Fitness to Practise

The University has a responsibility to ensure that students studying on certain courses are fit to qualify in their respective professions, regardless of performing well in assessments and not committing a specific offence. A student’s fitness to practise may be assessed for a number of reasons, for example, a drug/alcohol related problem, mental ill health or any condition or disorder which would adversely affect the student’s performance. The University has a responsibility to deal with such students to ensure that they do not qualify to practise in a profession when they are deemed not fit to do so. This may also apply to other students working for professional qualifications, for example in other professions allied to medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Procedural Flowcharts

  • Procedure for Cause for Concern/Fitness to Practise Stage 2 English | Cymraeg
  • Procedure for Fitness to Practise Stage 3 (Request for Review) English | Cymraeg

Previous years' regulations are available on request from the Student Casework Unit. Please email studentcasework@southwales.ac.uk.

Cause for Concern

If it is believed that a student has breached professional standards or conduct, a Cause for Concern Form should be completed and forwarded to the appropriate course leader, who will discuss the issue with the head of school. If appropriate, the matter will be escalated to a Faculty Cause for Concern Panel. The panel will determine the next steps, which could be deciding that further action is required, establishing an action plan or referral to an investigation under the Fitness to Practise Regulations.

  • Cause for Concern Form English | Cymraeg
  • Guidance Notes for Cause for Concern Form English | Cymraeg
  • Impact Statement Form English | Cymraeg
  • Guidance Notes for Impact Statement Form English | Cymraeg
  • Third Party Evidence Consent Form English | Cymraeg

Request for Review

Students have the right to request a review of the penalty imposed by the Fitness to Practise Committee. Requests for review can only be considered where they meet the grounds for review as detailed in the regulations. The request for review must be submitted to the Student Casework Unit on the correct form and should be received within 10 working days of the formal notification of the outcome of the Fitness to Practise Committee.

  • Request for Review of a Fitness to Practise Decision Form English | Cymraeg
  • Guidance Notes on the Request for Review of a Fitness to Practise Decision Form English | Cymraeg

The following are key changes to the student casework regulations for the 2020/21 academic year. 

  • Amendments to the constitution of a Fitness to Practise Committee - It is proposed that the membership of the Fitness to Practise Committee be revised as follows: 
      • one senior staff member at Head of School level or above with experience of fitness to practise (Chair);
      • one member drawn from the academic staff of schools of the faculty which have fitness to practise requirements and have the required professional registration to meet professional body standards;
      • an external practitioner drawn from the relevant profession;
      • the President of the Students’ Union (or nominee) (section 6.24)
  • The Fitness to Practise Committee has the authority to expel a student from the University. Normally, the Chair of such a committee would be drawn from senior members of the University’s staff, such as a member of the Executive team or Academic Board. However, in fitness to practise cases it is considered that it would be beneficial for the chair to have knowledge of the context of such cases. We would not be out of line with the sector in implementing this change.  
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) reporting requirements -An addition to the Procedure is proposed, as detailed in section 8.3. 
      • If we permanently exclude a student for particular matters in relation to harm or potential harm, then in addition to reporting them to the professional/regulatory body we also have a duty to report them to the DBS, in addition to the professional/regulatory body reporting them to the DBS. The duty to refer could apply relatively early on in our processes, not just when a case has reached its conclusion.The gov.uk site details our legal duty in this respect: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-barring-referrals-to-the-dbs
  •  Impact Statements - The inclusion of the opportunity for the Reporting Party to submit an Impact Statement, should this be considered appropriate, depending on the nature of the allegations and the circumstances of the case (section 6.28). The Responding Party has the opportunity to submit a statement for consideration by the Disciplinary Committee, in addition to being able to represent themselves in person. Other institutions across the sector are introducing Impact Statements as a means of providing the Reporting Party and other affected parties with the same opportunity to have their voice heard. Legal advice has been taken on the advisability of introducing Impact Statements and we will be producing additional guidance that will underpin the procedure.

  • Amendments to the list of courses governed by the Fitness to Practise Procedure (Appendix 1)

  • Confirmation that the student will be informed of the constitution of the Committee prior to the documentation being circulated and will be given the opportunity to raise any concerns in relation to membership, for example if they have grounds to consider that a member will be biased (section 6.24)

  • In circumstances where each member of the Fitness to Practise Committee has exercised their deliberative vote and there is a tie, the Chair will have the casting vote (section 6.24)

  • Confirmation that the Course Leader will be required to report to the Cause for Concern Panel the withdrawal of a student by a placement provider/area of practice learning under their own procedures (section 6.5)

  • Confirmation that a student will not be required to attend a Cause for Concern Panel meeting but will be given the opportunity to provide a written statement (section 5.13)

  •  Confirmation that where further information comes to light during the Cause for Concern procedure that raises a safeguarding issue regarding a student’s attendance at classes, the case will be referred to a Risk Assessment Panel for consideration (section 5.10)

  • Confirmation that the Cause for Concern Panel may recommend that a student is suspended from their placement or area of practice learning (section 5.10)

  • The inclusion of a paragraph specifying the type of evidence required from the University where health concerns in relation to a student have been raised, and the support the University will provide to obtain such evidence, including paying for a report where this is deemed appropriate (section 4.5)

  • The addition of dishonesty to the list of unprofessional behaviours (section 4.2)

  • Clarification that students will, where appropriate, need to evidence any mitigating factors upon which they wish to rely (section 3.9)

  • Clarification that the role of a support person may involve representation of a student and advocating or speaking for them, if it has been agreed as a reasonable adjustment due to a disability (section 3.5)

  • Amendment to the section on the use of covert recordings to include further detail on the use of  recordings as evidence in student conduct cases, where the recording was made for another purpose (section 2.7)

  • Clarification that anonymous allegations and witness statements will not normally be accepted by the University (section 2.5)

  •  Confirmation that the standard of proof used in Fitness to Practise cases is the balance of probabilities and the burden of proof rests with the University (section 2.2) 

  • Amendment to the wording regarding the protection of the University if, in future, an employer, and/or the general public and/or ex-students were to question our process and subsequent decision making (section 2.1)



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