Information correct at time of publication
This leaflet outlines the procedures for dealing with non-academic disciplinary matters.
The Academic Regulations give full information about the procedures for dealing with academic disciplinary procedures, i.e. allegations of assessment offences, defined as a situation where ‘a student has sought to gain unfair academic advantage in the assessment process for him/herself or another student’. Please see the Students’ Union Advice Service leaflet ‘Assessment Offences’ for further information.
Non-academic disciplinary procedures
The Code of Conduct for Students sets out how the University expects students to behave and the type of unacceptable behaviour that may cause a complaint of a general disciplinary nature. Full details are given within the Rules, Regulations and Procedures for Students. There is also a section about Dignity at Work and Study - the Students’ Union Advice Service has produced an accompanying leaflet ‘Dignity at Study’. This explains matters of harassment on the grounds of race, nationality, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, or any other personal characteristic.
What happens when someone complains about me?
Complaints should normally be submitted within 10 working days of the incident, unless it concerns a dignity at study issue where a different time frame may apply.
You will be informed of any complaint against you, whether formal or informal. You can seek the advice of the Students’ Union Advice Service on how to proceed.
An informal complaint may be resolved without using the Disciplinary procedures, and it is recommended that you take part in trying to resolve matters in this way.
Following a written or formal complaint about you by a member of University staff; an agency providing a placement; the general public; or another student, your Dean of Faculty (or someone appointed by him/her) must launch an investigation, normally within a period of 15 working days.
You will be notified in writing and be given a copy of the complaint.
If the complaint is upheld, unless you contest the decision, the Dean of Faculty has the authority to impose one of the following penalties: (i) a formal oral warning, (ii) a written warning, (which may have serious implications for students wishing to register for a professional qualification), (iii) a fine, (iv) payment in reparation.
If the complaint concerns an incident in accommodation, it will be dealt with by the Director of Estates and Facilities.
Student Discipline Committee
If you disagree with the decision of the Dean of Faculty or if the complaint is of a serious nature, the complaint will be passed to the Student Discipline Committee by the Dean of Faculty.
It may also be decided at this stage that you should be suspended pending the investigation. You have a right of appeal against a suspension of three weeks or more.
If the Committee Secretary thinks there is a serious breach of discipline a formal Hearing will be called. For students on a course leading to a professional award, where the nature of the complaint gives cause for concern regarding their fitness to operate in their chosen profession, the matter will be referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee rather than the Student Discipline Committee.
The Committee will normally meet within 25 working days from the referral by the Dean of Faculty. The Committee is made up of three members of staff of the University (chosen by the Vice Chancellor) and two student members. The President of the Students’ Union (or another elected representative) will also be present, with your permission, to observe and ensure that proceedings are carried out in accordance with the Regulations.
You will be informed of the nature of the complaint (with accompanying documentation), and the date, time and place of the Hearing. You may be accompanied by a friend (who could be your Students’ Union Adviser if you wish),call witnesses and submit a written statement.
You will hear the outcome of the Hearing immediately following the meeting and this will be confirmed in writing within 5 working days. The decision of the Committee may be (i) dismissal of the complaint, (ii) recommendation of your suspension for a specified period, (iii) reprimand, fine, or other penalty (iv)expulsion.
Fitness to Practise Committee
For students following a professional programme, they will be referred to the Fitness to Practise Committee. The Committee may decide (i) there is no reason for concern, (ii) there are reasons for concern but not serious enough to recommend you are not fit to practise, they can recommend to the VC a course of action, (iii) you are not fit to practise.
Right of Appeal
With regard to the Student Discipline and the Fitness to Practise procedures, students have the right of appeal to the Board of Governors, but only on the grounds of alleged maladministration, i.e. that procedure was not followed. Such appeals must be made to the Clerk to the Board of Governors within 10 working days of the decision of the Committee.
Will the police be involved?
The University may report the matter to the police if a criminal offence has been committed and will seek advice in this respect. Offences against the University with no other victim will normally be reported to the police whether or not the culprit has been identified.
The University recognises that some complaints may be made maliciously, or for reasons which are not genuine. If this happens the University may take disciplinary action against the student making them. This could take the form of expulsion.
Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union Advice Services: