Policy

Fitness to Practise - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

1.1 The objectives of this policy are to —

a) support students in their learning to become safe practitioners who exhibit professional behaviours that are considered appropriate both at the University and while on practical placements;

b) ensure the early identification of Fitness to Practise concerns and implement intervention strategies (remediation) to assist students to attain acceptable standards in all aspects of their practice;

c) balance remediation and rehabilitation of unacceptable practise with the need to prevent harm to the student and those they come in contact with while undertaking practical placements; and

d) safeguard the reputation of the University and its placement providers (placement organisations).

1.2 In addition, a number of award programs offered by the University entitle graduates either to apply for registration with a professional body or, in some cases, have automatic eligibility for registration in a profession by virtue of their graduation with a specific UQ award. As a result, the University has a responsibility to ensure students enrolled in these programs have opportunities to develop the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes to be safe practitioners and are educated about the expectations for professional conduct in their chosen professions.

1.3 Successful students must be able to demonstrate appropriate standards of conduct and behaviour, be sufficiently able, both physically and mentally, to undertake the demands of the student’s intended profession, and must be able to demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and skills expected of student practitioners at the respective stage of their program of study.

1.4 The purpose of this policy is to guide the management of cases where a student undertaking a program that has a practical placement component has exhibited behaviour that has given cause for concern as to their Fitness to Practise in that program.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Concern – actions or issues that call into question a student’s ability to undertake practical placements successfully either within or external to the University.

Course - a distinct unit of study within a program for which a result is given.

Decision-maker - a person listed as a decision-maker under section 11 of the Procedures.

Fitness to Practise – refer to section 4.3. Encompasses a broad range of factors including:

a) conduct

b) performance

c) compliance, and

d) health

This will be influenced by the standards expected by the student’s intended profession.

Patient/Client – a person or animal receiving professional services.

Placement organisation — the organisation at which the student's practical placement is undertaken. The type of placement organisation is not limited, and includes business, government departments, non-government service providers, non-profit organisations, and volunteer organisations. The University of Queensland is considered a placement organisation under this definition.

Practical placement - (also known as work integrated learning, clinical immersion, clinical placement, clinical practice, externship, fieldwork, industry experience, industry study, internship, practicum, teaching practice, work placement) is a course, course component, or other activity that provides students with practical experiences in the application of theoretical concepts and knowledge in an authentic work environment.

Procedural fairness - requires the procedures used by a decision-maker in dealing with an allegation to be fair and requires –

a) adherence to established principles of natural justice; and

b) a hearing appropriate to the level; and b) impartiality of the decision-maker; and

c) evidence to support the finding.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

3.1 This policy applies to students enrolled in programs and courses that include a practical placement component.

3.2 This policy seeks to address issues of competence and concerns relating to patient and public safety.

3.3 Where possible, academic performance will be managed using the relevant University Rules and Policies.

4. Policy Statement

4.1 Students must conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the standards of behaviour set out in the University’s Student Charter as well as any relevant codes or guidelines issued by their Faculty, discipline professional body, registering authority or placement organisation.

4.2 Students must demonstrate during their studies that they have the required aptitude, knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of student practitioners at the appropriate stage of their education and training within their profession.

4.3 Students enrolled in programs or courses that include practical placements may, for the purpose of this policy, have concern(s) raised about their Fitness to Practise in situations where they:

a) Engage in conduct outside the bounds of that considered acceptable or worthy of the membership of the profession (conduct); and/or

b) Demonstrate performance that is not consistent with the profession’s established standards (performance); and/or

c) &Exhibit disregard for, or are unable to meet, the rules, regulations or standards for practising as a member of the profession or for undertaking professional practice with a professional practice provider (compliance); and/or

d) Display a disability or health condition that impairs their capacity to practise as required by the profession (disability or health).

