Suitability/Fitness for Practice

Students studying on professional programmes are expected to meet the standards of conduct performance and ethics set by the profession. A student’s fitness to practise is called into question when their conduct, health or competence raises a serious or persistent cause for concern about their ability or suitability to continue on the course.  

It is important that you are familiar with the programme and professional body requirements, as these will be used to make judgments about the student's professional conduct and behaviour.  This page has been designed to help you understand what is meant by suitability/fitness for practice, and how this is managed by the Faculty Suitability Panel. 

The Suitability Panel has responsibility for determining the suitability for admission to, or continuation on professional programmes where fitness to practice is called into question.  It will also investigate allegations of a serious breach in code/s of professional practice or placement policies and decide whether further action is required. In severe cases of alleged professional misconduct, students may be referred to the University Fitness to Practice panel.

The professions regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council or Health and Care Professions Council are not covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that students must disclose all convictions and cautions, including those that are considered ‘spent’. Changes to health status that impede fitness to practise must also be declared.

We encourage students to discuss any problems or concerns with us as soon as possible, so that we can support and advise you appropriately. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above, then please speak to the subject leader who is the professional lead for the relevant programme.

Social Networking

Increasingly people are using social networking sites and online networks to communicate with friends and family, however you should be aware that everything you post online is public, even with the strictest privacy settings. Once something is online, it can be copied and redistributed, and the same may apply if anybody makes a comment about you. We do not advocate a ban on such forms of communication, but in order to protect yourself and others, you should apply the professional standards when using social media websites, and:

  • Act in the best interests of service users.
  • Respect the confidentiality of service users.
  • Keep high standards of personal conduct.
  • Behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in you or your profession.

Professional bodies provide further guidance about use of social networking websites, which you are encouraged to read.

Useful Links:

NMCHCPCFaculty PoliciesGeneral Information
Guidance for students-standards Guidance on conduct and ethics for students    Suitability procedures (Word doc 32k) Guidance regarding the use of Social Media Sites (PDF 22K, Downloads file)
Code of conduct performance and ethics  Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics Termination and Suspension from Placement (Word doc 24k)  
Escalating Concerns Social Work Suitability Scheme  Guidance removal of Nursing and Midwifery students following escalation of concerns (PDF 58K, Downloads file)  
  Raising and Escalating Concerns
Guidance: removal of Nursing and Midwifery students following escalation of concerns (PDF 54K, Downloads file)