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E1. Students of the College

PRINT: Ordinance E1 - Students of the University (Feb 2014) pdf

 

Students


1. The Students, as defined in Statute 1(1)(j), are persons registered as pursuing a course of study leading to:

a. A degree of the College;

b. Another award of the College referred to in Paragraph 2 of Ordinance B1.

General Provisions


2. The Academic Registrar shall maintain the register of the persons registered with the status of Student.

Admission


3. Policy relating to the admission of students to the College shall be determined by the Senate, subject to any directions given by the Council.

Termination


4. The registration as a student of any student who fails to satisfy the examiners in any examination prescribed in the Academic Regulations or by the Senate for the course of study being pursued may be terminated.

5. Termination of registration as a student on academic grounds other than failure in any examination falling within Paragraph 4 above shall be in accordance with a procedure laid down by the Senate which shall provide an opportunity for the student to make representations.

6. The Provost, acting in accordance with Academic Regulations approved by the Senate, may suspend or terminate the registration as a student, or not confer the award of a degree, diploma or certificate and withhold the certificate in respect of that award from any student who is in debt to the College.

7. The Senate shall establish procedures to confer or revoke any degree, diploma, certificate or other award, qualification, prize or distinction granted by the College and all privileges connected therewith, if at any time it shall be discovered and proved to the satisfaction of the Senate that there was any material irregularity in the events or circumstances leading to the grant of the degree, diploma, certificate or other award, qualification, prize or distinction.

Approved by the Council 23 March 2007
Effective from 8 July 2007
Revisions approved by the Council: 7 February 2014

E2 Student Disciplinary Procedure

PRINT: Ordinance E2 - Student Discipline (July 2017) pdf

This Procedure should be read in conjunction with the College Discipline Code Guidance Note.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

 1             The College shall have the right to investigate any allegation of misconduct against a student and may take disciplinary action where it decides, on the balance of probabilities, that a breach of discipline has been committed.

 2             Under the terms of this procedure, an investigation is defined as a fact-finding process to establish the relevant evidence and circumstances of the case. The investigation must focus only on the nature of the allegation and should be approached in a non-judgemental manner. The process may involve reviewing supporting records or documentation as well as interviewing the complainant (the person who raised the allegation), respondent (the person who is under investigation) and any witness(es).

 3             A full record will be kept of all investigations conducted under the Student Disciplinary Procedure as set out in paragraphs 50 to 52.

 4             This procedure sets out how formally reported cases of alleged non-academic misconduct or breaches of discipline by students will be dealt with, the rights of appeal and sets out the penalties that may be imposed.

 5             Allegations of academic misconduct will be dealt with under the College’s Cheating Procedure.

 6             Any student subject to disciplinary procedures shall be entitled:

                a              to receive adequate notice of the details of the allegation and the date on which any hearing is to be held;

                b             at any Panel meeting, to be present and to be represented by a “friend” of their choice other than a lawyer acting in a legal capacity, to give evidence and otherwise be heard, to                                have access to all the relevant documents to be submitted to the hearing and to call and examine or cross-examine witnesses (see paragraph 26).

                c              to receive communications from the College which clearly set out the procedure that is being used and a letter at the end of the proceedings which clearly explains the decision                                 that has been taken and the reason for that decision.

 7             Pending the outcome of student disciplinary proceedings, the Provost may suspend a student or impose restrictions on attendance at the College or access to its property. (See paragraphs 42-49)

 8             Students who are registered on any programme of study at the College are expected to adhere to the expectations of the College in terms of their conduct. Registered students are expected to observe the rules and regulations of the College.  

9             Students should be aware that conduct of a nature that would be inappropriate in a member of some professions could require additional disciplinary action. In particular, students of the Faculty of Medicine must note that conduct which would be improper in the case of a member of the medical profession could constitute a disciplinary offence which will be considered under these procedures. Additionally, students whose course of study leads to provisional registration as doctors and whose misconduct falls to be considered under these procedures may also fall to be considered under the College’s Procedure for the Assessment of Fitness to Practice Medicine following the conclusion of the Disciplinary procedures where the student was found to have committed a breach of discipline.

10           Any case of misconduct on the part of a member of staff of the College who is also a registered student of the College will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedure for College staff. In the case that a member of staff needs to be suspended from the programme of study, this procedure will apply for the suspension and the Staff Disciplinary Procedure will then apply.

11           Where an allegation is made by one student against another student, the College will act to protect the rights of both students.

EXAMPLES OF MISCONDUCT

12           The following paragraphs elaborate upon, but do not limit the breadth of the general definition of misconduct. The following shall, subject to the above, constitute misconduct:

             a.             disruption of, or improper interference with the academic, administrative, sporting, social or other activities of the College, whether on College premises or elsewhere;

             b.            obstruction, or improper interference, with the legitimate functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of the College or any authorised visitor                             to the College;

             c.             behaviour which brings the College into disrepute;

             d.            intentional or reckless damage to, or defacement of, College property or the property of the College and community;

             e.             misuse or unauthorised use of College premises, facilities or items of property;

              f.             failure to disclose name and other relevant details to an officer or employee of the College in circumstances where it is reasonable to require that such information be given;

             g.             distribution of or publication of a poster, notice, sign or any publication which is offensive, intimidating, threatening, indecent or illegal, including the broadcasting and electronic                              distribution of such material;

             h.            failure to treat others (student, staff and visitors to the College) fairly and with respect (This applies to all communication methods including personal contact, e-mail, written                                     communication and social media websites.);

              i.              failure to comply with a previously imposed penalty under these procedures (including non-payment of a disciplinary fine);

               j.              failure to attend a disciplinary interview or provide a statement / response to alleged misconduct when requested to do so by the relevant person of authority;

               k.            acts of dishonesty in relation to the College, its staff or students (but paragraph 41 below applies).

                l.             harassment of any student, member of staff, or any authorised visitor to the College, whether sexual, racial or bullying, including defamation of character or slander (but                                            paragraph 41 below applies).

               m.           violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour or language (whether expressed verbally or in writing, including electronically) whilst on University premises or                                 engaged in any University activity(but paragraph 41 below applies);

               n.            breaches of the provisions of the College’s Code of Practice for Freedom of Speech;

               o.            breaches of the provisions of the College Dress Code;

               p.            constitutes a criminal offence where that conduct:

                              (i)           takes place on College premises, or

                              (ii)         affects or concerns other members of the College, or

                               (iii)        damages the reputation of the College, or

                               (iv)        itself constitutes misconduct within the terms of these procedures, (but paragraph 41 below applies)

              q.            any other act of behaviour which may be reasonably interpreted as misconduct notwithstanding the lack of equivalent examples here.