4.4 In many programs with a practical placement component, the University has identified pre-placement requirements that students must meet, in order to be eligible to undertake practical placements. These pre-placement requirements are intended to assist both students and staff to identify circumstances where a student may be unable to comply with the requirements for a program or course, for example, legislative obligations or health-related requirements. Pre-placement requirements may be detailed in the relevant program rules and/or program information including student placement agreements and deeds entered into by students with placement providers (placement organisations).

4.5 Where the University initiates action under this policy and associated procedures, and a student’s Fitness to Practise is being considered, the following principles will apply –

a) The procedures followed must be consistent with the requirements of procedural fairness;

b) Interactions between members of the University (staff and students) and members of the wider community who are involved in a practical placements should be based on an assumption of mutual respect;

c) The safety of those involved in a practical placement, both students and others, will be of paramount importance;

d) Outcomes arising from the application of the policy and procedures must be appropriate and proportionate;

e) Wherever reasonable and practicable, actions taken under this policy will have an emphasis on remediation and support; and

f) Confidentiality must be respected and maintained by all parties within the constraints of the need to investigate and to hear a concern, subject to any legal requirements for disclosure and in accordance with other University policies, procedures and guidelines.

4.6 If a student’s behaviour or condition poses a serious concern for the welfare of others, or is unreasonably disruptive to the community in which they are learning, or results in an inability to meet the requirements of a program, the University may require that the student’s studies be interrupted or, in cases where remediation is impracticable, discontinued.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Procedures

Fitness to Practise - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the process for managing Fitness to Practise concerns. These procedures enact the Fitness to Practise policy.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Academic Registrar - the Academic Registrar of the University.

Appeal - an application made by a student to have a decision reviewed where that decision relates to a matter affecting their studies or life as a student.

Concern – actions or issues that call into question a student’s ability to undertake practical placements successfully either within or external to the University.

Course - a distinct unit of study within a program for which a result is given.

Decision-maker - an officer or body listed as a decision-maker under section 11.

Deputy Head of School - a Deputy Head of School of the University.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) – the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the University.

Duty to disclose - refers to a responsibility of the student to disclose information that may be relevant to determining a student’s Fitness to Practise.

Executive Dean - the Executive Dean of a Faculty of the University.

Fitness to practise - refer to section 4.3 of the Policy. Encompasses a broad range of factors including:

a) conduct

b) performance

c) compliance, and

d) health.

This will be influenced by the standards expected by the student’s intended profession.

Head of School - a Head of School of the University.

Health condition - a disease, disorder or injury, regardless of its exterior manifestation.

Impairment - in relation to a student, means a student who has a physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence) that detrimentally affects or is likely to detrimentally affect the student’s capacity to undertake professional or placement learning activities.

Investigating Officer - a member of staff nominated by a Head of School or Executive Dean to investigate a particular concern (e.g. course coordinator, placement manager/coordinator) as locally appropriate.

Legally qualified - a person who holds a degree or formal training in law (e.g. LLB or JD equivalent) and/ or a person admitted or qualified to be an Australian lawyer as defined by the relevant legislation.

Patient/Client – a person or animal receiving professional services.

Placement organisation — the organisation at which the student's placement is undertaken. The type of placement organisation is not limited, and includes business, government departments, non-government service providers, non-profit organisations, and volunteer organisations. The University of Queensland is considered a placement organisation under this definition.

Placement supervisor — (also known as preceptor and clinical educator) one or more suitably qualified persons appointed by the placement organisation or the University to supervise the student on placement.

Practical placement - (also known as work integrated learning, clinical immersion, clinical placement, clinical practice, externship, fieldwork, industry experience, industry study, internship, practicum, teaching practice, work placement) is a course, course component, or other activity that provides students with practical experiences in the application of theoretical concepts and knowledge in an authentic work environment.

Preliminary investigation – a preliminary investigation under section 6 to consider whether there is sufficient information available to categorise an issue as a Fitness to Practise concern.

Procedural fairness - requires the procedures used by a decision-maker in dealing with an allegation to be fair and requires –

a) adherence to established principles of natural justice; and

b) a hearing appropriate to the level; and

b) impartiality of the decision-maker; and

c) evidence to support the finding.

