Skip to Main Content
USC logo

Graduate Quality - Ethical

Ethical Rubric

Program level criteria HD DN CR P FL
Identification and explanation of relevant policies, laws, frameworks and/or codes of practice

Sophisticated and coherent

Selects policies/laws/codes of practice with insight and synthesises significant and less explored ideas. Synthesises in-depth and scholarly information connecting various and/or less explored points of view. Recognises complexities and significant implications on practice.

Extensive and clear

Selects key policies/laws/codes of practice and succinctly describes significant ideas. In-depth and effective explanation from key sources connecting various and relevant points of view. Recognises policy implications on practice.


Selects relevant policies/laws/codes of practice and coherently describes key aspects. Explains key information from selected sources representing main ideas.


Selects related policies/laws/codes of practice and describes fundamental knowledge in generalist terms. Simply explains policies/laws/codes of practice.

Identification of an ethical situation


Identifies and describes ethical issues and evidences an insightful understanding of the contributing factors and interconnection between the issues in complex, multilayered situations.

Informed and accurate

Identifies and describes ethical issues and evidences an understanding of the contributing factors and/or interconnection between the issues in complex and multilayered situations.


Identifies and describes basic and obvious ethical issues and indicates contributing factors, complexities or interconnection between the issues.


Identifies and describes basic and obvious ethical issues in generalist terms.

Application of ethical theories/concepts


Insightful applications where complex or difficult implications are recognised and evaluated.

Evaluation / consequences

Application of ethical theories/concepts/frameworks leads to evaluation, consequences and insights.


Clearly and coherently applies relevant ethical theories/concepts/framework to relevant issues/contexts of given situation.


Matches the ethical theory/concept/frameworks to relevant issues of given situation.

Demonstration of cultural humility – an ethical approach

Cultural humility in action

Recognises the power of self and others and seeks out ways to learn, understand and take leadership from others and other knowledge systems. Advancing ethical being by an integrated approach.

Practical wisdom

Reflects and acts justly with concern for others. Recognises origins of their own knowledge and how that might be different and may impact others. Demonstrates listening and recognition of the knowledge of others.

Care of others

Demonstrates care and concern for others and reflects on how personal actions or intentions may impact others – positively or negatively.

Recognition / awareness / cognizance

Recognises the power, experience, history, cultural difference between self and others and how that may impact communication and understanding.

Limited / unaware / unconscious
Justification of ethical practice

Comprehensively and insightfully

Uses a variety of sources to validate conduct/behaviour identifying influence of context. Evaluates own position while integrating views of others. Analyses ethical dimensions underlying the behaviour/conduct.

Thoroughly explains

Uses a variety of sources to validate conduct/behaviour. Clarifies own position without addressing views of others or does so superficially. Identifies relevant ethical dimensions underlying the behaviour/conduct.

Effectively explains

Uses policy/codes of practice/law to explain practice. Recognises consequences of behaviour/conduct. Discerns fact from opinion and may recognise bias.

Accurately explains

Presents related reasons for practice. Adopts a single view and/or obvious view.

Narrow explanation
Reflection on personal and/or professional values

Skilful and proficient

Recognises bias/erroneous thinking and alignment. Uses collaborative inquiry to examine/modify thinking drawing conclusions that lead to change or justify current position/opinion.

Proficient and effective

Reflects on professional and personal values and examines the consequences of these values in a professional context. Conclusions are practical, realistic, and demonstrate sound judgement and practical understanding.

Effective and coherent

Reflects on professional and personal values. Conclusions are geared toward improving outcomes/current thinking and recognising ethical issues.

Clear and coherent

Reflects simply on professional and personal values drawing conclusions with the use of a framework.

Unclear and vague
© University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia | ABN 28 441 859 157 | CRICOS Provider No. 01595D