 13           Examples of misconduct as described above may be deemed to be either minor or major depending on the individual circumstances of the case. This will determine the application of the disciplinary procedure to the individual student case. Normally, minor cases will be dealt with using the Summary Procedures and major cases will be dealt with by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 PENALTIES

 14           If the breach of discipline is admitted by the student or is found to be proved, one or more of the following penalties may be imposed:

                 In respect of Summary action:

                a.             a written reprimand and a warning about future behaviour;

                b.            a requirement upon the student to give an undertaking as to his or her future good conduct within the College;

                c.             a requirement upon the student to pay for any damage to property he or she may have caused or to recompense the College for any loss it may have suffered arising from the                                     students misconduct;

               d.            a requirement on the student to pay compensation of not more than £500;

               e.             a fine of not more than £500;

                f.             a requirement on the student to undertake specified tasks or services for the benefit of the Department, Faculty, hall of residence or the College community up to a maximum of                                forty hours.

 In respect of College Disciplinary Panels: any of the above and the following:

               g.             a fine of not more than £500;

               h.            restriction of access to the College or a specified part thereof for a fixed period (‘exclusion’). A student who receives such a penalty will have restricted rights to enter College                                     premises and/or to participate in College activities or access to University services, the terms of the restriction being notified to the student in writing. An order of restricted                                       access may include a requirement that the student shall have no contact with a named person or persons;

                i.              suspension from the College for a fixed period. A student who is so suspended will be prohibited from entering College premises and from participating in college activities                                        although the suspension may be subject to qualification, such as permission to take an examination. An order of suspension may include a requirement that the student will                                      have no contact with a named person or persons. A period of suspension is normally included in a student’s maximum period of registration;

                 j.             expulsion from the College, which means that the student will cease to be a member of the College and will have their registration terminated and lose all rights and privileges                                 of registration.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

 15           Cases of alleged misconduct or breach of discipline may be dealt with either summarily as set out in paragraphs 16 to 19 below or by a College Discipline Panel established in accordance with paragraphs 20 to 30 of this procedure.

16           The Student Disciplinary Procedure may be adjourned where there is a demonstrable concern that the student concerned is not fit to participate in them. In such circumstances, the proceedings may be suspended to allow the student to access support from the College. In such instances, the College may decide to apply the Fitness to Study procedures or the Fitness to Practice policy where appropriate.

17           The Imperial College Union has its own Disciplinary Procedure to deal with any alleged misconduct committed on Union premises and in relation to Union activities. Minor offences will normally be dealt with under the Union procedure when that applies. The College would expect that major offences would always be considered by a College Disciplinary Panel, and the Union’s procedure contains powers to refer such cases to the College. Where relevant, the Union will confer with the Academic Registrar to determine whether a case should be considered under the College Procedure and by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 18           All cases of alleged student misconduct which fall under the auspices of this procedure shall be submitted, with supporting documentary evidence, by the complainant to the Student Casework Administrator in Registry, who will make initial assessment of the severity of the allegation and recommend to the Academic Registrar whether the allegation can be dealt with under the Summary Procedures or by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 SUMMARY PROCEDURES (FOR MINOR OFFENCES)

 19           The following College officers (or their delegated nominees) are empowered to deal summarily with alleged offences as follows:

                 a.             Head of Department or Dean of Faculty;

 b.            Wardens, for offences committed in a College residence;

 c.             The Director of Library Services for breaches of the Library Rules;

 d.            The Director of ICT for breaches of conditions of use of IT Facilities;

 e.             The College Secretary;

 20           In all cases dealt with under the Summary Procedures, the student must be provided with a written statement of the allegations being made against then and then with an opportunity to respond to the allegation and state his or her case prior to any decision being reached. The officer dealing with the matter shall consider the written or oral evidence from the student. Where an interview is held with the student, a full record of the discussion must be kept. The student should be informed in writing within five working days of the decision and of their right to appeal against the decision.

 21           Where a student has been investigated on previous occasions and has received more than one penalty under the Summary Procedures, the Academic Registrar may decide that any further allegations of misconduct will be considered by a College Disciplinary Panel The investigation of an allegation of misconduct under the Summary Procedures, and the consideration of the evidence could lead to the recommendation that the case be referred to a College Disciplinary Panel.

 22           Cases dealt with under the summary procedures would normally be investigated by the appropriate College Officer as listed in 19 above. The original complaint and supporting evidence will be collated and provided to them by the ‘Student Casework Officer’. The College Officer would be required to conduct an investigation into the allegations of misconduct. The time taken to conduct an investigation will vary according to the complexity of the case but must also be timely to allow for seeking additional evidence where appropriate.

 COLLEGE DISCIPLINARY PANEL (FOR MAJOR OFFENCES)

 23           Misconduct which in the opinion of the Academic Registrar cannot be dealt with adequately through the Summary procedures shall be considered by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 24           If two or more students are involved in related misconduct or breaches of the regulations, the Panel may, at its discretion, deal with their cases together.

 25           The College Disciplinary Panel shall comprise of four members, of which at least one member shall be a student, plus a Chair, except that no person who is party to or is a potential witness at a hearing before the Panel, or who is in the same Department as the student shall be a member of the Panel. The student member(s) will be nominated by the President of Imperial College Union. The academic staff members shall be drawn from the agreed list of Panel Members, which is approved by the Senate each year. The Central Secretariat shall appoint a Clerk to the Committee.

