What is academic integrity?

"Academic integrity means acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in learning, teaching and research."

It means referencing the work of others while developing your own insights, knowledge and ideas.

Breaches of academic integrity include:

  • plagiarism and failure to correctly acknowledge sources
  • contract cheating or paying/getting another person to prepare an assignment
  • submitting work prepared by another person
  • copying other people’s work
  • cheating in exams
  • breaching the Research Code
  • using unauthorised materials or devices


Academic integrity ensures that our qualifications are valued and can be trusted. Academic misconduct is therefore taken very seriously by RMIT, as well as by the wider tertiary sector and employers.

The penalties for breaching academic integrity are severe - they include charges of academic misconduct, cancellation of results and exclusion from your program. 

Contract cheating services

There has been a significant increase in commercial cheating services targeting vulnerable students, including at RMIT. These services offer to complete an assessment for money. Officially, this is known as contract cheating.            

Understand the risks

We take contract cheating very seriously and penalties for engaging with these services include expulsion from study at RMIT. In addition, students in Melbourne who contact cheating services are at risk of being blackmailed by those sites. These services may keep a student’s personal details to harass them and ask for more money.

If you have any concerns or questions about this, please write to student.conduct@rmit.edu.au.

The Australian Government has drafted legislation to target contract cheating. 
Find out more about plagiarism.

How do I ensure my own academic integrity?

1. Reference your sources correctly

Avoid accidental plagiarism by referencing all work that isn’t your own.

You must reference the following types of information:

  • thoughts, ideas, definitions or theories
  • research and other studies
  • statistics
  • information from the Internet, including images and media
  • designs or works of art
  • facts that are not common knowledge
Tip: Keep track of your sources. When photocopying or making notes from texts, record all bibliographic information.
Tip: Australia has its own referencing and plagiarism rules which may differ to those of other countries. Find out more

2. Plan ahead - get study support 

It takes time to learn how to reference correctly and prepare assessments. The good news is, there's help available. 

Tip: If you don't understand something in class or an assessment, talk to your teacher or lecturer. 

3. Keep your work secure

Don’t let other people read your assessments. Keep your work (and any copies of your work) with you at all times and remember to remove your USB from public computers.

Tip: If one student submits work that's completely or partly copied from another, both students can be charged with academic misconduct. Learn about the difference between collaboration and collusion in the free Academic Integrity Awareness cred

4. Submit your assignment via Turnitin

Turnitin is an online tool in Canvas that checks your assignments to ensure they're your own work, and that you've acknowledged the work and ideas from other sources.

Tip: Recycling your own work can be plagiarism. Read more on the Turnitin website

Key resources

Academic Integrity Awareness digital credential

Gives you a detailed explanation in manageable sections, including how to reference sources and the difference between cooperation and collusion.  Earn a badge to share with networks. 

Introduction to academic integrity

A quick tutorial that gives you an overview of academic integrity and links to other resources. 

Need help?

Support services

Our support services are here to help you achieve your study and personal goals. If you're feeling stressed about study, we can help.

Go to student support

RMIT Student Union (RUSU)

RUSU offers free and confidential support for students who have been charged with academic misconduct.

Contact RUSU

Student conduct

If you'd like to talk to someone about a case of misconduct, contact the Student Conduct Secretariat for a confidential discussion.

e: student.conduct@rmit.edu.au
Tel: +61 3 9925 8965