C1.2.6 The General Conduct Procedure

  • 6.1.1 All staff or students who become aware of a potential breach of the regulations are required to report the matter to the relevant Officer as soon as possible, but within 5 working days of the discovery of the potential breach. 

    6.1.2 For potential breaches occurring in Halls associated with the University, the relevant Officer is usually the Residence Manager, Hall Warden or other Hall staff. 

    6.1.3 Potential breaches occurring outside of University accommodation should be referred to the Student Disputes Officers. 

    6.1.4 The relevant Officer will decide whether the case is appropriate for the Conduct Procedure, the Fixed Penalty Policy outlined in the Hall Regulations (for Halls associated with the University) or another University procedure e.g. Fitness to study.

    6.1.5 The student will be informed of how the matter is to be taken forward within 5 days of the referral.

    6.2.1 The Conduct Officer (CO) shall carry out an investigation following the procedure detailed in the Conduct Officers’ Handbook and Guidance Notes.

    6.2.2 Depending on the circumstances they may decide to take one or more of the following actions:

    • 6.2.2.1 Refer the matter to the University Police Liaison Officer with a recommendation that it be reported to the Police
    • 6.2.2.2 Arrange an Interview with the student, or anyone relevant to the case. The Conduct Officer will write to the student giving full details of the alleged breach, giving at least 5 working days’ notice of the interview
    • 6.2.2.3 Give a fixed penalty as outlined in the Halls Regulations (for Halls managed by the University)
    • 6.2.2.4 Decide there is no case to answer.

    6.3.1 The exact arrangements will be organised by the Conduct Officer.  All students will have the right to: 

    • 6.3.1.1 Be accompanied by a friend or other person who is not acting in a legal capacity
    • 6.3.1.2 Make representations/comments about any procedural issues
    • 6.3.1.3 Hear the case and ask about the detailed allegations made against them
    • 6.3.1.4 Access all the evidence against them, excluding legal, confidentiality and safety considerations
    • 6.3.1.5 State their case, including liability, mitigation, evidence, witness testimony
    • 6.3.1.6 Question any witnesses and challenge any submissions made and/or evidence produced by the Conduct Officer.

    6.3.2 The Conduct Officer may be accompanied by a note-taker during the interview.

    6.3.3 At the end of the conduct interview, the Conduct Officer will normally state their decision as to whether there has been a breach of the regulations and the liability incurred, and impose a penalty within the range delegated to them (if applicable). 

    6.3.4 On occasion, the Conduct Officer may reconvene the interview if, for example, more evidence is required. 

    6.3.5 The Conduct Officer may give penalties appropriate to the breach up to and including 5.2.8.  The maximum fine which a Conduct Officer can impose is £250 and the maximum period of unpaid community service is 10 hours per breach of the Student Conduct Regulations.

    6.3.6 The Conduct Officer may also refer the case to a University Conduct Committee (UCC) if they decide a breach of the regulations has been committed, but the penalty they believe to be appropriate is not one which they are permitted to award 5.2.9 to 5.2.15. 

    6.3.7 The student will receive written confirmation of the decision at Level 1, any penalty and an explanation of the appeal process where applicable within 5 working days from the date of the Interview and within 20 working days of the original contact by the Conduct Officer.  

    6.4.1 If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, penalty2  or procedure they may request that the case is heard by a University Conduct Committee. To do this the student must write to the Student Disputes Officer. This request must be within 10 working days from the date of the Conduct Interview outcome letter and must state which aspect of the decision, penalty or procedure they disagree with and on which of the following grounds: 

    • 6.4.1.1 The student would like to present new evidence that they could not have reasonably produced before the interview
    • 6.4.1.2 There was a procedural irregularity 
    • 6.4.1.3 The decision regarding liability was not fairly or reasonably made
    • 6.4.1.4 The penalty is unfairly disproportionate to the breach of regulations.

    6.4.2 Evidence, where appropriate, will be required. 

    6.4.3 The Student Disputes Officer may do one of the following: 

    • 6.4.3.1 Require clarification of the request, or further documentation before proceeding 
    • 6.4.3.2 Not permit the student to go to a University Conduct Committee, if the application is out of time, without a valid reason and/or with insufficient evidence. 
    • 6.4.3.3 Convene a University Conduct Committee.

    6.4.4 The student will be informed of the decision within 5 working days. 

    6.4.5 A student who believes that the Student Disputes Officer’s decision not to permit the student to go to a University Conduct Committee because the request is out of time, without a valid reason and/or there is insufficient evidence is inappropriate may request that it be reviewed by the Academic Registrar or nominee.

    6.4.6 A student who wishes to do so must write to the Student Disputes Officer, setting out the reasons why they believe the decision was inappropriate within ten working days.

    6.4.7 The Academic Registrar or nominee will review the Student Disputes Officer’s decision and either uphold the decision or allow the student to proceed to a University Conduct Committee within ten working days.  

    6.4.8 If the Academic Registrar or nominee upholds the Student Disputes Officer’s decision they will issue the student with a Completion of Procedures Letter.

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    Students are not permitted to appeal on the grounds that the value of a fixed penalty is too high.

    6.5.1 The University Conduct Committee will normally consist of the following:

    • 6.5.1.1 A Chair (member of the University's Senior Management)
    • 6.5.1.2 Two Conduct Officers 
    • 6.5.1.3 Two representatives of the student body.

