The University expects the highest standards of behaviour from students on courses leading to a professionally recognised qualification.
Fitness to Practise regulations ensure that students meet professional standards of conduct for awards that lead to a professionally recognised qualification, for example Medicine, Initial Teacher Training and Dentistry.
When you register for a programme of study subject to Fitness to Practise regulations, you will have to sign and abide by a programme-specific Code of Professional Conduct.
Programmes subject to FTP
- Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
- Bachelor of Dental Surgery
- Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
- Bachelor of Nursing programmes
- Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy (full time and flexible routes)
- Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and Therapy
- Doctor of Applied Educational and Child Psychology
- Doctor of Clinical Psychology
- Doctor of Forensic Clinical Psychology
- Doctor of Forensic Psychology Practice
- Master of Arts in Social Work
- Master of Science in Forensic Psychology Practice
- Master of Science in Nursing programmes
- Master of Science in Pharmacy
- Master of Science in Physiotherapy (Pre-registration)
- Postgraduate Affiliated Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing
- Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCE) leading to qualified teacher status (QTS) (Initial Teacher Education)
- Postgraduate Diplomas in Education leading to qualified teacher status (QTS) (Initial Teacher Education)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Physician Associate Studies
- Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work
In addition, students on intercalated programmes, such as BMedSc(I) Clinical Sciences, are required to comply with the relevant Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise.
Each programme subject to Fitness to Practise has a code of conduct which is specific to the profession involved. If you need a copy of your Code of Conduct, you will need to contact your School or Department. Each profession-specific Code of Conduct is based on a Generic Code of Conduct that is updated annually.
In most cases, health conditions and disabilities will not affect a student’s fitness to practise. However, students registered on a fitness to practise programme are required to ensure that their own health and wellbeing does not put themselves or others at risk, and to report any issues that they may have with their own health and/or well-being being which may affect their ability to follow their programme of study or take up the profession to an appropriate person.
The University will not normally start fitness to practise procedures just because you are ill, even if the illness is serious. However, fitness to practise concerns may need to be investigated if you are not following medical advice, if you may be a risk to yourself or others, or do not have insight into the impact of your condition. Further information is available in the Guidance for students on Fitness to Practise Programmes on health and wellbeing concerns (PDF - 132KB)
Fitness to Practice concerns will arise if you breach your programme-specific Code of Conduct, if you breach general University student conduct regulations, or there are concerns that your health and wellbeing may impair your fitness to practise.
An independent Investigating Officer will investigate each Fitness to Practise concern. You will have an interview with the Officer, who will make a decision, based on the evidence, about how to proceed. If the breach is minor and you admit the offence, you may be given a sanction by the Officer; or, if your case is considered serious, it can be passed on to a College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee. Our flowchart and guidance explains more about the initial investigation process:
During this process a 'Hold' may be placed on your student record. As a result, your marks may not be formally processed or released to you online and your progression or graduation may be affected.
If, based on the evidence, it is decided that the matter is serious, it will be referred to a College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee. This Committee will hear your case in strict accordance with the Code of Practice on Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee, to ensure fairness. You will be sent a copy of this Code of Practise before the Committee and you should read it carefully (and any associated guidance) so that you know what to expect. The Code of Practice can be found on the relevant legislation webpage for your cohort.
Further information can be found on the College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee webpage.
A range of sanctions can be applied if you are found, based on evidence, to have breached University regulations:
- If your case is dealt with summarily, the Investigating Officer can apply the sanctions outlined in Section 8: Student Conduct, which are as follows:
- A formal written warning (also known as a reprimand)
- Imposing a fine
- Community service
- An agreement (also known as an undertaking) that you behave appropriately and/or engage with appropriate student support and/or remedial tuition
- To make good any damage
- An exclusion from, or restricted access to, University residences (if you were visiting or using the facilities when the offence was committed)
If your case is deemed serious and the College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee finds that the breach is proven, it can apply the sanctions outlined in Appendix B or C of the relevant Code of Practice on Misconduct and Fitness to Practise for your cohort.
Instances of proven Fitness to Practise breaches may result in your being unable to pursue your chosen profession.
You may appeal in writing within 15 working days against the decision of the College Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee, specifying the grounds of appeal. Further information and the form to complete is on the Appeals to the University Misconduct and Fitness to Practise Committee page.
All cases will be recorded within your School/Department and this information will be retained in accordance with the departmental record retention policy. Any documentation we receive will normally be held for a period of seven years before it is confidentially disposed of.
We know that the investigation can be a very stressful time for you. Use our sources of help and support to find the help you need, whether it is advice on the process or simply someone to talk to.
If you have a query with regard to Fitness to Practise investigations and processes, please contact Student Conduct on 42741. Further information can also be found on the Fitness to Practise information for staff page.