Calendar 2018/19

E - University of Exeter Policy and Procedures for Fitness to Practise(FtP)

Contents

Glossary of Terms and Definitions

Part I: Introduction
The University’s Fitness to Practise Policy
Scope of this regulation
Fitness to Practise where programmes of studies are provided in partnership with other universities
Fitness to Practise during intercalated studies
Fitness to Practise for students studying for a University award employed by a body with its own Fitness to Practise regulation
Responsibilities of the University for supporting Fitness to Practise
Responsibilities to applicants
Responsibilities to students
Responsibilities of students
Student support
Data protection and confidentiality
The Academic Lead for Fitness to Practise
The responsible Persons in Fitness to Practise matters
The Investigating Officer in Fitness to Practise matters
Monitoring the effectiveness of this regulation

Part II: Reporting and receiving concerns
Health and Wellbeing matters that might give rise to concerns about the Fitness to Practise of a student
Unprofessional conduct that may give rise to concerns about the Fitness to Practise of a student
The duty to raise concerns about the Fitness to Practise of a student
Reporting concerns when the student is at the University
Reporting concerns when the student is in a placement setting
Reporters
Anonymous reports of concern about the Fitness to Practise of a student on grounds of their health or wellbeing

Part III: Investigating concerns
Temporary suspensions of students when there are concerns about their Fitness to Practise
Appointing an Investigating Officer
Informing the student of an investigation
Investigating concerns relating to unprofessional conduct
The Investigating Officer’s report
Investigation and reporting by an OH Professional
Dealing with allegations of academic misconduct in the context of Fitness to Practise

Part IV: Preliminary hearings
Receiving reports from an OH Professional and/or an Investigating Officer
The purpose of a preliminary hearing
Hearings in absentia
Sequence of events
Outcomes of a preliminary hearing

Part V: Hearings by Fitness to Practise Panels
Status and purpose of Fitness to Practise Panels
Membership of a Fitness to Practise Panel
Training for Fitness to Practise Panel members
Attendance of the OH Professional, Investigating Officer and the Responsible Person
Notice to the student in Fitness to Practise proceedings and information that must be provided for them
Expert and legal advice
Preliminary matters for Fitness to Practise Panels
Hearings in absentia
Burden of proof and standard of proof in a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing
Sequence of events at a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing
How the Fitness to Practise Panel reaches its decision
The options open to a Fitness to Practise Panel
Reporting the findings and recommendation of a Fitness to Practise Panel
Status of the student following a hearing by a Fitness to Practise Panel

Part VI: Appeal against the confirmed findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel
Making an appeal against the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel that have been confirmed by the Pro-Vice Chancellor of a College
Grounds for an appeal against the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel
Appeals that do not fall within the grounds specified by the University
Convening a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel
Membership of a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel
Training for new members of Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels
Notice to the student and information that must be provided for them
Information that will be provided for a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel
Expert and legal advice
The burden of proof and the standard of proof in an appeal against the findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel
Purpose of Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels
Preliminary matters for Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels
Hearings in absentia
The sequence of events at a hearing by a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel
The options open to a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel
Reporting the findings and recommendation of a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel

Appendices:

Annex 1: Registration or regulatory bodies linked to University of Exeter programmes
Annex 2: Responsible Persons - Role description and person specification
Annex 3: Investigating Officers – Role description and person specification
Annex 4: Procedures for the temporary suspension of a student in connection with Fitness to Practise

GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Burden of Proof

The term Burden of Proof is used in this Regulation to define where the responsibility rests for proving a case.

Conditions and Undertakings

Conditions and Undertakings may be imposed by a Responsible Person, following a Preliminary Hearing, or as the outcome of a Fitness to Practise Panel. They are made when allegations or concerns are found to be valid and can be made whether or not an impairment of Fitness to Practise is found to have occurred.

Conditions and Undertakings may include restrictions on clinical placements, a requirement to undertake treatment or seek therapeutic interventions, a requirement to undertake exercises designed to promote reflection, monitoring arrangements, requirements regarding disclosure of Fitness to Practise proceedings or restrictions on future conduct.

Conditions and Undertakings are designed to ensure future and/or ongoing Fitness to Practise and are usually considered to be rehabilitative in nature.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

A body formed from the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority to carry out checks on individuals applying to work in specified occupations and/or places in order to establish whether an applicant, including an applicant to a Registration or Regulatory Body, has previous convictions.

The University has a duty to make a report to the DBS where a Student is removed from a regulated activity as a result of concerns of risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults.

Documentation Bundle

A Documentation Bundle is produced in advance of a Fitness to Practise Panel and contains an identification of the Registration or Regulatory Body guidance that may be referred to, or consulted, during the hearing; membership of the Panel; a chronology of events; the allegations being considered and why they might be seen to impair Fitness to Practise; who the Panel will hear from; a list of the written evidence to be considered; copies of the documents submitted by the College in support of its case; and, copies of the documents to be submitted by the Student in support of their case.

Fitness to Practise

For Programmes that are linked to one or more Registration or Regulatory Bodies in each case the University follows the definition of Fitness to Practise that the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body itself follows.

Fitness to Study

The University's "Health, Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure" is normally invoked where there are "emerging concerns about a Student's health, wellbeing and or behaviour and the impact this has on his/her ability to progress" at the University.

This Procedure cannot be invoked for Students studying on a Programme linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body.

Intercalation, Intercalated Studies

A period, usually of one year, in which a medical Student can study a subject of their choice outside the Programme for which they are registered, at either Bachelor’s or Master’s degree level. The University of Exeter normally locates Intercalated Studies between the fourth and fifth years of a Programme in Medicine. Studies during Intercalation may be undertaken at the University or at another University with which it has a formal agreement to facilitate such an arrangement.

Investigating Officer

A member of the University's academic staff appointed by a Responsible Person to investigate concerns regarding a Student's Fitness to Practise. The Investigating Officer should be a Registrant of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body.

OH Professional

An accredited specialist in occupational medicine.

Material Contact

When used in this Regulation with respect to an Investigating Officer, Responsible Person, member of a Fitness to Practise or Appeal Panel, "material Contact" means any significant connection or contact, such as social contact or a direct supervisory relationship with the Student under investigation, that could lead a reasonable observer to conclude that a conflict of interest may exist.

Notification of Outcome

A letter sent to a Student after a Preliminary Hearing outlining the decision of the Responsible Person, together with any Conditions or Undertakings imposed.

Personal Sensitive Data and Information

In the context of this Regulation, data and information relating to physical or mental health, alleged or actual criminal offences and related proceedings, sexual life, religious or other beliefs of a similar nature.

Placement Provider

An organisation providing a placement setting in order to support a Programme of study.

Placement Setting

Any setting outside the University where the Student has been placed by the University as part of their Programme in agreement with the placement provider. Placement Settings will include but not be limited to schools and associated study centres; further and higher education colleges; hospital, clinical and laboratory settings; surgeries; consulting rooms and diagnostic facilities whether NHS or privately provided and/or managed.

Professional Conduct

The standard of behaviour and conduct that is required of a Student following a University Programme that leads to eligibility for registration by a Registration or Regulatory Body may be published in a code of Professional Conduct. It will be consistent with the conduct required by the relevant profession, the employers of such professionals and those who provide clinical and other work placements for University Students. It is behaviour and conduct that:
i)      Does not jeopardise or put at risk the welfare, wellbeing, or safety of others, including: pupils; patients; clients; persons at risk/vulnerable adults; members of the public; fellow Students; co-workers; members of academic, professional or clinical staff.
ii)     Is consistent with professional norms of probity and trustworthiness; courtesy to all; insight into health; effective working; respect for the autonomy and privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of communications with them.
Students who are registered to study for an award that gives them eligibility to apply to a Registration or Regulatory Body for Registration or Regulatory are reminded when they apply, when they first register to study with the University and regularly thereafter, that they are required to exhibit Professional Conduct at all times.

Programme of research

A Programme of supervised activities undertaken by a postgraduate Student that enables them to prepare to be assessed for the award of a higher degree of the University. In the specific context of this Regulation , it is a Programme of activities that includes one or more periods of clinical professional or practice-based activity, in a setting that requires them to subscribe to this Regulation or to equivalents agreed for that setting or settings. See below, "Programme".

Programme

The Student's Programme consists of the sum of the modules, courses, clinical and other learning opportunities that they follow to enable them to show that they have met the Learning Outcomes set for them and have demonstrated the necessary skills to achieve the award for which they are studying.

The term "Programme" as defined above should be read as also and equally referring to a Programme of Research that leads to a higher degree of the University and that includes time spent in a clinical or practice-based setting, other than when expressly stated.

Record of Determination

A Record of Determination is produced by a Fitness to Practise Panel and outlines their Determination on the Facts, Determination on Impairment, Determination on Mitigation and Determination on Sanction. Within the Record of Determination, the Panel shall provide a rationale for each determination.

Register

The record maintained by a Registration or Regulatory Body of persons it recognises as meeting its standards for training, professional skills, behaviour and health and Fitness to Practise.

Registration or Regulatory Body

A Registration or Regulatory Body is a Body that administers a Register where entry of a person's name on the Register is necessary to enable the person to practise in that profession or hold qualified status within that profession

Registrant

A person whose name is on the Register of a Registration or Regulatory Body or Bodies.

Regulated Activity

In the context of work with children and vulnerable adults including teaching, training and instruction of children, or providing personal or health care to children or adults, Regulated Activity is 'work that a barred person must not do'. See Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, 2006.

Reporter

A person reporting a concern about the health, wellbeing, behaviour or conduct of a Student following a Programme that is linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body or a Programme that has been designated by the University to be subject to this Regulation.

Responsible Person

A Responsible Person is a member of the academic of the University who has been designated by a College Pro-Vice Chancellor or Faculty Dean to receive expressions of concern about the health and/or wellbeing of a Student that affects or may affect their Fitness to Practise and/or complaints about their Fitness to Practise and/or Professional Conduct.
In the course of dealing with a Fitness to Practise matter the duties of the Responsible Person may be discharged by one individual or more than one, where that is necessary to ensure that the matter is handled in a timely manner, but the named Responsible Person has the duty of ensuring that the way that Fitness to Practise matters are handled is consistent with this Regulation

In this Regulation the term "Responsible Person" is taken to include any professional or administrative assistants supporting the Responsible Person(s) in their work.

The name(s) of Responsible Persons for Fitness to Practise are published in the handbooks for relevant Programmes or their digital equivalents and publicised by the relevant School or College, as appropriate.

Senior Member of the University

For the purpose of this Regulation, a Senior Member of the University is defined as a member of the University's Senior Management Team, a Faculty Dean or College Pro-Vice Chancellor.

Standard of Proof

The term "Standard of Proof" is used in this Regulation to describe the level of certainty that a Fitness to Practise Panel and a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel should seek in deciding whether the case against the Student has been proven. It is that the Panel should be satisfied that the person or body on whom the Burden of Proof rests should have been able to show that it is more likely than not that the Student's Fitness to Practise is- or has been- impaired This is sometimes called the "standard of proof in civil cases" or otherwise "the balance of probabilities"

Student

For the purpose of this Regulation, the term "Student" denotes:
a)     A person who is registered with the University who is following a Programme that requires them to undertake a period of clinical and/or professional experience and that leads to entry on the Register of a Registration or Regulatory Body OR is following a Programme for which Senate, advised by the Faculties, has decided that this Regulation will apply.
b)     A person who is studying, preparing for research, or conducting research at the University through an arrangement with other Universities on a Programme or in a research area where the University has stated that this Regulation will apply.

Vulnerable adult/adult at risk

For the purposes of this Fitness to Practise Regulation the University recognises each of the above terms as co-equivalent in meaning. See also above, "Regulated Activity".

PART I: INTRODUCTION

THE UNIVERSITY’S FITNESS TO PRACTISE POLICY
1

The University is committed to working closely with the Registration or Regulatory Bodies that are associated with its Programmes, including those Registration or Regulatory Bodies that accept successful University of Exeter Students onto the Register they maintain.

