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This applies to students who will register with a professional body including students studying nursing, midwifery, policing or teaching. It ensures you do not behave in a way which is unprofessional, for example by not complying with professional standards of behaviour or by breaching the University’s Student Code of Conduct.

Who is responsible for dealing with Professional Suitability issues?

The Proctors Office are responsible for student safety and the investigation of misconduct within the University. The team are specially trained to be able to investigate issues in a fair and impartial way.  They also ensure where needed that students are supported through any processes by the teams within Student Services such as Wellbeing & Mental Health or by signposting to the Students’ Union.

I’ve have received an allegation about my Professional Suitability. What happens now?

You may have received a letter inviting you to meet with the Proctor to discuss a complaint or allegation. You may want to seek support from the Students’ Union Advice Service, they can advise you about the process and support you at the meeting. You may also want to prepare for the meeting by bullet pointing anything you think is relevant for you to say.

What should I expect during my initial meeting?

The Proctors will introduce themselves and explain why you have been asked to attend. You can have a ‘Companion’ with you, this may be a student who isn’t involved in the case or a representative of the Students’ Union. 

They are not there to interrogate you, but to get a clear picture of what happened. They will ask you questions so they are able to do this. They will make sure you can raise any issues you have and that you are supported where you need to be. The initial meeting is tape recorded, this is so all parties have an accurate record of what happened.

At the end of the initial meeting the Proctor will then consider the next steps, looking at all the information they have about the case for example your statement, interviews with others or CCTV.

The Proctors could decide one of the following: 

  • No further action is needed
  • That any reasonable adjustment required by the Disability Discrimination Act be made in consultation with the student and kept under review. 
  • Warning/Advice about future conduct 
  • A requirement upon the student to give an undertaking as to his/her future conduct within the University.  
  • A requirement to undertake or participate in a form of ‘restorative justice’ as determined by the Director of Student Services  
  • A requirement to undertake one or more specific tasks within the University as determined by the Director of Student Services
  • A fine of up to £300 
  • A requirement upon the student to pay for any damage to property, he/she may have caused, or to recompense the University for any loss it may have suffered arising from the students conduct 
  • A requirement for the matter to be referred to a Formal Professional Suitability Panel. 

What is a Professional Suitability Panel

Sometimes matters are referred to a formal panel, usually because of the serious nature of the allegation for example if it involves physical or sexual violence. The Proctors will let you know if your case is being referred to a formal panel. The panel meeting may not take place for a few weeks and you will be informed via letter and email the time and date of the meeting.

We encourage you to speak to the Students’ Union Advice Service who can help prepare you for the panel and answer any questions you may have. You can contact them by emailing You can also speak to our Wellbeing & Mental Health team if you feel that you need support.  Contact them by emailing or telephoning 01244511550.

During the panel you will be asked questions regarding the allegations, your own statement and you will have the opportunity to put forward relevant information and ask questions.

Who will sit on the panel?

The panel will be made up of the following: 

  • The Chair 
  • One senior member from a relevant professional agency
  • Member of university staff 
  • Member of the student body e.g. an Elected Officer

For Nurses there is an additional member which is:

  • A member of University staff from the same professional register

In addition to the panel in room there will be the University Proctor, and someone recording notes. If you want to take someone with you this can be a fellow student or an advisor from the students’ union. 

Outcome of the panel

The panel will meet to discuss the case and to decide whether on a balance of probabilities (more likely than not), that the allegation/s against you is true. If the panel decide that the allegations are upheld, they will give you clear reason. The reasons will then be detailed in an outcome letter to you.

They will then look at the appropriate penalty after considering any aggravating factors, e.g. being under the influence of drugs. They will also consider any mitigating factors in your favour, e.g. showing remorse or making an admission at the earliest opportunity.  As this point the panel will also be made aware of any previous misconduct.

The outcomes of the panel can be one or more of the following: 

  • Expulsion, you will then not be entitled to apply or enrol for any other University Programme. 
  • Termination of professional education and training 
  • Suspension of professional education and training or from placement for a specified period not exceeding one academic year. 
  • Suspension from attendance at the University for 2 weeks 
  • Exclusion from specific parts of campus for a specified period. 
  • Restriction on the holding of any office or committee membership in the University, or the SU, the exact details to be specified. 
  • A recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor or Domestic Bursar to terminate the student's accommodation contract for University accommodation or Lead Tenancy and possession of the accommodation in accordance with the published terms and conditions of residence. 
  • A written warning issued.  
  • Referral of the student to Student Servivces for advice, guidance and support.  
  • The imposition of a fine up to a maximum of £750, this figure to reflect the seriousness of the allegations.  
  • Any of the penalties stipulated in the informal part of this procedure. 
  • That no further action is necessary. 
  • Any other penalty that the Panel thinks is appropriate

Can I appeal the outcome of the panel?

  • You are entitled to request a review against any decision of the Panel so long as you can demonstrate one or more of the following grounds for review. You need to be aware that you cannot request a review just because you disagree with the decision of the panel and your request for a review does not mean that there will be re-hearing of the case.
    • Important, additional evidence becomes available after the panel hearing which could have affected the Panel‘s decision at the hearing. This includes new material evidence that you were unable, for valid reasons, to provide earlier in the process.
    • Evidence becomes available that shows that there has been a mistake in the conduct of the proceedings, including that the procedures were not followed properly; that there is bias or a reasonable perception of bias during the procedure; that the decision maker(s) reached an unreasonable decision
    • Evidence becomes available that shows that the measures implemented are too severe, or disproportionate or not permitted under the procedures.

How do I submit a request for a review?

  • You must write to the Director of Student Services within ten (10) working days of the date of your outcome letter stating that you wish to request a review and say which of the above reasons to request a review you wish to use.
  • You now have a further five (5) working days to provide a written statement which details your full response to the panel decision including the reasons why you believe that the Ground(s) for Review are valid. You should also include any evidence which supports your request.
  • You should address your request to the Director of Student Services and entitled ‘Request for a Review’.
  • If you do not send in your request or your written statement within the time limit then your request will normally be rejected. The Chair of the Disciplinary Review Committee may, in exceptional circumstances, allow a late submission of your full written statement if you can provide a valid reason as to why you did not provide the statement within the time limit.
What if I’m still not happy after a review?
  • At the point where you have exhausted this procedure, a Completion of Procedures letter will be issued in line with guidance published by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA).
  • This gives you the right to take the case to the OIA.
  • If you wish to take your complaint to the OIA, you must complete an OIA Complaint Form and provide a copy of your Completion of Procedures letter within twelve months of the date of your Completion of Procedures letter. An OIA Complaint Form can be downloaded from the OIA website

Where can I get advice?

If you require advice and support, please contact Advice at Chester Students’ Union Contact Advice

If you have any questions about the Professional Suitability process, please contact The Proctor’s Office on:

Telephone: 01244 511 559