AICO’s Subcommittee on Contract Cheating

The AICO Subcommittee on Contract Cheating was formed in April of 2018. The Subcommittee, in consultation with AICO membership, introduced an Action Plan to reduce the challenges of contract cheating with a holistic, academic integrity approach. This approach is supported and promoted by the UK Quality Assurance Association (QAA) (2017), the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (2017) and many scholars in the field (Bertram Gallant, 2018; Bretag, 2013; Macdonald & Carroll, 2006). According to the QAA, “contract cheating happens when a third party completes work for a student who then submits it to an education provider as their own, where such input is not permitted” (QAA, 2017, p. 2).

The Action Plan was created with a view that to respond to the unique challenges of contract cheating in universities and colleges, multiple and diverse stakeholder groups must be engaged. The Action Plan includes five elements as follows:

      1. Raise awareness about contract cheating within all constituencies of our own member institutions (e.g. administration, students, staff, faculty, etc.);
      2. Raise awareness about contract cheating with relevant provincial and national education stakeholders;
      3. Develop and share contract cheating reduction strategies (e.g.: develop guidelines / best practices, engage in research);
      4. Explore advocacy for legislation to offer a legal pathway to prosecute contract cheating providers; and
      5. Engage with international stakeholders to work collaboratively on initiatives and build international capacity.

Subcommittee Members:

Cebert Adamson, Mohawk College; Angela Clark, Sheridan College; John Paul Foxe, Ryerson University; Kimberly Mason, McMaster University; Jennie Miron, Humber College; Amanda McKenzie, University of Waterloo; Nagina Parmar, Ryerson University; Andrea Ridgely, Ryerson University; Emma Thacker, University of Toronto.

New members are welcome.


Bertram Gallant, T. (2008). Academic integrity in the twenty-first century: A teaching and    learning imperative. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bretag, T. (2013). Challenges in Addressing Plagiarism in Education. PLoS Medicine 10(12): e1001574.

Macdonald, R. & Carroll, J. (2006). Plagiarism – a complex issue requiring a holistic institutional approach. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 31:2, 233-245.

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). (2017). Good Practice Note: Addressing contract cheating to safeguard academic integrity. Retrieved from:

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). (2017). Contracting to cheat in higher education: How to address contract cheating, the use of third party services and essay mills. Retrieved from: