Fitness to Practise

The University of Liverpool offers a number of clinical programmes which, on graduation permit those who have taken such programmes the right to practise as members of a particular profession, with a right to membership of appropriate professional bodies on receiving that degree; or a requirement to register with an appropriate regulatory body if they wish to practise after graduation; or a right to be accepted into a profession upon confirmation from the University that they are fit to practise.

To ensure that the public is protected and appropriate support is provided for students, in line with ethical frameworks and regulatory guidance, the University has a duty to monitor students' health and conduct, and has in place Fitness to Practise processes that consider whether these may impact upon patient care.

Students on a relevant clinical programme may be referred to the Fitness to Practise processes if:

  • There are serious concerns about the student's health which mean that the student may not be fit to practise
  • There are concerns about misconduct; this will usually first be investigated through the University disciplinary procedures before any referral to the Fitness to Practise processes but a decisoin to suspend a student from academic studies and/or cinical work may be taken under the Fitness to Practise Procedures pending the completion of procedures under the Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline. Misconduct for the purposes of the Fitness to Practise precedures may also include serious breaches of the University's Academic Integrity Policy as well as any behaviour which places a human patient or an animal patient or its owner at risk or gives rise to concern about the student's future commitment to the protection and safety of human patients or animal patients or their owners
  • They are convicted of, cautioned for, reprimanded for or charged with any criminal offences, including motoring offences (except parking or speeding offences which are subject to fixed penalties)

Fitness to Practise Procedures

The procedures are set out in the "Suitability of Students for Professional Practice: Fitness to Practise Procedure".

Where a case is referred to the Fitness to Practise Procedures, the Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor shall appoint appoint a senior member of academic or clinical staff as an Investigating Officer to conduct a Formal Investigation. When there are concerns about a student’s suitability for professional practice on grounds of health, the Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor may require the student to be assessed by the University’s Occupational Health Physician.

 At the end of the Formal Investigation, the Investigating Officer may conclude:

  • that there is no case to be taken forward, in which case the student will be informed that no further action will be taken.
  • that there is a case for matters to be dealt with by other means to be determined by the Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor, which could include specific undertakings or conditions, but that there is no immediate need for a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing.
  • that there is a case for the matter to be referred for further consideration by a Fitness to Practise Panel.

Potential outcomes of a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing

The Panel has the authority to decide:

  • dismiss the case;
  • permit the student to continue with the programme  with appropriate advice and guidance;
  • permit the student to continue with the programme under close supervision;
  • suspend the studies of the student for a specified time;
  • require the student to resit a specified part or parts of the programme
  • decide that the student's studies on a programme of study leading to a professional qualification be terminated, but, if appropriate, permit the student to exit from the programme with an alternative award. A student may be permitted to exit with an appropriate non-registerable degree;
  • decide that the student's studies on a programme be terminated and that his/her registration as a student of the University should cease.

Students have a right of appeal to the Professional Appeals Board against the decision of a Fitness to Practise Panel.

Further information

The contact point for further advice is:

Academic Compliance Team
Student Administration and Support 
University of Liverpool 
The Foundation Building 
765 Brownlow Hill 
Liverpool 
L69 7ZX

Email: appeals@liverpool.ac.uk