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Social Media: Fitness to Practise - PI061610


Cardiff University

A student at Cardiff University studying for a professional qualification in the School of Healthcare Sciences posted a private message on social media asking another student if she had "a spare" supply of a prescription medication. The student was referred to the Fitness to Practise Co-ordinator and then to the University’s Fitness to Practise procedures. Following an investigation and a hearing the student was withdrawn from the programme.

The student complained to us after his appeal was rejected. He had appealed on the grounds of extenuating circumstances, that he was brought up in a different culture and that English was not his first language. The University determined that these factors were known to the panel that made the decision to withdraw him and that the student had given no reason that he had not raised these issues in his original hearing.

The student also complained that the penalty was unfair as he had not intended to act unprofessionally and was unaware that the drug was a controlled substance.

We reviewed the process followed and found that the University had acted reasonably and in line with its procedures. The penalty was within the discretionary range available to the Fitness to Practise committee. We decided the case was Not Justified.