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In response to the PDA's 'The Role of Pharmacy Technicians' and recent comment on Twitter, we would like to provide our thoughts on the issues surrounding cheating, collusion and plagiarism within education.

Looking at the news this week, we can see that the issue of cheating within the education system goes much further than pharmacy education. The BBC has reported that a recent survey has shown that 15% of students in the last four years may have cheated during their studies.

This suggests that all delivery models are subject to cheating, albeit we recognise that different models may attract different methods of cheating. Within the blended learning sector, which is the predominant model for pharmacy technician training at Buttercups, there are robust systems in place for recognising and addressing cheating, collusion and plagiarism by our learners. These systems are vetted by the awarding bodies and regulators of the qualifications being delivered. In addition, Buttercups monitors forums and social media to ensure that our materials and assessments are not compromised - if cheating is discovered we will act swiftly and decisively.

Sadly, cheating is a part of the human condition, which can present itself in every aspect of life. It is our role as an educator to recognise cheating and make it clear to our learner population that, ultimately, they are failing themselves as well as their course.

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