2

Where the University works with a Registration or Regulatory Body that requires it to follow specified procedures (including Fitness to Practise procedures) in order for that Body to be able to register successful University of Exeter Students, the University may approve and adopt the procedures specified by the Registration or Regulatory Body, or agreed with it through the relevant College on behalf of the University.

3

The University recognises its responsibility to ensure that Students who come into contact with pupils, other children, vulnerable adults, patients, clients, other Students and the general public in the course of their studies or research, are Fit to Practise.

4

The University may, at its discretion, require that this Regulation shall apply to a Programme that is not presently or in prospect of being linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body. Such a decision might be taken where the University, advised by its academic and professional staff and legal advisers, considers that Students following a Programme will be required to undertake school-based, clinical or other practice-based and work-based placements where their conduct needs to be governed by this Regulation "as if" the Programme is linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body and its requirements.

5

In cases where the Fitness to Practise procedures required by a Registration or Regulatory Body and these University of Exeter Regulation differ, the requirements of the Registration or Regulatory Body shall take precedence until such time as the Regulation may be updated.

6

The University acknowledges that from time to time the adoption of procedures prescribed by a Registration or Regulatory Body or agreed with it may give rise to minor inconsistencies in the way procedures (including Fitness to Practise procedures) are followed across its Colleges and Schools. It will take all reasonable steps to ensure that any such minor inconsistencies do not result in unfairness to Students and staff.

7

Where a College has previously agreed a Fitness to Practise Procedure with a Registration or Regulatory Body on behalf of the University or, subsequent to the adoption of this Regulation, Senate has adopted or renewed such an agreement, the University will publish the name of the College and the Registration or Regulatory Body that are parties with the University to such an agreement in an Annex to this document or any successor, with a link to the agreed Procedure and a statement by Senate certifying that they are consistent with this Regulation.

SCOPE OF THIS REGULATION

8

This Regulation applies where a Student is following a Programme that is linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body which includes practice-based training, clinical training, or experience that may entitle them to apply for entry onto the Register of a Registration or Regulatory Body.

9

Where a Student following such a Programme states that they do not intend to make such an application, they are nonetheless required to follow the University's requirements for Fitness to Practise or to transfer to a cognate Programme that does not include clinical or practice-based elements.

10

Where concerns about a Student's health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct are reported to a Responsible Person, such concerns will be investigated and dealt with in accordance with this Regulation where the Student is following a Programme that is either:

a. Provided by a School or College which, if completed successfully, confers eligibility to apply for Registration or Regulatory by a Registration or Regulatory Body.
b. Provided by a School or College that requires registration with a registration body during the training period.
c. Subject to this Regulation following a decision of the University.
11

The Health Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure shall not apply to Programmes within the scope of this Regulation.

12

Where a Student is following a Programme provided by a College that does not include school, clinical or other practice-based placements that bring them into contact with the public, including pupils and young persons, vulnerable adults/persons at risk, other Students or staff and does not, if successfully completed, confer eligibility to apply for registration by a Registration or Regulatory Body, emerging or present concerns about their health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct will be dealt with under the University, the Health Wellbeing and Support for Study Procedure is followed.

13

In the case of students registered for online programmes, the University should not require attendance by the student at any meeting or hearing convened under these regulations, but should use its best endeavours to enable the student to participate by telephone or video conference, as an alternative to physical attendance.  If it is not possible to arrange within a reasonable timescale, or at a reasonable time in the UK working day, a meeting at which the student may participate by telephone or video conference, the University may proceed to hold the meeting in the student’s absence. In such cases the student will be invited to submit written comments which must be considered by the committee at the appropriate point(s) in proceedings. The proceedings of any such committee or panel will not be invalidated simply by virtue of the student not attending.

FITNESS TO PRACTISE WHERE PROGRAMMES OF STUDIES ARE PROVIDED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OTHER UNIVERSITIES

14

In cases where the University is a participant in a taught Programme or a Programme of Research that includes one or more periods of clinical training or practice-based or professional experience that is provided in collaboration with one or more other universities, the formal agreement that governs the Programme specifies the Fitness to Practise procedures that will apply for Students following the Programme.

15

Where the formal agreement for such a collaboratively provided Programme does not specify the procedures to be applied, this Regulation will apply for such Students who are studying with the University of Exeter or under its supervision.

FITNESS TO PRACTISE DURING INTERCALATED STUDIES

16

Should the Fitness to Practise of a Student undertaking Intercalated Studies at another university or higher education provider be questioned by the host institution for whatever reason, it will notify the University via a Responsible Person.

17

In such circumstances, the University will investigate the matter following this Regulation to determine whether the Student's Fitness to Practise is or has been impaired, and how to deal with the matter.

FITNESS TO PRACTISE FOR STUDENTS STUDYING FOR A UNIVERSITY AWARD WHILE EMPLOYED BY A BODY WITH ITS OWN FITNESS TO PRACTISE REGULATION

18

Where a Student is registered to study with the University and is at the same time in employment, and their employer has their own Fitness to Practise policy and procedure that the Student-employee is required to follow as a condition of their employment, the University and the employer will agree which Regulation shall apply to the Student when they are with the employer and at the University.

19

Where it is agreed that the Fitness to Practise policy and procedure of the employer shall apply, the employer shall provide details of those policies and procedures to the University.

20

Where the University and the employer have not reached such an agreement, this Regulation will apply.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY FOR SUPPORTING FITNESS TO PRACTISE

21

The University is responsible to Registration or Regulatory Bodies, other stakeholders (such as placement providers) and Students for having an up-to-date robust, effective and fair Regulation, that takes as its priority ensuring the Fitness to Practise of Students who come into contact through their Programme with pupils, other children, patients, clients, vulnerable adults, other Students and the public, to ensure their safety and wellbeing. It does this by taking account of the advice and guidance of the various Registration or Regulatory Bodies that it works with and other relevant and appropriate sources of advice and guidance, such as the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.

22

The University has arrangements through its Colleges and Schools to establish and monitor the Fitness to Practise of Students registered to follow Programmes that include clinical or practice-based placements which, if successfully completed, confer eligibility to apply for registration by a Registration or Regulatory Body.

23

The University ensures that Colleges and Schools that provide Programmes that are linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies have arrangements to train and support staff and Student representatives in the operation of this Regulation.

24

The University handles concerns that are raised about the Fitness to Practise of Students and complaints about their conduct and behaviour through:

a. Setting out the definitions of Professional Conduct it requires Students following relevant Programmes to observe.
b. Designating or appointing Responsible Persons to receive reports of concerns and complaints about the Fitness to Practise of Students.
c. Designating or appointing Investigating Officers to review reports of concerns and complaints about the Fitness to Practise of Students on behalf of Responsible Persons.
d. Setting out procedures to be followed by Responsible Persons in order to determine how to deal with reports about the Fitness to Practise of Students made by Investigating Officers and whether to convene a Fitness to Practise Panel.
e. Prescribing how Fitness to Practise Panels shall conduct hearings, how Students can question allegations that affect their Fitness to Practise, and the findings a Fitness to Practise Panel can reach.
f. Providing means, through Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels for the Student to challenge the findings and recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO APPLICANTS

25

The University has published a "Policy Statement on Fitness to Practise (Admissions Stage) Procedures" that lays out its responsibilities to ensure that applicants for Programmes that have Fitness to Practise requirements are aware of the University's own requirements and those of any relevant Registration or Regulatory Body with respect to Fitness to Practise, health, behaviour and conduct. Where relevant, the University also ensures that applicants and Students are aware that its Fitness to Practise requirements extend to social media.

26

The University has means through its Admissions Office to inform applicants for Programmes that are linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies whether they are required to disclose any criminal convictions (including spent convictions) and whether they will be required to undergo checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) prior to admission and registration. In all relevant cases, references to the DBS are managed for Colleges and Schools and their Programmes by the Admissions Office.

RESPONSIBILITIES TO STUDENTS
27

The University ensures that during their initial induction, and any subsequent refresher inductions, Students who have registered for Programmes that include school-based, clinical or other practice-based placements and which are linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies are

a. Introduced to the Fitness to Practise Procedures and expectations for Professional Conduct that apply to them.
b. Reminded that any and all criminal convictions and cautions including those imposed while the Student is registered for their Programme must be notified to the University.
c. Made aware of their responsibilities regarding disclosure of new or worsening health conditions.
d. Made aware of their responsibilities regarding the disclosure of Fitness to Practise concerns regarding peers, academic staff and staff within the placement setting.
e. Directed to this Regulation and where they can find the name(s) and contact details for the Responsible Person(s) designated for their Programme, or College.
f. Made aware that the University's Fitness to Practise requirements extend to conduct at all times and outside the University, on placement and in social media.
28

For Students who have declared a disability which puts them at a disadvantage, the University may modify this Procedure where it is reasonable to do so.

29

The University ensures that it has procedures for enabling academic, professional and support staff, staff in Placement Settings, Students, and members of the public to raise concerns that will help it to identify and deal with concerns about the Fitness to Practise of staff and Students and unlawful and/or harmful practice.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF STUDENTS

30

Students who are following Programmes that include school-based, clinical or other practice-based placements linked to registration by a Registration or Regulatory Body have a duty at all times to maintain the standards of Professional Conduct required by the University and the Registration or Regulatory Body to which their Programme is linked.

31

Students following Programmes that are linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies, or that are treated by the University as if they are linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body, are under a duty to report any concerns they may have about the behaviour or Fitness to Practise of another Student, a member of the University's staff, or a professional with whom they are working. Any such concerns are to be reported to the Responsible Person in their College who is identified in their Programme handbook or an equivalent digital document.

32

Students following a University Programme that leads to eligibility for registration by a Registration or Regulatory Body are required by the University to ensure that their own health and wellbeing does not put themselves or others at risk, or compromise their own Fitness to Practise, and to report any concerns they may have about their own health and/or wellbeing to a Responsible Person

STUDENT SUPPORT

33

The University, or individual Colleges has arrangements to provide Occupational Health services in order to assess Student Fitness to Practise and support the ongoing Fitness to Practise of Students following Programmes that linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies.

34

The University (and FXPlus) also provides separate Wellbeing and AccessAbility services.

35

For Programmes that linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies, applicants with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Admissions Team and AccessAbility, the University's dedicated service, when deciding whether to make an their application and what information to include.

36

Applicants with disabilities who are accepted by the University onto a Programme linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body are strongly encouraged to disclose their disabilities in order to ensure that they receive advice and the support to which they are entitled, for example, under the Equality Act, and so that adjustments can be made for disabilities to safeguard pupils, children, vulnerable adults and other Students and staff from harm. See http://www.exeter.ac.uk/accessability/prospective-Students/

37 Colleges or Schools that provide Programmes linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body have arrangements to provide academic advice, guidance, pastoral and welfare support, whether through academic staff acting as personal tutors or professional staff working as part of a dedicated welfare support service.
DATA PROTECTION AND CONFIDENTIALITY
38

The University collects and holds Personal Sensitive Data and Information about Students who have registered to follow a Programme that is linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body and who are subject to the University's Regulation. Personal Sensitive Data and Information is held by the University in accordance with its approved policies and procedures for data protection under the Data Protection Act (1998).

39

As part of their induction Students registering to follow a Programme that is linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body are helped to understand that the University may be required to share Personal Sensitive Data and Information with Registration or Regulatory Bodies and with bodies providing clinical and other practice-based placements, including NHS Trusts, schools, and like bodies, for the safety of pupils, vulnerable adults, patients and clients. When these matters have been explained the Student will be required to confirm in writing whether they consent to the sharing of their Personal Sensitive Data and Information between the University and the third parties exemplified above.

40

Students who are subject to this Regulation are required to observe the requirements of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body and/or placement provider and the University with respect to confidentiality and the non-disclosure of Personal Sensitive Data and Information about pupils, clients, patients, fellow Students and staff, vulnerable adults, members of the public and others including when using social media.

41

The University limits access to a Student's Personal Sensitive Data and Information to those who require it to check statements made by the Student about their previous history and confirm their eligibility for Registration or Regulatory. Students should understand that the University's duties to protect pupils, patients, other Students, staff members of the University, practitioners, and members of the public, from unprofessional behaviour by a Student may, in individual cases, require disclosure of Personal Sensitive Data and Information, over and above the circumstances referred to in this paragraph where it is reasonable to do so in the interests of ensuring such protection.

