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In December 2021, Senate commissioned a review of the student disciplinary procedure to be undertaken in 2022. A working group has been formed to lead this review, chaired by Professor Terry Tetley. The terms of reference for the group can be found below, along with a full membership list and an outline of some of the key questions which will be addressed as part of the review. If you would like to get in touch to contribute in any way or provide a comment on the review, you can do so by emailing the dedicated mailbox (sdpreview@imperial.ac.uk) or by leaving your comments in this Qualtrics form.

Student disciplinary procedure review - working group information

Terms of Reference

1. To review each stage of the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedures and accompanying guidance to ensure that they are aligned with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s Good Practice Framework for Disciplinary Procedures; appropriately cross-reference the Complaints Procedure, Fitness to Study Procedure, the Fitness to Practise Procedure and the Policy on Progress of Students Who Are Remanded or Given a Custodial Sentence Whilst On Course; are accessible and clear to follow; provide clarity on procedures for risk assessment requirements at any stage and set out the circumstances under which the College may take action against its former students.

2. To consider the recommendations included in the Office for Students statement of expectation for preventing and addressing harassment and sexual misconduct affecting students in higher education and agree how to manage these areas of misconduct under the College Disciplinary Procedures.

3. To consider where and how the College clearly sets out the expectations for behaviour of its registered students and visitors to Campus.

4. To review the support available across the College for all students involved in an investigation.

5. To consider measures put in place whilst the cases are being handled by the police/legal authorities or being investigated/considered by a Panel, such as restrictions of access.

6. To review the penalties included for summary and major disciplinary offences and identify how these apply when students become alumni of the College.

7. To review and clarify how and when the College can share information about the outcomes of the Disciplinary Procedures with the reporting and responding parties, their witnesses and the wider community.

8. To review and clarify how we manage legal representation of any party involved in the Procedure.

9. To review the resources required to ensure the effective implementation and operation of all aspects of the Disciplinary Procedure.

10. To review and agree a communications strategy for staff and students to ensure a clear understanding of the remit and role of the procedure across the College.

Membership

  • Professor Terry Tetley, Proconsul and Professor of Lung Cell Biology
  • David Ashton, Academic Registrar
  • Rachel Knight, Head of Central Secretariat
  • Dr Lloyd James, President – Imperial College Union (ICU)
  • Nathalie Podder, Deputy President (Welfare) – Imperial College Union (ICU) 
  • Hannah Bannister, Director of Student Services
  • Dr Lorraine Craig, Faculty Senior Tutor (Faculty of Engineering)
  • Dr Christopher Hallsworth, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Principal Teaching Fellow (Department of Maths)
  • Louise Lindsay, Director of Safeguarding
  • Hailey Smith, Head of Strategic Projects and Operations – Education Office and Academic Services
  • Ewan Roberts, Education Projects Office
  • Hamish Common, Barrister (external)

Evidence groups

Working Party Members will be supported in their review of the Student Disciplinary Procedure through evidence provided by a range of Evidence Groups. These Evidence Groups will be formed of stakeholders to the Student Disciplinary Procedure and operations and will be well placed to provide feedback and suggestions for enhancement. Suggested evidence groups:

• Quality Assurance and Enhancement Team
• Central Secretariat
• Imperial College Union Officer Trustees
• Student Reps
• New and Existing Relevant Student Networks
• Wardens and the Chair of the Residence Tribunal
• Sexual Violence Liaison Officers
• Student Harassment Support Contacts (HSCs)
• Faculty Senior Tutors
• Members of staff who serve on Student Disciplinary Panels
• College Consuls
• Directors of UG and PG Studies
• Data Protection Officer

Ways in which Evidence Groups may be engaged include:

• Focus groups
• Individual or small group interviews
• Surveys / Questionnaires
• Written submissions
• Consultation & feedback on draft documentation or procedure

In order that all members of the College community who wish to comment on the Student Disciplinary Procedure have an opportunity to do so, there is a Qualtrics form below to submit comments (anonymously if you wish) for the awareness of the Working Party.

Alongside the review of the College’s own procedure and guidance, research will be carried out to understand approaches of other HEIs in order to learn from the good practice and approaches used in the sector. The group may also call upon external expertise and case studies to support the review.

Questions to be addressed

The review of the Student Disciplinary Procedure is designed to consider the Procedure and the operational practices it governs comprehensively. Additionally, there are several specific questions which the Working Party will consider as part of the review, which are listed below:

1. Should the process continue once a student has graduated? Should the academic award be delayed until after the processes have been completed?

2. To what extent should the College ensure continued access to education and the campus for the parties involved in any given case?

3. For MBBS students, should they be subject to Fitness to Practise (FtP) procedures rather than Student Disciplinary, to avoid putting the student through dual processes and as the FtP process can have ramifications post-enrolment?

4. How should the College handle the parties where there are delays beyond the College’s control e.g. where the police have not informed the responding party or where any of the parties are unable to interact with the process?

5. Should proceedings be paused whilst students are preparing for or undertaking assessment, or are not well enough to engage/attend?

6. How regularly should the students be updated on progress? This might mean that there will be reports of no progress from time to time.

7. Should the College take forward allegations that have been made either anonymously or where the reporting parties are not prepared to be identified or is not prepared to continue after having submitted an allegation?

8. For halls-based cases, what types of cases should be handled locally by the wardens and how do we ensure consistently, what types of cases by the Residence Panels, and which ones at College level?

9. Is the range of penalties appropriate? Should there be a prescribed list? Should the College have more flexibility to ensure the penalty fits the case?

10. Should there be the ability to impose restrictions as part of the summary provisions?

11. How can the College inform all relevant parties of the outcome whilst observing data protection?

12. How does the College manage support for the various parties throughout the process?