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The University of Edinburgh Fitness to Practise Some of the degree programmes run by the University of Edinburgh are accredited by professional bodies and may have fitness for practise considerations. Fitness for practise is relevant in professions where safe professional practise, conduct and competencies are distinct from academic achievement. The University, in conjunction with the professional bodies, has a duty to ensure the student is fit to practise while undertaking this training. Provision Affected by Fitness to Practise Fitness for practise is relevant to the following University of Edinburgh provision: • Medicine • Anaesthetic Practice • Social Work • Teaching • Nursing • Clinical Psychology • Veterinary Medicine • Law (Diploma in Legal Studies) Purpose of University Fitness to Practise Procedures The curriculum in programmes with Fitness to Practise considerations addresses key practise skills to ensure students are exposed to the professional requirements of the relevant profession. In addition the University of Edinburgh has procedures to enable appropriate investigation of fitness to practise issues. Such procedures are necessary to: • Comply with the requirements of the professional bodies • Protect individuals the student has contact with during professional training • Ensure students are appropriately prepared for entry to the profession, have developed professional attitudes and clearly understand and demonstrate professional behaviour • Protect the University against a claim from an individual, or the representative of an individual, who has been harmed by a student in the course of that student’s professional training as a result of s/he being unfit to practise. University Fitness to Practice Appeals Procedure 1.1 The University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee provides the mechanism through which students can appeal against a decision made by the College Committee. Potential appellants are advised to seek the assistance of the staff of the Edinburgh University Students' Association. 1.2 Registry Academic Services has overall responsibility for maintaining the procedures associated with the work of the University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee and for collecting data to enable periodic University monitoring and recording of fitness to practise (FTP) appeal data. 1.3 The University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee is remitted to: • Conduct transparent and objective investigation of appeals lodged by students against decisions made by their College Fitness to Practise Committee. • Receive appeals on set grounds of either - a) Alleged incorrect procedure or conduct of the College procedure for assessing FTP. This involves review of the way the student case was handled (not reinvestigation of the case itself). b) Substantial information directly relevant to the student’s case which for good reason was not available to the College Fitness to Practise Committee when its decision was taken. Ignorance of the requirement mentioned to in assessment regulation 16.2 of the assessment regulations to report timeously factors which may have adversely affected a student’s performance or assessment, or failure to report such factors on the basis that the student did not anticipate an unsatisfactory decision by the Examination Board and possibly also by the College Fitness to Practise Committee, can never by themselves constitute good reason. 1.4 Appeals to University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee are handled in the following way (normally through correspondence): • Students lodge their appeal within two weeks of the outcome of the College decision by writing to the University Secretary. • Only in special circumstances may an appeal be considered more than two weeks after the results of a fitness to practise decision have been made available to the appellant. The decision as to whether or not special circumstances exist will be made by a University Fitness to Practise sub-committee. • The appeal lodged must be brief and factual. It must state the grounds of appeal (as stated under 1.3 Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee Remit). Any supporting documents directly relating to the appeal must be enclosed. • On receipt of the appeal the administrator assigned to it collects a record of the College Fitness to Practise proceedings. • The College information and appeal letter is sent to a Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Sub-Committee. • The Sub-Committee judge whether prima facie grounds have been established for the appeal. • Where it is judged that no grounds for appeal are established the sub-committee Secretary writes to the student and explains why there was deemed to be no case. • Where it is judged that a prima facie case does exist the sub-committee refers the appeal to the University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee. • The sub-committee may determine that additional information is necessary to assist the Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee’s assessment of the case. If so, this information is gathered and sent to the student so s/he may comment on it. • Once all the data is available the University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee considers the case. • The University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee can either uphold or not uphold an appeal. • If the appeal is upheld the Committee reports on its findings and recommendations to the student and College. • If the appeal is not upheld this ends the University’s involvement with the case and the student is advised of the external review process (referral to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman). 1.5 University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee Membership General • Colleges annually nominate staff to join a pool of senior academic staff consisting of at least two senior academic members of each profession. The pool is approved by Senatus, normally in June. • The Secretariat for appeals is provided by an administrator appointed by Registry Academic Services. University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Sub-Committee Membership • There is no Convener at sub-committee stage. • The University Fitness to Practise Appeal Sub-Committee comprises two academic members of staff drawn from the professional disciplines taught in the University. • The members of Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Sub-Committee are never the same individuals as those involved in the College process. • An administrative Secretary forms part of the sub-committee, primarily to produce the decision report but also to liaise with members where views differ. • The Secretariat for appeals is provided by an administrator appointed by Registry Academic Services. University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee Membership - The Convener is always either an academic (thematic) Vice-Principal or a Head of College. - Two sub-committee members (neither of whom may convene). - Three eligible staff (drawn from professional disciplines taught in the University, one of whom may have been a member of the sub-committee). - A representative of the University Secretary. - An administrative Secretary is in attendance. It is possible for the University Secretary representative to administer the Appeal. - The selection made will ensure the Panel contains a professional majority (where appropriate) and at least one academic member of staff from the same discipline as the appellant - No members will have been involved in earlier stages of the case, at College or at sub- Committee level. 1.6 Timescale * • Within two weeks of the outcome of the College decision students lodge their appeal by writing to the University Secretary. • Weeks three and four - the Secretariat for the appeal gathers a note of the College Fitness to Practise proceedings and the College comments on the student appeal letter. • Week five – based on the information provided the University Senatus Fitness for Practise sub-committee considers whether a prima facie case exists. • Week six - University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee established. • Week six – Any additional information required is gathered and forwarded to the student for comment. • Week Seven- University Senatus Fitness to Practise Appeal Committee considers the appeal case. * Note: at present these timescales are advisory, and subject to review. Published by Academic Services Section Last updated: July 2007 Other information College specific fitness to practice guidance: College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/medicine-vet-medicine College of Humanities & Social Science www.hss.ed.ac.uk/AcademicAdmin/UnderAcadeAdmin/PolicesGuidence/documents/ FitnesstoPractice.doc
"Fitness to Practise"