Academic Honesty Policy

    IB Career-Related Certificate and Diploma Programme Academic Honesty Policy

    School Profile

    Suncoast Community High School located in Palm Beach County, Florida, is a four-year college preparatory high school for grades 9-12. Since 1989, Suncoast has maintained four magnet programs: Computer Science (CS), Innovative Interactive Technology (IIT), International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB), and Math, Science, and Engineering (MSE). 
    Ninth and tenth grade students are enrolled in IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) core courses designed to provide foundational knowledge and skills for all students in preparation for accelerated curricula and the Diploma Programme. Over 66% of the 11th and 12th grade student population is enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme. Currently, there are 18 11th and 12th grade students in the IB Career-Related Program. The IBO learner profile is regarded as the hallmark for the implicit curriculum of Suncoast Community High School. 

    Purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy
    The Academic Honesty policy was designed to communicate the expectations of these IB Programmes as they pertain to the submission of authentic work by Suncoast candidates. The school upholds the learner profile attribute of “principled” in actions taken to disseminate knowledge of academic honesty characteristics and in delivering appropriate consequences for academic misconduct. To perform these tasks, terms and concepts associated with academic misconduct are explained in student classrooms, student assemblies, parent events, stakeholder meetings, school websites, and school district offices. The candidate- and parent-friendly version of the school academic honesty policy is included in the school planner and is distributed to all Suncoast students in August of every school year.

    Candidates and teachers strive to work together in preventing academic misconduct by candidates taking responsibility for their roles in producing authentic work and teachers in the investigation of suspected academic misconduct. If academic misconduct is suspected, the teacher brings the written allegation with supporting documents to the CP Coordinator/Diploma Coordinator and/or the Career-Related Administrator/Diploma Head of School for review to report, record, and monitor academic misconduct activity in the school (Academic Honesty in the IB Educational Context, 2014, 
    p. 6). Parent – candidate- teacher – IB Administration conference to review the allegations that may lead to student dismissal from the IB Career-Related or Diploma Programme. 

    Academic honesty is sent as a strong message to students and parents in our school through teachers and administration. Teachers are consistently encouraged to view webinars on the subject to keep their knowledge ever present. In addition, discussions are conducted during faculty meeting on the topic to remain proactive to issues that can surface in the school.

    Academic Honesty Expectations
    Candidates should be cognizant that intellectual and creative products, i.e. scientific data, literature, or works of art are considered to be intellectual property. Therefore, students that use ideas and/or images from these works within their work products, without proper attribution to the author, are partaking in academic misconduct. Candidates must understand that “an authentic piece of work is one that is based on the candidate’s individual and original ideas with the ideas and work of others fully acknowledged” (Academic Honesty, 2011, p. 2).

    Candidates are taught to refrain from academic misconduct while in the classroom. They are given reference material, resources via websites, FAQ seminars, and teacher-created internal assessment guide books in IB subjects that all candidates are enrolled, namely, English A Literature, Theory of Knowledge, and History HL. Students also attend seminars on referencing and citation offered by our IB trained – Media Specialist. 

    In the classroom, teachers should provide sufficient information and guidance to assist students in developing skills in paraphrasing and referencing sources with proper citations (Academic Honesty, 2011, p. 10). IB recognizes the use of quotation marks, indentations or other acceptable means of citation to denote that ideas were gained from another source. In addition, the source of the ideas must be clearly identified within the body of the work as well as in the bibliography or works cited sections of the candidate’s work (Academic Honesty, 2011). 

    According to the Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures (2019), “The IB does not specify which style(s) of referencing or in-text citation should be used by candidates. This is left to the discretion of the school. (p. 36) Suncoast Community High School ascribes to the expectation that students will cite the origin of ideas source with, as minimum information: name of author, date of publication, title of source, and page numbers as applicable.” (Handbook of Procedures for the Diploma Programme, 2016, p. 83) 

    Candidates are encouraged to use refereed journals for quality control of sources in their authentic work. It is communicated during student assemblies that it is the students’ responsibility to ensure that they are submitting authentic work to their teachers. Suncoast Community High School also houses an IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) whereby students gain practice in research, referencing and citation through their work in MYP subject-based assessments, as well as the Personal Project prior to their matriculation through the Career-Related or Diploma Programme.