42

Where Fitness to Practise investigations are commissioned involving multiple Students and/or witness testimony, it may be necessary to redact documents, including the Reports of Investigating Officers and/or Documentation Bundles, in order to protect personal and sensitive data and information

a. Redaction must not restrict the Students ability to understand the case against and prepare an adequate defence.
43

Where, in the course of a Fitness to Practise investigation, the University is made aware of criminal behaviour, such information will be passed to the police.

THE ACADEMIC LEAD FOR FITNESS TO PRACTISE
44

The Academic Lead for Fitness to Practise provides academic leadership on Fitness to Practise across Programmes falling within the Scope of this Regulation.

45

The Academic Lead is responsible for overseeing the operation of this Regulation, securing consistent and proportionate application across Programmes falling within the Scope of this Regulation.

46

The Academic Lead will bring together the Responsible Persons for Fitness to Practise, creating a network amongst which best practice and regulatory guidance will be shared, and providing advice on interpretation of the guidance of Registration and Regulatory Bodies and on due process.

47

Interpretation of professional values and standards associated with specific disciplines will remain the duty of the Responsible Persons, as registrants of the relevant professions.

48

Where procedural circumstances arise that have not been accounted for within this Regulation, the Policy Advisor for Fitness to Practise and the Academic Lead will interpret the Regulation in such a way as to ensure procedural fairness.

THE RESPONSIBLE PERSONS IN FITNESS TO PRACTISE MATTERS
49

In Fitness to Practise matters, the Responsible Person is a member of the University's academic, clinical, or practitioner staff who has been formally designated to act in that capacity by a College Pro-Vice Chancellor or a Faculty Dean acting in their place.

50

Responsible Persons are normally appointed or designated by the Pro-Vice Chancellor of each College that provides Programmes linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies. In the absence of the Pro-Vice Chancellor or during an interregnum, a Faculty Dean may designate or appoint Responsible Persons.

51

Exceptionally, where the demands of dealing with a complex Fitness to Practise matter in a timely manner requires that more than one Responsible Person works on the case simultaneously, the University will facilitate this. In such a case the Responsible Person from the College to which the matter has been reported will take the lead.

52

The University recognises that in assigning weighty duties to Responsible Persons there is a need for it to provide them with initial and refresher training and support for the role. The University also recognises that it needs to provide opportunities for Responsible Persons to meet others in the same role periodically, to share experience and good practice, and for Responsible Persons to meet Investigating Officers and professional staff supporting Fitness to Practise arrangements to be briefed on new developments and share information. Meetings between Responsible Persons and others involved in Fitness to Practise matters will be held at least annually.

53

Colleges or Schools that provide Programmes linked to Professional Bodies, or that have been designated by the University to follow this Regulation, ensure that each year the name(s) of the Responsible Persons for Fitness to Practise matters for each College are published in the handbooks for relevant Programmes or their digital equivalents.

54

Colleges and Schools also ensure that this information is included in the guidance that is issued to those who provide and/or supervise school and practice-based placements, including clinical placements, and that the name of the Responsible Person for dealing with matters in connection with Fitness to Practise (including health and/or wellbeing matters) is prominently displayed on the intranet and/or Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) pages for the College and the Programme.

55

A role description and person specification for Responsible Persons is provided for illustrative purposes in ANNEX 2.

THE INVESTIGATING OFFICER IN FITNESS TO PRACTISE MATTERS

56

For the purpose of this Regulation an "Investigating Officer" is an individual, who has been appointed, in accordance with Paragraphs 86-89 by a Responsible Person to perform the role.

57

The Investigating Officer is normally an experienced member of the academic staff of the University who is familiar with undertaking investigations, interviewing Students and witnesses, and drawing up reports; a Registrant of the Registration or Regulatory Body to which the Programme is linked will be sought.

58

To avoid the possibility of prejudice or bias, the Investigating Officer should not have had any Material Contact with the Student.

59

Exceptionally, where there appears to be the potential for a conflict of interest to compromise the demonstrable independence of the Investigating Officer, the Responsible Person may agree with the College Pro-Vice Chancellor to appoint an Investigating Officer from outside the College or an Officer who is independent of the University, having made arrangements to ensure that such a person will have access to advice and guidance on the University's arrangements in order to perform their role.

60

A role description and person specification for an Investigating Officer is provided for illustrative purposes in ANNEX 3.

MONITORING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS REGULATION

61

The University gathers information annually from Colleges on the operation of their approved Fitness to Practise arrangements so that it can report on their operation via the University Academic Lead for Fitness to Practise to the Faculties and Senate. The University also reports to the relevant Registration or Regulatory Bodies in accordance with their requirements and the agreements that it has reached with them through its Colleges and Schools.

62

Summaries of the reports of the University's periodic reviews of the overall effectiveness and currency of its Regulation are submitted to the Faculties and Senate for information and action (if required) when the reviews are concluded.

PART II: REPORTING AND RECEIVING CONCERNS

HEALTH AND WELLBEING MATTERS THAT MIGHT GIVE RISE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE FITNESS TO PRACTISE OF A STUDENT

63

A declaration by the Student or by a third party to a Responsible Person of specific functional impairments, or concerns relating to impairment of Fitness to Practise on health and wellbeing grounds, will usually require referral to an accredited OH Professional.

64

Refusal on the part of the Student to consent to an investigation and report by an OH Professional may be itself provide (additional) grounds for concern about the Student's Fitness to Practise.

65

The University and many Registration or Regulatory Bodies distinguish between disabilities and impairments where, with suitable and reasonable adjustments and planning, the Student can complete their studies and apply for Registration or Regulatory, and health concerns that raise concerns for the Student's Fitness to Practise. The latter may include:

a. Failure on the part of the Student to recognise that they have a health problem.
b. Failure on the part of the Student to seek medical treatment or engage with recommended medical treatment.
c. Failure on the part of the Student to accept or employ the reasonable adjustments made for them.
d. Failure on the part of the Student to recognise the limits to their own abilities or that they lack insight into the circumstances of others.
e. A condition that is not amenable to treatment.
UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT THAT MAY GIVE RISE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE FITNESS TO PRACTISE OF A STUDENT
66

Students following a University Programme that is linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body are required to adhere to the standard of behaviour and/or code of conduct provided by the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body.

a. Where no such guidance is provided, such Students should adhere to the University's own definition of Professional Conduct is set out in the Glossary.
67

Students following Programmes that are linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body, or which the University has stated should be treated as if they are linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body, are reminded that they are required to exhibit Professional Conduct at all times, including outside the University and when not studying.

68

Where a Student is in any doubt about whether to bring matters to do with their behaviour or conduct to the attention of the University, they notify a Responsible Person as identified in their Programme information or Handbook or its digital equivalent.

69

Where a Student’s conduct gives rise to investigation or proceedings by the police or other government agencies, the Fitness to Practise investigation will be paused until those investigations or proceedings are complete.

a. In such circumstances the Responsible Person will immediately make appropriate enquiries, in order to determine whether the student should be suspended, or not.
b. The Student will be required to inform the University of the outcome of that investigation or proceedings, immediately once it is concluded, at which point the Fitness to Practise investigation shall recommence.

THE DUTY TO RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT THE FITNESS TO PRACTISE OF A STUDENT

70

The University recognises that most Registration or Regulatory Bodies place a duty on all those associated with the Programmes that are linked to them (Students and staff) to monitor their own Fitness to Practise and report concerns.

71

The University also recognises that Registration or Regulatory Bodies place duties on Students following Programmes linked to them to report concerns about the health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct of a fellow Student that may have implications for their Fitness to Practise.

72

Where the College has approved provisions such as those of the Medical School for "Raising Concerns" they will be drawn to the attention of Students in their induction and in any subsequent refresher inductions.

REPORTING CONCERNS WHEN THE STUDENT IS AT THE UNIVERSITY
73

Where a member of the University's academic, professional or support staff, another Student, placement providers, or those who come into contact with a Student have concerns about the health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct of the Student, they report those concerns to the University. Where the Student is in the University at the time the concerns are raised this is through the relevant Responsible Person.

74

At all points, the University, its staff and Students will be mindful of the need to give priority in applying this Regulation to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, other children, patients, clients vulnerable adults and other Students.

REPORTING CONCERNS WHEN THE STUDENT IS IN A PLACEMENT SETTING
75

When the Student is in a Placement Setting, and their health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct makes a pupil, client, patient, teacher, practitioner, clinician, or manager uneasy, or causes them to worry that their safety and wellbeing or that of others might be at risk, they must report their concerns.

76

Concerns about a Students behaviour or conduct in a Placement Setting may be raised and reported to the University through a trusted intermediary, such as a head teacher or their nominee in a school setting, or a clinician, registered practitioner or manager in a clinical setting; they will raise the matter with the designated contact with the University so that the concerns can be acted upon without delay and, where necessary, reported to a Responsible Person in the College.

77

When making a report of concerns to a Responsible Person, this should be done in a responsible and professional manner and, to emphasise the point, as soon as cause for concern is evident.

78

For the Responsible Person to be able to deal with an expression of concerns about the Fitness to Practise of a Student they will need to receive a report of the concerns and their nature, whether in an email, a letter, or through a face-to-face meeting.

REPORTERS
79

The University refers to the person reporting a concern as the "Reporter".

80

Where concerns are expressed through a face-to-face meeting it should be on the basis of notes previously made by the Reporter that set out in clear, honest and objective terms, the reason for the concern and that acknowledge where the Reporter may have any personal grievance or interest arising from the concern. Any written report of a concern should follow the same format. Where the Reporter is acting to convey information provided by another (such as a person or intermediary in a Practice Setting) they should state who has reported the concern and what steps have been taken to establish its substance.

81

The Reporter should keep a record of the concern they have raised (which might be the notes referred to above or from an initial conversation with a member of staff, a person in a Practice Setting, or their report to the Responsible Person); how it was expressed; to whom; and the date when it was conveyed. The Reporter should ask the Responsible Person to acknowledge, in writing or via email, that they have received the expression of concern.

82

The University confirms that the Reporter of a concern about a Student's health and wellbeing, their conduct and their Fitness to Practise is protected under the terms of the Public Interest Disclosure Act (1998) and (for relevant Programmes) the NHS Constitution (2012). The Reporter will not be subject to any penalty or detriment for reporting a concern in good faith; however, they should be aware that those who make reports that are found to be vexatious and/or malicious are not protected under the 1998 Act. Likewise, a Student reporting a concern about the Fitness to Practise of another Student will not be subject to penalty via the University's Disciplinary Procedures or this Regulation.

83

In any investigation into a concern about a Student's health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct and their Fitness to Practise, the Responsible Person and the University will treat the identity of the Reporter as confidential, insofar as that is consistent with the fair and effective investigation of the concern. The Reporter should be aware, however, that if there is subsequently a hearing into the matter of the concern they may be called as a witness or to give evidence.

ANONYMOUS REPORTS OF CONCERN ABOUT THE FITNESS TO PRACTISE OF A STUDENT ON GROUNDS OF THEIR HEALTH OR WELLBEING
84

The University will not act usually on anonymous reports about a Student's health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct and their Fitness to Practise.

PART III: INVESTIGATING CONCERNS

TEMPORARY SUSPENSIONS OF STUDENTS WHEN THERE ARE CONCERNS ABOUT THEIR FITNESS TO PRACTISE

85

For Students in Placement Settings, the Responsible Person who receives an expression of concern about a Student's health, wellbeing, or Professional Conduct will immediately consider whether the Student should be withdrawn from the Placement Setting and whether their temporary suspension from their Programme, or one element of their Programme, is necessary.

86

Where the Student is subject to criminal investigation or proceedings, the Responsible Person shall consider whether temporary suspension should be imposed until such time as the criminal investigation or proceedings are complete.

87

A "temporary suspension" in connection with Fitness to Practise is to ensure the safety and/or wellbeing of the Student, or that of others, to enable allegations in connection with Fitness to Practise to be properly investigated and to ensure the integrity of an investigation. The University's procedures for handling the temporary suspension of a Student in connection with Fitness to Practise are set out in ANNEX 4.

