Fitness to study
Fitness to study is defined by being able to participate, with reasonable adjustments where necessary, in the programmes of study and/or in University life in general without negatively impacting the safety or wellbeing of themselves or others, and with full opportunities to meet the learning outcomes for their programme.
Regulations for fitness to study (PDF)
The University is committed to supporting students’ wellbeing and recognises that a positive approach to the management of physical and mental health is key to student learning and academic achievement. Therefore, the fitness to study process is a supportive one with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for the student concerned.
If somebody raises a concern, one of the following processes will be taken:
- If you are on a programme of study that, if completed successfully, would enable you to apply to be placed on the Register of a Registration Body, the process for Fitness to Practise will normally be followed.
- If you are not on a programme of study that leads to registration with a registration body and a trigger event or events have occurred and have raised concerns about your wellbeing, safety, health or behaviour, a request may be made to initiate the Fitness to Study process.
The request to initiate the Fitness to Study process will be checked to make sure that the basis of the request is satisfactory and a decision will be made on how to move forward.
The decision could be:
- That no further action is needed
- That the matter should be processed as a Fitness to Practise or a disciplinary issue and not a Fitness to Study issue
- That a Professional Meeting should be held
- That a Fitness to Study Panel should be arranged
If it is decided that a Professionals Meeting should be held, you will be given 5 working days’ notice of it with details of the purpose of the meeting and the people who will be present. You will be allowed to attend and can be accompanied by a friend or Students’ Union representative.
The aim of meeting is to identify if a support package can be provided to assist you in the continuance of your programme of study. If it is determined that specific support measures are appropriate and necessary, these will be detailed in a Managed Support Plan. The effectiveness of the Managed Support Plan will be evaluated periodically.
Fitness to Study Panels
If a decision has been made that a Fitness to Study Panel hearing is necessary, this will be arranged by OSCAR. The Panel hearing normally takes place within 20 working days of the decision to convene a Panel. OSCAR will send you an invitation letter with details of the Panel including the date, time and reasons for convening the Panel.
A Fitness to Study Panel will consider whether they feel you are fit to study without putting your safety and wellbeing at risk or that of other students, staff and third parties.If the Panel feel that your or others’ safety and wellbeing is at risk, they will consider whether it would be appropriate to arrange a support package for you. It may be that a Professionals Meeting is then arranged to discuss this and put this in place. If the Panel feel that your or others’ safety and wellbeing is at risk and that a support package would not be appropriate, the Panel will consider termination of your registration.
Outcomes of a panel
- The Panel could find that you are fit to study without putting your or others’ safety and wellbeing at risk. No further action will be taken and the case will be concluded.
- The Panel could find that you are not fit to study without putting your or others’ safety and wellbeing at risk but, that a new or amended support package would help you to continue on your programme without putting your or others’ safety and wellbeing at risk.
- The Panel could find that you are not fit to study without putting your or others’ safety and wellbeing at risk and that a new or amended support package would not help you to continue on your programme without putting your or others’ safety and wellbeing at risk. The Panel would then terminate your programme registration.
You can appeal the outcome of a Fitness to Study Panel:
You must appeal within 10 working days of the Fitness to Study Panel conveying its findings to you in writing.
The grounds for appeal are contained in Regulation 50 of the regulations for fitness to study (PDF). OSCAR will check whether the appeal identifies the relevant grounds and whether the grounds are supported by relevant evidence. If it does, a Fitness to Study Appeal Panel will be arranged.
Outcomes of an appeal
The possible outcomes are contained in Regulations 59 and 60 of the regulations for fitness to study (PDF).