Remediation – providing additional support to enable a student to engage positively in the practical placement learning environment

Student – means a person enrolled as a student at the University or undertaking programs or courses at the University at the time that the Fitness to Practise concern was reported.

Support person – a person accompanying a student at a Fitness to Practise meeting or hearing.

University – The University of Queensland.

Vice-Chancellor – the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to students enrolled in programs or courses that include a practical placement component and to University staff involved in managing students' Fitness to Practise in these programs and courses.

4. Procedures Statement

These procedures aim to facilitate the early identification and proactive management of Fitness to Practise concerns, and to provide a framework within which the University will handle and respond to those concerns.

The reporting of a concern about a student’s Fitness to Practise will not necessarily result in a substantive issue being identified.

5. Identifying and Reporting Fitness to Practise Concerns

5.1 It is not intended for the Fitness to Practise policy and procedures to be invoked where minor breaches are managed as part of a normal practical placement. Notwithstanding, multiple minor breaches may be considered a Fitness to Practise concern and escalated appropriately.

5.2 Fitness to Practise concerns may be reported to the University by stakeholders both internal and external to the University.

5.3 A Fitness to Practise concern should normally be lodged in writing to the University.

5.4 Fitness to Practise concerns received by the University should be directed to the relevant School in the first instance.

6. Investigating Fitness to Practise Concerns

6.1 A preliminary investigation of the concern that has been notified to the University will be initiated promptly and normally within 10 working days of the first notification.

6.2 The Investigating Officer will review the concern(s) and, where necessary and appropriate, seek further information from relevant parties. This may include obtaining witness statements as well as collecting and reviewing other information relating to the alleged concern(s), for example, data, documents or other information provided by a Placement Organisation or a Placement Supervisor. If the evidence suggests there is no Fitness to Practise concern, no further action will be taken.

6.3 If the evidence suggests there may be a Fitness to Practise concern, the student will be notified in writing by the Investigating Officer that a Fitness to Practise concern has been raised as soon as practicable and preferably within 5 working days of receipt of the concern and will be advised of the following:

a) the basis of the concern(s) raised about them; and

b) any limitations or conditions placed on their studies during the period in which the concern(s) is being investigated.

6.4 The student will be provided with the opportunity to respond to the Investigating Officer in relation to the reported Fitness to Practise concern, either in writing or via a face to face meeting.

6.5 The Investigating Officer will determine if there is sufficient information to warrant further consideration and to categorise the Fitness to Practise concern(s) in accordance with Section 8.

6.6 Where no further action is warranted the Investigating Officer will notify the student accordingly.

7. Immediate Suspension of Practical Placement

7.1 A Placement Organisation may, at any time, exercise their right to withdraw a placement as per the relevant Student Placement Agreement or Deed.

7.2 Where credible concerns about the safety of patients/clients, the student or the public have been raised, a student may be suspended from a practical placement by the Vice-Chancellor, upon the recommendation of the relevant Executive Dean.

7.3 A student whose practical placement has been immediately suspended will be given an opportunity to be heard within 10 working days about the continuation or lifting of the suspension. If the Vice-Chancellor decides that a student should be suspended from the practical placement, the Vice-Chancellor will inform the student in writing of the reason for the suspension.

7.4 The notice of suspension must include:

a) the details of the order; and

b) a statement of the reasons for the decision; and

c) a statement informing the student when the order will end.

7.5 A student suspended from a practical placement under the provisions of section 7.2 is not permitted to continue in the practical placement until such time as the suspension has been revoked. In addition, the student is not permitted to enter the premises where the practical placement was being undertaken while an investigation is conducted and a decision is made in relation to the alleged Fitness to Practise concern(s).

8. Fitness to Practise Categories

8.1 The University recognises that the circumstances giving rise to concern(s) about a student’s Fitness to Practise will vary in both severity and duration and appropriate and proportionate responses are required to address the circumstances identified in each specific case.

8.2 The following categorisation has been based on the level of seriousness of the concern(s), the learning context, and the level of risk to the safety of those involved. Each concern(s) will be categorised as:

 

Developmental intervention:

Indicators:

›     Temporary condition or impairment

›     One-off lapse or infrequent concern

›     Minor in nature

›     Minor impact

›     Minimal remediation required

Level 1:

Indicators:

›     Frequent minor concerns

›     Accidental, thoughtless or unintentional

›     Moderate in nature

›     Moderate impact

›     Likely to be remediated in the short term

Level 2:

Indicators:

›     Permanent condition or impairment

›     Persistent, repeated and/or escalating concerns

›     Clear intent

›     Serious in nature

›     Significant impact

›     Unlikely to be remediated in the short term

8.3 In determining the category of a concern, the Investigating Officer will assess the concern(s) against the following five criteria:

a) Type of issue:

  • Conduct; and/or
  • Performance; and/or
  • Compliance; and/or
  • Disability/Health;

b) Frequency of the concern(s);

c) Level of experience of the student;

d) Intent of the student; and

e) Impact, or potential impact, of the issue(s) including risk to the student and to others.

8.4 Where multiple concerns have been raised and these span more than one category, the concern will be managed in accordance with the highest category.

8.5 Where a student has previously been offered a Developmental Intervention and a subsequent Fitness to Practise concern has been raised, the concern will automatically be categorised as a Level 1 or Level 2 concern.

9. Developmental Intervention

9.1 If the concern has been categorised as a Developmental Intervention, the Investigating Officer will initiate a supportive sequence of educational/training activities, to remediate the Fitness to Practise concern(s).

9.2 The educational/training activities may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

a) Counsel the student appropriately;

b) Attending workshops offered by UQ Student Services;

c) Attending additional teaching sessions;

d) Providing a mentor;

e) Attending support meetings;

f) Increased monitoring of course requirements/placement practices;

g) Seeking support from UQ Disability Services.

10. Fitness to Practise and Misconduct

10.1 If, when dealing with a Fitness to Practise concern, the Investigating Officer or decision-maker finds evidence of alleged misconduct (academic or general), but aside from that conduct issue the student’s Fitness to Practise is not impaired, the concern will be investigated in accordance with PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy and Procedures and the Fitness to Practise process will be concluded.

10.2 If, when dealing with a Fitness to Practise concern, the Investigating Officer or decision-maker finds evidence of both alleged misconduct (academic or general) and an additional Fitness to Practise issue, the misconduct matter will be investigated in accordance with PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy and Procedures and the Fitness to Practise concern will be investigated in accordance with PPL 3.30.14 Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedures.

11. Decision-Makers

11.1 Only concerns that are categorised as Level 1 or Level 2 require a formal decision-maker.

11.2 The decision-makers are:

a) Level 1 – the relevant Head of School, Medical Dean or Head of Clinical School; and

b) Level 2 – the relevant Executive Dean or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), as identified in section 13.3.2.

12. Decision-Making

12.1 To inform their decision making process the decision-makers:

a) May seek further advice from others, either internal or external to the University;

b) May convene an expert reference group to advise them on the matter. Such a group may include staff from the University and representatives from Placement Organisations as determined by the decision-maker;

c) May request that the student undertake an examination by an appropriately qualified independent medical professional arranged by the University in order to report to the decision-maker on specific matters, for example:

›   Identifying reasonable academic adjustments that might be required to facilitate the student’s safe return to practical placements;

›   Whether the student is fit to be undertaking practical placements at that time;

›   Whether the student  has a condition that may preclude their ability to fulfil essential program requirements;

d) Must invite written feedback from, and/or meet with, the student about whom the concern has been raised.

