Policy on use ‘Unfair means and disciplinary actions / penalties for Certification Examinations, CPE programmes / e-CPE programmes’

1. NISM conducts certification examinations and CPE programmes in classroom format and in remote proctored format. Following policy is proposed on use ‘Unfair means and disciplinary actions / penalties for Certification Examinations, CPE programmes, e CPE programmes.’

2. Following acts shall be treated as ‘Use of Unfair Means’ (which may include suspicious activities)
a. Gaining access to test questions before the examination or aiding someone else to do so.
b. Communicating with and / or disturbing other candidates or consulting other persons inside/outside the examination room during the examination.
c. Being in possession of books, notes, typed sheets, rough sheet/s or any other material connected or not connected with the examination
d. Carrying and / or using the electronic/photographic/communication devices/equipment’s that are prohibited during the examinations including but not limited to mobile phones, laptops, tablet PCs, cameras, headphones, pen-drives, Bluetooth devices etc.
e. Taking breaks to move out of your allotted seat at the test center / place of examination without the consent of the invigilator.
f. Threatening or physically or verbally abusing or indulging in any kind of misbehavior with invigilator / fellow candidates or any person connected with the conduct of examination either inside or outside the examination hall.
g. Using abusive or obscene language/symbols through any means within the premises of the Test Centre.
h. Pestering the invigilator for issues including but not limited to extra time allotment, allowing to sit for exam in absence of necessary id proofs/documents etc. even if the invigilator has withheld the request at first instance.
i. Carrying and/or consuming food and/or carrying/consuming alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages etc. excluding drinking water or entering the Test Centre in an inebriated / intoxicated state inside the examination hall.
j. Carrying and/or using weapons/scissor/knife etc. inside the examination hall.
k. Sitting quiet during examination without apparently attempting examination
l. Constant eye movement away from examination screen during the examination
m. Reading out questions and or options loudly, constant lip movement during the examination
n. Any indication / gestures / signs to other person around the candidate whether visible or not
o. Keeping microphone on mute, blocking the camera view during the examination/ eCPE session/s for any period / length of the session, disabling the camera during the examination / eCPE session
p. Staying away from camera during the examination / eCPE session/s for any period / length of the session
q. Not being attentive during the CPE / eCPE sessions / examination/s/ sitting idle during the examination / eCPE session
r. Not following the instructions of proctor / invigilator during the examination
s. Wearing mask during examination / eCPE sessions or making identification difficult for NISM proctors / officers
t. Any other suspicious behavior / activity during/ before / after the examination / eCPE sessions.

3. The following act/s shall be deemed as Cheating:
a. Receiving or giving assistance to the fellow candidate/s directly or indirectly or involved in copying in any form including but not limited to looking into any other workstation different from the allotted one during the course of exam etc.
b. Receiving any outside help in any form
c. Indulging in group copying/making sounds/unsolicited gestures to hint at answers etc. during the course of examination

4. The following acts shall be deemed as theft: Disclosing, publishing, reproducing, transmitting, storing, or facilitating transmission, theft and storage of the contents of the Question bank/corresponding answers of NISM Certification examination or any information therein in whole or part thereof in any form or by any means, verbal or written (e.g.: smuggling rough sheet out of examination hall), electronically or mechanically for any purpose.

5. The following acts shall be treated as ‘Impersonation’
a. Appearing for examination/ CPE programme /eCPE session/s for another candidate or arranging to have another person take an examination / CPE programme / eCPE session/s for the candidate.
b. Allowing/Making somebody else to write answers on candidate’s behalf during examination
c. Helping or receiving help from other candidates to impersonate.
d. Signing Attendance sheet on somebody else’s behalf either partially or completely
e. Moving onto another candidate’s workstation during the course of examination.
f. Providing admit card to another person to enable him to appear on behalf of the candidate.

6. The following act/s shall be deemed as Forgery:
a. Any document or part thereof pertaining to NISM Certification Examinations /CPE programme including but not limited to identity proof of candidate/s, admit card/s, score card etc. is altered using any of the methods of forgery including but not limited to handwriting, printing, engraving, typewriting etc. and/or such document is produced with intent to defraud.
b. Any document or part thereof pertaining to NISM Certification Examinations including but not limited to identity proof of candidate/s, admit card/s, score card etc. is materially different from the records available with NISM.
c. Any other act which is similar in nature and may be deemed as act of forgery by NISM

7. Powers of an invigilator / proctor. The invigilator / proctors shall have the power to:
a. Issue warning to the candidates for minor misconduct
b. Expel a candidate from the examination hall immediately / Terminate examination a candidate’s examination with or without giving warning
c. Note down details of any candidate and communicate / report to NISM In regard to all examination related activities at the test center the invigilator’s / proctor’s / NISM’s super proctor’s / officer’s decision shall be final & binding except when invigilator/s is held guilty / accused by test center staff / NISM of collusion with candidate/s as applicable in invigilator manual.

