The University considers that a student’s fitness to practise is called into question when their behaviour, conduct or health raise a serious or persistent cause for concern about their ability to continue on their degree programme, or to practice after graduation. This includes, but is not limited to, the possibility that they could put patients and the public at risk, and undermining public confidence. Issues are considered on a case by case basis.
The Fitness to Practise Procedure covers programmes of study which lead to professional qualifications. Students who undertake such programmes of study are required to meet the academic and conduct standards set out by the University and by their regulatory body. The University has a Fitness to Practise procedure and Policy for all students that are enrolled on a health related degree. The vast majority of incidents that start this procedure happen whilst students are out in practise.
Some examples that we have attended over the last few years are:
- Forged time sheets- whether this is using your mentor’s signature to sign for time when you have been there, or falsifying the times when you were not. If you have not had something signed off or you are falling behind on your hours then talk to your personal tutor or any member of staff that you have built up a relationship with, rather than forge signatures yourself. If you are still not getting the support you require then contact us at the Advice Centre as we can assist you in getting the answers you need.
- Falsifying paperwork of any kind is a major no no, you need to be trusted that as a registered health care professional you will record information accurately to ensure patient safety. Therefore falsifying any document whether it be your ORE’s document or a submission for placement expenses will bring into question your integrity.
- Social Media – you should already be aware that no message, group chat, snap chat is private. It only takes one participant to take offence or for a dispute within the group, for the conversation to be reported to the University. If you do not want to get into this situation then do not use social media to voice your opinions or concerns. You should also change your facebook privacy settings, so that only your friends can see what you write, this also protects you from unwelcome visitors to your profile as well as allowing you to continue to use social media. It is fair to say that we have not seen a social media related FTP for at least a year, but that does not mean you should be any less aware of the possibility.
- Problems on placement – these can be issues with the placement or mentor, if you have a problem then before you make a difficult situation worse talk to the placement co-ordinator email your tutor or talk to us. We have been to many FTP’s that have arisen as a result of unprofessional behaviour, a heated argument for example, that could have been avoided if the student had spoken to staff at an earlier point.
- Drug Errors - Everyone makes mistakes in every occupation, it is how we deal with those mistakes and learn from them that matters. Be honest and upfront, tell someone immediately that you have made an error and set it straight. The worst thing you can do is try and cover it up or proportion blame on others. You may still end up at a FTP but it is much more likely to stop at the first stage if you can show you acted correctly rather than risk the possibility of being withdrawn from the course at a 3rd stage.
What is Union Representation?
As a student nurse / midwife or allied health professional you will have the opportunity to join your trade Union, there is usually a small fee of around £10 per year to become a member but amongst other benefits they can provide representation at a Fitness to Practise meeting.
If you are not a member of a trade union or they are unable to assist on this occasion then you can contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre. We have attended many Fitness to Practise meetings and can help you through the process providing guidance and support where necessary.
So what happens as part of the procedure?
Informal Fitness to Practise Meeting
You will be invited to a meeting with your personal tutor and another academic to discuss an incident that has occurred. At this meeting they will explain what the accusation or incident is and ask you to provide your account of what happened. You can take someone with you to the informal FTP and we would suggest that the sooner you involve Union representation the better. At the end of the informal meeting, minutes will be produced and these will then be forwarded to the Head of School, who will make a decision as to whether or not it needs to progress to a stage 1 FTP.
Stage 1 – Stage 3 FTP
Regardless of what stage your FTP ends up at your union representation can support you. We can comment on any reflective statements you may need to produce, and look at different forms of support you could tap into to help demonstrate your understanding of the incident. We can tell you what to expect from these high-level University meetings and attend them with you.
Unsure what to do next?
If you have been invited to attend any meeting as part of Fitness to Practise process then we would strongly encourage you to get in contact.
Last updated July 2019