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Principles of Conduct, Misconduct & Disciplinary Actions

(Adopted, with thanks, from University of Calgary School of Environmental Design)

Statement on Principles of Conduct

This statement applies to all members of the Syllabus community – including students, faculty, administrators, and any category of staff, examiners, and volunteers. This statement applies in all situations where the persons are acting in their Syllabus capacities.

All members of the Syllabus community have a responsibility to familiarize themselves with this Statement on Principles of Conduct and to conduct themselves accordingly.


1. The Syllabus community has undertaken to be guided by the following statements of purpose and values:

To promote free inquiry and debate
To act as a community of architectural scholars and practitioners
To lead and inspire societal development
To respect, appreciate and encourage diversity
To display care and concern for community

2. The Syllabus seeks to create and maintain a positive and productive learning and working environment; that is, an environment in which there is:

Respect for the dignity of all persons
Fair and equitable treatment of individuals
Personal integrity and trustworthiness
Respect for academic freedom
Respect for personal & Syllabus property

3. Those persons appointed by the Syllabus to positions of leadership and authority have particular responsibility, not only for their own conduct, but also for ensuring, to the extent of their authority and ability:

That a positive and productive learning and working environment is created and maintained
That conflicts and concerns are addressed in a positive, timely, reasonable and effective manner
That persons within their jurisdiction are informed of their rights and responsibilities with respect to conduct

4. The Syllabus undertakes to ensure that its policies, systems, processes, and day-to-day operations foster the goals in #1 and #2 above.

5. The Syllabus encourages and undertakes to support all members of the Syllabus community in resolving conflicts and concerns in a positive, timely, reasonable, and effective manner.

6. The Syllabus undertakes to ensure that the protection afforded by the principles of natural justice is extended to all members of the Syllabus community.

7. The Syllabus undertakes to provide resources through the National Office and website to generate awareness related to this Statement of Principles of Conduct throughout the Syllabus community and to assist in resolving conflict in a positive way.

(Note: The principles of natural justice reflect a concept that ensures fair play. The specific requirements of natural justice will often vary depending on the circumstances but are generally considered to ensure a full and fair consideration of the issue, including consideration in the absence of bias.)

Student Misconduct

A single offence of cheating, plagiarism, or other academic misconduct, on term work tests, or final examinations, etc., may lead to disciplinary probation or a student’s suspension or expulsion from the faculty by the Director, if it is determined that the offence warrants such action.

A student is defined as any person registered with the RAIC Syllabus for credit or non-credit courses.

Statement of Intellectual Honesty

Intellectual honesty is the cornerstone of the development and acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge is cumulative and further advances are predicated on the contributions of others. In the normal course of scholarship these contributions are apprehended, critically evaluated, and utilised as a foundation for further inquiry. Intellectual honesty demands that the contribution of others be acknowledged. To do less is to cheat. To pass off contributions and ideas of another as one’s own is to deprive oneself of the opportunity and challenge to learn and to participate in the scholarly process of acquisition and development of knowledge. Not only will the cheater or intellectually dishonest individual be ultimately his/her own victim but also the general quality of scholarly activity will be seriously undermined. It is for these reasons that the Syllabus insists on intellectual honesty in scholarship. The control of intellectual dishonesty begins with the individual’s recognition of standards of honesty expected generally and compliance with those expectations.

With respect to student work in a course, outlines as issued by the RAIC Syllabus will specify the academic requirements of courses.

Plagiarism/Cheating/Other Academic Misconduct


Plagiarism – essentially plagiarism involves submitting or presenting work in a course as if it were the student’s own work done expressly for that particular course when, in fact, it is not. Most commonly plagiarism exists when:

1. the work submitted or presented was done, in whole or in part, by an individual other than the one submitting or presenting the work (this    includes having another impersonate the student or otherwise substituting the work of another for one’s own in an examination or test),

2. parts of the work are taken from another source without reference to the original author,

3. the whole work (e.g. an essay) is copied from another source, and/or,

4. a student submits or presents work in one course that has also been submitted in another course (although it may be completely original with that student) without the knowledge of or prior agreement of the instructor involved.

While it is recognised that scholarly work often involves reference to the ideas, data and conclusions of other scholars, intellectual honesty requires that such references be explicitly and clearly noted. Plagiarism is an extremely serious academic offence.

It is recognized that clause (4) does not prevent a student incorporating work previously done by him or her in a thesis or dissertation.