APPOINTING AN INVESTIGATING OFFICER

88

When concerns about the health, wellbeing, or Professional Conduct of a Student following a Programme linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body are reported to the Responsible Person they appoint an Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional, to gather information and report on the facts of the matter.

89

Where the Responsible Person has reasonable grounds to believe that the reported concern relates only to a Professional Conduct issue, with no health or wellbeing element, they may appoint an Investigating Officer to investigate the matter.

a. The Investigating Officer should be a registrant of the relevant profession.
b. The Investigating Officer should be an employee of the University, this includes those in possession of honorary contracts.
c. Where it is not possible to find a registrant employed by the University who has not had material contact with the Student, the Responsible Person may, with the permission of the Pro-Vice Chancellor, request that a registrant employed, or in possession of an honorary contract, from another University acts as Investigating Officer.
90

Where the Responsible Person has reasonable grounds to believe that the reported concern relates only to a health and/or wellbeing issue, with no Professional Conduct concerns, they may appoint an accredited OH Professional to investigate the matter.

a. In making the referral the Responsible Person will ask the OH Professional to undertake and/or oversee investigations that will enable the compilation of a report to a Preliminary Hearing and any Fitness to Practise Panel that will be convened to assess whether and to what degree the Fitness to Practise of the Student is impaired.
91

Where the Responsible Person has reasonable grounds to believe that the reported concern relates a health and/or wellbeing issue, as well as the Professional Conduct of the Student, they should appoint an Investigating Officer to lead the investigation, and commission an OH Professional to conduct an assessment in support of the work of the Investigating Officer.

INFORMING THE STUDENT OF AN INVESTIGATION
92

Having appointed an Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional the Responsible Person contacts the Student to inform them in writing that they have become aware of a health concern, or have received an allegation of unprofessional conduct on their part and that this is being investigated.

93

In communicating with the Student the Responsible Person should utilise the Notification of Investigation template letter. The letter must include:

a. The nature of the health, wellbeing, professionalism or conduct concern.
b. The date(s) when it was alleged to have taken place, where relevant.
c. The name of the Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional.
d. A statement that they should make all relevant information and/or evidence known to the Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional during the course of the investigation, prior to completion of the Report.
e. In cases where a temporary suspension has been sought and granted, the terms of the temporary suspension.
f. A copy of this Regulation.
g. A copy of relevant guidance from the registration or regulatory body.
h. Information on sources of advice and support available to the Student.
94

The communication from the Responsible Person will also ask the Student to notify them immediately where they have had any material academic or social contacts with the Investigating Officer, inform them when the Investigation will commence and that the Investigating Officer will endeavour to submit their report within a reasonable and proportionate timescale.

INVESTIGATING CONCERNS RELATING TO UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
95

Where the Unprofessional Conduct is subject to criminal investigation and/or subsequent legal proceedings, the investigation will not normally commence until all such proceedings have been completed. The decision regarding commencement of the investigation will be at the discretion of the Responsible Person and will be dependent on circumstances.

96

The Investigating Officer should conduct an investigation proportionate and appropriate to the nature of the concerns.

97

In addition to interviewing the Student is focus of the concern, the investigation may include:

a. Sourcing documentary evidence, including written and email correspondence.
b. Reviewing social media.
c. Interviewing or seeking written statements and/or reports from persons able to comment at first hand on the alleged conduct.
        i. Interviews may be conducted using teleconferencing or videoconferencing.
d. Reviewing video or photographic evidence. The Investigating Officer may use teleconferencing or videoconferencing for this purpose.
e. Requesting, through the Responsible Person, Occupational Health assessment, including drug or alcohol screening.
f. Any other actions deemed necessary.
98

Persons making statements to the Investigating Officer about the alleged conduct, or submitting reports about it, will be alerted to the possibility that if the matter proceeds to a Fitness to Practise Panel their evidence may be put before that Panel, that they may be asked to attend a Panel hearing as a witness, and that they may be questioned by the Panel and the Student or the Student's Representative.

99

It is recommended that consent be obtained from interview subjects, in order to audio record and later transcribe interviews. Where the interviewee objects to an audio recording being made of the interview the Investigating Officer will arrange for the professional services colleague in attendance to take notes.

100

When interviewing a Student who is the subject of alleged unprofessional conduct the Investigating Officer will inform the Student that they may be accompanied by a friend, relative, or a member of the Students' Guild Advice Unit (or FXU), to support them as a non-participant observer. The Investigating Officer will themself be accompanied by a colleague from professional services to take notes (see below).

101

Upon completion of their investigation, the Investigating Officer shall produce a Report for the Responsible Person, as detailed in Paragraphs 97-99. The Report shall include in its appendices all evidence collected by the Investigating Officer, and transcripts of interviews conducted.

102

In cases where the concerns also related to the health and/or wellbeing of the Student, the report of the OH Professional should also be incorporated into the Investigating Officer’s Report.

THE INVESTIGATING OFFICER'S REPORT
103

The content of the Investigating Officer's report should include:

a. The nature of the concern(s) investigated, including a narrative of events and chronology, where appropriate.
b. Whether any further matters of concern came to light during the investigation.
c. How the concerns were investigated.
d. A summary of the Student’s testimony.
e. A summary of the evidence gathered and an assessment of its reliability.
f. A summary of any mitigation advanced by, or on behalf of, the Student.
g. A recommendation as to how the matter should proceed.
h. Copies of all evidence gathered and transcripts of interviews conducted.
104

The Investigating Officer's report concludes with a recommendation addressed in the first instance to the Responsible Person. The recommendation may be one or more of the following.

That the enquiries undertaken and the evidence gathered indicate

a. That the concerns are valid, but do not suggest an impairment of Fitness to Practise
b. That the concerns are valid and suggest an impairment of Fitness to Practise
c. That the concerns lack substance and no further action should be taken
d. That the concerns were the result of a vexatious or malicious report
105

On completing their report, the Investigating Officer signs it and sends a copy to the Responsible Person with the supporting evidence.

INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING BY AN OH PROFESSIONAL
106

The investigation will be defined by the OH professional and may involve:

a. Seeking targeted, specific medical evidence, with consent, from treating NHS doctors, Educational Psychologists or other specialists, to confirm diagnosis, severity, treatment and prognosis.
b. Planned and/or random drug and/or alcohol screening.
c. Referral for physical or psychiatric assessment by medical specialists without a therapeutic conflict of interest.
d. Reporting to the relevant School or College in a timely manner, in accordance with current data protection legislation and rules of medical confidentiality.
107

The Student’s consent will be required to allow the OH investigation to be conducted. Should consent be refused, it may be necessary to suspend the Student from clinical or practice-based work, pending further investigation.

108

Under this Regulation, a Student who is required to attend an OH appointment will be asked to provide consent for a report to be made by the OH Professional, on the understanding that a draft copy of that report will be sent to them first, to check the accuracy of the facts stated, before it is sent to the University via the relevant Responsible Person.

109

When a draft report is sent by the OH Professional to the Student, to check its accuracy, the Student is required to deal with the draft report promptly and respond within a reasonable period (20 working days) of the report being received by them. Where the Student does not dispute the facts of the draft report they confirm this in writing to the OH Professional who will send the finalised report to the Responsible Person.

110

Where the Student disputes the facts of the OH Professional's draft report they will bring this to their attention, with the understanding that the OH Professional is not required to alter their opinion or advice on OH issues. The Student will do this within a reasonable period (for Occupational Health matters, up to 20 working days).

111

Where the Student does not respond to the OH Professional's report within a reasonable period (20 working days) the OH Professional will send the report to the Responsible Person, noting that the Student has not responded and that a further report may be sent where the Student subsequently responds.

112

In cases where the investigation has been undertaken by an OH Professional, the OH Professional shall provide an appropriate report to the Responsible Person and/or Investigating Officer.

DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT IN THE CONTEXT OF FITNESS TO PRACTISE

113

Where a Student following a Programme linked to a Registration or Regulatory Body is alleged to have committed academic misconduct (to include Poor Academic Practice, Academic Misconduct and Examination Offences), the matter is principally dealt with under the provisions of the University's Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes.

114

In such a case, the Senior Academic Misconduct Officer will notify the Responsible Person of the allegation and ensure that any report of the findings of any individual, Panel or Committee that considers the Student's alleged academic misconduct comments directly on any Professionalism concerns that have been identified so that where there are implications for the Student's Fitness to Practise these can be properly considered by the Responsible Person and can, if necessary, be referred to a Preliminary Hearing and a Fitness to Practise Panel.

115

If the reports referred to above identify Professionalism concerns that might reasonably give rise to the view that the Student's Fitness to Practise has been or is impaired, or that their probity has been called into question the Responsible Person will assess whether to convene a Preliminary Hearing to consider those aspects of the Student's conduct that relate to their Professionalism.

116

A Responsible Person should only consider reports when a definitive conclusion has been reached and the Student does not contest its findings.

a. Where the Student contests the findings and appeals against them, the Responsible Person will defer any Preliminary Hearing and any request for a Fitness to Practise Panel to be convened until those proceedings have been completed.
117

Where a Student does not contest the findings of a panel or committee convened to review alleged Academic Misconduct, a Preliminary Hearing and a Fitness to Practise Panel may be convened.

PART IV: PRELIMINARY HEARINGS

RECEIVING REPORTS FROM AN OH PROFESSIONAL AND/OR AN INVESTIGATING OFFICER
118

In the course of an investigation, an Investigating Officer may identify previously unknown health or wellbeing issues that may have had a bearing on the Professional Conduct of the Student. In such cases the Investigating Officer should:

a. pproach the Responsible Person with preliminary findings and request that the Responsible Person commissions an Occupational Health assessment.
b. Request that the Responsible Person writes to the Student in order to inform them that a referral to an OH Professional will be made.
119

When the Responsible Person receives a report on a Student from an OH Professional and/or an Investigating Officer they check that the concerns that were raised about the Student's Fitness to Practise have been thoroughly reviewed and that the report and its findings are sufficiently sound and detailed to enable the Responsible Person to decide whether further action is needed (in the first instance, a Preliminary Hearing).

120

Where the Responsible Person comes to the view that further information or greater clarity is required, they may ask the OH Professional and/or Investigating Officer (as appropriate) to provide that information or greater clarity. This may require additional investigations to be conducted.

121

When the Responsible Person is satisfied that the report represents a fair and thorough investigation of the concerns and/or allegations about the Student's Fitness to Practise that were reported, they accept the report and send a copy to the Student, together with the supporting evidence gathered by the OH Professional or the Investigating Officer.

122

Where the report reveals that there is likely to be a case to answer, a Preliminary Hearing shall be convened, providing the Student with not less than five working days’ notice of the Hearing.

123

When providing notice of the Preliminary Hearing, the letter should include:

a. Planned date and time for the hearing.
b. The venue.
c.  copy of the Investigating Officer and/or OH Professionals report.
d. A copy of this Regulation.
e. Copies of any relevant guidance from the Registration or Regulatory Body.
124

The letter should also explain that:

a. The Investigating Officer and/or the OH Professional will be in attendance to answer questions and clarify matters in their report where invited to do so.
b. The Student may be accompanied by a friend, relative, member of staff or a member of the Advice Unit of the Students' Guild (in Cornwall the FXU).
c. A member of the University's professional services shall be present to make a record of what is discussed which will be shared with the Student after the meeting.
d. An audio recording may be made, with the consent of those present.
125

Where both Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional and the Responsible Person are in agreement that there is no case to answer, the Responsible Person shall write to the Student to inform them of that outcome. In such circumstances the Responsible Person should:

a. Provide the Student with a copy of the Report.
b. Invite the Student to request a meeting to discuss why it was necessary to investigate the concerns against them.
c. Inform the Student whether, in accordance with the requirements of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body, the matter may be expunged from their Student record.

THE PURPOSE OF A PRELIMINARY HEARING

126

The Purpose of a Preliminary Hearing is to enable the Responsible Person to review the findings of the OH Professional and/or Investigating Officer and the evidence in a less formal setting than that of a full Fitness to Practise Panel.

127

Additionally, the Preliminary Hearing provides an opportunity for the Student to clarify their own understanding of their position with the OH professional and/or Investigating Officer and the Responsible Person and to bring to their attention any additional evidence that they consider relevant to their Professional Conduct that was not available to the OH professional and/or Investigating Officer for good reason during the investigation.

128

The Preliminary Hearing provides the Responsible Person with an opportunity to assure themself that the investigation has been thorough, appropriate and has afforded the student with sufficient opportunity to present mitigating evidence.

129

The Preliminary Hearing provides additional information to enable the Responsible Person to assess whether the Student's health or wellbeing or Professional Conduct is such that a Fitness to Practise Panel should be convened to determine their Fitness to Practise.

130

Where the Student's health or wellbeing or Professional Conduct is such that a Fitness to Practise Panel should be convened, the Responsible Person may, following the Preliminary Hearing, redraft/refine the allegations to reflect more appropriately the nature of the health concern or Professional Conduct, as revealed by the Report of the OH Professional and/or Investigating Officer, or by information revealed at the Preliminary Hearing.

131

Where Fitness to Practise investigations involve multiple Students, separate Preliminary Hearings will be held. The Responsible Person will ensure that students are made aware of any testimony from other students also under investigation, which may be materially relevant to their case.

HEARINGS IN ABSENTIA
132

Where the Student does not respond to a request from the Responsible Person to attend a Preliminary Hearing, and enquiries and contacts from the Responsible Person fail to evoke a response from the Student, the Responsible Person reports the matter to the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the College and requests permission to hold the Preliminary Hearing in absentia. The outcome of a meeting held in absentia would require the ratification of the College Pro-Vice Chancellor.

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
133

The Responsible Person will Chair the meeting.

134

The Responsible Person shall begin by covering preliminary matters, to include:

a. An introduction of those present and explanation of their roles.
b. Confirmation that the Student consents to an audio recording being made and a written record of the meeting subsequently produced, which will be:

i. Used in evidence should the case proceed to a Fitness to Practise Panel.
ii. Retained by the College for reference in any future FtP investigation and/or hearing.
iii. Available for review, if requested, by relevant committees.

c. Confirmation that the student is:

i. Well enough to attend.
ii. Has received a copy of the Report, this Regulation, relevant guidance from the Registration or Regulatory Body and understands the nature of Fitness to Practise and the threshold.
iii. Did or did not wish to be accompanied by a supporter.

d. An opportunity for the Student to ask any questions about this Regulation or the guidance of the Registration or Regulatory Body.
e. Explanation the purpose of the Follow-up Meeting.
f. Explanation of the possible outcomes of the meeting.
g. A summary of the concerns investigated.
h. A summary of the contents of the Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional’s Report.

135

The Student should then be given the opportunity to make a statement or ask questions in response to the Report(s), to include the presentation of evidence not available during the investigation.

136

Questions may then be posed by anybody present to the Student, Investigating Officer and/or the OH Professional.

137

If at any stage during the Preliminary Hearing the Responsible Person considers significant new information and/or evidence to have been introduced by the Student that requires additional investigation, they may adjourn the meeting in order to allow further investigation. When considering adjournment the Responsible should consider:

a. Whether there is good reason why the information and/or evidence could not have been presented to the Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional during the investigation.
b. Whether the evidence and/or information is materially relevant.
138

The Student will then be asked to withdraw and informed that they will receive written notification of the decision, together with reasoning, within five working days. The letter will include details of how to appeal.

139

The Responsible Person will then deliberate, reassessing the Report(s) previously received in light of testimony or evidence presented during the meeting, before reaching a decision based on the guidance of the Registration or Regulatory Body (where available) or on their interpretation of the standards expected of registrants of the relevant profession.

OUTCOMES OF A PRELIMINARY HEARING
140

If the Responsible Person comes to the view that the Students' failings in conduct or behaviour and/or health concerns are such that the Student’s Fitness to Practise is likely to be impaired, the Responsible Person must refer the matter to a Fitness to Practise Panel. In such circumstances:

a. The Responsible Person will once again consider whether the Student should be withdrawn from the Placement Setting and whether their temporary suspension from their Programme, or one element of their Programme, is necessary.
b. In informing the Student of a referral to the Fitness to Practise Panel, the Responsible Person will remind the Student of any opportunities that exist for them to transfer to an alternative Programme that does not include practice-based and/or clinical elements.
141

If the Responsible Person comes to the view that the Students' alleged failings in conduct or behaviour fall short of the University's expectations but have not impaired their Fitness to Practise, and any deficiencies identified can be remedied, they will set out in writing how the Student's behaviour and/or conduct needs to change, Conditions and Undertaking to be imposed, and how their compliance with these directions will be monitored and communicate this to the Student forthwith.

a. The Responsible Person will also remind the Student of any opportunities that exist for them to transfer to an alternative Programme that does not include practice-based and/or clinical elements.
142

Conditions and Undertakings will be reasoned, proportionate and tailored to remedy the specific conduct or behaviour demonstrated by the student. The aim of Conditions and Undertakings imposed will be to rehabilitate and/or remediate the student in order to secure ongoing fitness to practise.

a. Conditions and Undertakings may include: measures to promote reflection and insight; specific academic remediation or interventions; therapeutic interventions (where recommended by OH); planned and/or random drug and/or alcohol screening (where recommended by OH); or, recommendations to interrupt study (where recommended by OH).
143

If the Responsible Person comes to the view that concerns regarding a Students' health are valid, but fall short of an impairment of their Fitness to Practise, and can be treated and/or managed so as to ensure ongoing Fitness to Practise, they will, guided by the recommendations of the OH Professional, set out in writing Conditions and Undertakings to be imposed and how their compliance with these directions will be monitored and communicate this to the Student forthwith.

a. The Responsible Person will also remind the Student of any opportunities that exist for them to transfer to an alternative Programme that does not include practice-based and/or clinical elements.
144

In all cases, after a Preliminary Hearing the Responsible Person ensures that the outcome of the Preliminary Hearing is provided to the Student within five working days.

145

The Responsible Person will also remind the Student that the may wish to seek support from the Students' Guild Advice Unit (in Cornwall, the FXU) and the need for them to monitor their University email and to respond promptly to correspondence sent by the College and by the University.

146

In cases where Conditions and Undertakings are imposed, the Student has seven days following receipt of the Notification of Outcome, to communicate in writing that they agree to comply the Conditions and Undertakings imposed.

a. Failure to respond will be taken to indicate implied consent.
147

If the Student refuses to accept the decision of the Responsible Person or accepts but subsequently fails to comply with Conditions and Undertakings imposed, the Responsible Person will request the College Pro-Vice Chancellor to convene a Fitness to Practise Panel and notify the Student.

PART V: HEARINGS BY FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANELS

STATUS AND PURPOSE OF FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANELS

148

Fitness to Practise Panels are University Panels convened at College-level that are held to consider allegations of unprofessional behaviour or conduct on the part of a Student, or concerns regarding their Fitness to Practise on health or wellbeing grounds.

149

Fitness to Practise Panels are convened at College level on the authority of the Pro- Vice Chancellor, as conferred by Senate through this Regulation. Preparations for Fitness to Practise Panels are overseen for the College by a Responsible Person.

150

The findings and recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel may be shared with the Registration or Regulatory Body and other third parties in addition to being reported to the University through the relevant Pro-Vice Chancellor or their nominee(s).

151

The purpose of a Fitness to Practise Panel is to:

a. Read and assess the written evidence put before it by the University.
b. Hear representations from Responsible Persons, Investigating Officers and/or OH Professionals.
c. Hear statements and representations by the Student who is the subject of the hearing (or by their friend or representative on their behalf).
d. Hear oral evidence from witnesses, including any expert witnesses called by the University or the Student.
e. Ask questions, through the Chair, so that members can check their understanding.
f. Apply appropriate guidance from the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body.
g. Provide a determination on the facts, a determination on impairment, a determination on mitigation and a determination on sanction.
MEMBERSHIP OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL
152

Where the composition of a Fitness to Practise Panel is not prescribed by the Registration or Regulatory Body, its membership comprises at least four individuals, including its Chair and Secretary.

153

A Fitness to Practise Panel may comprises of:

a. The Chair, who will be a Registrant of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body with previous experience of chairing Fitness to Practise Panels or other committees or panels.

i. The Chair may be an experienced senior member of the academic or clinical staff of the University, an experienced senior member of the academic or clinical staff of another University, or a suitably qualified independent external Chair considered to be a senior representative of their Profession.

b. An academic representative of the Programme of study on which the Student is registered.
c. An experienced member of the University's academic and/or professional staff from another College that works with a Registration or Regulatory Body.
d. A Student representative who may be a Sabbatical Officer of the  Students' Guild, or an appropriately senior Student from the same Programme.
e. A registered mental health professional.
f. A member of the University's professional staff acts as the non-voting Secretary to the Fitness to Practise Panel.

154

The Secretary shall:

a. Assist with the organisation of the Panel.
b. Advise the Chair on procedure, before and after the hearing.
c. Keep a record of the matters that are covered.
d. Request clarification for the record during the hearing.
e. Provide advice to the Chair, at their request.
f. Remind the Chair of relevant University procedures, Codes of Practice and Regulations, including those of any relevant Registration or Regulatory Body and this Policy and Procedure.
155

In constituting the Fitness to Practise Panel, the University will be mindful of equality and diversity matters.

156

Panel Members must have had no Material Contact with the Student that might subsequently be construed as a conflict of interest, and to seek advice and/or clarification if they are in any doubt about their eligibility.

TRAINING FOR FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL MEMBERS
157

The University The University shall provide training and support for those staff and Students it invites to serve as members of Fitness to Practise Panels under this Regulation.

158

The purpose of the training is to familiarise new members of Fitness to Practise Panels with the Regulation, the procedure that the Panel will follow and relevant regulatory guidance.

ATTENDANCE OF THE OH PROFESSIONAL, INVESTIGATING OFFICER AND THE RESPONSIBLE PERSON
159

The Responsible Person, Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional attend the Fitness to Practise Panel hearing to summarise their reports for the Panel and answer any questions that the Panel or the Student (or their representative) may wish to put to them.

NOTICE TO THE STUDENT IN FITNESS TO PRACTISE PROCEEDINGS AND INFORMATION THAT MUST BE PROVIDED FOR THEM

160

The University’s email system will be used to convey information regarding the Fitness to Practise Panel.

161

The University aims to constitute a Fitness to Practise Panel within 20 working days of a decision by a Responsible Person to refer a matter of Fitness to Practise to a Panel hearing.

162

The University aims to convene a hearing by a Fitness to Practise Panel within an additional 40 working days of the constitution of the Panel.

163

When the Panel has been constituted, the College writes to the Student giving at least 20 working days’ notice of the date on which the Fitness to Practise Panel will convene.

164

When the Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel has been constituted, the Responsible Person (or their nominee) writes to the Student giving not less than 20 working days’ notice of:

a. Planned date and time for the hearing.
b. The venue.
c. First draft Documentation Bundle.
d. A copy of this Regulation.
e. Copies of any relevant guidance from the Registration or Regulatory Body.
165

The letter to the Student should also request that the Student reports immediately:

a. Whether they have previously had any Material Contact with a member of the proposed Fitness to Practise Panel or are aware of any potential conflict of interest on the part of its members.
b. Whether they have good cause as to why it would be unfair to them or otherwise unreasonable for the hearing by the Fitness to Practise Panel to take place on the date specified in the letter, including alternative dates when it would be possible to convene the hearing.

i. This context, "good cause" might include illness, including the recurrence of a chronic illness already notified to the University, or the necessity to attend the funeral of an immediate relative. In such cases documentary evidence will be required if the University is to postpone or rearrange a hearing. Absence occasioned by holidays or family celebrations will not constitute "good cause" and the hearing may then proceed in the Student's absence.