 26           A student who is referred to a College Disciplinary Panel will have the opportunity to present his or her case at the Panel hearing. The student may call witnesses and question witnesses upon whose evidence the case against him or her is based, or who can provide relevant additional evidence. The student will be allowed to be accompanied to the Panel hearing by a ‘friend’ (a fellow registered student, a Students’ Union Officer or a member of staff of the College of his or her choice, who may speak on his or her behalf).The ‘friend’ or any witnesses called by the student cannot be a solicitor or barrister.   A member of staff who has been involved in supporting a student following an incident cannot be a member of the College Disciplinary Panel investigating the same incident.

27           The Panel can require the attendance of a student who is the subject of an allegation to be considered by the Panel. If the student, having been advised of the opportunity to attend the Panel meeting, or being required to do so, fails to attend the meeting without providing good cause, the meeting may be conducted in his or her absence. Failure to attend when required to do so without good cause shall constitute a disciplinary offence.

 28           The Panel will write to the student to notify him or her of the Panel meeting and the notification will include details of the allegation made against him or her and the names of the Panel members, together with copies of any documentary evidence to be made available to the Panel in advance of the meeting.

29           The College Disciplinary Panel will meet to hear the evidence as soon as is practicably possible and the student concerned will be given at least 10 working days notice in writing (through electronic means and the postal system) to prepare for the Panel meeting.

30           The College Disciplinary Panel shall conduct the meeting in accordance with the rules of natural justice. The Panel will consider the evidence presented to it and hear from relevant witnesses called on behalf of the Panel and from any witnesses that the Student has called to support their case.  The Chair will agree in advance the agenda and order of business for the meeting and may modify the approach outlined in 26 above (for example, to allow for witnesses to be seen and questioned separately).

31           Those deciding on the outcome of the Panel meeting should reach their decision on the basis of the evidence presented to them; findings shall normally be made on the balance of probabilities. Decisions may be by a majority where a vote is required. The Chair may vote and shall have in addition a casting vote. The Clerk shall not be entitled to vote.

 32           The Penalties imposed by the College Disciplinary Panel may be any of those specified in paragraph 14 above.

33           A written outcome from the College Disciplinary Panel giving the findings of fact, the decisions and the reasons for the decisions and any recommendations of the Panel shall be sent to the student against the allegations have been brought within five working days of the Panel reaching its decision.

34           The College Disciplinary Panel has the power to adjourn a meeting to another date as it sees fit.

 APPEALS

35           A student penalised under the Student Disciplinary Procedure may lodge an appeal only on the grounds of:

               a.             procedural irregularity in the conduct of the Student Disciplinary procedure;

               b.            the availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been expected to be presented prior to the consideration of the allegation and the application of the penalty.

               c.             the disproportionate nature of the penalty.

36           An appeal, including a statement of the grounds on which the appeal is being made, must be submitted by the student concerned to the Academic Registrar in writing within ten working days of the date on which the written notification of the decision is sent to the student. A request for an appeal received after this time will be considered only where the student has been able to demonstrate a valid reason for not being able to meet the deadline.

 37           An initial evaluation of the appeal will be made by the Student Casework Administrator in Registry to determine if there are valid grounds for the request for appeal to be considered.  If there are no valid grounds, the student will be written to and advised that this is the case.

 38           Appeals against a Summary Procedure will be considered by the Academic Registrar, unless they have had some involvement in the case in which case he or she will nominate a senior member of Registry staff to consider the appeal. Appeals against College Disciplinary Panel proceedings will be considered by a Disciplinary Appeals Panel which will be established by the Central Secretariat. The membership of the Panel shall be drawn from a designated list of Appeals Panel members, which is approved annually by Senate. Disciplinary Appeals Panels shall normally have a minimum of three members, and will not include any member of the relevant College Disciplinary Panel.

 39           The Appeal Panel will not consider the case afresh but shall consider whether the initial hearing and outcome were fair against the stated grounds of the appeal set out in paragraph 35 above.            

40           The person(s) or Disciplinary Appeals Panel considering an appeal shall have the authority to confirm, set aside, reduce or increase the penalty previously applied, or, if new evidence that is material and substantial has been established through the appeal process, to refer the case back for consideration by a newly constituted Student Disciplinary Panel. The decision of the person(s) or Panel hearing the appeal shall be final and there shall be no further opportunity for appeal against that decision within the College.

MISCONDUCT THAT IS ALSO A CRIMINAL OFFENCE

41           Where an allegation of misconduct which may constitute a criminal offence is made against a student, the College will follow two principles when dealing with disciplinary matters:

              a.             The criminal process will take priority and, with the exception of any precautionary action that is necessary, the internal disciplinary procedures will be suspended until the                                         criminal process is at an end. 

              b.            If the matter is not being dealt with under the criminal process, or where the criminal process has concluded, the College will consider whether a breach of College regulations                                  has occurred and refer the matter for consideration under these internal disciplinary procedures, where appropriate.

PRECAUTIONARY ACTION: SUSPENSION OR EXCLUSION PENDING A HEARING

 42           A student who is subject to a College Disciplinary Panel or who has a criminal charge pending and/or is the subject of a College or police investigation may have restrictions placed on their access to College premises, and/or be suspended or excluded from the College, by approval of the Provost, on the basis of the available evidence, as a precautionary action pending the outcome of that Panel hearing, the criminal investigation and/or the outcome of the criminal process.

               a.             suspension involves a total prohibition on attendance at or access to the College and on any participation in College activities; but it may be subject to qualification, such as                                      permission to attend for the purpose of assessment.

              b.            exclusion involves either total or selective restriction on attendance at or access to the College or prohibition of exercising the functions or duties of office or committee                                              membership in the College, the exact details to be specified in writing by the Vice Provost Education or a person delegated by them

 43           Precautionary action may be put into place to allow for a full and proper investigation to be carried out (either by the Police or by the College investigator) and/or where it is necessary to protect the College community whilst the allegation is being dealt with as part of a criminal process or disciplinary procedure. The case for precautionary action will include preparing a risk assessment in relation to risks faced by members of College and the public.

