Addressing Departures from Academic Integrity

As instructors, we do our best to educate students about academic integrity. We put an academic integrity statement in our course outline, demonstrate best practices through various ways of modelling proper norms within the field (such as citing our resources in our slides). Additionally, we teach our students how to study, we share with them resources available to them for their studies, we break down bigger assignments into smaller ones to promote academic integrity and deter cheating. However, departures might still occur, and we find ourselves suspecting some forms of departure in the students' work.

(For Instructors) What to do when we suspect an academic integrity departure?

The Academic Integrity Procedures - Requirements of Faculties and Schools identifies steps to follow when we suspect an academic integrity departure. Following the steps is crucial for dealing with suspicions and ensuring procedural fairness. 

  1. First of all, you need to do a preliminary investigation to determine if your suspicions are strong. For example, if you suspect plagiarism, take a closer look at the work and explore if your suspicions are verifiable. Sometimes, Turnitin might flag quoted areas as plagiarism. If you find that your thoughts are not verifiable, or not grounded based on the balance of probabilities, dismiss the case. You don't need to take any further action. 
  2. Second, if your suspicions stand, you need to investigate the case formally. For doing so, you fill out a Notice of Investigation form (NOI) and follow the procedures. This guide (Word 143 KB) outlines the processes. 

Note: In most cases, the course instructor manages allegations of academic integrity departures. AT faculties and schools, academic integrity leads provide further assistance and information to the instructors if needed. 

Faculty or School Academic Integrity Administrator Contacts

Educational Remedies or Sanctions:

In many cases, we intend to educate our students when an academic integrity departure occurs. We hope to help them avoid similar mistakes in the future. Student Academic Success Services (SASS) has led the development of an educational process for such cases. Faculty can email SASS manager Leslie Paterson to determine the scope and details of a potential educational program. Options include self-study resources, such as SASS’s interactive Academic Integrity module, and/or AI-focused appointments that address plagiarism, delivered by professional staff. Appointments are designed to be flexible and responsive to student needs and concerns, emphasizing the logic behind best practices of academic integrity and focusing on concrete strategies and skills students can develop to improve their writing.

Additional Resources:

Student Academic Success Services page on academic integrity.

Office of the Ombudsperson page on academic integrity.

Forms and Templates

Instructors are encouraged to consult and use their faculty or school's websites for customized versions of the forms.  

Instructors, faculties, and schools use these forms and email templates for communication at different academic integrity departure investigation stages.


Notice of Investigation (NOI) (Word 53 KB)

Notification of a Dismissal after Investigation Form (Word 50 KB)

Notification of a Finding of a Departure from Academic Integrity Form (Word 54 KB)

Email Templates

Email accompanying a Notice of Investigation (Word 27 KB)

Email to inform student of dismissal of the case, following the investigation (Word 26 KB)

Email accompanying the Finding form (Word 27 KB) (for cases where the instructor refers the case to the Faculty/School for sanctioning) 

Email accompanying the Finding form (Word 27 KB) (for cases where instructor decides the remedy/sanction)


An instructor teaching in front of her class