask other information through emails and integrated chat and forum discussion panels.
Students are requested to propose a title for their research and are assisted by their lecturers for feedback. A proper template is circulated to all students to submit the title and additional information (see template). An assessor is assigned to every student to assess the long essay. The long essay marking scheme is also found on the website as the long essay is not just a pass/fail module but is assigned marks/percentage with assessor’s feedback. Research by students is done through self study to produce a final 5,000-6,000 research paper. These papers will also contribute to teaching material and so will any Lecturers research. This creates a relationship between research, teaching and learning.
The long essay should be between 5,000 – 6,000 words. Appendices, bibliography and other references do not count as part of the word count.
Students exceeding the above parameters will be penalised 5% of the marks.
The final mark will be communicated to the students with a maximum of two months after submission.
12. Ethics Policy
GC Academy Management believes in freedom of expression. However, the written word sometimes seems harsher than the spoken word in a face to face environment where facial expressions give meaning to the communication. Therefore, for ethical purposes, the lecturer and students should be careful how to express themselves in e-mails, chat or forum discussion panels. The aim of e-mails, chat or forum discussion panels is for learning from each other to contribute to the acquisition of the Postgraduate Certificate in Quality Assurance. Students need to exchange ideas through discussion by respecting each other and recognizing their responsibilities to other individuals.
All stakeholders must abide by the policies and procedures as part of ethics. Anyone can raise an ethics breach through the Contact us button.
If ethics are breached the GC Academy Management have the right to enforce disciplinary procedures, which include the setup of three persons as an autonomous board to investigate and recommend any action necessary to the Director. The Director will decide upon the recommendations, act accordingly and inform the person who has breached ethics by e mail within two weeks.
13. Discrimination Policy
The Policy of the GC Academy is to ensure that employees, lecturers and students treat each other with dignity and without any discrimination. The policy is to comply with the Human rights Chapter 319 of the laws of Malta and to require that all employees and students understand and act in accordance with that legislation.
Discrimination is the unfavourable treatment of a person due to one of his personal traits.
It is the responsibility of the GC Academy Director to oversee that there is no discrimination and that the Human Rights legislation is observed. Anyone being discriminated or anyone noticing discrimination can write a direct e-mail (through Contact us button) to the GC Academy Director. The Director will look into the case within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. Action will be taken as deemed necessary after facts have been established. It is the responsibility of the student or any other stakeholder making a discrimination claim to provide enough evidence of discrimination against him. Evidence is key. Since GC Academy is registered in Malta the student can take up the appeal to the ombudsman in this particular case of Discrimination ( https://www.ombudsman.org.mt/).
If the student is found guilty of discrimination he will be given a written warning. Should the same student repeat the offence a second time he will be expelled without any refund.
14. Equal Opportunities Policy
Further to the Discrimination Policy and procedure, the GC Academy, as a Maltese registered academy, follows Chapter 413 Equal Opportunities of the Laws of Malta including persons with disability.
Equal opportunity is about giving and getting a fair go. It does not assume everyone is the same and it does not mean treating everyone the same. That is why GC Academy has a Mitigating Policy and procedure to support the Equal Opportunities policy.
Equal Opportunities procedure
It is the responsibility of the GC Academy Director to oversee that there is an equal opportunity and that the legislation Chapter 413 is observed. Anyone who does not get an equal opportunity can write a direct e-mail to the GC Academy Director. The Director will consider the case within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. Action will be taken as deemed necessary after facts have been established. Since GC Academy is registered in Malta the student can take up the appeal to the ombudsman also for the Eqaul opportunities ( https://www.ombudsman.org.mt/ )
15. Recruitment Policy
The GC Academy is a business venture and believes in recruiting the most qualified and experienced staff. (Recruitment of students fall under the Admissions Policy and procedure).
The GC Academy handpicks its staff by looking at the CV, the qualifications which need to be with specific knowledge for the job and the years of experience plus reputation. All this is still consolidated by an interview after which an agreement is signed.
16. Academic Integrity and Freedom Policy
GC Academy maintains a high academic standard in its courses and expects students to conduct themselves in a manner which is fair, honest and consistent with the principles of academic integrity especially when undertaking assessment and research. This Policy is supplemented by the Plagiarism policy and procedure. Lecturers are to abide professionally with students by being fair in their approach and being fair in assessment as required through the written module templates and criteria marking as well as honest in their feedback and be consistent throughout. Should the lecturers not uphold the correct Professional conduct they will be reprimanded at first instance by Management and should it happen the second time the Lecturer in question will not be engaged again by GC Academy.
Academic Integrity and Freedom Procedure
Written and online material is provided to the students outlining the assessment tasks. The students are also requested to exercise freedom of speech by commenting on each other’s work.
17. Appeals on assessment Policy
Students who are dissatisfied with an assessment of any kind have a right to complain and then also appeal.
Appeals on assessment Procedure
Students will write a complaint (through the Contact Us button) to the GC Academy Director. The Director will reply after having considered all facts within 10 working days. If an appeal on the decision is received by the GC Director, then the GC Director will appoint a new committee to discuss the appeal. The Appeals committee will be made of 3 external members to decide on the case and make a final decision which will be communicated to the Director who in turn communicates with who made the appeal. The Appeals committee will have the final decision.
18. Recognised Prior Learning (RPL)
Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) is the recognition by the Academy that the student has through formal, non-formal or informal methods learnt the necessary learning outcomes and therefore does not need to repeat them and can progress to the next level.
Knowledge, skills, competences and attitudes (as confirmed by employers) the learner has acquired through life and work experience as demonstrated through various methods like one-portfolio, performance assessment at work, demonstration, any external evaluation.
Knowledge, skills, competences and attitudes acquired from non-credit courses, on the job training, professional workshops which can be evidenced through exams, interviews, e-portfolios and any other evidence fit for purpose.
1. Any learner must submit the Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) information to GC Academy by email when applying.
2. Non-formal and informal learning can be used to apply for the GC Academy QA course if their learning is sufficient and includes a minimum of 2 years at a workplace experience.
3. GC Academy holds the right to judge which non-formal and informal learning can be accepted for enrolling in the QA course.
4. The competences demonstrated from non-formal and informal learning must be a minimum 50% of those required before following the QA course.
5. It is solely the learner’s responsibility to provide satisfactory documentation for the non-formal and informal learning.
6. Those applying through RPL also need to pass the first two modules successfully before moving on to the other modules. This is to prove their capability to follow the course successfully. Failure to do so will eliminate them from following the course and will be required to apply again when they have all requirements.
Dr Tibor KOZSLA, Education Director of GC Academy is responsible for the RPL selection criteria and enrolment of such students. They will inform the learner within a month of application submission whether they have been accepted or not.
The student can appeal a negative decision. In this case a separate committee will be appointed by Dr Tibor KOZSLA.
The final decision given by this separate appeals committee will stand. The appeal must be carried out within 10 working days.
Those applying through RPL will be requested to pay 200 Euros before processing their request