 44           While any investigation or criminal proceedings are ongoing, any precautionary action will be reviewed every four weeks in the light of any developments and of any written representations made by the student either personally or through their representative.

 45           Once the outcome of any police investigation or criminal proceedings are known, the precautionary measures will be subject to a final review.

 46           An order of suspension or exclusion may include a requirement that the student should have no contact of any kind with a named person or persons.

 47           The powers of temporary suspension or exclusion granted by the Provost under paragraph 38 shall be exercised only where necessary to protect a member or members of the College community, or the property of the College or a member or members of the College, or where the students continued presence might be a source of disruption to the College or any part thereof. Written reasons for the decision shall be recorded and made available to the student.

 48           Unless the matter is deemed urgent by the Provost, no student shall be suspended or excluded unless he or she has been given the opportunity or make representations to the Vice Provost Education or his or her delegated nominee. The representations may be made in person or on writing, as the student chooses, and may be put forward by the student or through a representative. In cases deemed urgent by the Vice Provost Education, a student may be suspended or excluded with immediate effect. In such circumstances, an opportunity will be given to the student to make representations as soon as is reasonably practicable.

 49           A student may appeal to the President against an order of suspension or exclusion pending a hearing.

 RECORD KEEPING

 50           All actions and decision taking in respect of the application of this Disciplinary Procedure must be formally recorded and these written records must be clear, accurate and appropriate. The record should document all actions and decisions taken by the College from the day when the report of the incident was received until the conclusion of the process.

 51           The outcome of any Summary procedures should be submitted to the Student Casework Administrator in Registry in order that a full record of all Disciplinary Procedures can be maintained.

 52           The record should include detail on which process is being used, what issues and matters have been considered and the basis for the decisions that have been made. Such records will enable new decisions to be made effectively and allow for previous decisions to be reconsidered and reviewed as necessary.

 53           Any member of College staff dealing with an allegation of misconduct which may also constitute a criminal offence should be aware that any notes that are made or documents that are created could be requested by the police as part of a criminal investigation and individuals could be called to give evidence.

 ANNUAL REPORT

 54           Each year, the Registry will prepare a report for the Senate on the number and nature of cases referred to the College Disciplinary Panel, identifying any general issues that have arisen.

 Approved by the Council: 14 July 2017

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

 1             The College shall have the right to investigate any allegation of misconduct against a student and may take disciplinary action where it decides, on the balance of probabilities, that a breach of discipline has been committed.

 2             Under the terms of this procedure, an investigation is defined as a fact-finding process to establish the relevant evidence and circumstances of the case. The investigation must focus only on the nature of the allegation and should be approached in a non-judgemental manner. The process may involve reviewing supporting records or documentation as well as interviewing the complainant (the person who raised the allegation), respondent (the person who is under investigation) and any witness(es).

 3             A full record will be kept of all investigations conducted under the Student Disciplinary Procedure as set out in paragraphs 50 to 52.

 4             This procedure sets out how formally reported cases of alleged non-academic misconduct or breaches of discipline by students will be dealt with, the rights of appeal and sets out the penalties that may be imposed.

 5             Allegations of academic misconduct will be dealt with under the College’s Cheating Procedure.

 6             Any student subject to disciplinary procedures shall be entitled:

 a              to receive adequate notice of the details of the allegation and the date on which any hearing is to be held;

 b             at any Panel meeting, to be present and to be represented by a “friend” of their choice other than a lawyer acting in a legal capacity, to give evidence and otherwise be heard, to have access to all the relevant documents to be submitted to the hearing and to call and examine or cross-examine witnesses (see paragraph 26).

 c              to receive communications from the College which clearly set out the procedure that is being used and a letter at the end of the proceedings which clearly explains the decision that has been taken and the reason for that decision.

 7             Pending the outcome of student disciplinary proceedings, the Provost may suspend a student or impose restrictions on attendance at the College or access to its property. (See paragraphs 42-49)

 8             Students who are registered on any programme of study at the College are expected to adhere to the expectations of the College in terms of their conduct. Registered students are expected to observe the rules and regulations of the College.  

 9             Students should be aware that conduct of a nature that would be inappropriate in a member of some professions could require additional disciplinary action. In particular, students of the Faculty of Medicine must note that conduct which would be improper in the case of a member of the medical profession could constitute a disciplinary offence which will be considered under these procedures. Additionally, students whose course of study leads to provisional registration as doctors and whose misconduct falls to be considered under these procedures may also fall to be considered under the College’s Procedure for the Assessment of Fitness to Practice Medicine following the conclusion of the Disciplinary procedures where the student was found to have committed a breach of discipline.

 10           Any case of misconduct on the part of a member of staff of the College who is also a registered student of the College will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedure for College staff. In the case that a member of staff needs to be suspended from the programme of study, this procedure will apply for the suspension and the Staff Disciplinary Procedure will then apply.

 11           Where an allegation is made by one student against another student, the College will act to protect the rights of both students.

EXAMPLES OF MISCONDUCT

 12           The following paragraphs elaborate upon, but do not limit the breadth of the general definition of misconduct. The following shall, subject to the above, constitute misconduct:

 a.             disruption of, or improper interference with the academic, administrative, sporting, social or other activities of the College, whether on College premises or elsewhere;

 b.            obstruction, or improper interference, with the legitimate functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of the College or any authorised visitor to the College;

 c.             behaviour which brings the College into disrepute;

 d.            intentional or reckless damage to, or defacement of, College property or the property of the College and community;

 e.             misuse or unauthorised use of College premises, facilities or items of property;

 f.             failure to disclose name and other relevant details to an officer or employee of the College in circumstances where it is reasonable to require that such information be given;

 g.             distribution of or publication of a poster, notice, sign or any publication which is offensive, intimidating, threatening, indecent or illegal, including the broadcasting and electronic distribution of such material;

 h.            failure to treat others (student, staff and visitors to the College) fairly and with respect (This applies to all communication methods including personal contact, e-mail, written communication and social media websites.);

 i.              failure to comply with a previously imposed penalty under these procedures (including non-payment of a disciplinary fine);

 j.              failure to attend a disciplinary interview or provide a statement / response to alleged misconduct when requested to do so by the relevant person of authority;

k.            acts of dishonesty in relation to the College, its staff or students (but paragraph 41 below applies).

 l.              harassment of any student, member of staff, or any authorised visitor to the College, whether sexual, racial or bullying, including defamation of character or slander (but paragraph 41 below applies).

 m.           violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour or language (whether expressed verbally or in writing, including electronically) whilst on University premises or engaged in any University activity(but paragraph 41 below applies);

 n.            breaches of the provisions of the College’s Code of Practice for Freedom of Speech;

 o.            breaches of the provisions of the College Dress Code;

 p.            constitutes a criminal offence where that conduct:

                 (i)           takes place on College premises, or

                (ii)         affects or concerns other members of the College, or

                (iii)        damages the reputation of the College, or

                (iv)        itself constitutes misconduct within the terms of these procedures, (but paragraph 41 below applies)

 q.            any other act of behaviour which may be reasonably interpreted as misconduct notwithstanding the lack of equivalent examples here.

 13           Examples of misconduct as described above may be deemed to be either minor or major depending on the individual circumstances of the case. This will determine the application of the disciplinary procedure to the individual student case. Normally, minor cases will be dealt with using the Summary Procedures and major cases will be dealt with by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 PENALTIES

 14           If the breach of discipline is admitted by the student or is found to be proved, one or more of the following penalties may be imposed:

                 In respect of Summary action:

a.             a written reprimand and a warning about future behaviour;

b.            a requirement upon the student to give an undertaking as to his or her future good conduct within the College;

 c.             a requirement upon the student to pay for any damage to property he or she may have caused or to recompense the College for any loss it may have suffered arising from the students misconduct;

 d.            a requirement on the student to pay compensation of not more than £500;

 e.             a fine of not more than £500;

 f.             a requirement on the student to undertake specified tasks or services for the benefit of the Department, Faculty, hall of residence or the College community up to a maximum of forty hours.

 In respect of College Disciplinary Panels: any of the above and the following:

 g.             a fine of not more than £500;

 h.            restriction of access to the College or a specified part thereof for a fixed period (‘exclusion’). A student who receives such a penalty will have restricted rights to enter College premises and/or to participate in College activities or access to University services, the terms of the restriction being notified to the student in writing. An order of restricted access may include a requirement that the student shall have no contact with a named person or persons;

 i.              suspension from the College for a fixed period. A student who is so suspended will be prohibited from entering College premises and from participating in college activities although the suspension may be subject to qualification, such as permission to take an examination. An order of suspension may include a requirement that the student will have no contact with a named person or persons. A period of suspension is normally included in a student’s maximum period of registration;

 j.              expulsion from the College, which means that the student will cease to be a member of the College and will have their registration terminated and lose all rights and privileges of registration.

 DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

 15           Cases of alleged misconduct or breach of discipline may be dealt with either summarily as set out in paragraphs 16 to 19 below or by a College Discipline Panel established in accordance with paragraphs 20 to 30 of this procedure.

 16           The Student Disciplinary Procedure may be adjourned where there is a demonstrable concern that the student concerned is not fit to participate in them. In such circumstances, the proceedings may be suspended to allow the student to access support from the College. In such instances, the College may decide to apply the Fitness to Study procedures or the Fitness to Practice policy where appropriate.

 17           The Imperial College Union has its own Disciplinary Procedure to deal with any alleged misconduct committed on Union premises and in relation to Union activities. Minor offences will normally be dealt with under the Union procedure when that applies. The College would expect that major offences would always be considered by a College Disciplinary Panel, and the Union’s procedure contains powers to refer such cases to the College. Where relevant, the Union will confer with the Academic Registrar to determine whether a case should be considered under the College Procedure and by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 18           All cases of alleged student misconduct which fall under the auspices of this procedure shall be submitted, with supporting documentary evidence, by the complainant to the Student Casework Administrator in Registry, who will make initial assessment of the severity of the allegation and recommend to the Academic Registrar whether the allegation can be dealt with under the Summary Procedures or by a College Disciplinary Panel.

 SUMMARY PROCEDURES (FOR MINOR OFFENCES)

19           The following College officers (or their delegated nominees) are empowered to deal summarily with alleged offences as follows:

                a.             Head of Department or Dean of Faculty;

 b.            Wardens, for offences committed in a College residence;

c.             The Director of Library Services for breaches of the Library Rules;

d.            The Director of ICT for breaches of conditions of use of IT Facilities;

e.             The College Secretary;

20           In all cases dealt with under the Summary Procedures, the student must be provided with a written statement of the allegations being made against then and then with an opportunity to respond to the allegation and state his or her case prior to any decision being reached. The officer dealing with the matter shall consider the written or oral evidence from the student. Where an interview is held with the student, a full record of the discussion must be kept. The student should be informed in writing within five working days of the decision and of their right to appeal against the decision.

21           Where a student has been investigated on previous occasions and has received more than one penalty under the Summary Procedures, the Academic Registrar may decide that any further allegations of misconduct will be considered by a College Disciplinary Panel The investigation of an allegation of misconduct under the Summary Procedures, and the consideration of the evidence could lead to the recommendation that the case be referred to a College Disciplinary Panel.

22           Cases dealt with under the summary procedures would normally be investigated by the appropriate College Officer as listed in 19 above. The original complaint and supporting evidence will be collated and provided to them by the ‘Student Casework Officer’. The College Officer would be required to conduct an investigation into the allegations of misconduct. The time taken to conduct an investigation will vary according to the complexity of the case but must also be timely to allow for seeking additional evidence where appropriate.

