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The University of Chester is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for all members of the University community. The University is committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

As a member of the University, you are expected to behave responsibly and respectfully to others, whether they are other students, members of staff, visitors or members of the local community. By accepting an offer of a place at the University, you agreed to abide by all relevant policies and regulations of the University if you are on a Professional Course such as nursing this includes the Student Professional Suitability Policy.

The University Proctor has responsibility for the investigation of all reports of student misconduct, the management of student complaints against the University and investigates professional suitability issues concerning University of Chester students on courses that lead to registration with a professional body. Reports can come from staff at the University, members of the public and other students.

If you are experiencing behaviour which is affecting your wellbeing, you can contact the Proctor’s office for some advice and guidance.

Student misconduct is dealt with under the Student Disciplinary Procedure

We ask that all students familiarise themselves with the Student Code of Conduct.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I be disciplined for?

You will be subject to disciplinary action on the grounds of misconduct if you fail to abide by the Student Code of Conduct or you do something that interferes with the proper functioning or activities of the University, or with the lives of those who work or study at the University, or you do anything  which damages the University.

What is considered misconduct? 

Here are some examples.  This list is not exhaustive.

I. Misconduct against People

Serious

General

Acts of disturbance that threaten the rights and privacy of any member of the University, whilst on University premises or engaged in University activity, or resident in University owned or managed accommodation.

ii. Serious abusive behaviour which may be regarded as aggravated which includes acts that may be regarded as sexual, violent, disorderly, threatening, intimidating or offensive; including the use of such language (whether expressed orally or in writing, including electronically).

 

iii. Abusive behaviour which includes acts that may be regarded as disorderly, threatening, intimidating or offensive; including the use of such language (whether expressed orally or in writing, including electronically).

 

iv. Any act of discrimination, or any bullying, harassment, intolerance or victimisation.

 

v. The sending, posting or display by any means and in any form or medium of sexual, intimate, harmful, cruel or offensive text or images.

 

vi. Sexual misconduct including engaging or attempting to engage in an intimate or sexual act, touching or other offence without consent, the inappropriate showing of sexual organs to another person and the making of unwanted remarks of a sexual nature (whether expressed orally or in writing, including electronically).

 

vii. Failure to respect the rights of others including those relating to: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of belief, thought, conscience and religion, confidentiality and privacy.

viii. Jeopardising the health and safety of oneself or of any other person.

 

ix. Conduct that may incite, fund, promote or lead to acts of violent or nonviolent extremism.

 

x. Possession of an offensive weapon (including replica weapons) and /or ammunition on University premises or whilst engaged in any activity associated with the University

 

xi. Possession or use of illegal substances or New Psychotic Substances whilst on University premises or whilst engaged in any activity associated with the University.

xii. Inclusion on one or more of the barred lists maintained under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 or any act that would lead to investigation or deregistration by an appropriate professional body.

 

xiii. Conduct which constitutes a criminal offence.

II. Misconduct against Property

Serious

General

xiv. Failure to comply with any aspect of the Health and Safety Procedures, rules or duties of the University or of any other organisation to which a student may be subject.

xv. Misuse or unauthorised use of University premises or items of property, including computer misuse and the communications network.

 

xvi. Damage to, or defacement of, University property or the property of other members of the University community caused intentionally or recklessly, and misappropriation of such property.

xvii. Unauthorised taking or use of property belonging to either the University or another person without permission.

xviii. Unauthorised entry into, or unauthorised use of University premises and property or the premises and property of other members of the University community.

xix. Unauthorised publication or transmission to any third party of a University activity and/or the unauthorised use of any form of recording equipment during a University activity.

III. Misconduct against the University

Serious 

General

xx. Conduct which brings the University into disrepute.

xxi. Conduct which disrupts, or improperly interferes with, the academic, administrative, sporting, social, or other activities of the University, whether on University premises or elsewhere.

xxii. Conduct which obstructs, or improperly interferes with, the functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of the University, or any authorised visitor to the University, whether on University premises or elsewhere.

xxiii. Failure to uphold or pursue the standards expected of any relevant professional or vocational bodies, which awards qualifications to students in relation to the care, welfare or education of the public.

xxiv. Conduct during assessment and examination which does not constitute Unacceptable Academic Practice or Academic Misconduct, for which separate rules and procedures apply, and may constitute failure to maintain professional suitability.

xxv. Dishonesty or the supply of false or misleading information in relation to the University or its staff or students in connection with the holding of any office in the University, or in relation to being a student at the University, or in circumstances which the University reasonably considers affect professional suitability.

 

xxvi. The submission to the University of false data, documents or documents containing false information/data and/or elements, such as signatures, including for the purposes of admission, recording attendance (whether manually or electronically or using Chester-App ‘Check-in’), work, assignments, timesheets or other documents including evidence to explain absence, claims for mitigating circumstances or academic appeal etc.

 

xxvii. The fraudulent production of, and/or the submission to a third party of, any document purporting to be issued by the University containing false or fraudulent information and/or elements; including, but not limited to, grades, marks, confirmation of student status, confirmation of attendance, or signature or any associated matter.

 

xxviii. Breach of the provisions of any rules or regulations of the University or of any other organisation to which a student may be subject.

xxix. Failure to disclose your name and other relevant details to an officer or employee of the University of Chester, in circumstances when it is reasonable to require that such Information be given.

xxx. Failure to comply with a previously-imposed penalty or implemented action under these rules and procedures.

 

xxxi. Knowingly encouraging, permitting or assisting any individual to engage in any of the above.

xxxii. Any other behaviour which may reasonably regarded as constituting misconduct or unprofessional conduct.

I’ve been accused of a disciplinary offence. What happens now?

  • The Director of Student Services will be informed about any allegations received.
  • When the Director of Student Services is told about an allegation they will do a preliminary investigation.
  • In most cases the Director of Student Services will ask another member of staff, usually the Proctor, to undertake the investigation on their behalf.
  • If the Director of Student Services has received an allegation about your misconduct then you may be placed on a Precautionary Suspension and Precautionary Exclusion Pending a Hearing. This is not intended as a punishment but rather to protect you or others in the University as necessary.
  • The preliminary investigation will normally involve interviews or discussions with the person who made the allegation, you and anyone else who may be able to help or provide more information. These interviews are held so that a decision can be made as to what should happen next.
  • If you are or anyone else is invited to an interview you will be entitled to be bring a relevant Companion or Colleague with you. The type of person you may bring is explained in the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
  • The interviews should provide enough information for the Director of Student Services to make a decision as to whether you have committed General or Serious Misconduct. You will be told either at your interview or shortly after what the decision is.

What happens if I have committed general misconduct?

If you have committed ‘general’ misconduct then you will receive a sanction at the informal stage.

What are the sanctions for general misconduct?

If it is decided that you have committed general misconduct or you admit the misconduct during your interview or a formal disciplinary panel is needed may receive one or more of the following sanctions:

  • A warning and/or advice about your future conduct which may include you agreeing to a behavioural contract and/ or taking part in ‘restorative justice’ and/or an undertaking about your future behaviour
  • You must pay a fine of up to £750;
  • You are required to pay for any damage that you have caused, or pay for any cost to replace any loss that the University, or other people have experienced due to your misconduct.
  • You must attend a Formal Discipline Panel.
What happens if I have committed serious misconduct?

If you have committed ‘serious’ misconduct then you will have to attend a disciplinary panel under the formal stage.

You will also be required to attend a formal disciplinary panel if your misconduct:

  • involves Misconduct against another Person or Misconduct involving the (Mis)use of Alcohol and/or any other Substances.
Formal Disciplinary Panel
  • If it is decided that you have committed ‘serious’ misconduct or the allegation or complaint against you cannot be sorted out at the informal stage then you will be expected to attend a formal disciplinary hearing.
  • You will also be expected to attend a formal disciplinary hearing if the Director of Student Services feels that it is not appropriate to deal with the allegation at the informal stage.
  • Once the decision has been made to hold a formal disciplinary hearing the Director of Student Services may ask a member of staff to be the Invoking Officer.
  • The role of the Invoking Officer is to undertake any further investigations including any other interviews with you or other people as necessary, collect any further evidence of your misconduct and then to explain to the panel members at the hearing what they have discovered in support of the allegation against you.
  • At the panel, allegations will be presented by the Invoking officer and you will have the opportunity to give your version of events. At the end of the meeting, the Panel will decide if an offence has been committed or if the allegation should be dismissed. Where the Panel decides that an offence has been committed, the Panel is empowered to impose any of the penalties set out for minor/major offences in the section below. In cases where the Panel recommends that you should be permanently excluded from the University, the decision will require ratification from the Vice-Chancellor. After the meeting you will be informed of the Committee's decision in writing.

What are the sanctions for serious misconduct?

The following list of Sanctions is not exhaustive:

  • You should be expelled from the University and you are not entitled to apply or to enrol for any other University of Chester Programme.
  • You will be suspended from the University, your studies will be stopped and you are not allowed to attend the University for up to two (2) academic years. You may also be required to undertake a recommended programme of action designed to improve your future conduct and/or;
    • Your return to either study or attendance at the University will be subject to completion of the programme of action placed upon you as part of the suspension. If you do not complete or you are unable to evidence that you have completed the programme of action during your suspension of studies may mean that you will then receive the more severe sanction.
    • Once your period of suspension has finished and you have evidence that you completed the programme of action you will be asked to attend a return to study meeting with a member of the Directorate of Student Services.
    • You will be excluded from certain sites or parts of the University for a specified period of time and/or;
    • You may not hold any office, be a member of any university committee in the University or represent the University at any event, the exact details to be specified and/or;
    • A recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor or Domestic Bursar to terminate your accommodation contract.
    • A warning and/or advice about your future conduct which may include you agreeing to a behavioural contract and/ or taking part in ‘restorative justice’ and/or a recommended programme of action designed to improve future conduct undertaking as to your future conduct and/or;
    • You are required to pay a fine up to a maximum of £1500, the figure should reflect the seriousness of your misconduct, and/or;
    • Any other penalty deemed appropriate by the Panel.
  • If you have engaged in any form of violence, assault, abuse, misconduct or sexual misconduct against somebody else or you are found guilty of a criminal offence you will be liable to the most severe sanction of expulsion if the allegations are upheld by the Panel.
  • The sanction of expulsion may also be appropriate if you have committed any form of misconduct.
How do I submit an appeal against a discipline decision?

General Misconduct

  • If you want to request a Review (appeal) against the sanctions you will need to attend a Formal Disciplinary Hearing.
  • The decision made by the Disciplinary Panel may include a more serious sanction than the one you received at the informal Panel Phase.
  • The decision of the Formal Panel will be final.
  • If you do wish to request a Review against the decision taken at the informal stage then you must request the review in writing within five (5) working days of being sent the email telling you the decision. You should address your request to the Director of Student Services.
  • You will be sent an email to confirm that your request has been received. The process for setting up the Disciplinary Panel will then begin.

Serious Misconduct

  • 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:
    • The emergence of significant additional evidence not available at the time of the panel hearing which could reasonably have affected the Panel‘s decision if disclosed at the panel hearing;
    • That you have new material evidence that you were unable, for valid reasons, to provide earlier in the process;
    • The emergence of evidence to show that there has been maladministration in the conduct of the proceedings;
    • The emergence of evidence which demonstrates that the measures implemented are too severe, or disproportionate or not permitted under the procedures.
  • 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 which of the above ground you wish to use in your request.
  • 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’.
  • 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.
Who can I go to for advice?

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

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

  • Face to face at our Information Point on the ground floor of Binks CBK005 in Chester and in Martin WMA012 in Warrington.
  • By emailing to universityproctor@chester.ac.uk
  • By telephoning: Chester: 01244 511559 or Warrington 01925 534206
I’m concerned about a student’s behaviour. What can I do?
  • If you are student, or member of staff, and have concerns about a student's behaviour you can report a concern via https://reportaconcern.chester.ac.uk/
  • In an emergency please report to the Proctor’s Office via our Information Point on 01244 511 550
  • If you are a member of the local community you should contact the Community Liaison Manager via community@chester.ac.uk  or via our Information Point on 01244 511 550