The university expect you to behave in a professional manner both on and off campus. Anyone, including members of the public can complain about your behavior and the university may use this procedure to investigate the matter. You can find the full guidance in the Student Handbook of Regulations here.
If an allegation has been brought against you then you will receive an email to tell you this. You will be given details about the allegation and you will be told what level the investigation is starting at. Most allegations will enter the process at stage 1 or stage 2 and the matter can be escalated if it is deemed to be more serious.
The purpose of this meeting is to establish the facts. The school will identify the most relevant person to investigate the matter. The Investigator will want to speak to you, and they may speak to witnesses and the person making the allegation in order to establish the facts. You will be given 5 working days’ notice of the meeting.
The outcome of a stage 1 investigation will be notified to you within 2 working days of your meeting and can include: No case to answer with any restrictions lifted immediately, a written warning, a fine plus compensation, attendance awareness course, a university community service, a reflective statement, or referral to Stage 2 if the breach is considered a major breach.
For major breaches a Member of Registry will investigate the matter and this will be done within 5 working days. You will be invited to a meeting to establish the facts and Registry may also speak to the person making the allegation and any witnesses.
The outcomes will be notified to you within 5 working days, and can include additional penalties of final written warning, certain restrictions for a set period of time and referral to Stage 3 if the breach is considered to be Gross Misconduct.
For Gross Misconduct allegations. Registry will contact you within 5 working days and invite you to the hearing where a panel will hear your case. You are expected to attend but if you choose not to, you can submit a statement 2 working days before to be read at the hearing.
The outcome will be notified to you within 5 working days, and at this stage, that can include exclusion from the university.
Book a meeting with an SU adviser as soon as you receive the email so that we can help you to prepare your case. Be honest and open from the start
Read the report and any evidence that has been sent to you.
Gather your own evidence such as witness statements etc. You should provide these at the earliest opportunity as they may not be accepted at a later stage in the investigation.
If you have had any personal problems or health issues going on which may have impacted on your decision making abilities at the time? Gather evidence to confirm this so the officer can better understand the situation.
Any decisions are based on the balance of probability
The university may impose restrictions on your access to campus and certain activities if they think that you are a risk to yourself or others. This decision will be reviewed every 20 days or if your circumstances have changed and you can challenge this decision by contacting registry at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have exams and assessment, contact registry as they may be able to vary your restriction so that you do not miss hand ins/exams.
The university are likely to postpone their investigations until criminal proceedings have been concluded and then they will continue with their own investigation.
The university cannot accept anonymous allegations but there may be occasions when the identity of the person making the complaint has to be kept confidential from you.
You can appeal any decision at any stage (except the decision to escalate the investigation to the next stage).
You must have grounds for appeal and these include: Material irregularity, unreasonable decisions, bias at the investigation or hearing, the penalty was disproportionate, EC’s that you couldn’t declare at the time. You will need to complete an Appeal form and submit it within 5 working days from issue of the outcome. You will be notified of the outcome within 5 working days. Outcomes can include another Stage 3 hearing with different panel members, a different penalty, or a different decision. The investigator will remain the same.
The SU advice team are here to support you through this process.
Contact us at email@example.com or by phoning 01484 473446 to book an appointment.