COLLEGE DISCIPLINARY PANEL (FOR MAJOR OFFENCES)

23           Misconduct which in the opinion of the Academic Registrar cannot be dealt with adequately through the Summary procedures shall be considered by a College Disciplinary Panel.

24           If two or more students are involved in related misconduct or breaches of the regulations, the Panel may, at its discretion, deal with their cases together.

25           The College Disciplinary Panel shall comprise of four members, of which at least one member shall be a student, plus a Chair, except that no person who is party to or is a potential witness at a hearing before the Panel, or who is in the same Department as the student shall be a member of the Panel. The student member(s) will be nominated by the President of Imperial College Union. The academic staff members shall be drawn from the agreed list of Panel Members, which is approved by the Senate each year. The Central Secretariat shall appoint a Clerk to the Committee.

26           A student who is referred to a College Disciplinary Panel will have the opportunity to present his or her case at the Panel hearing. The student may call witnesses and question witnesses upon whose evidence the case against him or her is based, or who can provide relevant additional evidence. The student will be allowed to be accompanied to the Panel hearing by a ‘friend’ (a fellow registered student, a Students’ Union Officer or a member of staff of the College of his or her choice, who may speak on his or her behalf).The ‘friend’ or any witnesses called by the student cannot be a solicitor or barrister.   A member of staff who has been involved in supporting a student following an incident cannot be a member of the College Disciplinary Panel investigating the same incident.

27           The Panel can require the attendance of a student who is the subject of an allegation to be considered by the Panel. If the student, having been advised of the opportunity to attend the Panel meeting, or being required to do so, fails to attend the meeting without providing good cause, the meeting may be conducted in his or her absence. Failure to attend when required to do so without good cause shall constitute a disciplinary offence.

28           The Panel will write to the student to notify him or her of the Panel meeting and the notification will include details of the allegation made against him or her and the names of the Panel members, together with copies of any documentary evidence to be made available to the Panel in advance of the meeting.

29           The College Disciplinary Panel will meet to hear the evidence as soon as is practicably possible and the student concerned will be given at least 10 working days notice in writing (through electronic means and the postal system) to prepare for the Panel meeting.

30           The College Disciplinary Panel shall conduct the meeting in accordance with the rules of natural justice. The Panel will consider the evidence presented to it and hear from relevant witnesses called on behalf of the Panel and from any witnesses that the Student has called to support their case.  The Chair will agree in advance the agenda and order of business for the meeting and may modify the approach outlined in 26 above (for example, to allow for witnesses to be seen and questioned separately).

 31           Those deciding on the outcome of the Panel meeting should reach their decision on the basis of the evidence presented to them; findings shall normally be made on the balance of probabilities. Decisions may be by a majority where a vote is required. The Chair may vote and shall have in addition a casting vote. The Clerk shall not be entitled to vote.

 32           The Penalties imposed by the College Disciplinary Panel may be any of those specified in paragraph 14 above.

 33           A written outcome from the College Disciplinary Panel giving the findings of fact, the decisions and the reasons for the decisions and any recommendations of the Panel shall be sent to the student against the allegations have been brought within five working days of the Panel reaching its decision.

34           The College Disciplinary Panel has the power to adjourn a meeting to another date as it sees fit.

APPEALS

35           A student penalised under the Student Disciplinary Procedure may lodge an appeal only on the grounds of:

 a.             procedural irregularity in the conduct of the Student Disciplinary procedure;

 b.            the availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been expected to be presented prior to the consideration of the allegation and the application of the penalty.

c.             the disproportionate nature of the penalty.

36           An appeal, including a statement of the grounds on which the appeal is being made, must be submitted by the student concerned to the Academic Registrar in writing within ten working days of the date on which the written notification of the decision is sent to the student. A request for an appeal received after this time will be considered only where the student has been able to demonstrate a valid reason for not being able to meet the deadline.

37           An initial evaluation of the appeal will be made by the Student Casework Administrator in Registry to determine if there are valid grounds for the request for appeal to be considered.  If there are no valid grounds, the student will be written to and advised that this is the case.

38           Appeals against a Summary Procedure will be considered by the Academic Registrar, unless they have had some involvement in the case in which case he or she will nominate a senior member of Registry staff to consider the appeal. Appeals against College Disciplinary Panel proceedings will be considered by a Disciplinary Appeals Panel which will be established by the Central Secretariat. The membership of the Panel shall be drawn from a designated list of Appeals Panel members, which is approved annually by Senate. Disciplinary Appeals Panels shall normally have a minimum of three members, and will not include any member of the relevant College Disciplinary Panel.

 39           The Appeal Panel will not consider the case afresh but shall consider whether the initial hearing and outcome were fair against the stated grounds of the appeal set out in paragraph 35 above.               

40           The person(s) or Disciplinary Appeals Panel considering an appeal shall have the authority to confirm, set aside, reduce or increase the penalty previously applied, or, if new evidence that is material and substantial has been established through the appeal process, to refer the case back for consideration by a newly constituted Student Disciplinary Panel. The decision of the person(s) or Panel hearing the appeal shall be final and there shall be no further opportunity for appeal against that decision within the College. 

MISCONDUCT THAT IS ALSO A CRIMINAL OFFENCE

41           Where an allegation of misconduct which may constitute a criminal offence is made against a student, the College will follow two principles when dealing with disciplinary matters:

 a.             The criminal process will take priority and, with the exception of any precautionary action that is necessary, the internal disciplinary procedures will be suspended until the criminal process is at an end.

b.            If the matter is not being dealt with under the criminal process, or where the criminal process has concluded, the College will consider whether a breach of College regulations has occurred and refer the matter for consideration under               these internal disciplinary procedures, where appropriate.