13. Level 1 and Level 2 Outcomes

13.1 Relevant factors the decision-maker may, at their discretion, take into account in determining an appropriate outcome include, but are not limited to:

a) The nature and extent of the concern;

b) The risks posed by the student engaging in future practical placements;

c) The student’s year in the respective program and the extent of practical placements yet to be undertaken in the program;

d) The student’s likely ability and preparedness to respond positively to support and remediation;

e) Whether there is evidence of a deliberate and premeditated decision to engage in unprofessional behaviour;

f) The impact of the conduct on others as well as the University;

g) Any remedial action the student has taken to mitigate their unsatisfactory practise, or prevent the concern in question from reoccurring, which demonstrates insight into the concern; and

h) Whether there are any mitigating circumstances.

13.2 Level 1 Outcomes

13.2.1 Level 1 decision-makers may determine an outcome including one or more of the following:

a) Dismiss the concern and take no further action;

b) Issue a written warning;

c) Require the student to undertake remedial activities, which may include a range of educational activities such as attendance at workshops, and successfully completing remedial learning activities;

d) Require the student to meet with staff to receive support, remedial instruction or other pastoral care;

e) Refer the student to counselling or other relevant professional support;

f) Require the student to undertake an additional specified period of supervised practical placement;

g) Set an additional assessment task about the Fitness to Practise concern(s);

h) Impose a short-term limit on the student’s participation in the learning activity or attendance at a practical placement until such time as they have demonstrated their remediation of the issue that gave rise to the Fitness to Practise concern. A decision to limit a student’s participation on Level 1 concerns should be temporary, to the extent that it does not unreasonably jeopardise the student’s ability to complete the course in the semester in which they are enrolled;

i) Require the student to resubmit an assessment item to achieve a mark no higher than a "pass" mark for the item;

j) Refer the matter to the Executive Dean for consideration as a Level 2 concern.

13.2.2 If the Head of School forms the view that the student’s situation is such that an interruption of studies is recommended, and supported by a medical report/certificate, the concern will be referred to the Executive Dean for a decision on outcome.

13.2.3 Failure by a student to comply with, or successfully complete, a Level 1 outcome may result in referral to the Executive Dean as a Level 2 concern.

13.3 Level 2 Outcomes

13.3.1 Level 2 decision-makers may determine an outcome including one or more of the following:

a) Any level 1 outcome as noted above;

b) Refer the matter to the School to deal with as a Level 1 concern;

c) Impose conditions (e.g. remediation) on the student’s continued enrolment in the placement activity/course(s);

d) Refuse further enrolment in a placement activity/course(s) until any condition(s) imposed is met;

e) Award zero marks (N for non-graded courses) for the placement component of a course in which the Fitness to Practise concern(s) occurred;

f) Refuse or cancel enrolment for the course(s) in which the Fitness to Practise concern(s) occurred;

g) Where a student has provided a medical report/certificate that supports an interruption of study, a period of interruption not exceeding 12 months may be imposed.  Re-enrolment will only be considered based on the recommendation of a medical certificate/report that states the student is capable of resuming their studies.

13.3.2 If the Executive Dean forms the view that the student’s situation is such that a lengthy interruption exceeding 12 months will be required in order for the student to have sufficient time to rehabilitate their situation, or if their situation is such that remediation is either unlikely or impracticable, the concern will be referred to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for a hearing and a decision on the outcome.

13.3.3 If the Executive Dean makes a recommendation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) under the provision of section 13.3.2, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) may, after hearing the matter, decide to suspend the student’s enrolment in the program for up to 3 years, and may set conditions on any future resumption of enrolment in the program or, where remediation is unlikely or impracticable, may withdraw the student from the program.

13.3.4 Failure by a student to comply with a Level 2 outcome will be considered misconduct and investigated in accordance with PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

13.3.5 Failure by a student to successfully complete a Level 2 outcome may result in referral to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) who may set conditions on enrolment in the program or, where remediation is unlikely or impracticable, may withdraw the student from the program.

14. Appeals

14.1 A student may appeal an outcome as decided in section 13, and this must be lodged within 20 business days of being given notice of the outcome.

