1The Good Practice Framework: handling complaints and academic appeals sets out core principles and operational good practice for higher education providers in England and Wales. The core principles are: accessibility; clarity; proportionality; timeliness; fairness; independence; confidentiality; and improving the student experience.
2Most professional bodies make fitness to practise a requirement for registration to practise. The actual requirements for fitness to practise will vary from body to body. Higher education providers that run courses leading to professional qualifications should have in place procedures that ensure any concerns about a student’s fitness to practise are dealt with fairly, promptly and proportionately.
3This section of the Good Practice Framework gives good practice guidance for providers in designing fitness to practise procedures and in handling individual cases. It is intended to help providers treat their students fairly, not to provide answers to what are often complex questions that involve professional judgment.
4The section should be read in conjunction with the Disciplinary procedures section, which sets out principles of procedural fairness. However, a fitness to practise process is distinct from a disciplinary process. The purpose of a fitness to practise process is not to punish the student for wrongdoing. It is to ensure the safety of the student and those around them, including members of the public, and to safeguard public confidence in the profession. The process should be supportive even when the outcome is that the student can't continue with their studies.
5The documents referred to in this section of the Good Practice Framework, and other useful sources of guidance, are listed under Useful resources at the end of the section. Although the documents and guidance we refer to relate to different professions, we think that general principles can be applied to any fitness to practise proceedings.
List of case studies
This guidance contains case studies illustrating examples of good practice.