  1. Cheating – is an extremely serious academic offence. Cheating at tests or examinations includes, but is not limited to, dishonest or attempted dishonest conduct such as speaking to other candidates or communicating with them under any circumstances whatsoever; bringing into the examination room any textbook, notebook, memorandum, other written materials or mechanical or electronic device not authorized by the examiner; writing an examination or part of it, or consulting any person or materials outside the confines of the examination room without permission to do so, or leaving answer papers exposed to view, or persistent attempts to read other students’ examination papers.
  2. Other Academic Misconduct – other academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, tampering or attempts to tamper with examination scripts, class work, grades and/or class records; failure to abide by directions by an instructor regarding the individuality of work handed in; the acquisition, attempted acquisition, possession, and/or distribution of examination materials or information not authorized by the instructor; the impersonation of another students in an examination or other class assignment; the falsification or fabrication of clinical or laboratory reports; the non-authorized tape recording of lectures.

Any student who voluntarily and consciously aids another student in the commission of one of these offences is also guilty of academic misconduct.

Disciplinary Actions

Failing Grade – a student may be given a failing grade in either an exercise or course in which that student is found guilty of plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct. Except in circumstances in which leniency is warranted, this penalty will only be applied in conjunction with one or the other penalties mentioned in this section.

Disciplinary Probation – when a student is placed on disciplinary probation, he or she is entitled to proceed with a diploma or other academic program, but only on condition that the registration will be forfeited and the student suspended or expelled, if he or she is found guilty of a further academic offence. A student who is placed on disciplinary probation is eligible to continue in the program in the normal way after the satisfactory completion of his or her probationary period.

Suspension – suspension takes place when a student is denied registration within the diploma or other academic program for a specified period of time. A student who has been placed under suspension is conditionally eligible to reapply for admission or registration at either the end of a specified period of time or thereafter. Suspension does not imply automatic readmission; a student must satisfy the RAIC Syllabus Director and/or Examiner and/or Regional/Local/Studio Coordinator of his/her eligibility for readmission.

Expulsion – a student who is expelled from the Syllabus is dismissed permanently from the program with no right to apply for readmission.

Effects of Suspension from the Syllabus – a student suspended from the Syllabus normally may not apply or be considered for readmission to the Syllabus until at least twelve (12) months after the end of the session in which the academic offence takes place.

Penalties & Their Application

In cases where the RAIC Syllabus Director is satisfied that a student is guilty of plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct in circumstances which suggest a clear intention to deceive or otherwise commit an academic offence, the normal penalty will be either suspension or expulsion from the Syllabus.

In cases where the RAIC Syllabus Director is satisfied that an offence has been committed, but doubt is left as to the existence of a clear intention to deceive or otherwise commit an academic offence, the normal penalty will be probation.

In cases where a student is found guilty of more than a single offence, the normal penalty will be expulsion from the Syllabus.


Identification of Students in Examinations – The Invigilator of any examinations may, when they have reason to believe that there is cause to do so, challenge any candidate to produce proof of identify either in the form of the RAIC Syllabus Student I.D. card or some acceptable equivalent (i.e., one bearing a photograph) such as the Provincial Driver’s License, Canadian Citizenship Card, Passport, etc.

If there is clear evidence that impersonation has occurred, the individual shall not be permitted to continue the examination and shall be reported immediately to the Registrar & Director.

A student who is not able to provide acceptable proof of identity may be permitted to continue the examination provided that he or she undertakes to provide verification of identity later. If verification is not provided, then the student will receive an “F” in the examination, and the matter will be referred to the Registrar & the RAIC Syllabus Director for consideration of further disciplinary action.

The Responsibility of Examiners and Design Studio Mentors/Coordinators in Cases of Plagiarism, Cheating and Other Academic Misconduct – an Examiner, Design Studio Mentor or Coordinator has the obligation to report immediately to the Registrar & Syllabus Director all suspected cases of plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct in her/her academic correspondence or design studio course.

The Encouragement of the Reporting of Plagiarism, Cheating or Other Academic Misconduct – students or other persons who consider that they have evidence of conduct which amounts to plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct are encouraged to report such conduct to the Registrar & Syllabus Director. An individual or group of individuals making such a report must be prepared to state the alleged facts and their reasons for suspicion in writing, and to appear before the Registrar or RAIC Syllabus Director.

The Disposition of Cases by the Syllabus Director – in alleged cases of plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct, the Syllabus Director and/or Registrar or his/her delegate after advising the student of the allegation and its basis and providing him/her with copies of any documentary evidence supporting the allegation shall interview both the Invigilator and/or Examiner and/or Mentor and/or Coordinator and the student concerned. Where he/she is satisfied that there is conclusive evidence that the student has committed an offence, the Syllabus Director or his/her delegate shall, subject to any structures for advice, recommendation or action devised by the Syllabus, exercise authority to place on probation, suspend or expel the student from the Syllabus. The probation, suspension or expulsion will be confirmed in writing to the student by double-registered mail, the letter to include reference to Syllabus appeal procedures. In cases in which the student has admitted the offence reference shall be made to this fact in the letter.