14.2 The Academic Registrar may extend the time for compliance with section 14.1.

14.3 An appeal application must clearly state the outcome being appealed and the grounds for appeal.

14.4 Grounds for appeal must include one or both of the following:

a) Material irregularity in the making of the decision. Material irregularity can take the form of:

›  Evidence of failure to adhere to relevant published policies and procedures;

› Evidence of improper, irregular, or negligent conduct by persons involved in the making of the contested outcome;

›  Evidence of discrimination, prejudice, or bias against a student in the making of the contested outcome;

› Evidence that the original decision-maker has not considered a matter of specific relevance to the outcome;

b) Extenuating circumstances which, for valid reasons, were not previously made known. This would require availability of new and relevant information, and/or of evidence that, for valid reasons, was not made available at the time the outcome under appeal was made.

14.5 A student must attach all relevant supporting appeal documentation at the time of lodging the appeal application.

14.6 An appeal arising from a Level 1 concern will be reviewed and decided by the Executive Dean.

14.7 An appeal arising from a Level 2 concern decided by the Executive Dean will be reviewed and decided by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

14.8 A student may appeal the decision of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor by way of appeal to Senate.

15. Records

15.1. A confidential register will be maintained –

a) Minor breaches that are managed as part of a normal practical placement and developmental interventions will be recorded by the relevant School; and

b) All outcomes imposed in respect of a finding of Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness to Practise concerns will be recorded by the University.

15.2 For clarity, Fitness to Practise concerns dealt with under this policy are not considered misconduct and do not form part of the student’s disciplinary record.

16. Conflicts of Interest

16.1 Staff involved in Fitness to Practise procedures must disclose actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest (whether personal, financial or otherwise) as soon as they become aware of them as outlined in the University’s PPL 1.50.11 Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedures.

17. Student Rights

17.1 Where a student attends a meeting(s) in relation to a Fitness to Practise concern, the student is entitled to be accompanied by a support person. The role played by the support person is as a neutral witness to the discussion. The support person must not be legally qualified, however the decision-maker has the discretion to allow the presence of a legally qualified support person if they so choose.

17.2 In accordance with the requirements of procedural fairness, students have the right to:

a) Have a concern relating to their Fitness to Practise dealt with as promptly as possible;

b) Receive a copy of, or an opportunity to inspect, all relevant information held by the decision-maker;

c) Be given an opportunity to appear before the decision-maker to discuss the concern;

d) Appeal the outcome determined by the decision-maker to a designated person or body who is not the decision-maker.

18. Disclosure and Professional Registration

18.1 Student disclosure

18.1.1 The University requires all students enrolled in certain programs or courses that include practical placements to disclose to the University any risks to their own health and wellbeing and/or risks they may pose to others in undertaking practical placements.

18.1.2 When a disclosure is made, necessary and reasonable adjustments will be made (wherever possible) by the University to accommodate students undertaking practical placements in accordance with the University’s PPL 3.50.06 Academic Adjustment policy.

18.2 University disclosure to Placement Organisations

18.2.1 The University may disclose relevant personal information about a student to placement organisations to enable the placement organisation to support the student adequately whilst on practical placement, for example, information about student performance or behaviour during a previous practical placement.

18.2.2 When determining if a disclosure will be made, the School will consult with the relevant Associate Dean (Academic).

18.2.3 The University may also have an obligation to disclose relevant personal information about a student to a placement organisation under the provisions of a Student Placement Agreement or Deed with the placement organisation.

18.2.4 Where a disclosure is made by the University to a placement organisation, the student will be informed.

18.3 Professional registration (AHPRA)

18.3.1 Some students in health professions are registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (The National Law) as in force in each State and Territory. Under the provisions of The National Law, education providers and students have specified mandatory reporting responsibilities in relation to student conduct, performance and health.

18.3.2 The University will make mandatory and voluntary notifications where appropriate. In all circumstances, where a student is required to disclose a matter to AHPRA in accordance with The National Law, in addition to disclosing to AHPRA, the student has a duty to disclose such information to the University. Where a notification is made by the University to AHPRA, the student will be informed.

