Purpose of the guidelines
Examination of UWA theses prepared for higher degrees by research is wholly external. The process for examination and classification of theses assumes that examiners undertake the task independently, without bias. Professional and personal relationships between examiners and a student and their supervisor/s, and relationships between examiners and the University, have the potential to introduce bias and thus reduce the independence of the examination, in fact or perception. Sometimes it is not clear to examiners and their nominees what might constitute a conflict of interest that must be declared.
The Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) good practice guidelines outline principles for disclosing and managing interests in graduate research training, with a focus on fostering safe and productive relationships amongst candidates and their supervisors, and on ensuring that the assessment outcomes associated with graduate research are unbiased and beyond reproach.