Student Conduct & Complaints FAQ

What academic performance concerns can be raised against me?
Like all universities in the UK, the University of Bedfordshire have several policies in place to protect you and the academic standards of the institution. Most student won’t ever need to refer to them, but it is important to know what to do if you find yourself in a situation where you are being referred to one of these policies.   Academic Discipline Academic concerns and other academic offences can have some very serious consequences, so it is important that you know how to avoid getting yourself into any difficult situations whilst studying. The University's Study Hub has lots of helpful information about this.   Academic Concerns occur if the university believes that the academic integrity of your work has been compromised, but without direct intent from you. Academic Offences occur if the university believes and it can be demonstrated on the balance of probabilities that the academic integrity of your work has been compromised, with deliberate intent from you,...
Thu, 9 Jun, 2022 at 4:33 PM
What happens if I get an Academic Concern letter?
The first thing to note is that although it sounds worrying, an academic concern may arise if the university believes the academic integrity of your work has been compromised, but without direct intent from you. Therefore, you will be invited to a meeting with your tutor to discuss the matter and to be given guidance about how to prevent this from happening again in the future.   You will be asked to sign a form at the meeting to show that you have received the guidance and have understood what is expected from your academic work.   It is worth noting that even after you attend this meeting, you might be required to resubmit your work as a resit to prove that you are able to meet the standards set out in the learning objectives.   Academic concerns are kept on record and if any further academic concerns are raised against you, the university might consider this to be a more serious academic offence. This is because you have signed to acknowledge that you have received guidanc...
Thu, 9 Jun, 2022 at 3:33 PM
What happens if I get an Academic Offence letter?
If it is considered that your work contains an academic offence, you will be sent an email to both your student account and the personal account listed on your SITS record (it is important to keep this up to date).   The email will inform you of: the offence the evidence the university has obtained and to provide you with a form (AOF3)    You must complete the AOF3 to indicate how you wish to respond to the allegation. You will be asked to respond by a certain date, after which your case will be considered at an Academic Conduct Panel meeting.    Filling out an AOF3 form   Before completing the AOF3, it is important to consider your options because you cannot appeal the decision of the panel (unless you believe the process was not followed correctly), even if you feel that the outcome to be unfair.   You will be asked to tick one of the following options on the form: I accept the allegation I do not accept the allegation   If you accept the allegation, you are ...
Thu, 9 Jun, 2022 at 5:18 PM
Fitness to Practise / Cause for Concerns
Every University in the UK with students who are studying on a professionally recognised qualification, for example, teacher training, social work and midwifery, have Fitness to Practise Policy in place to ensure that their students to meet the standards set out by the professional bodies (e.g. Nursing Midwifery Council, Department for Education, Health Care and Professions Council) of the associated industries.  The objective of this procedure is to safeguard all parties involved (student, university, practice-users) and to support the student to develop in their studies.    This policy is only applied if the University receives a concern about a student that raises issues about their fitness to practise in line with the professional codes of conduct and behaviour set by their professional body. Examples of this could be:   lack of professionalism unwillingness to take advice from professional colleagues professional misconduct inappropriate behaviour   There are 3 ...
Thu, 9 Jun, 2022 at 5:17 PM
What happens if I get a Stage 1 Fitness to Practise concern raised against me?
Each Faculty manage Stage 1 of this process slightly differently depending on the requirements of their regulatory bodies. Whilst process might be different, they all must be in line with Fitness to Practise Policy.  You would have been told about how the faculty will communicate and practise concerns with you as part of induction. Details will also be on your BREO site. It is useful to find this information and to read it through.   What happens during Stage 1   Firstly, you will be notified about the proceedings.    An experienced academic will then evaluate the concern against the relevant code of conduct for your course. You may be required to have a meeting with the evaluator and/or key university staff members or the partners as part of this process.   Outcomes   If it is concluded that there is no validity to the concern, then no further action is taken. Please note that you will be informed that any recurrence of low-level issues can be retrospectively tracked...
Fri, 10 Jun, 2022 at 1:15 PM
What happens if I get a Stage 2 Fitness to Practise concern raised against me?
In serious cases, or where you have made little progress against a Stage 1 action plan, a concern may escalate to Stage 2 Fitness to Practise. Here, the Head of School will identify an independent investigating officer who will instigate an investigation.    What happens during the Stage 2 investigation stage?   Firstly, you will be notified about the proceedings.    An investigating officer will interview the key parties involved and obtain further information, documents or reports. This will normally take 20 working days. The investigating officer will complete a report form summarising their findings, and, after consideration of the relevant professional code of conduct, recommend whether the matter should progress to a hearing.    The report form is submitted to the Adjudication team (a university department who are in place to review concerns raised by/or about students) for file, and to the Head of School to determine next steps.    Please note that if the seriousne...
Fri, 10 Jun, 2022 at 1:24 PM
What happens at a Stage 2 Fitness to Practise Hearing?
Before the hearing   If a hearing is needed, the Head of School will form a hearing panel which will include a minimum membership of:  A chair who will be a senior member of staff from a different school/department from you, but with a professional background in healthcare, social work or teaching. A representative from the profession you’re studying (with current registration). A member of academic staff from the same profession who has had no or minimal involvement in teaching, assessing or supporting you during your course  A representative or service user authorised by you (if required by the professional body)   No panel member should have any prior involvement with you. In the rare case that a staff team is very small, an exception may be made.   You will be given at least 5 clear working days’ notice to attend. You can also be accompanied by a supporter (this could be a member of Beds SU staff) and you may bring any witnesses. You need to inform the panel coordin...
Fri, 10 Jun, 2022 at 1:23 PM
What kind of complaints can Beds SU assist with?
Complaints may relate to (but not to be limited to): The teaching and learning experience; Academic services; Administrative service The student Complaints Procedure is not used for certain specific complaints: Harassment. This should be dealt with under the ‘Harassment Policy’; Academic Appeals. These should be dealt with under the ‘Academic Appeals Policy’. Please be aware that it is only in exceptional circumstances that an academic appeal may follow a successful complaint; Complaints about individuals from **Bedfordshire Students' Union (Beds SU)**will normally be dealt under the Beds SU own ‘Complaints Procedure’; Dealing with disciplinary offences including complaints by students about the behaviour of other students ‘Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure’. Complaints against staff It is good and fair practice for you consider the following principles if your complaint is about a specific member of staff. That there are no a...
Mon, 12 Jul, 2021 at 4:06 PM