 PRECAUTIONARY ACTION: SUSPENSION OR EXCLUSION PENDING A HEARING

 42           A student who is subject to a College Disciplinary Panel or who has a criminal charge pending and/or is the subject of a College or police investigation may have restrictions placed on their access to College premises, and/or be suspended or excluded from the College, by approval of the Provost, on the basis of the available evidence, as a precautionary action pending the outcome of that Panel hearing, the criminal investigation and/or the outcome of the criminal process.

a.             suspension involves a total prohibition on attendance at or access to the College and on any participation in College activities; but it may be subject to qualification, such as permission to attend for the purpose of assessment.

 b.            exclusion involves either total or selective restriction on attendance at or access to the College or prohibition of exercising the functions or duties of office or committee membership in the College, the exact details to be specified in writing by the Vice Provost Education or a person delegated by them

 43           Precautionary action may be put into place to allow for a full and proper investigation to be carried out (either by the Police or by the College investigator) and/or where it is necessary to protect the College community whilst the allegation is being dealt with as part of a criminal process or disciplinary procedure. The case for precautionary action will include preparing a risk assessment in relation to risks faced by members of College and the public.

 44           While any investigation or criminal proceedings are ongoing, any precautionary action will be reviewed every four weeks in the light of any developments and of any written representations made by the student either personally or through their representative.

 45           Once the outcome of any police investigation or criminal proceedings are known, the precautionary measures will be subject to a final review.

 46           An order of suspension or exclusion may include a requirement that the student should have no contact of any kind with a named person or persons.

 47           The powers of temporary suspension or exclusion granted by the Provost under paragraph 38 shall be exercised only where necessary to protect a member or members of the College community, or the property of the College or a member or members of the College, or where the students continued presence might be a source of disruption to the College or any part thereof. Written reasons for the decision shall be recorded and made available to the student.

48           Unless the matter is deemed urgent by the Provost, no student shall be suspended or excluded unless he or she has been given the opportunity or make representations to the Vice Provost Education or his or her delegated nominee. The representations may be made in person or on writing, as the student chooses, and may be put forward by the student or through a representative. In cases deemed urgent by the Vice Provost Education, a student may be suspended or excluded with immediate effect. In such circumstances, an opportunity will be given to the student to make representations as soon as is reasonably practicable.

 49           A student may appeal to the President against an order of suspension or exclusion pending a hearing.

 RECORD KEEPING

50           All actions and decision taking in respect of the application of this Disciplinary Procedure must be formally recorded and these written records must be clear, accurate and appropriate. The record should document all actions and decisions taken by the College from the day when the report of the incident was received until the conclusion of the process.

51           The outcome of any Summary procedures should be submitted to the Student Casework Administrator in Registry in order that a full record of all Disciplinary Procedures can be maintained.

52           The record should include detail on which process is being used, what issues and matters have been considered and the basis for the decisions that have been made. Such records will enable new decisions to be made effectively and allow for previous decisions to be reconsidered and reviewed as necessary.

53           Any member of College staff dealing with an allegation of misconduct which may also constitute a criminal offence should be aware that any notes that are made or documents that are created could be requested by the police as part of a criminal investigation and individuals could be called to give evidence.

 ANNUAL REPORT

 54           Each year, the Registry will prepare a report for the Senate on the number and nature of cases referred to the College Disciplinary Panel, identifying any general issues that have arisen.

 Approved by the Council: 14 July 2017

E3. Procedure for dealing with complaints by students

PRINT: Ordinance E3 - Student Complaints (Nov 2015)

 

Introduction


1. Imperial College London aims to give the highest specialised instruction and to provide the fullest equipment for the most advanced training and research; furthermore the College strives to achieve a standard of overall administrative performance, in terms of service quality and operating efficiency, which complements and reinforces the excellence of its teaching and research. The College recognises, however, that, if students (1) consider they have grounds for complaint about either academic or administrative services, a clear, consistent procedure should be available through which these complaints can be investigated and considered.

2. This Ordinance does not cover appeals and other matters which are dealt with under the following procedures: (2)

a. Student Withdrawals and Appeals - Procedure for dealing with cases of unsatisfactory academic progress.

b. Procedure for Consideration of Representations concerning decisions of Boards of Examiners.

c. Procedure for Consideration of Representations by Candidates for Research Degree Examinations.

d. Procedures for dealing with appeals by research students to the Transfer Appeal Committee against a decision by their Department or Division not to transfer their registration from MPhil to PhD.

e. Appeals against disciplinary decisions (appeals against summary punishment; appeals against the decisions of the Imperial College Union Disciplinary Committee, the Residence Tribunal and the College Discipline Committee).

f. Examination Offences Policy and Procedures.

g. The Investigation of Allegations of Scientific Misconduct. (Ordinance D17).

h. Public Interest Disclosure (Ordinance D18).

i. Complaints about the admissions process (dealt with under the Admissions Appeals and Complaints Procedure),

3. The Council has approved this Procedure for dealing with those student complaints which are not covered by the above procedures.

4. A copy of it is published in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students on their registration at the College. Copies are also available from the Imperial College Union office and the Registry. An online version can be found at: www.imperial.ac.uk/studenthandbook.

Stages of the Complaints Procedure


5. There are three stages in the Complaints Procedure:

a. Stage 1. The complaint is raised initially with the individual responsible.

b. Stage 2. The complaint is referred to the relevant responsible authority, as specified in Paragraph 12.

c. Stage 3. The complaint is referred to the Director of Student Support who, having investigated and having consulted with the Academic Registrar and/ or the Vice-Provost (Education), where necessary, will reach a conclusion on the complaint and determine a course of action. If the student is from the same Department as the Director of Student Support, a College Tutor will carry out the investigation and consult with the Academic Registrar and/ or the Vice-Provost (Education) at this stage, in place of the Director of Student Support.

6. It is envisaged that most complaints will be satisfactorily resolved at one of the early stages in the Procedure, but the three sequential stages are provided where this proves not to be possible.

7. Students are invited, when making their complaint, to indicate what, if any, resolution they are seeking, without prejudice to any final remedy which may be determined. Students are reminded that an informal resolution to their complaint is possible at any stage.