    6.5.2 The University Conduct Committee will be quorate with the Chair plus three members.  

    6.5.3 The Student Disputes Officer or nominee will act as Secretary to the Committee.  

    6.5.4 If the alleged breach of the regulations is solely on the grounds of potential reputational damage to the University, the Conduct Committee shall also include an external member. 

    6.5.5 The University Conduct Committee will allow:

    • 6.5.5.1 The Conduct Officer to state their case and provide relevant evidence, including testimony from witnesses, question any witnesses and challenge any submissions made and/or evidence produced by the student
    • 6.5.5.2 The Conduct Officer to state their recommendation for the outcome of the University Conduct Committee
    • 6.5.5.3 The student to state their case and provide relevant evidence, including testimony from witnesses, question any witnesses and challenge any submissions or evidence produced by the Conduct Officer
    • 6.5.5.4 Members of the Committee to question any witnesses and clarify any evidence or statements produced by either party.

    6.5.6 The University Conduct Committee will normally will normally state their decision as to whether there has been a breach of the regulations and the liability incurred, and any penalty during the meeting. 

    6.5.7 On occasion, a decision may be taken to reconvene the committee if, for example, more evidence is required. 

    6.5.8 The University Conduct Committee may impose the full range of penalties. 

    6.5.9 The student will receive an outcome letter explaining the decision, penalty and next steps within 5 working days of the University Conduct Committee. 

    6.5.10 If the University Conduct Committee has decided a penalty which is 5.2.1 - 5.2.8. The student will receive a Completion of Procedures letter which will explain to the student how to raise the matter with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator should the student wish to do so. 

    6.5.11 If the University Conduct Committee has decided a penalty which is 5.2.9 - 5.2.15. The student may request for their case to be heard by the Appeal Committee. 

    6.6.1 If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, penalty, or procedure from the University Conduct Committee, they may request that the case is heard by an Appeal Committee. 

    6.6.2 To initiate an Appeal Committee the student must write to the Student Disputes Officer within 10 working days from the date of the University Conduct Committee outcome letter, stating which aspect of the decision, penalty or process the student disagrees with and on which of the following grounds: 

    • 6.6.2.1 The student would like to present new evidence that they could not have reasonably produced before the University Conduct Committee
    • 6.6.2.2 There was a procedural irregularity 
    • 6.6.2.3 The decision regarding liability was not fairly or reasonably made
    • 6.6.2.4 The penalty is unfairly disproportionate to the breach of regulations. 

    6.6.3 Evidence, where appropriate, will be required. 

    6.6.4 The Student Disputes Officer may do one of the following: 

    • 6.6.4.1 Require clarification of the request, or further documentation before proceeding 
    • 6.6.4.2 Not permit the student to go to the Appeal Committee, if the application is out of time, without a valid reason and/or with insufficient evidence. Convene an Appeal Committee.

    6.6.5 The student will be informed of the decision within 5 working days.

    6.6.6 A student who believes that the Student Disputes Officer’s decision not to permit the student to go to an Appeal Committee because the request is out of time, without a valid reason and/or there is insufficient evidence is inappropriate may request that it be reviewed by the Academic Registrar or nominee.

    6.6.7 A student who wishes to request a review by the Academic Registrar or nominee must write to the Student Disputes Officer, setting out the reasons why they believe the decision was inappropriate within ten working days of the issue of the Student Disputes Officer’s decision.

    6.6.8 The Academic Registrar or nominee will review the Student Disputes Officer’s decision and either uphold the decision or allow the student to proceed to a University Conduct Committee within ten working days.  

    6.6.9 If the Academic Registrar or nominee upholds the Student Disputes Officer’s decision they will issue the student with a Completion of Procedures Letter within ten working days.  

    6.7.1 The Appeal Committee will normally consist of:

    • 6.7.1.1 A Chair (member of the University's Senior Management)
    • 6.7.1.2 A member of the Board of Governors
    • 6.7.1.3 A representative of the student body.

    6.7.2 Representation from the University's Senior Management, the Board of Governors and the student body will be required for the Appeal Committee to be quorate.

    6.7.3 Members of the Appeal Committee must not have been involved with the case previously.  

    6.7.4 A Student Disputes Officer not previously involved in the case or nominee will act as Secretary to the committee.  

    6.7.5 The student and the Chair of the University Conduct Committee have the right to attend.

    6.7.6 The Appeal Committee shall normally only consider issues raised in the appeal by the student. The Committee will allow: 

    • 6.7.4.1 The Chair of the University Conduct Committee to state their case and provide relevant evidence (including testimony from witnesses), question any witnesses and challenge any submissions made and/or evidence produced by the student
    • 6.7.4.2 The student to state their appeal and provide relevant evidence (including testimony from witnesses), question any witnesses and challenge any submissions or evidence produced by the Conduct Officer
    • 6.7.4.3 Members of the Appeal Committee to question any witnesses and clarify any evidence or statements produced by either party.

    6.7.7 The Chair of the Appeal Committee will state their decision as to whether there has been a breach of the regulations, any liability incurred, and any penalty. The Appeal Committee may uphold the decision of the University Conduct Committee or they may conclude a different outcome. 

    6.7.8 The student will receive an outcome letter, explaining the decision and penalty and will be issued a Completion of Procedures letter.