    Academic Misconduct
    Overall, academic misconduct is a “behavior that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment components” (Academic Honesty, 2011, p.3). The following terms found in the Academic Honesty (2011, p. 3) document describe the following behaviors as academic misconduct by candidates in works submitted to the school and/or IB examiners. Terms and definitions are below: 

    Collusion is “when a single (or very similar) version of a report is presented by a number of candidates as their own individual work” (Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures, 2019, p. 36). Also, in an article by Sutherland-Smith (2013), additional definitions were provided to expand our understanding of collusion. As stated in the article, collusion is the presentation by a student of an assessment task as his or her own; In whole or in part is the result of unauthorized collaboration with another person/persons; Is plagiarized due to inappropriate collaboration during group work; Involves working with others without permission; Is the product of two or more students working together without official approval; is the product of unauthorised cooperation between the student and another person; Is a form of academic dishonesty (cheating) because it is the same or very similar to that of another student. (p. 51)

    • Duplication of work is presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements.
    • Fabrication of data is falsifying or inventing fictitious data or information and is an action that is interpreted as gaining an unfair advantage in an assessment component, for example: falsifying a CAS record. (Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures, 2019, p. 37)
    • Any other behavior that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate (for example, taking unauthorized material into an examination room or misconduct during an examination)
    • Misconduct associated with and during examinations (causing a disruption, exchanging information with another candidate, impersonating another candidate, stealing exam papers, using an unauthorized calculator)

    One of the more commonly used forms of academic misconduct, plagiarism, was redefined as the representation, intentionally or unwittingly, of ideas, words or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgment; or to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source (IBO, General Regulations: Diploma Programme, 2014, p. 13).

    “Candidates must record the addresses (URL and date) of all websites from which they obtain information during their research, including the date when each website was accessed.” Copying of maps, photographs, illustrations, data, and graphs is considered to be plagiarism without proper citation. “CD-Roms, DVDs, email messages and other electronic forms of media must be treated in the same way as the internet, books and journals” (Academic Honesty, 2011, p. 3). The General Regulations (2014) document also cites intellectual property as a protected source of ideas that needs to be cited appropriately in student work.

    Upon teacher request, candidates are required to upload specific IB assessments to to generate originality reports and affirm the authorship of ideas included in these documents. The IB Academic Honesty Office conducts random checks of internal assessments, external assessments and extended essays submitted to examiners for plagiarism; therefore, it is imperative that our school strongly monitor the authenticity of student work designated for external moderation. 

    According to the General Regulations: Diploma Programme (2014) document, if IB suspects academic misconduct, the school is notified of the allegations and the Diploma Coordinator is prompted to conduct internal investigations obtaining statements from the diploma student and teacher(s) or invigilator(s) involved in the incident. The Diploma Coordinator submits findings to IB and notifies students of the decision from the IB Award Committee. 

    Prevention of Academic Misconduct 
    Candidates will receive a copy of the General Regulations: Career-Related Programme or Diploma Programme document.

    1. Candidate will be required to sign the Suncoast High School Honor Code enclosed in the IB exam registration document.
    2. Candidates and parents will attend a school seminar to review Diploma Programme procedures and academic honesty tenets.
    3. Students attend an annual success assembly featuring school rules, the Academic Honesty policy, and consequences.
    4. The Academic Honesty policy in included in the student handbook located in the school planner.
    5. The Academic Honesty policy is posted on the school website for access by candidates, teachers, parents and stakeholders.
    6. Research skills information is enclosed in the student handbook and numerous sites on citation formats are available through Diploma teacher Edline pages and the school website.
    7. Candidates attend “troubleshooter seminars” on research guidelines and academic misconduct prevention from the Extended Essay coordinators. MLA citation style is used by subject areas within the school.
    8. Internal and external assessment assignments are coupled with a review on research skills and citation formats by Diploma teachers in the classroom.
    9. Students are continually reminded about the IB learner profile which expresses the value of being “principled” and to act with integrity and honesty.

    Academic Misconduct Consequences
    The IBO Academic Honesty (2011) document states that “the candidates are responsible for ensuring that the final version of any work is authentic. Candidates themselves must bear the consequences if they submit any work for assessment that is not their own, regardless of whether the plagiarism was deliberate or the result of poor research skills. The same principle applies to collusion.” (p. 12)

    Authentication of Student Work:
    The IB will only accept work for assessment or moderation that has been authenticated by the teacher and is the final version of the work; this verification should take place before work is electronically uploaded or sent in hard copy according to the Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures 2019, pgs. 38 – 39. 
    The authentication process is contingent upon the process of submission to IBO:

    • Electronic uploads by the candidate are authenticated on-screen by the candidate and teacher.
    • Electronic uploads by the school (on behalf of the candidate) are authenticated on-screen by the teacher. The candidate authenticates the work as the final work before submission to the teacher.

    “No replacement work will be accepted by the IB after the authenticity of a piece of work is called into question or the deadline for submission has passed.” (IBO, Coordinator Notes, September 2017. P.4)

    Work identified as not authentic prior to submission to IBO:
    Work still in draft form: If a teacher has reason to believe that the candidate’s work, in part or whole, in draft form is a violation of academic honesty, “the teacher must draw the candidate’s attention to this risk” (Academic Honesty, 2011,
    p. 12).

    Work in final version: If a teacher has reason to believe that the candidate’s final work, not in draft form, submitted for internal or external assessment might violate academic honesty, the matter must be resolved within the school and not brought to the attention of IBO. This does not include written examinations. Because of the prior academic misconduct preventative measures, Suncoast does not allow the candidate to amend the final work. If the concession to amend the work is not allowed by the school, then an F (meaning no work submitted) must be entered into IBIS by the Diploma Coordinator for the component. An F will result in no grade being awarded for the subject/component. 
    If there is no evidence of academic misconduct, only a strong suspicion by the teacher, the Diploma Administration conducts a parent-student conference to share these concerns and to identify potential risks to the IB Diploma at the meeting. The Diploma Coordinator is asked by IB to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt and accept the work for assessment. However, it is not appropriate to accept/submit suspect work and then expect the IBO to undertake an investigation (Academic Honesty 2011, p. 12).

    Work identified as not authentic after submission: If a teacher alerts the CP or Diploma Administration that he/she cannot authenticate a candidate’s final work, the CP or Diploma Coordinator is advised by IB to inform the IB information desk that the work will not be submitted on behalf of the candidate. An investigation ensues by the IB Assessment Centre. 

    At Suncoast, candidates receive discipline referrals by the Diploma teacher if there are allegations of academic misconduct. Suncoast developed a system to issue consequences for violations of the academic honesty code to candidates based upon the infraction. Levels are determined by the importance of the assignment:

    LEVEL 1 VIOLATIONS that pertain to assignments, homework and drafts of long-term projects at the school-based levelExamples of Level 1 violations include, but are not limited to, sharing/copying homework, looking at another’s quiz/test, allowing another to look at your quiz/test, using secretive methods of giving/receiving quiz/test answers, not attributing information to its source, and attaining/receiving assistance on an independent assignment.

    Consequence: The student will receive a referral for the draft/assignment in question to be held in abeyance and parent contact will be made (by the teacher); the student’s Assistant Principal will file the referral to deter future acts of academic misconduct. The student will be given one opportunity to submit a satisfactory revision, free of academic misconduct issues by the next class period or by teacher’s discretion. The student will receive a maximum score of 75% on said revision. The student will receive a grade of “zero” for an unsatisfactory revision that contains academic misconduct issues and the original referral will be processed. The parent will be contacted, and the referral will be documented in the student’s electronic discipline file.

    • A second level 1 violation will be considered a level 2 violation and will be handled accordingly.
    • A level 1 and a level 2 violation will be considered a level 2 violation.
    • A referral-level 1, 2, or 3- following a referral held in abeyance will be considered a second referral.

    LEVEL 2 VIOLATIONS pertain to assignments that reach beyond the school-based level to the choice program level. 
    Examples of Level 2 violations include, but are not limited to, (a) taking information from a source that is not properly attributed in an IB assessment, CS final project, IB MYP Personal Project or assessment, or Science Fair project, (b) working with others on an IB assessment, CS final project, IB MYP Personal Project or assessment, or Science Fair project meant to be done by an individual, (c) duplication of one’s work (i.e. to present the same work for different IB assessment components and/or IB CP or Diploma requirements), (d) taking any part of a test to use or to give to another student, and (e) submitting a computer program that has been developed by another student.