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson

Guidelines

Fitness to Practise - Guidelines

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These guidelines are not intended to provide a definitive list of possible Developmental Interventions, Level 1 or Level 2 concerns, but rather a guide as to how matters may be categorised depending on the degree of seriousness of the matter when judged against the five criteria:

  1. Type of issue;
  2. Frequency of concern(s);
  3. Level of experience of the student;
  4. Intent of the student; and
  5. Impact, or potential impact, of the issue(s) including risk to the student and to others.

The guidelines supplement the Fitness to Practise policy and procedures.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

No entries for this document.

3. Guidelines Scope/Coverage

These guidelines apply to students enrolled in programs or courses that include a practical placement component and to University staff involved in managing students' Fitness to Practise in these programs and courses.

4. Guidelines Statement

These guidelines will be used to guide how Fitness to Practise concerns are categorised.

5. Categorisation

 

Development Intervention

Level 1 Concern

Level 2 Concern

Criteria

An overall judgement as to whether a case is a Developmental Intervention, Level 1 or Level 2 is made on the basis of an overall qualitative assessment of the level of seriousness of the concern based on the five criteria set out in this matrix.

 <_____________________________________________________________> 

1. Type of Issue

Nature of the issue which compromises professional standards.

For example:

Conduct

One-off or infrequent instances of:

›failing to engage or actively participate

›lack of punctuality

›non-attendance

at compulsory University or placement based learning activities and without a valid reason

›Communication issues of a minor nature or seriousness (e.g. inappropriate communication or rudeness that does not lead to, or risk, serious consequences)

›Impairing in a minor way the ability of a University staff member or another student to participate in a learning activity

›Inappropriate use of mobile phones or other electronic devices during University or placement based learning activities

›Inadequate preparation or clean-up of practical placement work area

For example:

Conduct

›Frequent instances of:

›lack of punctuality

›non-attendance (University based only) 

at compulsory University or placement based learning activities without a valid reason

›Infrequent non-attendance at any placement based learning activities without a valid reason

›Failure to respond to a direction from a University staff member or placement supervisor resulting in minor risk to patients and/or the wider community (including other students and placement staff)

›Leaving assigned post without authorisation from University or placement supervisor

›Minor breach of confidentiality (e.g. failure to limit the ability of others to hear or see confidential information)

›Minor damage to and/or inappropriate use or lack of care of equipment or materials at a placement site

›Minor breach of health and safety policy/ requirements

For example:

Conduct

›Frequent instances of failure to engage or actively participate at any University or placement based learning activity

Frequent instances of non-attendance at any placement based learning activities without a valid reason

›Failure to respond to a direction from a University staff member or placement supervisor resulting (or potentially resulting) in a serious risk to patients and/or the wider community (including other students and placement staff)

Assault, theft or serious criminal offence

›Intoxication by alcohol or drugs in connection with the practice setting (including being under the influence of prescription drugs that impair performance in the practical placement setting)

›Engagement in sexual misconduct in connection with the practical placement

›Communication issues of a serious nature (including inappropriate use of social media, victimisation, exploitation and blackmail, harassment, bullying, threatening behaviour, serious rudeness or aggression and intimidation)

›Serious breach of confidentiality (disclosure of an individual’s information to others, where the information was previously unknown, identity  impersonation and identity theft)

›Providing treatment or intervention to a patient without, or outside of the scope of, an approved treatment plan, appropriate supervision, and/or signed patient consent (where required)

›Providing treatment or intervention to a patient without supervision or supervisor approval (where required)

›Damage to, or inappropriate use or lack of care for equipment or materials

›Serious breach of health and safety policy/ requirements

 

Performance

›Illegible recording of patient records

›Lack of English language proficiency resulting in minor misunderstandings in responding to and giving instructions

 

Performance

›Lack of English language proficiency resulting in significant misunderstandings in responding to and giving instructions

›Deficient, inaccurate or incomplete recording of patient records/reports/ case notes/student logs

›Failure to demonstrate practical competence to the standard and safety levels expected of a student at their level of training that may be remediable within the short term