The Registrar will be notified of this action taken by a copy of the registered letter. On receiving notification the Registrar is empowered to withhold the issuance of a transcript or statement of grades for the student disciplined pending the expiry of the appeal period, or exhaustion of the appeal process allowed for under Appeals below.

Academic Misconduct – Criminal Offence

Where there is a criminal act involved in plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct, e.g., theft (taking another student’s paper from his/her possession, or from the possession of a faculty member without permission), breaking and entering (forcibly entering an office to gain access to papers, grades or records), forgery, personation and conspiracy (impersonating another student by agreement and writing his/her paper) or theft by any electronic means, and other such offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, the Syllabus may take legal advice on the appropriate response and, where appropriate, refer the matter to the police, in addition to or in substitution for any action taken under these regulations by the Syllabus.


The Appeals Process – the student who is assessed an “F” grade for disciplinary reasons, placed on probation, suspended or expelled, may appeal that decision. The appeal, which must be initiated within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of the double-registered letter from the Syllabus Director or his/her delegate, shall be in writing, addressed to the Registrar and shall state specifically (a) the decision which is being appealed, (b) the grounds for the appeal, and (c) the remedy being sought. The appeal of a grade will be, in the first instance, forwarded to the Examiner or Mentor and/or Coordinator for the course in question. In the case of disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion, the Registrar will forward the appeal to the Syllabus Director.

A student must satisfy the Syllabus Director that there are sufficient grounds for appeal. The principles applicable to an appeal are those of fairness. It is recognized that the specific procedures used to attain fairness may vary from one specific situation to another.

Appeal from the Syllabus Director – where a student is unsuccessful in an appeal to the Syllabus Director, he/she may appeal that decision to the Syllabus National Advisory Council.

Notification to the Registrar – when an appeal has been lodged by a student, the Registrar shall be notified by the Syllabus National Advisory Council, or a delegated ad hoc committee of the Council, of that fact, and of the disposition of the case by the Council.

The Position of a Student Launching an Appeal Against Suspension or Expulsion – where a student’s appeal against suspension or expulsion is accepted for hearing and is under consideration by the Syllabus National Advisory Council, a student shall be granted tentative registration and permitted to attend classes. If the appeal succeeds, the student will be officially registered and assessed fees retroactively to the beginning of the session.

The Position of a Student Whose Appeal Against Suspension or Expulsion is Unsuccessful – in cases in which the student has been allowed to attend classes pending the disposition of an appeal and the appeal fails, the original date of the suspension or expulsion obtains.

The Effect on a Student’s Permanent Record – where a student has been suspended, expelled or placed on disciplinary probation and does not launch an appeal within fifteen (15) days, or his/her appeal is unsuccessful, the notation “suspended or expelled from or placed on disciplinary probation by the RAIC Syllabus for academic misconduct” will be entered on the student’s permanent record upon receipt of such notice by the Registrar from the Syllabus Director.

Where a student is suspended or expelled prior to the completion of the session, the symbols RW (required to withdraw) will be entered in the grade column on the student’s record in the courses in which he or she was registered for that session, except for the course(s) in which an “F” grade has been given as a penalty. Where a student is suspended or expelled after the completion of a session the final grade will be entered on the student’s record in the courses in which he or she was registered for that session except for the course(s) in which an “F” grade has been given as a penalty.

A student’s record will be cleared of the notation “placed on disciplinary probation for academic misconduct” when the probationary period has been completed, or upon completion of the Diploma Program, or after six (6) years have elapsed, whichever comes first.  At the time the record is cleared of the notation, the RW symbols will be changed to W (withdrawn), but any “F” grades, as given because of plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct, will remain “Fs”. A student’s record will not be cleared of the notation “expelled for academic misconduct.” These regulations also apply to students on probation, suspension or expulsion for non-academic misconduct.

Summary of Procedures

Possible misconduct is to be first reported to the Registrar. The Registrar is responsible for assessing the report and forwarding all information to the Syllabus Director. The Syllabus Director is then responsible for ensuring that the prescribed procedures are followed. Two (2) formal steps are involved: an inquiry to determine if a report warrants a full investigation followed by an investigation if warranted. At the end of an investigation, the Syllabus Director is required to act on the investigating committee’s report including, according to the outcome, initiating disciplinary proceedings. The Syllabus Director determines the detailed procedures.


The policy and procedures provided for a high degree of confidentiality throughout the process. Persons who report misconduct will not be named unless the case cannot be investigated otherwise and then only with those persons’ consent. Persons who are reported will not be named unless and until the case against them has been substantiated by thorough investigation.

Policy 2004-2013