Fitness to practise at university refers to the evaluation of a student's ability to meet the required professional standards and ethical conduct necessary for their chosen field of study, such as in healthcare, teaching, or other regulated professions.
There's been a problem and I'm being referred to Fitness to Practise. What should I do?
If you are in this situation contact our team straight away - we can guide you through the process and help you to draft your statements and prepare for meetings. Fitness to Practise can be a very stressful process and has serious implications - it is worth getting as much help as you can as early as you can.
This includes if you have been invited to attend a 'preliminary meeting', 'informal chat' or 'promoting professional behaviours meeting'. The content of these initial meetings may be used later within a formal investigation meeting or to help your department decide whether to take you further through the fitness to practise process, so it is best to get advice and help preparing for such a meeting.
View Fitness to Practise regulations - they provide a clear and detailed outline of the process.
Submitting a Fitness to Practise statement
Guide to the University's Fitness to Practise Procedure
The first stage is an investigation. You will receive a letter that invites you to a meeting and includes the reasons for the referral.
At this stage, we can help you prepare your response, provide support and make sure that you are clear about the process and its implications.
Subject to availability, we can attend the investigation meeting with you.
The investigation meeting can decide that there is no case to answer, it can refer you to other regulatory processes (e.g. disciplinary), it can put an action plan in place for you to meet as you continue as a student or it can refer you to a Fitness to Practise Panel meeting.
Fitness to Practise Panel meeting
A Panel will formally consider whether you can remain on the course and whether you are 'fit to practise' within your chosen profession.
You are strongly advised to attend the Panel meeting; an adviser from our service can attend this meeting with you (subject to availability).
You will receive a submission from the University giving the conclusions of their investigation and the evidence they have used. You are invited to respond to this, but your submission must be submitted at least 5 working days in advance of the panel meeting.
Appealing against a Fitness to Practise decision
You can appeal against the decision of the Panel if:
- there was an error or irregularity in the process;
- the decision was disproportionate;
- new evidence has come to light that was not available at the time.
The appeal must be submitted within 10 working days of the decision being made available to you.
We can discuss your grounds for appeal with you and assist you through the process.
In some instances, students can be suspended from placement or from the University. If this has happened, please contact us as soon as possible.