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MyCQU - Contract Cheating

Contract Cheating

CQUniversity values academic honesty and integrity. We take the academic learning journeys of our students very seriously and as such, we have a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to academic misconduct.

Contract cheating is a serious breach of academic integrity that CQUniversity deems to be academic misconduct. It occurs when a student submits work that has been completed by a third party. This can be paid or unpaid, and the source may be a contracting service, fellow student, graduate, friend or family member.

CQUniversity is committed to policing academic misconduct. We're using strict assessment audit and checking measures to ensure that academic misconduct such as contract cheating will be caught.

Contract cheating can carry significant penalties including suspension or expulsion from CQUniversity, withdrawal of credit for units completed through contract cheating, and sanctions placed on transcripts. Where appropriate, international student COEs will be cancelled and the Department of Home Affairs notified.

Contracting services

Contracting services, otherwise known as “essay mills”, “paper mills” or “homework completion services”, use sophisticated business models to target students. According to the Times Higher Education, contracting services are blackmailing students to boost their profits and warn off whistle-blowers.

The language contract cheating companies use in their advertising seems helpful, but the primary focus is for them to make money, not to help students. These companies are driven by profit, using marketing methods that can be aggressive, insidious, and sometimes, even illegal.

Contracting services persuade students with offers of help and try to trick students into believing that there is nothing wrong with paying a company to do academic work on their behalf. Unfortunately, issues often arise years after using a service. Contracting services are known to blackmail students long after they have graduated.

In response to the regulator's guidelines highlighting best practice, CQUniversity will prevent students from accessing commercial contracting sites while on campus. Sites, similar to, a homework helper, will be blocked if they do not have adequate means of preventing their use for contract cheating purposes.

Government legislation

The Australian Government is cracking down on contract cheating. New legislation that came into effect on 4 September 2020 makes it an offence to provide or advertise academic cheating services in higher education. Penalties of up to two years' imprisonment or fines of up to $100,000 apply.

The new law targets those who provide and advertise contract cheating services - not students. If students or graduates, provide and/or advertise contract cheating services (offer to help other students doing their assignments or providing assignments), for money, they can also be charged under this law.

Institutional policies are not affected by the new law. CQUni students who are caught cheating will continue to be subject to the University’s Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure found on the Policy website.

More information about the legislation is available on the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills, and Employment website.

How to avoid academic misconduct

CQUniversity values academic honesty and integrity. Integrity is about personal characteristics such as trustworthiness, truthfulness and right action. Academic integrity is the application of these ethical standards to your work as a student.

It is your responsibility to ensure the work you submit is your own. Be informed. Act with honesty and integrity. And don't risk your career and your future.

Find out more about Academic Integrity and the safe support services for academic and study help, available to you, free of charge, as a CQUniversity student.

Day of Action

On Wednesday, 21 October 2020, CQUniversity will be participating in the 5th International Day of Action (DOA) against Contract Cheating.

This day of action is an initiative from the International Centre for Academic Integrity and is a timely reminder of the importance of academic integrity. On this day, we urge you to think and reflect on your own academic journey. What motivated or inspired you to study? Are you proud of your progress and achievements? Why do you choose to not engage in contract cheating?

It’s also a good time to familiarise yourself with the University’s Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure, available on our Policy website. This sets out CQUniversity’s expectations for students and the processes for addressing alleged breaches of academic integrity.

If you ever feel unsure about academic integrity when submitting an assignment, we encourage you to work through the steps on our self-check. If you can answer ‘YES’ to the questions on the flowchart, you can be confident in submitting your work!