SECTION 11: Fitness to Practise

 

You should seek impartial advice and support from the Students’ Union Advice Centre if you are involved in a fitness to practise matter.

 

11.1 Regulation Introduction

11.1.1 These regulations have been developed to address issues of professional suitability and professional misconduct.

11.1.2 These regulations apply to you if you are registered on a course recognised by a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory body (PSRB) that could allow future registration with that body, or for a professional qualification, or for entitlement to practise. We are mindful of our obligations to the community, such as the protection of patients/clients and children and/or vulnerable adults, maintenance of public confidence in professions and upholding proper standards of health and/or conduct.

11.1.3 Matters considered under these regulations include those relating to your health and/or conduct which may affect or question your fitness to practise in your relevant profession and apply at all times during your studies with us. It is your responsibility to be familiar with and to act in accordance with the relevant professional Code(s) of Conduct that apply to your course. You must notify your course leader immediately of any circumstances or change in circumstances that may arise during your studies that may impact on your professional suitability.

11.1.4 We will investigate any allegations that suggest you have breached professional standards. Allegations can be raised by anyone in regards to your conduct both inside and outside the University if that behaviour calls into question your professional suitability. This may also include your behaviour online and in social settings.

11.1.5 We recognise that some behaviour may be attributable to your health or disability. We will consider the matter in a way which is supportive of your health. However, the protection of the public and your fitness to practise must be the overriding concern in any decisions made.

11.1.6 If we uphold an allegation of academic misconduct against you, we may also need to investigate your behaviour under this procedure.

11.1.7 If we find you not fit to practise, then it is your responsibility to check whether you are required to inform the appropriate PSRB when registering. We may also inform the PSRB separately.

11.1.8 If you are registered on a Degree Apprenticeship route then we will keep your employer informed of any issues or alleged breaches relating to this procedure, where necessary.

11.1.9 We can make decisions and apply penalties at any stage of the procedure. You can appeal the decisions from stage 2. Where a penalty is applied, all available penalties will have been considered and your meeting record will detail why the University have selected the specific one applied.

11.1.10 Where you are subject to any proceedings under this regulation, your results for your course will not be confirmed or released until the investigation(s) are concluded and an outcome reached.

11.1.11 If you withdraw from your course during this procedure you will not be allowed to return to study with us until the matter has been investigated and the outcome is known. If you ask for a reference this will record that a fitness to practise matter is outstanding.

11.1.12 If you are found to be in breach of the University’s Fitness to Practise regulation, then the CAB may decide to act to remove some or all of your academic credit achieved on the programme thus far, including but not confined to any credits that might otherwise lead to you being able to claim an interim award recognised in any way by the profession. External Examiner(s) will be made aware of the circumstances and will be asked to support and uphold the decision of the CAB.

 

11.2 Precautionary Measures

11.2.1 We take a risk-based approach to investigating allegations. We take the safety and protection of our students, staff and the general public very seriously. If we consider that you are at risk or pose a risk to others, we may take precautionary measures based upon a risk assessment, which could for example restrict your access to campus or your university activities such as attending placements. If we decide to impose precautionary measures, we will explain why.

 

11.3 Criminal Proceedings

11.3.1 If an allegation is made about you to the police and the police decide to investigate, we are likely to postpone our investigations until the criminal proceedings have been concluded. The University may require a risk assessment to be completed and as a result, we you could have restrictions placed on your studies whilst the criminal proceedings are ongoing, if we believe that you may pose a risk. In exceptional circumstances we may decide to continue our investigations whilst criminal proceedings are continuing. If we decide to do this we will explain why.

11.3.2 Once the criminal proceedings have concluded, we will carry out our own investigation. Once you have been notified that criminal proceedings have concluded you must let us know, this includes providing a copy of any communication provided to you as a result to help us begin our investigation as soon as possible. We may take the outcome of the criminal proceedings into account, however, we use a different threshold of proof based on the balance of probabilities. Please read section 1.14 of the Regulations for Taught Students for more information.