Performance

›Verbal language skills are not of a sufficient standard to undertake placement activities in the community with persistent failure to improve

›English language proficiency that places the public at risk of substantial harm

›Failure to demonstrate practical competence to the standard and safety levels expected of a student at their level of training that cannot remediated within the short term

 

Compliance

›One-off or infrequent failure to comply with a Dress Code

›One-off or infrequent non-compliance with infection control protocols including failure to wear the required personal protective equipment

 

 

Compliance

›Frequent failure to comply with a Dress Code

›Frequent non-compliance with infection control protocols including failure to wear the required personal protective equipment

›Pending criminal legal matter of a nature that is unlikely to impact the student’s ability to maintain required criminal record clearances and meet placement providers’ standards to enable them to continue to undertake a practical placement

›Failure to complete and/or maintain the pre-placement requirements that may be addressed in the short- term

Compliance

›Breaching standards of a relevant professional code of conduct, professional association or professional registration body (including failure to maintain student registration where applicable) as well as the Placement Providers policies and procedures

›Pending criminal legal matter of a nature that is likely to impact the student’s ability to maintain required criminal record clearances and meet placement providers’ standards to enable them to continue to undertake practical placements (recognising a student’s right to an assumption of innocence until convicted)

›Being charged with an offence that carries a potential sentence of 12 months or more

›Failure to disclose an inability to meet Fitness to Practise standards

›Failure to successfully complete a return to practise competency assessment

›Failure to complete and/or maintain the pre placement requirements that is not able to be addressed in the short-term

 

Disability/Health

›Temporary physical disability or medical condition

›Exacerbation of an existing physical disability or medical condition that is usually well managed and is capable of remediation in the short term

Disability/Health

›Existing physical disability or medical condition that is not well managed but is capable of remediation in the short term

Disability/Health

›Permanent physical disability, medical condition or impairment that impacts a student’s Fitness to Practise and/or places the public at risk of substantial harm

›Failure to disclose an impairment

2. Frequency of issue

How often is the student compromising professional standards?

For example:

One-off lapse or infrequent

For example:

Episodic, frequent and unpredictable

For example:

Habitual, continual, constant, predictable

3. Length of experience of the student

Relates to your expectation that the student should be aware of the professional issue

For example:

›Students who have not previously undertaken a learning activity related to work and/or the profession

 

For example:

›Students who have had some previous experience in a learning activity related to work and/or the profession

For example:

›Experienced student

›Where student is expected to understand fully and comply with standards consistent with the Code of Conduct

›After completion of known instruction in professions’ or placement organisations code of conduct, policies and standards

4. Intent of the student

 

Intentionality of the act

For example:

›Action is accidental, thoughtless, unintentional or due to lack of knowledge

›Action is of a minor nature

 

 

For example:

›Action is accidental, thoughtless, unintentional or due to lack of knowledge

›Action is of a moderate nature

›Cultural considerations/ mitigating circumstances e.g. no prior instruction or unclear instructions

For example:

›Actions appear intentional

›Action is of a serious nature

›Actions contravene clear instructions

›Two or more students involved

 

5. Impact, or potential impact, of the issue(s) including risk to the student and to others

 

Who/what is affected by the student compromising professional standards

For example:

›Actions impact in a minor or temporary way on the student’s Fitness to Practise

›Actions do not impact on the reputation of the program and its standing with the profession

›Minor impact on other students’ learning opportunities

›No/minor impact on patient/client/public safety

 

For example:

>Actions impact in a moderate or temporary way on the student’s Fitness to Practise

›Actions do not impact on the reputation of the program and its standing with the profession

›Moderate impact on other students’ learning opportunities

›Minor/moderate impact on patient/client/public safety

For example:

›Actions impact on the reputation of the program and its standing with the profession

›Actions impact on the reputation of the University and/or other organisation(s)

Significant impact on patient/client/public safety

›Significant impact on other students’ learning opportunities

 

 

 

 

Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson
Custodians
Academic Registrar
Mr Mark Erickson