7.1 Grounds for Appeal
7.1.1 A student will have the right of appeal with respect to a decision to terminate her/his professional training. Such an appeal must be made in writing to the Chair of the Consortium within 21 days of the hearing.
7.1.2 The student may appeal on the following grounds only:
7.2 Process Prior to Appeal Hearing
7.2.1 On receipt of a letter of appeal, the Chair of the Consortium, or if s/he is unavailable the Vice-chair, will arrange for an appeal hearing to take place. An Appeal hearing will consist of three people all of whom will be drawn from the membership of the Consortium Policy Committee. Such a hearing will be chaired either by the Chair or the Vice-chair of the Consortium. Two of the three members of an Appeal hearing will be from agencies and the other member will be from a university. No member of an Appeal hearing can have had previous involvement in assessment decisions concerning the student nor can they have sat on the hearing whose decision is now the subject of appeal. The members of the Appeal hearing will normally receive the student's letter of appeal and all the papers from the original hearing no less than 7 days prior to the Appeal hearing.
7.2.2 A student will normally receive written notification of an Appeal hearing no later than 14 days prior to the scheduled date of the hearing. The student will be advised of the process adopted for such hearings and their rights in relation to it. The student will be invited to indicate whether or not s/he wishes to attend and whether s/he wishes to be accompanied by a friend or representative. If the student wishes to submit any additional information to that outlined in her/his letter of appeal, then s/he must do so no less than 7 days prior to the Appeal hearing.
7.2.3 Written submissions may be supported by oral evidence where necessary. Details of any such individuals, who are called to give evidence, should be provided no less than 7 working days prior to the hearing. Responsibility for making arrangements for the attendance of any such person lies with the student and/or her/his friend/representative.
7.3 Conduct of Appeal Hearings
7.3.1 The Chair of the Appeal hearing will have responsibility for ensuring that it is conducted in line with the documented procedures. The chair of the original hearing will be asked to provide a report or speak to the decision of the original hearing. The student or her/his representative will be given the opportunity to challenge or ask questions of this evidence.
7.3.2 Following this, the student will be asked to speak to her/his written submission(s) and present any individuals s/he have called to give evidence in person. It will not be permissible for the student to present any new information (i.e. any information not already outlined in her/his letter of appeal or additional submission). The chair of the original hearing will be given the opportunity to challenge or ask questions of this evidence.
7.3.3 The three members of the hearing will be able to ask questions of any of the written evidence and of anyone who attends the hearing.
7.3.4 Administrative support to Appeal hearings will normally be provided by Consortium office staff, with an administrator present at Appeals. A record of each Appeal will be kept, which will include; those in attendance; all written evidence submitted; a note on all verbal evidence given; the decision taken and the reason(s) for it.
7.4 Decisions of Appeal hearings
7.4.1 Following the presentation of all relevant evidence, and having ensured that the student is satisfied that they have had sufficient opportunity to present her/his case, the members of the Appeal hearing will normally consider their decision in private, with the administrator to the hearing in attendance to record the decision and reason(s) for it.
The decisions open to an Appeal hearing are:
- to uphold the ground(s) for appeal;
- to reject the ground(s) for appeal.
7.4.2 The lead tutor for the DipSW route must be advised in writing of the outcome of the hearing within 7 days of the decision being made. It will be their responsibility to ensure that the relevant authorities within the University are advised of the decision. The student should be advised in writing of the decision of the hearing and reasons for it within 7 days of the decision being made. The letters will come from the Chair of the Appeal hearing.
7.4.3 Where the ground(s) for appeal has been upheld then the Chair of the Professional Suitability Committee will also be advised in writing within 7 days of such a decision being made. A new hearing of the Professional Suitability Committee will require to be arranged normally within 28 days of the Appeal hearing. Copies of the Appeal hearing papers will be made available to the new hearing. All other arrangements for the organization and conduct etc. of the new hearing should be according to the procedures outlined above for hearings of the Professional Suitability Committee.
7.4.4 The decision of an Appeal hearing applies only to the professional award of the DipSW. It does not apply to any academic award made by one of the four universities. Termination of training in relation to one of these awards can only be via the relevant university's disciplinary procedures.
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