    For Drafts of Long Term Projects: The student will receive a referral for the project/assessment in question to be held in abeyance and parent contact will be made (by the teacher); the student’s Assistant Principal will file the referral to deter future acts of academic misconduct. The student will be given one opportunity to submit a satisfactory revision, free of academic misconduct issues by the next class period or by teacher’s discretion. The student will receive a maximum score of 75% on said revision. The student will receive a grade of “zero” for an unsatisfactory revision that contains academic misconduct issues and the original referral will be processed. The parent will be contacted, and the referral will be documented in the student’s electronic discipline file.

    For Long Term Projects in Final Form: The student’s project will be uploaded to If the teacher suspects academic misconduct, the Diploma teacher will consult with two to three colleagues within the choice program to determine whether evidence substantiates a form of academic misconduct. If deemed misconduct, the student will receive a zero on the project/assessment. The incident will be documented on a discipline referral and becomes part of the student’s electronic file and the student will be placed on a behavior contract. Additionally, a parent conference will be scheduled with the student, teacher, and program administrator. 

    IB Students: The internal/external assessment will not be submitted to IB which will result in no grade awarded by IB for the subject; thereby eliminating the potential for the IB Diploma (Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures 2019, p. 36) and results in exit from the Suncoast IB Diploma Programme. An internal/external assessment produced with academic misconduct for an IBCP student will not be submitted to IB and will result in no grade awarded by IB for the subject; the student will be exited from the Suncoast IB Career –Related Programme. 

    • A second level two violation will be considered a level three violation and will result in exit from the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the IB Career - Related Programme (IBCP).
    • Students with a Level 2 or 3 violation are not permitted to enter the IBDP or IBCP junior year.

    LEVEL 3 VIOLATIONS include, but are not limited to, stealing quizzes, tests, or exams, altering grades via a computer, and submitting another’s work as one’s own.

    • Three Level 1 or two Level 2 violations will be considered a Level 3 violation and will be handled accordingly. 

    Consequence: The student will receive a zero on the project/assessment, when applicable. The incident will be documented on a discipline referral, the student will be placed on a behavior contract, and the parent will be contacted for a conference with the student, teacher, assistant principal, and principal. The referral will become part of the student’s electronic file. 

    • A level 3 violation will result in exit from IBDP or IBCP.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    1. The candidate must ensure that all work submitted for assessment or moderation is authentic work.
    2. Candidates must seek additional guidance on research skills and citation formats to include in IB assessments, if necessary.
    3. Candidates must meet deadlines for IB assessments as determined by the CP or Diploma teacher and the Suncoast IB Calendar of Assessments.


    1. Teachers are in the best position to judge whether a candidate’s work is authentic.
    2. Diploma teachers authenticate, via electronic uploading, IB assessments to confirm that, to the best of his or her knowledge, the final work is the authentic work of the candidate. If the teacher does not authenticate the final work, he/she must notify Suncoast IB Administration of these concerns immediately. 
    3. Teachers must respect the intellectual property agreement of IB.
    4. Teachers must record instances of academic misconduct on a discipline referral, in a timely fashion, and notify the parent(s) of the allegation prior to submitting the referral to the IB Administration.

    IB CP and Diploma Coordinators

    1. Ensure that CP and Diploma teachers have the necessary professional development experiences, resources and information to guide students in maintaining academic honesty on IB assessments.
    2. Maintain parent contact and participate in the investigation of academic infringement or academic misconduct.
    3. Send reports/documentation to IB concerning academic infringement or academic misconduct, when necessary.
    4. Communicate the Academic Honesty Policy to parents, teachers, students, and community stakeholders.


    1. Conduct parent meetings during an investigation of academic infringement or academic misconduct. 
    2. Disseminate policy and procedures in alignment with the IB philosophy on academic honesty.
    3. Support efforts for professional development and the development of teaching practices that encourage student-centered learning.

    Supporting Documents
    The responsibilities of IB World Schools in ensuring the integrity of IB assessments, 2017
    Academic Honesty in the IB Educational Context, 2014
    General Regulations: Career-Related Programme, 2014
    General Regulations: Diploma Programme, 2014
    Handbook of Procedures for the Diploma Programme, 2016
    IBO Academic Honesty, 2011
    Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures 2019
    Sutherland-Smith, W. (2013). Crossing the line: Collusion or collaboration in university group work? Australian Universities 
    Review, 55(1), 51-58.

    (updated November 2012; November 2014; July 2015; August 2016; August 2018; May 2019)