Fitness to Practice & Study

Fitness to Practice 

The fitness for practie policy applies to you if you are on a professional programme regulated by professional statutory and regulatory bodies, such as education, social work, counselling, psychology and healthcare.

It is the University’s responsibility to have a Fitness for Practice Policy and Procedure in place to confirm that you are ‘fit for practice’ at the end of your programme. This is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public. 

Concerns about you being ‘Fit to Practice’ can be raised for a number of reasons, such as lack of honesty or integrity, lack of professionalism, not disclosing convictions or lack of competence. This covers not only your conduct within the University and on any placements, but also outside.

 

What happens if there are concerns about me being ‘fit for practice'? 

You will receive a letter informing you that a concern regarding your Fitness for Practice has been raised, which will outlining the next steps, guidance and support that will be available.

Following a full investigation into the concern, the case will either be dropped or referred to the FfP Panel. 

What is a Fitness for Practice Panel?

The purpose of the FfP panel is to find out the facts of the concern, discussing the allegations and giving you an opportunity to respond.
If a case is referred to the FfP Panel, you will receive a letter stating the matters that constitute FfP, and requesting reflective statement and evidence that you wish to be considered. Where there is a need for the panel to meet, you will be invited to attend and may wish to be accompanied by a representative - this may be a friend, a representative of a professional union or a representative from MDXSU (legal representation is not permitted).

What decisions can the panel make?

The panel can make the following decisions or recommendations:
- That you may continue without any further action.
- That you are allowed to continue with specified conditions and review dates.
- Suspending you pending specified conditions being met within a defined timeline.
- Withdrawing you and inviting you to discuss their options for transferring to another professional programme.

How do you appeal the decision of the FfP Panel?

You have the right to appeal against the decision of the FfP case-panel. The appeal must be submitted within 15 days of the date that the outcome letter was emailed or sent to you. The grounds for appeal are:
- The FfP process was not run in accordance with the agreed policy.
- There was an administrative error affecting the outcome.
- There is additional and relevant evidence that was not seen or was not available at the time the decision was made.

If the appeal is allowed, an appeals panel will be convened to review the original decision in the light of any new information. You will be invited to attend and can be accompanied by friend, supporter or representative (but attendance is not mandatory).

 

How can the MDXSU Advice service help? 

Our Advice service is confidential and independent from the University and we can: 

  • Explain the Fitness for Practice regulations and processes
  • Advise you on responding to any allegations
  • Advise on how to put together a statement
  • Accompany you to the meetings with the University
  • Provide ongoing advice throughout the FTP process

You can contact us on studentadvice@mdx.ac.uk or by calling 020 8411 6450. 


Fitness to Study

If there are concerns that your health may be disrupting your studies or the studies of others, or may be placing unreasonable demands on staff and students, you may be ‘unfit to study’. But don’t worry!

The Fitness to Study Policy has been implemented to allow for an agreed way for you to continue your studies with appropriate support in place, or to allow you to take a break from your studies without academic consequences until you are 'fit to study'.

 

What Happens if There are Concerns Regarding my Fitness To Study?

 

Level 1 – Informal Intervention

Concerns about your fitness to study are raised and you are invited in for a informal discussion with the Director of Programme, the Programme Leader or the Module Leader.
- You will be informed of what behaviour caused the concerns and will be given a chance to share any mitigating circumstances or previously undisclosed medical history.
- You will be informed of the support available to you.
- You will receive a letter recording the meeting, issues and agreed action.

 

Level 2 – Case Review Meeting

If you have not kept to the action plan agreed at the informal meeting, you will be invited to a formal case review meeting. You will be given a reasonable notice in writing informing of the requested necessary detailed information and documentation (e.g. medical evidence). You can be accompanied to the meeting by a friend, family member or a MDXSU representative.
The possible outcomes of Level 2 are:

- To agree an action plan with you
- To consider an adjustment to hours of study
- To agree an interruption from the programme
- To make a referral to Level 3 procedure
- To make a referral to other University procedures as appropriate (e.g. Student Disciplinary Procedure)
- To propose to you suspending the placement (if available) or switching to programme without placement
- Any other actions intended to support you to successful completion of their studies.

Level 3 – Fitness to Study Panel

If there are still concerns about your fitness to study, a Fitness to Study Panel will be convened to determine more definitive action:

- To determine whether or not you are required to interrupt their studies for a period of time.
- For the Student Support Services to provide advice and support.
- To make arrangements for you to have a named member of staff to keep in contact with.
- To offer you a compulsory part-time route to completing your programme (where appropriate).

Returning to Study

After the time required and where allowed within the University’s Regulations regarding the completion of programme, you may feel ready to return to your studies. Whether you can do so will depend on satisfactory medical evidence of fitness to study from a recognised health professional, and an assessment of need to determine what support is deemed necessary/of benefit, and whether it can be reasonably provided.

Appeal’s Procedure

You have the right to appeal to the Vice-Chancellor within 10 working days. The decision of the Vice-Chancellor shall be final. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can take your case to the Office of Independent Adjudicator within three months of receiving notification that the internal procedures of the University have been completed.

Medical Evidence

You may be asked to provide evidence of recent medical assessment. This should state:

- The nature and extend of any medical condition you may be suffering from
- Your prognosis
- The extent how this may affect your fitness to study
- Any impact it may have or risk it may pose to others
- Whether any steps should be taken by the University
- Whether you will be receiving any on-going medical treatment or support

 

How can the MDXSU Advice service help? 

Our Advice service is confidential and independent from the University and we can: 

  • Explain the Fitness for Practice regulations and processes
  • Advise you on responding to any allegations
  • Advise on how to put together a statement
  • Accompany you to the meetings with the University
  • Provide ongoing advice throughout the FTP process

You can contact us on studentadvice@mdx.ac.uk or by calling 020 8411 6450.