8. It is expected that complaints will be raised as quickly as possible. Where a complaint relates to a specific event, it should be raised with the individual concerned within 10 College working days of that event. Where the complaint relates to an ongoing aspect of academic provision, it is expected that this will be raised as soon as the dissatisfaction becomes apparent and no later than three weeks before an examination or assessment is to be undertaken which the complainant considers may be adversely affected. (Complaints regarding the conduct of examinations are dealt with under the Procedure for Consideration of Representations concerning decisions of Boards of Examiners, or the Procedure for Consideration of Representations by Candidates for Research Degree Examinations).

9. Where a complaint is made regarding a member of staff, HR will be notified as early on in the process as possible by the person with whom the complaint has been raised.

10. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a response will be given at each stage within 20 working days. Where extenuating circumstances exist, these will be communicated to the complainant.

STAGE 1

11. It is expected that every reasonable attempt will be made by the complainant to raise the complaint with the responsible individual, and that the responsible individual will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the complaint at this level. It is recognised that there may be exceptional circumstances in which the complainant considers they cannot approach the individual concerned. In such cases, the complainant may go to the Head of his or her Department or Medical Division as in Stage 2.

STAGE 2

12. If the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved at Stage 1, the complaint may be taken to the next level of responsible authority. The responsible authority is determined by the subject of the complaint.

a. Academic matters: the Head of Department (for undergraduate medicine students this is the Head of Undergraduate Medicine).

b. Students' Union matters: the President of Imperial College Union.

c. College-managed Residential Accommodation: the Head of Residences.

d. Catering: the Head of Catering.

e. All other administrative matters: the College Secretary.

Where the complaint is against one of the people named in a-d above, the College Secretary will nominate a responsible authority for dealing with the complaint. If the complaint is regarding the College Secretary, the Provost will nominate a responsible authority for dealing with the complaint.

13. In academic matters, if the responsible individual is a Head of Department, or the complainant feels that it would not be beneficial for an attempt to resolve the complaint within the Department/ Division to be made, their complaint may be taken, in the second Stage, to a College Tutor.

14. The responsible authority will investigate the complaint, and respond in an appropriate manner. Normally students can expect a response within 10 working days of the complaint being raised at the second Stage. This may or may not be the final response by the responsible authority, depending on the level of investigation required.

STAGE 3

15. Where the complaint is not resolved at the second Stage, the Director of Student Support will investigate the complaint and reach a conclusion. At this stage, the complainant is required to provide written details of their complaint in the form of a letter to the Director of Student Support. Normally, students can expect a written reply within 10 College working days of the complaint being raised at the third Stage. This may or may not be the final response from the Director of Student Support, depending on the level of investigation required. The Director of Student Support may choose to meet with the complainant, the responsible individual and the responsible authority before concluding the matter. The student’s letter of complaint and the Director of Student Support’s response will be filed in the Registry.

16. The Director of Student Support's response as mentioned in paragraph 15 is the College's final resp onse to the complaint.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator


17. Once a student has completed the College's internal complaints procedures, the College will issue the student with a Completion of Procedures Letter. If the student is still dissatisfied, he or she may direct his or her complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator within twelve months of the date on which the Completion of Procedures Letter was issued. Information on the complaints covered by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and the review procedures is available at: http://www.oiahe.org.uk.

18. The College reserves the right to reject a complaint when it is issued more than three years after the substantive event(s) to which it relates.

Principles of the Complaints Procedure


19. It is the intention of the College that no student should be discriminated against or in any way penalised for raising a complaint at any level of the Complaints Procedure.

20. The student will be kept informed of the progress of his or her complaint and any unforeseen delay in the proceedings will be communicated to the student.

21. At all stages of the process, when a complaint is not upheld, reasons shall be given to the student.

22. Where a complaint is upheld as valid, any remedial action will be taken, and the complainant will be informed by the Director of Student Support. If appropriate, any incidental expenses incurred by the complainant will be reimbursed.

23. In keeping with the Human Rights Act 1998, should the student wish, details of the final outcome of a complaint will be posted on the relevant departmental/ divisional notice board.

24. The Directoro of Student Support shall prepare each year a report on the complaints brought to Stage 3 of the Procedure, using the information arising from complaints which will be filed within the Registry. In doing so, the confidentiality of individuals will be preserved. The report shall be presented to the Senate by the Vice-Provost (Education).

25. The College recognises the rights of individuals who may be wrongly accused in the circumstances of a complaint. Where it is found that a student has raised a frivolous or vexatious complaint or used false information, the College may use its Disciplinary Procedure in respect of the student's conduct.

26. Usually a complaint cannot be raised by a third party on behalf of another. In exceptional circumstances, applications by a third party to raise a complaint on behalf of another student may be considered at the discretion of the Director of Student Support.

Conduct of the Complaints Procedure


27. Students seeking authoritative guidance concerning the applicability and operation of the Procedure should apply to the Head of the Central Secretariat. Where appropriate, members of the College will facilitate access to information and documents material to a complaint, whilst having due regard for privacy, confidentiality and the reasonable interests of any third parties. Where any meeting is held at which the complainant will be present, he or she is entitled to be accompanied by a "friend" who is a member of the College (either a fellow student, or a personal tutor, warden or other member of the academic staff).

Approved by the Council on 23 March 2007
Effective from 8 July 2007
Revisions approved by the Council 10 July 2009
Revisions approved by the Council: 7 February 2014
Revisions approved by the Council: 20 November 2015

Notes


1) The definition of students that are eligible to make a complaint under this procedure includes those students that are currently registered as students with the College, or those students who have been registered at some point within the last three years.This procedure is available from the Undergraduate Examinations Office in the Registry.

2) Advice about dealing with sexual and racial harassment is given in the Student Handbook, and will be pursued under the College's procedure for dealing with student disciplinary offences, or under the appropriate staff disciplinary procedure (obtainable from the Human Resources Division).

E4. Constitution of Imperial College Union

E5. Imperial College Union Code of Practice