Academic Integrity

The Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS) offers a quality education that not only ensures a strong pursuit of knowledge, but also cultivates the values of respect and caring for self and others and a sense of belonging and social responsibility. It is through these values that we hope to cultivate the virtues of honour, courtesy and perseverance. Of these virtues, honour is perhaps of greatest importance, for it is personal integrity that will influence and finally determine many of our actions and beliefs. To help advance the development of such principles, an Academic Integrity Policy has been established for all students at CDNIS. This policy exists to promote, uphold and reinforce values that are central to the tradition of excellence, and applies to all classes and activities associated with CDNIS.

The purpose of this Academic Integrity Policy is to:

  • Develop responsible and ethical behaviour
  • Reinforce self-respect, respect for peers and respect for the work of others
  • Protect the integrity of the academic achievement level of all students
  • Promote a high level of learning and an understanding of the inter-connectedness of human knowledge
  • Guide parents and students in the traditions of academic integrity valued by the school
  • To prepare students for academic integrity expectations in tertiary education

All Upper School students are required to sign an Academic Integrity Contract.


At CDNIS we take the values of personal integrity and honour associated with Academic Integrity very seriously and we believe that every member of our community should understand that although great work is often produced in response to the work of others as we build upon, argue against or are inspired by their ideas, those influences must be properly credited.

As such CDNIS students are expected to reference properly as this not only reinforces the importance of these values but also lends credibility to their ideas and acknowledges the way in which their work exists as part of a wider, shared, communal attempt to understand the world.

Using another person’s work (written, visual or otherwise) is therefore an entirely acceptable academic practice as long as proper acknowledgement and credit is given and if the intent is to add support and/or credibility to one’s ideas. At CDNIS, we adopt the Modern Language Association (MLA) style of citing reference materials unless otherwise stated by the teacher.

Failure to reference properly, however, is a form of academic misconduct and this is often the result of carelessness when completing assignments, poor time management and/or pressure on students to achieve higher grades. As such students should aim to manage their time effectively and thus minimise the chances that they will feel as if they have ‘no choice’ but to plagiarise if they are to meet a deadline and perform according to expectations.

There are currently a number of academic integrity tools available that analyse student work for plagiarism. At CDNIS is used to detect plagiarism but it is ultimately the responsibility of each student to ensure that any ideas, words and images (etc) that are not the their own have been acknowledged.

Practices Related to Developing Student Understanding of Academic Integrity:

  • In classes, students are taught how to correctly cite the work of others and are given clear guidelines for submitting work.
  • Teachers work with students to develop shared understandings about cheating, plagiarism, and other instances of academic misconduct.
  • Teachers educate students carefully about matters of academic integrity, including engaging students in activities that clarify what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it and about the difference between authorized collaboration and illegitimate collusion.
Examples of Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct, or cheating, includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:
  • Plagiarism– submitting ideas, images and/or selections of passages of any length with the intent to represent this work as one’s own by failing to acknowledge or seek permission from the original author. This includes copying or cutting and pasting directly from a web page or another person’s work in whole or in part and submitting it as your own. A superficial change of wording or structure or conclusion is not sufficient to turn aside the charge of plagiarism.
  • Collusion– one student permitting another student to copy or submit his or her work and failing to report this to the teacher. A superficial change of wording or structure or conclusion is not sufficient to turn aside the charge of collusion.
  • Examination and Test Dishonesty– using cheat sheets or other prohibited items during a class test or examination; looking at another student’s paper during a class examination; providing another student, whether at CDNIS or elsewhere, with questions or answers from an examination or test which he or she has taken and the other student has not.
  •  Theft – stealing notes, notebooks, reports, lab books, or other work from other students to use as one’s own or to transmit to any other user.
  • Too Much Assistance – receiving too much assistance from sources such as websites, individuals or other services that offer answers or parts of answers to assignments or that significantly alter the style or language of a piece of work.

If a student is found guilty of academic misconduct, the following steps will be taken:

  • He or she will receive a mark of zero for the assignment or test in question and will receive an unsatisfactory work habit mark for the term.
  • Eligibility for term awards will be under review.
  • The respective teacher will inform parents of the infraction.
  • Each of the student’s teachers will be informed of the infraction and will be asked to report any similar incidents to the administration.
  • Repeat offenders will face more serious consequences.

The IB will only investigate a case of suspected malpractice when there is clear evidence to justify an allegation of misconduct. In the case of plagiarism, the evidence must be in the form of a source that appears to have been copied by a candidate. In cases of collusion, an investigation will only be pursued if the other candidate’s work is available and shows clear similarities. For other instances of misconduct, please consult the relevant IB Coordinator.

Policy Review Procedure
This policy will be reviewed annually by the relevant coordinators and the Leadership Team and shared with students and staff.