Conflict of Interest Policy
1. Issue and review
The date of issue of this policy is October 2019. This policy will be reviewed annually
2. Definition of Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest (as defined in the General Conditions of Recognition August 2018 published by Ofqual) exists in relation to an awarding organisation where:
(a) Its interests in any activity undertaken by it, on its behalf or by a member of its Group have the potential to lead it to act contrary to its interests of the development, delivery and award of qualifications in accordance with its Conditions of Recognition
(b) A person who is connected to the development, delivery or award of qualifications by the awarding organisation has interests in any other activity which have the potential to lead that person to act contrary to his or her interests in that development, delivery or award in accordance with the awarding organisation’s Conditions of Recognition, or
(c) An informed and reasonable observer would conclude that either of these situations was the case.
3. Who does this policy apply to?
Conflicts of interest can take many forms and apply not only to Directors & staff but to examiners and teachers. UKAdance takes responsibility for ensuring that it identifies and manages potential conflicts of interest where they apply to its Directors, staff and examiners. Teachers take responsibility for identifying and managing potential conflicts of interest, reporting these regularly to UKADANCE who is responsible for monitoring them.
4. How UKAdance identifies conflicts of interest
Conflicts of interest are identified through:
(a) The recruitment process for UKAdance staff and examiners.
(b) Declarations of conflicts of interest made by:
• UKADANCE Directors
• UKADANCE staff
• UKADANCE members elected to the Council of Management
(c) The monitoring of conflicts of interest:
• By UKADANCE for Directors and members of staff
• By UKADANCE directors for the members elected to the Council of Management
• By UKADANCE directors in relation to examiners
5. Examples of potential conflicts of interest
Potential conflicts of interest could include:
• An individual entering into a financial or operational agreement with an organisation or individual in which they have a vested interest.
• The interests of one job held by an individual contradicts another job held by that same individual (eg a person working for two competing organisations or in two conflicting roles within one organisation (e.g. Assessor and Internal Verifier)).
• A partner, child, or other close relative of an individual is employed (or applies for employment) by an organisation.
• An examiner carrying out assessment has personal links with the individuals they are assessing (known as interests in assessment).
• Goods or services are purchased from a relative of an individual or an organisation controlled by a relative.
• Gifts are accepted from others to promote their interests within the organisation.
6. Conflicts in relation to confidential material
UKADANCE sets out obligations in its contractual arrangements for staff and third parties who have access to confidential assessment information which may arise from other activities they may carry out. These contractual arrangements require staff and third parties who have, or have had, access to confidential assessment information through the assessment development process (including quality assurance) to provide details of –
• all instances in which such a person is, or has been, a teacher for the relevant qualification, or is employed by a teacher at who’s school that qualification is taught or delivered (even if that person does not themselves teach or deliver the qualification); and
• all other conflicts of interest including personal conflicts such as, for example:
• where a child, sibling, or other close family member is due to take the assessment in relation to which the person has confidential assessment information, and
• where a partner or other close family member is teaching, or is due to teach, the relevant qualification;
7. Managing potential conflicts of interest
Once a potential conflict is identified via an annual declaration or through periodic monitoring of conflicts of interest, UKADANCE will:
• Log the potential conflict
• Decide whether the potential conflict:
• Does not pose a risk
• Poses a risk if not managed appropriately
• Poses a significant risk
• Escalate any conflicts posing a risk to the Quality Committee for a decision and action
In all cases, UKADANCE seeks to mitigate any potential conflicts before they pose a risk to the organisation or cause an Adverse Effect.
UKADANCE sets a 5-year limit on potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, any historical personal or professional links that an individual has with a centre, individual or organisation which have ended over 5 years from the point of declaration would not be considered as a potential conflict unless the individual declares that personal and/or professional links are still valid and may have an impact.
In cases where the potential conflict does not currently pose a risk, the conflict will be noted in the log and monitored over time to assess whether any changes to individual job roles or responsibilities might pose a risk in the future.
Examples of this type of conflict may include:
• Where a contractor works for another awarding organisation but not in the same capacity or sector
• Where a member of staff has family members who may be undertaking UKADANCE examinations but does not have responsibility for any areas of UKADANCE operations that might put them in conflict
• Where an examiner declares a personal or professional relationship with an individual candidate, teacher or centre – this would involve reallocating the examiner to another examination session or centre.
• Where an UKADANCE member of staff knows an UKADANCE candidate – this would involve allocating the administration for that candidate’s examination to another member of staff.
• Where a committee or Elected Council member has a potential conflict with a particular decision being made by UKADANCE – this would involve that member absenting themselves from any decisions made.
In cases where the potential conflict poses significant risks and cannot effectively be managed by redeployment or by other form of mitigation, the conflict will be noted in the log and flagged to the Quality Committee to agree actions.
8. Monitoring conflicts of interest
As well as the expectation that conflicts will be declared on an annual or other agreed basis by:
• Contractors (including examiners)
• Examination venues
• Monitoring of examination venues by UKADANCE
• Checks with Directors, staff and contractors that any changes to roles and responsibilities do not indicate a potential conflict