166

The first draft Documentation Bundle should provide the Student with a sufficient overview of the case against them, to enable them to prepare their case. It shall include:

a. Procedural Matters – identification of the Registration or Regulatory Body guidance that may be referred to, or consulted, during the hearing.
b. Membership of the Panel.
c. A chronology of events.
d. The allegations being considered and why they might be seen to impair Fitness to Practise.
e. Who the Panel will hear from.
f. Written evidence to be considered.
g. Copies of the documents submitted by the College in support of its case.
167

The letter to the Student will state that the Student has 10 working days in which to:

a. Submit documentary evidence in support of their case (including witness statements).
b. Submit relevant mitigating factors and provide evidence as appropriate.
c. Identify any witnesses that they wish to attend the hearing to give evidence.
d. Identify any supporter by whom they intend to be accompanied.
e. State whether they intend to be accompanied by a legal advisor.
168

The letter will also inform the Student that it is within the discretion allowed to the Chair to decline to accept late submissions of new evidence, including submissions on the day.

Once received, the submissions outlined above shall be added to the Documentation Bundle and circulated to the Student, Panel Members, Responsible Person, Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional, along with a copy of this Regulation and relevant guidance from the Registration or Regulatory Body.

EXPERT AND LEGAL ADVICE
169

In Fitness to Practise matters it may be necessary for specialist or technical evidence to be sought from a suitably qualified expert and provided for the information of the Panel. Where, having considered the information and reports provided for the Panel, the Chair of the Panel considers that further specialist or technical reports are needed, they write to the Responsible Person and the College Pro-Vice Chancellor to explain why further report(s) are necessary and to request that they be commissioned as a matter of urgency.

a. Pending the provision of the necessary reports the hearing may be postponed until such time as they can be made available to the Panel and the Student in advance of the hearing.
170

Where the Student asks to submit technical, specialist or legal reports in advance of the hearing, it will be for the Chair of the Panel (where appropriate, with the benefit of professional advice) to decide whether to admit such reports and whether equivalent reports on these matters need to be commissioned by the University for the Panel in the interests of balance and fairness.

171

A Fitness to Practise Panel is an academic and professional panel and the presence of legal advisers to the Panel, to those attending to give evidence, or to the Student should not be seen as routine. Where, however, the Student indicates in advance that they intend to be accompanied by a legal adviser the University will also wish to be legally represented.

a. Where a Student who attends a Fitness to Practise Panel is accompanied by a legal adviser, whose attendance has not previously been notified to the University, and a legal adviser is not in attendance for the University, the Chair may adjourn the hearing until the University can be legally represented.

PRELIMINARY MATTERS FOR FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANELS

172

Before the hearing, members of the Fitness to Practise Panel should meet privately to clarify:

a. The procedure to be followed.
b. Whether the Student and witnesses have confirmed their attendance.
c. Whether the Student is to be supported by a friend, Student representative or legal adviser.
d. The order in which witnesses will appear and who has called them.
HEARINGS IN ABSENTIA
173

Where the Student has not confirmed their attendance or, having confirmed their attendance does not appear, the Panel is entitled to proceed with the hearing in the Student's absence where it can be satisfied that notice of the hearing was properly served and no reasonable excuse for non-attendance has been notified to the College by the Student.

BURDEN OF PROOF AND STANDARD OF PROOF IN A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL HEARING
174

In a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing it is for the University to show to the Panel, on the balance of probabilities (more likely than not) that the health concern or the alleged unprofessional behaviour or conduct on the part of the Student did take place and that the unprofessional behaviour or conduct impaired the Student's Fitness to Practise and the seriousness of that impairment.

175

Where the Student presents mitigation in their defence, it is for the Student to show, on the balance of probabilities, the validity and relevance of the mitigation.

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS AT A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL HEARING
176

The Student, along with their friend or representative, is present throughout the hearing.

177

During the hearing, only one or other of the Student or their friend or representative may make statements or question witnesses on behalf of the Student (other than when the Panel wishes to ask questions of the Student directly, in order to assess their truthfulness). The Chair will therefore ask the Student at the outset to state who will speak and ask questions on their behalf.

a. All references to "the Student" that follow should be understood to refer to the person speaking on the Student's behalf whether that is the Student themself or their representative or friend.
178

With the consent of the Chair, the Panel, the Student, and witnesses, the Secretary may make an audio recording of the hearing to assist in the production of an authoritative record.

a. Any audio recording so kept shall also be made available to the Student and other participants at their request.
179

The Chair invites the Responsible Person, supported by the OH Professional and/or Investigating Officer to state the allegations made against the Student, summarise the findings in their report(s), and explain the significance of particular items of evidence for the Student's Fitness to Practise. The Responsible Person may also wish to bring to the Panel’s attention mitigating factors previously presented by the student.

180

The Panel and Student may ask questions of the OH Professional, Investigating Officer or Responsible Person in order to clarify of any matters that remain unclear.

181

The Chair will then invite the Student to make a statement in reply and to introduce previously circulated new evidence, including evidence of any extenuating or remediating circumstances that they wish to put before the Panel.

182

The Responsible Person may request that questions are put to the Student, through the Chair, in order to seek clarification or settle a point at issue.

183

Witnesses are then called by the Chair, with any witnesses called by the University being heard first and witnesses called by the Student being heard subsequently.

a. Witnesses giving evidence will be invited by the Chair to confirm the contents of the written statements they have previously made.
b. Panel members, the Student and the Responsible Person and/or Investigating Officer may question each witness to clarify their own understanding or settle a point at issue, with the permission of the Chair.
c. Where a witness does not attend the hearing, the Chair will advise the Panel how to deal with the contents of that person's witness statement since it will not be possible for it or the Student to question the witness to clarify its contents.
184

When all the witnesses listed to attend have been heard the Chair will invite the Responsible Person to make a closing statement.

185

The Chair will then invite the Student to make a concise closing statement.

a. The purpose of this statement should be to show why the Panel should reject the original allegation, the case put by the OH Professional, Investigating Officer and Responsible Person, the evidence contributed by witnesses, and to remind the panel of any extenuating or remediating circumstances and the supporting evidence for them, and why they should be accepted as relevant to the matter.
186

The Student's statement closes this part of the hearing and the Panel retires to consider the evidence put before them and make their decision.

187

Where, at any point during a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing, a member of the Panel or the Student wishes to ask the Chair a question about procedural matters, or the conduct of the hearing, they may ask the Chair to suspend the hearing so that they can put their question to the Chair outside the hearing. Once the matter in question has been dealt with, the Chair resumes the Panel and the hearing continues.

188

Should the Student or the University seek to put forward new evidence at a Fitness to Practise hearing that has not previously been circulated the Chair will normally consider whether to admit the evidence.

a. Where they decide to admit the new evidence they will also decide whether to adjourn the hearing for a period (which may be several days or longer) in order to consider the evidence and allow the other parties to review it and consider any responses they wish to make.
189

Where Fitness to Practise investigations involve multiple Students, a single Fitness to Practise Panel will be convened, but will consider the impairment of each Student separately.

a. It may be necessary to redact Documentation Bundles, in order to protect personal and sensitive data and information, however redaction must not restrict the ability of any Student to understand the case against them in order prepare an adequate defence.
b. Each Student will have the opportunity to make opening and closing statements, to receive questions and to question witnesses.
c. All Students under consideration will remain present throughout the hearing and will have the opportunity to hear all testimony provided.

HOW THE FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL REACHES ITS DECISION

190

The process that the Panel follows in order to reach its decision has four stages. The Panel must have regard to the burden and standard of proof.

a. In Stage 1 the Panel makes a determination on the facts before it.
b. In Stage 2 the Panel makes a determination on the impairment of Fitness to Practise by reason of unprofessional conduct or ill health.
c. In Stage 3 the Panel makes a determination as to whether there are any extenuating or remediating factors that should be taken into consideration. These might include training or treatment that the Student has undergone in the interim.
d. In Stage 4 the Panel makes a determination as to what sanction (if any) is appropriate to the particular facts of the case and any extenuating circumstances. The Panel considers the appropriateness of the least severe sanction first.
191

The University expects Fitness to Practise Panels will normally make their findings and recommendations unanimously.

a. Where after time has been allowed for deliberations and discussion the Chair finds that it is not possible for the Panel to make a unanimous decision a majority decision on the recommendations and/or findings may be made but the fact that it is a majority decision must be recorded by the Secretary.
b. Where there is a split decision, the Chair shall have the deciding vote.
192

Where Fitness to Practise investigations involve multiple Students, the process outlined in Para 189 should be followed for each student in turn.

THE OPTIONS OPEN TO A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL
193

The findings and recommendations that a Fitness to Practise Panel may make to the College Pro-Vice Chancellor include the following

a. That the concerns or allegations were not found proven and there is no case to answer.
b. That although concerns or allegations were found proven, fitness to practise is not impaired and conditions and undertakings should not be applied.
c. That although concerns were found proven, fitness to practise is not impaired and conditions and undertakings should be applied.
d. That concerns or allegations were found proven, fitness to practise is impaired, however the student should be allowed to remain on the Programme with conditions and undertakings applied.
e. That concerns or allegations were found proven, Fitness to Practise is impaired, however the Student should be allowed to remain on the Programme following a suspension from their Programme for a specified period not exceeding two calendar years, with Conditions and Undertakings applied during and after suspension.
f. That concerns or allegations were found proven, Fitness to Practise is impaired to such a degree that they should be recommended for expulsion from their Programme and the University. The Student shall be suspended until such time as the expulsion takes effect, following ratification by the Vice-Chancellor.
194

For recommendations ‘c’, ‘d’, ‘e’ or ‘f’ any sanctions imposed shall remain in force until any appeal that the Student makes has been heard, a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel has made its findings and recommendations and has decided whether to lift the sanctions or maintain them.

195

For recommendations ‘c’, ‘d’ and ‘e’ the Fitness to Practise Panel also specifies the actions that will follow where the Student is unable to demonstrate that they have remedied the impairment in their Fitness to Practise, which might include expulsion from the Programme.

196

With the agreement of the Panel, its Chair may also make recommendations to the University on the conduct of Fitness to Practise Panels and improvements to this Regulation.

REPORTING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL
197

Fitness to Practise Panels agree their findings and recommendations in a timely manner, having regard to the complexity of the evidence and the consequences for the Student.

198

Where, having taken soundings of members, the Chair of a Fitness to Practise Panel considers that it will be able to agree its findings and recommendations on the day of the hearing they will convey that to the Student.

199

Where Fitness to Practise investigations involve multiple Students and the Panel elects to provide their determination immediately following deliberation, students will be invited to return separately to hear their own determination.

200

When the Panel has agreed its findings and recommendations, the Chair of the Panel will communicate these to the Student, if they are present, reminding them that the findings and recommendations are provisional and confidential until confirmed by the College Pro-Vice Chancellor. The Chair will also remind the Student that where the findings are adverse and are confirmed the Student may appeal against them. They will also indicate the mechanism and timescale for lodging an appeal. The Chair will also inform the Student where the University is required to share the Panel's confirmed findings and recommendations with third parties.

201

In all cases, the findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel are reported to the University through the College Pro-Vice Chancellor, subject to restrictions that apply in such cases to the sharing of Personal Sensitive Data and Information.

202

In all cases the confirmed outcomes of a hearing by a Fitness to Practise Panel are notified to the Student, in the form of a Record of Determination, no later than five working days after the conclusion of the hearing in writing, together with the provisions for lodging an appeal and the sources of advice and support available to them referred to above.

203

When the findings and/or recommendations of the Panel are not subject to appeal by the Student, the University may then share them with any coordinating body or consortium of higher education institutions that has been established to hold and share Personal Sensitive Data and Information about Students following Programmes linked to a particular Registration or Regulatory Body.

204

Where a Fitness to Practise Panel has identified that the Student needs to observe conditions and undertakings in order to continue with their Programme, or to return to their Programme after a period of suspension, the Responsible Person is responsible for determining if those conditions and undertakings have been satisfied.

205

If the Responsible Person does not consider the Student to have satisfied the conditions and undertakings prescribed by the Fitness to Practise Panel, they notify the Student that:

a. They have breached the conditions set by the Panel.
b. That the breach has triggered the actions specified by the Panel in the event of non adherence.
c. That they may appeal against this finding and how to do so.
STATUS OF THE STUDENT FOLLOWING A HEARING BY A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL
206

Following a hearing by a Fitness to Practise Panel, a Student who has been found to have no case to answer resumes their studies.

a. The College will have regard to guidance of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body in deciding whether the matter may be expunged from the Students record.
207

A Student who has been suspended following a hearing by a Fitness to Practise Panel and has lodged an appeal against the findings and/or recommendations of the Panel may retain limited access to their University of Exeter email services to facilitate contact with the University. They may not, however, represent the University in any capacity including in sporting events.