8. Disciplinary actions / penalties for offences described in 2. and 3. above depending on the gravity of the offence:
a. Warning may be given to the candidate to desist from such activities and / or
b. Expulsion from the examination hall / termination examination and / or
c. Denial of certificate and / or
d. Asking the candidate to go for re-examination and / or
e. Asking the candidate to go for re-enrollment at his / her cost
f. NISM may deny/advise candidate/s enrolment from certain mode/s like Remote proctored Exams / eCPE session/s.
g. If a candidate enrolls for a certain mode of examination / eCPE programme, despite NISM’s denial / warning, certificate may not be issued to the candidate. Further, NISM shall not entertain request for refund / rescheduling for such enrolment/s.
h. Recurrence of any of the observations described in 2. and 3. above during the re-examination may be viewed seriously and lead to disciplinary action as mentioned in 9. b.

9. Disciplinary actions / penalties for offences described in 4., 5. and 6. above depending on the gravity of the offence:
a. All the disciplinary actions as mentioned in 8. above and
b. Disqualification from appearing for any NISM certification examination, CPE or eCPE programme for a period up to three or more years.

10. Process adopted by NISM to deal with cases pertaining to disqualification of candidates from enrolling for NISM certification examinations / CPE programmes beyond 15 days.
NISM shall initiate the following action against such candidate / party/s involved (referred to as concerned party/s hereafter) either by suo moto or upon receipt of complaint by invigilator/test center staff / any NISM staff carrying out post examination review responsible for the conduct of examinations regarding alleged adoption of forgery of documents / Impersonation / theft etc. (related to NISM Certification Examinations/CPE /eCPE programmes):
a. NISM shall appoint an investigation officer/s from the SCI / concerned department
b. The above investigation officer/s shall carry out an investigation in the matter and a detailed investigation report shall be submitted to the Disciplinary Action Committee (referred to as Disciplinary committee hereafter) formed by the Registrar.
c. The concerned official/s of SCI shall assist the committee in these proceedings and issue the written communication to concerned party/s / candidate allegedly involved in forgery / impersonation / theft etc. seeking explanation regarding the matter. The concerned party/s will be required to provide explanation within 15 working days from the issuance of such communication. If no reply is received, it will be assumed that the candidate has nothing to submit.
d. The above Disciplinary committee shall assess the report and relevant documents produced by SCI and will convene a hearing before the committee on the case at a convenient date, if it thinks so.
e. The SCI shall notify the date of such hearing to the concerned party/s in writing. The concerned party/s shall attend such hearing on the notified date in person or through electronic medium as decided by NISM. If the candidate / party does not appear to the hearing, it will be assumed that the candidate has nothing to submit.
f. The concerned party/s / candidate is not allowed to be represented by Advocates / legal officers etc. or any other persons.
g. If the concerned party/s is found guilty, the Disciplinary Committee shall recommend any, some or all of the following actions:
i. Non Issuance/Cancellation/Defacing of NISM Certificates related to forgery.
ii. Non Issuance/Cancellation/Defacing of NISM Certificates related to subsequent attempts by the concerned party/s.
iii. Disqualifying such candidate for an appropriate period from the date of final hearing regarding the case for appearing in one or all certification examinations / CPE programmes of NISM.
iv. Any other action as may be deemed appropriate including but not limited to filing of First Information Report (FIR) with the police authorities etc.
v. Displaying the name on the website of NISM
vi. Any other action as may be deemed fit keeping in mind the sanctity of the NISM examinations.
h. The action recommended shall be communicated in writing to the concerned party/s and also to NISM Test Administrators and employer of the candidate if required for necessary actions (such as disqualifying the concerned party/s from enrolments etc.) at their end.
i. Appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee:
a. For minor offences: The aggrieved party / candidate may make appeal against the action recommended by the committee to the General Manager-SCI / staff member senior General Manager-SCI on the decision of the disciplinary Committee, within 15 days from the receipt of the communication from NISM. The decision of the General Manager / staff member senior to the General Manager –SCI shall be final and binding on the candidate.
b. For major offences: The aggrieved party / candidate may make appeal against the action recommended by the Disciplinary committee to the Registrar – NISM on the decision of the Disciplinary Committee, within 15 days from the receipt of the communication from NISM. The Registrar’s decision shall be final and binding on the candidate.

11. Consequences of termination of exam and disqualification

A candidate may have to face following consequences upon termination of examination and /or disqualifications:
a. If a candidate/s is caught guilty of any of above acts of impersonation, the candidate/s shall be expelled from the examination hall immediately and examination of such candidate/s including the outcome shall be terminated /cancelled.
b. Theft / Impersonation / Forgery are cognizable offences and strictest disciplinary action shall be taken to punish the candidate/s caught guilty as considered suitable by NISM including but not limited to filing an FIR (First Information Report) with the local police authorities.
c. The candidate/s shall be disqualified from appearing from any, some or all of NISM Certification examinations/CPE / eCPE programmes for a period up to three years or more as applicable which NISM finds suitable in its disciplinary action pursuant to the investigation report. The final decision of NISM shall be binding & undisputable.
d. If a candidate/s had passed such examination, the certificate/s shall not be issued against such examination.
e. The candidates who are advised to reappear for the exam has to reenroll for the examination by paying additional fees. Any Request for reappearing or refund of fees shall not be entertained against the respective enrolment/s.
f. NISM reserves right to inform the employer of the candidate / relevant SRO / Securities market regulator / any other regulator of about such candidates.
g. NISM may publish details of such candidates, including names and photographs on its notice board / website.

12. The above policy may be published on NISM’s website.

13. The above policy may be reviewed depending on the need felt by NISM.

14. The above modified policy will be applicable to all NISM certification examinations and CPE programmes with or without remote proctoring.