208

A Student who is to be expelled from their Programme and the University, shall remain suspended until such time as the expulsion is confirmed by the office of the Vice-Chancellor.

PART VI: APPEAL AGAINST THE CONFIRMED FINDINGS OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL

MAKING AN APPEAL AGAINST THE FINDINGS AND/OR RECOMMENDATIONS OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL THAT HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE PRO-VICE CHANCELLOR OF A COLLEGE

209

Appeals against the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel are made by the Student.

210

A Student who wishes to challenge the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel, once confirmed by the relevant College Pro-Vice Chancellor, is required to notify the University that they intend to do so in writing, within 10 working days of being notified that the findings and recommendations have been confirmed.

211

The appeal should be directed to the relevant Faculty Dean:

a. Where the Student is following a taught Programme they direct their appeal to the Dean of the Faculty of Taught Programmes.
b. Where the Student is following a research Programme they direct their appeal to the Dean of Graduate Research.
212

In this Regulation references to the "Faculty Dean" are to be understood to include the Office of the relevant Faculty Dean and/or any person identified by them to act on their behalf in such matters.

213

In the notice that the Student sends to the Faculty Dean they are required to indicate the grounds on which they wish to appeal the findings and/or recommendations of the Fitness to Practise Panel, as outlined below.

GROUNDS FOR AN APPEAL AGAINST THE FINDINGS AND/OR RECOMMENDATIONS OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL
214

To be eligible for consideration, the grounds for an appeal against the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel must fall within one or more of the following

a. That the Fitness to Practise Panel failed to follow the University's procedures and Regulations.
b. That in reaching its findings and recommendations the Panel exhibited bias or prejudice against the Student.
c. That there is fresh evidence that was not available to the Panel that has since come to light and should be considered.
d. That there were extenuating circumstances that were relevant to the matter that were not notified to the Panel at the time for good cause.
e. That the findings and recommendations of the Panel are disproportionate.
APPEALS THAT DO NOT FALL WITHIN THE GROUNDS SPECIFIED BY THE UNIVERSITY
215

When the relevant Faculty Dean receives notice from the Student that they intend to appeal against the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel they must check that the grounds for the appeal cited by the Student are consistent with the grounds cited above. They will then confirm that a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel will be convened.

216

Where this is not the case, the Faculty Dean will immediately write to the Student to inform them that the grounds that they have cited do not enable a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel to be convened, and that this letter represents a "completion of procedures" letter.

217

Where a Student appeals against the findings and/or recommendations of a Fitness to Practise Panel, and the Faculty Dean finds that the grounds cited in the appeal fall within one or more of those specified by the University as eligible, they convene a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel to consider the matters raised by the Student.

218

A Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel must be constituted as soon as it is practicable to do so after the Student has submitted a valid appeal that comes within one or more of the grounds specified by the University as eligible.

MEMBERSHIP OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANEL

219

An Appeal Panel comprises five persons:

a. The Chair, who will be Senior Member of the University.
b. An academic from, or Pro-Vice Chancellor of, a College that provides Programme(s) that are linked to Registration or Regulatory Bodies. This should not include the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the College providing the Programme followed by the Student, to avoid the risks of bias, prejudice or conflict of interest.
c. An academic member of staff who should be a Registrant of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body
d. An external Registrant of the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body and a senior representative of that Profession.
e. A senior member of the University's professional staff acts as the non-voting Secretary to the Appeal Panel and is its fifth member.

TRAINING FOR NEW MEMBERS OF FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANELS

220

The University shall provide training and support for persons invited to serve as members of Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels under this Regulation.

221 The purpose of the training is to familiarise new members of Appeal Panels with the Regulation, the procedure that the Panel will follow and relevant regulatory guidance.
NOTICE TO THE STUDENT AND INFORMATION THAT MUST BE PROVIDED FOR THEM
222

When the Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel has been constituted, the relevant Faculty Dean (or their nominee) writes to the Student giving not less than 15 working days notice of:

a. The planned date and time for the Appeal hearing.
b. The venue.
c. The membership of the Appeal Panel.
d. Copies of the documentary evidence that will be put to the Panel.
e. The name of any witnesses that the University plans to call to give evidence at the hearing, including any expert witnesses who have examined fresh evidence on behalf of the Panel that has been submitted by the Student or the University.

i. Witnesses who may be called by the University may include the Chair of the Fitness to Practise Panel, the Responsible Person, the OH Professional and/or the Investigating Officer.

223

The letter to the Student should also request that the Student reports immediately:

a. Whether they have previously had any Material Contact with a member of the proposed Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel or are aware of any potential conflict of interest on the part of its members.
b. Whether they have good cause as to why it would be unfair to them or otherwise unreasonable for the hearing by the Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel to take place on the date specified in the letter, including alternative dates when it would be possible to convene the Appeal hearing.

i In this context, "good cause" might include illness, including the recurrence of a chronic illness already notified to the University, or the necessity to attend the funeral of an immediate relative. In such cases documentary evidence will be required if the University is to postpone or rearrange a hearing. Absence occasioned by holidays or family celebrations will not constitute "good cause" and the hearing may then proceed in the Student's absence.

c. Whether they intend to submit fresh documentary evidence or call witnesses.
d. Whether they intend to be accompanied at the hearing by a legal representative.

224

The letter will also request that the Student provides, not less than 10 working days before the planned date of the hearing:

a. Any fresh and relevant evidence that was not available to the Fitness to Practise Panel that should be considered, including information about extenuating circumstances that are relevant to the matter and which were not disclosed to the Fitness to Practise Panel at the time for good cause.
b. A statement explaining why this evidence was not previously put forward.

i. If the Panel wishes to commission necessary reports on this material, it may result in a postponement of the hearing, where it is not possible to receive those reports before the proposed hearing date.

c. Any evidence that the Student wishes to put forward that seeks to show that there was bias or prejudice on the part of the Fitness to Practise Panel in reaching its decisions and recommendations.

INFORMATION THAT WILL BE PROVIDED FOR A FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANEL

225

The information that will be provided for a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel will include

a. The Documentation Bundle presented at the Fitness to Practise Panel.
b. A copy of this Regulation.
c. Copies of relevant regulatory guidance.
d. The full transcript of the Fitness to Practise Panel.
e. The Record of Determination produced by the Fitness to Practise Panel.
f. Any new additional and relevant evidence put forward by the University and/or the Student.

i. Where the Student or the University has put forward fresh evidence to the Appeal Panel it should be accompanied by a statement explaining why this evidence was not previously put forward other than where the new evidence seeks to show that there was bias or prejudice on the part of the Fitness to Practise Panel in reaching its decisions and recommendations.

226

Where new evidence is presented, the Appeal Panel, through its Chair, may request in advance of the appeal hearing that it is examined, and a report made on it by a suitably qualified person (who is not the original OH Professional or Investigating Officer).

a. Where a report is requested, the report must be shared with the Student in advance of the Appeal hearing.
b. If the Panel wishes to commission necessary reports on this material, it may result in a postponement of the hearing, where it is not possible to receive those reports before the proposed hearing date.
227

Likewise, where the Student's appeal rests on the existence of extenuating circumstances that were not made known either to the original OH Professional or Investigating Officer, or to the Fitness to Practise Panel, for good reasons that can be independently substantiated, the Chair of the Appeal Panel may ask that a suitably qualified person (who is not the original OH Professional or Investigating Officer) examines this claim and the supporting evidence for it in advance of the hearing and reports to the Panel.

a. Again this report should include a commentary on the reasons why this evidence of extenuating circumstances has now come to light having previously not been put forward and is shared with the Student in advance of the Appeal hearing.
b. Where such a report is requested, the report must be shared with the Student in advance of the Appeal hearing.
c. If the Panel wishes to commission such a report, it may result in a postponement of the hearing, where it is not possible to receive those reports before the proposed hearing date.

EXPERT AND LEGAL ADVICE

228

A Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel is an academic and professional Panel and the presence of legal advisers to the Panel, to those attending to give evidence, or to the Student should not be seen as a routine requirement.

229

Where the Student indicates in advance that they intend to be accompanied by a legal adviser the University may also wish to be represented.

230

In a Fitness to Practise Appeal hearing only one or other of the Student or their friend or representative may make statements or question witnesses on behalf of the Student. Legal advisers present during the hearing will be non-participatory and will not be permitted to speak on the Student’s behalf unless nominated to do so at the start of the hearing.

231

Where a Student who attends a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel is accompanied by a legal adviser, whose attendance has not previously been notified to the University, and a legal adviser is not in attendance for the University, the Chair will adjourn the hearing until the University can be legally represented.

THE BURDEN OF PROOF AND THE STANDARD OF PROOF IN AN APPEAL AGAINST THE FINDINGS OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE PANEL

232

In an appeal against the findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel it is for the Student making the appeal to show, on the balance of probabilities that there is evidence to support their case that one or more of the grounds stated applies.

PURPOSE OF FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANELS
233

The purpose of a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel is not to rehear the matters considered by the Fitness to Practise Panel.

234

The purpose of a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel is to:

a. Determine whether that Panel reached its findings properly and fairly, having considered all the relevant evidence.
b. To consider any new evidence in the light of any advice and reports commissioned by the Chair on behalf of the Panel.
c. To decide whether to uphold the findings and recommendations of the Fitness to Practise Panel or overturn them.
PRELIMINARY MATTERS FOR FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANELS
235

Before the hearing, members of the Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel should meet privately to clarify:

a. The procedure to be followed.
b. Whether the Student and witnesses have confirmed their attendance.
c. Whether the Student is to be supported by a friend, Student representative or legal adviser.
d. The order in which witnesses will appear and who has called them.
HEARINGS IN ABSENTIA
236

If the Student has not confirmed their attendance or, having confirmed their attendance does not attend, it is for the Chair, advised by the Appeal Panel, to decide at the beginning of the hearing whether to proceed with the Appeal hearing or postpone it to a later date.

237

Where the Student has not confirmed their attendance or, having confirmed their attendance does not appear, the Appeal Panel is entitled to proceed with the hearing in the Student's absence where it can be satisfied that notice of the hearing was properly served and no reasonable excuse for non-attendance has been notified to the Faculty Dean by the Student.

THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS AT A HEARING BY A FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANEL
238

The Student, along with their friend or representative, is present throughout the hearing.

239

During the hearing, only one or other of the Student or their friend or representative may make statements or question witnesses on behalf of the Student (other than when the Panel wishes to ask questions of the Student directly, in order to assess their truthfulness). The Chair will therefore ask the Student at the outset to state who will speak and ask questions on their behalf.

a. All references to "the Student" that follow should be understood to refer to the person speaking on the Student's behalf whether that is the Student themself or their representative or friend.
240

The Chair opens the hearing by reminding the Student that it is for them to show that the decision of the Fitness to Practise Panel was flawed and inviting the Student to introduce their appeal and set out the grounds on which it rests, including any new evidence that they have put forward and that has been previously circulated.

241

Witnesses may subsequently be called by the Chair.

a. They will be invited by the Chair to confirm the contents of any written statement they have previously made or any statements they have made that have been recorded by the OH Professional Investigating Officer or the Student.
b. Members of the Appeal Panel and the Student may then, with the permission of the Chair, question each witness to clarify their own understanding or settle a point at issue.
242

When all the witnesses listed to attend have been heard the Chair will invite the Student to make a concise closing statement setting out why the Panel should find that the decision and/or recommendations or one or more elements of them should be viewed as unsafe or as disproportionate and set aside.

243 The Student's statement closes this part of the hearing and the Panel retires to consider the evidence put before them and make their decision.
244

If at any point during a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel hearing a member of the Panel or the Student wishes to ask a question about procedural matters, or the conduct of the hearing, they may ask the Chair to suspend the hearing so that they can put their question to the Chair. Once the matter in question has been dealt with, the Panel resumes and the hearing continues.

THE OPTIONS OPEN TO A FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANEL
245

The findings and recommendations that a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel may make to the Faculty Dean are

a. That the findings and recommendations of the Fitness to Practise Panel should be upheld.
b. That the Fitness to Practise Panel made procedural errors and/or errors of judgement but that the seriousness of the original allegations against the Student requires the University to convene a different Fitness to Practise Panel to hear the matter afresh.
c. That the recommendations of the Fitness to Practise Panel with respect to the penalty to be imposed on the Student were disproportionate and that a more proportionate penalty be substituted.
246

The University expects Fitness to Practise Panels will normally make their findings and recommendations unanimously.

a. Where after time has been allowed for deliberations and discussion the Chair finds that it is not possible for the Panel to make a unanimous decision a majority decision on the recommendations and/or findings may be made but the fact that it is a majority decision must be recorded by the Secretary.
b. Where there is a split decision, the Chair shall have the deciding vote.
REPORTING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION OF A FITNESS TO PRACTISE APPEAL PANEL
247

Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels endeavour to agree their findings and recommendations in a timely manner, having regard to the complexity of the evidence and the consequences for the Student.

248

Where, having taken soundings of members, the Chair of a Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel considers that it will be able to agree its findings and recommendations on the day of the hearing, they will convey that to the Student.

249

Following its private discussions and having agreed its findings and recommendations, the Chair of the Appeal Panel will communicate these to the Student, if they are present, reminding them that the findings and recommendations are provisional until confirmed by the Faculty Dean or their nominee. Where the Appeal Panel has found that the recommendations of the Fitness to Practise Panel were disproportionate to the impairment of the Student's Fitness to Practise, they may modify the original confirmed recommendation's) to achieve better proportionality.

250

The Chair will also remind the Student that the proceedings of the hearing are confidential and should not be reported until confirmed. The Chair will further identify whether the Student has exhausted the University's internal procedures and whether, if they wish to complain further, they will need to refer their complaints to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).

251

In all cases, the findings and recommendations of the Fitness to Practise Appeal Panel are reported to the University via the Faculty Dean, subject to restrictions that apply in such cases to the sharing of Personal Sensitive Data and Information. On receiving the Panel's findings and recommendations the Faculty Dean writes to the Student to confirm that under the authority granted by Senate in approving this Policy and Procedure, the findings and recommendations are confirmed, that the Student has completed the University's internal review and appeal procedures and that if they wish to have the University's conduct of those procedures reviewed they must apply to the OIA. The letter will also provide contact details for the OIA.

252

Where an agreement between the University and a Registration or Regulatory Body provides for information sharing, the findings of the Appeal Panel will also be shared with the relevant Registration or Regulatory Body, other than where a Fitness to Practise Panel has not upheld the findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel or has directed that there should be a fresh Fitness to Practise hearing. The findings may also be share with any coordinating body or consortium of higher education institutions that has been established to hold and share sensitive personal data about Students following Programmes linked to a particular Registration or Regulatory Body.

ANNEX 1: REGISTRATION OR REGULATORY BODIES LINKED TO UNIVERSITY OF EXETER PROGRAMMES

Registration or Regulatory Body

College

Programme

Association for Family
Therapy  (AFT)

College of Life and
Environmental Sciences

MSc / PGDip / PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice  and Research (Children, Young People and Families)

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

College of Life and
Environmental Sciences

PGDip Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

PGDip Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (Children, Young People  and Families) - CBT & Parenting Strands

BSc Applied Psychology

MSci Applied Psychology
(Clinical)

British Psychoanalytic
Council (BPC)

College of Life and
Environmental Sciences

MSc Psychological Therapies (Psychodynamic) - Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training

British Psychological Society
(BPS)

College of Life and
Environmental Sciences

College of Social Sciences and International Studies

PGCert Psychological Therapies Practice and Research (Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)

DClinPsy Doctorate in
Clinical Psychology

BSc Applied Psychology

MSci Applied Psychology
(Clinical)

DEdPsych Doctorate in
Educational psychology

General Medical Council
(GMC)

University of Exeter Medical
School

BMBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery

MSc Applied Health Services
Research

MSc/PGDip/PGCert Extreme
Medicine

Health and Care Professions
Council (HCPC)

College of Life and
Environmental Sciences

College of Social Sciences and
International Studies

University of Exeter Medical
School

DClinPsy Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

DEdPsych Doctorate in Educational psychology

BSc Medical Imaging

MSc Medical Imaging

National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)

College of Social Sciences and
International Studies

PGCE (various awards)

Nursing and Midwifery Council
(NMC)

University of Exeter Medical
School

BSc Nursing

Society & College of
Radiographers (SCoR)

University of Exeter Medical
School

BSc Medical Imaging

MSc Medical Imaging

ANNEX 2: RESPONSIBLE PERSONS - ROLE DESCRIPTION AND PERSON SPECIFICATION

Role description

The role of a Responsible Person in Fitness to Practise Matters is:

  • To receive expressions of concern and complaint about the health, wellbeing or Professional Conduct of a Student whose Programme is subject to this Regulation.
  • To determine whether the expressions of concern and/or complaint require urgent action to safeguard, pupils, young persons, vulnerable adults, patients, clients, other Students, members of staff, practitioner-staff and members of the public, the form such action should take, and to ensure that, where necessary, action is taken.
  • To determine whether the expressions of concern and/or complaints require investigation and what form that should take.
  • To instruct an Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional to make preliminary enquiries and conduct initial investigations, in a proportionate manner, in order to determine whether the concerns require further investigation and to report on that to the Responsible Person.
  • To instruct an Investigating Officer and/or OH Professional to undertake fuller investigations into an expression of concern or a complaint about a Student's Fitness to Practise and to gather evidence that may be put to a Fitness to Practise Panel.
  • To receive progress and other reports on their investigations from Investigating Officers from time to time.
  • To decide on the basis of the final report of the Investigating Officer whether a Fitness to Practise Panel should be convened to receive the Investigating Officer's report.
  • To convene and hold Preliminary Hearings with Students following an investigation.
  • To oversee the College’s arrangements for convening and holding hearings by Fitness to Practise Panels.
  • To ensure that the findings, recommendations and reports of Fitness to Practise Panels are provided to the College Pro-Vice Chancellor in a timely manner.
  • To observe confidentiality about individual cases of Fitness to Practise throughout, other when to do so would prevent the effective conduct of this Regulation.
  • To participate in training, briefing and development activities provided by the University to enable them to undertake the duties of a Responsible Person or continue in that role.

Person specification

When considering who they might designate as a Responsible Person, a College Pro-Vice Chancellor or Faculty Dean will take the following into consideration:

  • Whether the proposed individual is a Registrant of a regulated profession.
  • Whether any special expertise in the subject, professional, or clinical area is required to discharge the role effectively.
  • Whether the proposed individual is able to make sound and reasoned judgements about academic, practice-related and procedural matters.
  • Whether they have the authority to give directions to other staff and particularly those undertaking Investigations.
  • Whether the proposed individual should have proper clerical and professional support in order to fulfil the role.

ANNEX 3: INVESTIGATING OFFICERS – ROLE DESCRIPTION AND PERSON SPECIFICATION

Role description

The role of an Investigating Officer is:

  • To conduct initial enquiries and investigations when requested to do so by a Responsible Person, in order to determine whether concerns or complaints that have been reported require further investigation
  • To undertake such initial enquiries and investigations in a proportionate manner, and to report on their preliminary findings to the Responsible Person so that the latter can determine how best to respond to the concerns or complaints.
  • To undertake fuller investigations into an expression of concern or a complaint about a Student's Fitness to Practise and to gather evidence that may be put to a Fitness to Practise Panel.
  • To provide progress and other reports on their investigations to the relevant Responsible Person from time to time.
  • To provide a report to the Responsible Person that states the nature of the concerns or complaints that were expressed to the Responsible Person, explains how they relate to the Student's Fitness to Practise and explains what their investigation found so that the Responsible Person can decide whether a Fitness to Practise Panel should be convened to receive the Investigating Officer's report.
  • To attend Preliminary Hearings and hearings by Fitness to Practise Panels and Fitness to Practise Appeal Panels as required, in order to answer questions from the Student and the Panel(s) about their enquiries and how their report was produced.
  • To participate in training, briefing and development activities provided by the University to enable them to undertake the duties of an Investigating Officer or continue in that role.

Person specification

An Investigating Officer, who should be a registrant of the relevant profession, must have the skills and competences to:

  • Undertake thorough and detailed investigations and pursue enquiries, in confidence, and in a timely manner, about concerns and complaints that have been reported to a Responsible Person.
  • Understand how to gather oral and written evidence and write up accounts of the same that can be relied on by a Responsible Person and a Fitness to Practise Panel when deciding what action to take.
  • Make accurate and reliable notes and transcripts of meetings in connection with particular Fitness to Practise matters or ensure that they are made.
  • Provide coherent and clearly stated reports of their findings to enable a Responsible Person, a Fitness to Practise Panel and the Student who is the focus of the Investigation to understand the allegations that were made, how, if proved, they would relate to the Student's Fitness to Practise, and how the allegations were tested and investigated.
  • Explain at a Preliminary Hearing and to a Fitness to Practise Panel and the Student, in the context of a Panel hearing, how they undertook their investigation and present the evidence they gathered and their findings and answer questions .
  • Additionally, the Responsible Person nominating an Investigating Officer will take into consideration whether Investigating Officers need particular subject, clinical, professional or practice-based expertise to perform their role in a particular context, and the need to identify and train a sufficient number of Investigating Officers to ensure that there is adequate capacity across the College to investigate more than one case and that there is continuity of cover for Investigating Officers when they undertake other duties on behalf of the University.

ANNEX 4: PROCEDURES FOR THE TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF A STUDENT IN CONNECTION WITH FITNESS TO PRACTISE

Power to recommend the temporary suspension of a Student while a Fitness to Practise investigation is being undertaken
1 Where a Responsible Person and/or an Investigating Officer comes to the view that it is necessary to suspend a Student who is the subject of allegations of unprofessional conduct or behaviour on a temporary basis they may ask the relevant College Pro-Vice Chancellor to suspend the Student under powers conferred by Senate in approving this Regulation.
2 In exceptional circumstances, such as the absence of the relevant College Pro-Vice Chancellor or an interregnum, the Responsible Person may request that an alternate (who may be a Faculty Dean) acts on a recommendation to suspend a Student.
3 A student can be temporarily suspended from placement activity, academic activity (including assessment) or both.
4

In making a request for the temporary suspension of a Student, the Responsible Person will:

a. Outline the grounds for the recommended suspension in writing.
b. State what parts of the university the student should not enter.
c. Which staff and students they may not approach or communicate with.
d. What university services they may not use (access to university email services will not normally be withdrawn).
e. The likely duration of the suspension.

5 A Student who is under temporary suspension will not permitted to represent the University, including in sporting or other activities.
6 Where a College Pro-Vice Chancellor or (exceptionally) a Faculty Dean has approved a temporary suspension it takes effect immediately.
7

A breach of the terms of suspension will be added to the matters for consideration at a Preliminary Hearing and/or Fitness to Practise Panel.

a. Where a student breaches the terms of their suspension by entering university premises when they are not permitted to do so, they may be removed by Estate Patrol.

Appeal against a temporary suspension
1

A Student who has been served with a notice of temporary suspension may appeal against the suspension or its terms in writing to the relevant Faculty Dean within five working days of receiving the notice, stating why the suspension or specific terms in it should be lifted.

a. Where the temporary suspension has been approved by a Faculty Dean, the review is conducted by the other Faculty Dean.
2

The grounds on which an appeal can be made against a temporary suspension are the following:

a. That the Responsible Person failed to make reasonable enquiries before recommending the temporary suspension.
b. That the Responsible Person or the Dean or other person who approved the temporary suspension is biased against the Student.
c. That the temporary suspension of the Student, or its terms, are disproportionate.
3

Where the Faculty Dean is satisfied that the Student's appeal against their temporary suspension has succeeded they may cancel the suspension or vary the terms of the suspension to cure any defect that the Student has identified. Where the Faculty Dean confirms the temporary suspension it continues in force for its specified term.