A9 – Professional Suitability
Originator: Vice President, Academic and Research
Approver: Senior Academic Committee
Effective: November 28, 2014
The College expects all of its Students to maintain ethical and professional behaviour. In consideration of the expected responsibilities however, additional mechanisms and procedures are required to ensure Students enrolled in a program that directly or indirectly serves vulnerable populations, observe the applicable ethical and professional standards.
Students enrolled in a program listed in Appendix A to this policy shall maintain behaviour that will uphold the public trust and reflect applicable ethical standards. This policy details the grounds for review of student behaviour and the corresponding procedures to be used by the College when questionable behaviour is identified.
Chair – refers to the Chair, an equivalent or a designate(s) of a College program.
Dean – refers to a Dean of an academic program or a Regional Campus Director.
Student – refers to any individual:
- seeking to apply to study at Red River College Polytechnic;
- who is a current student; or
- who has previously been a student.
4. Grounds for Review
The following conduct may be subject to review in accordance with the procedures set out in this policy:
- conduct that compromised, or could have compromised, the physical or psychological safety of a patient, client or individual receiving a service;
- demonstrated incompetence;
- conflicts of interest;
- threatening, aggressive, exploitative, irresponsible,disrespectful or destructive behaviour towards other students, colleagues, College staff, members of the public, or while attending a workplace/practicum;
- a criminal conviction, where the nature of the criminal activity would bring disrepute tothe applicable profession or employment setting, or demonstrates a lack of integrity or poor judgment;
- drug or alcohol use; or
- behaviour offensive to the applicable internal and professional codes of conduct, practice standards, and/or ethical standards.
Reports of conduct identified in section 4.1, can be submitted to the Chair of the Student’s program by: members of the public, College students, College staff, or an individual(s) from a Student’s work placement or practicum.
The Chair will then gather information to determine which process to proceed with under section 5.4.
After completing the investigation, the Chair will provide the Dean of the Student’s program with all gathered information.
The Dean, in consultation with the Chair, will determine whether:
- no action is required;
- the matter should be addressed under College policy S2 – Student Discipline;
- the matter should be referred to a Professional Suitability Committee (“PSC”). If the matter is referred to a PSC, this policy takes precedence over College policy S2 and S3; and/or
- if the matter is referred to the PSC, whether just cause exists to suspend the Student pending the review of the PSC.
6. Professional Suitability Committee (PSC)
The PSC is an ad hoc committee, established on an as needed basis, charged with the responsibility of overseeing professional suitability matters for the programs listed in Appendix A to this policy.
The role of the PSC is to provide an independent review of student conduct, and for providing a recommended course of action to the applicable Dean.
Once a Dean has decided to refer a matter to the PSC, the Dean shall ask the Registrar to appoint a PSC Committee Chair. The Committee Chair shall be a full time faculty member from a program listed in Appendix A and from a different school as the Student.
The Committee Chair will then appoint six additional individuals to the PSC, including:
- two full time faculty members – one from the subject program and one from a program listed in Appendix A;
- two students – one from the subject program and one from a program listed in Appendix A; and
- two representatives from the subject profession or employment setting.
Where reasonably possible, faculty members who had dealings with the Student will not sit on the PSC.
After being appointed by a Dean, the PSC Committee Chair will provide the Student with the following information as soon as is reasonably possible:
- the conduct under review;
- the alleged facts;
- the applicable code of conduct or ethical standards;
- name and title (faculty member, student or professional representative) of PSC members;
- the date, time, and place for the PSC hearing;
- support services provided by the Student’s Association; and
- a statement informing the student that if the PSC determines that the alleged conduct occurred, the student may be required to withdraw from the program.
The Notice of Hearing, detailed in 6.5, will be sent to the address of the Student on record with the College. At the Student’s request, information may be sent to his/her Student e-mail account.
Within one week of receiving the information detailed in 6.5, the Student will provide a written response to the Committee Chair of the PSC.
The Committee Chair of the PSC will then provide the six PSC members with a written report detailing the conduct to be reviewed, the alleged facts, the Student’s written response provided pursuant to 6.5, the applicable code of conduct or ethical standards and any other relevant information.
Once a matter has been referred to the PSC for formal review, proceedings may continue irrespective of whether the Student voluntarily withdraws from the program or refuses to participate in the PSC hearing.
7. PSC Hearing Procedure
The PSC will act expeditiously to complete the hearing and recommend a disposition to the Dean.
The Student may represent themselves during the hearing or elect to have a designated representative. The designated representative may be from the College’s Student Association or independently retained. The Student must provide the name and title of the representative to the PSC Committee Chair at least two days prior to the hearing.
If the Student decides to make submissions to the PSC, the student may be questioned by the PSC.
Both the Academic program and the student have the right to:
- submit evidence;
- call witnesses;
- question witnesses; and
- have access to all relevant documents submitted to the PSC.
Witness names and titles, and all written materials that will be referred to at the hearing, must be provided to the PSC Committee Chair at least two days prior to the hearing.
The hearing will be closed to all persons except members of the PSC, the Student, the designated representative of the Student, and the proceedings recorder.
The PSC hearing will be audio recorded. The audio recording will be securely filed with the subject academic program and retained for ten years. Once the retention period has expired, the audio recording will be destroyed.
All information relating to the matter before the PSC will be kept strictly confidential by all parties. Information will only be disclosed as is reasonably necessary for investigation, to implement terms of the disposition, or as is required by law.
All information relating to the hearing, including the disposition, will be kept in the student’s permanent file with the Office of the Registrar.
8. Findings on the Matter
After hearing all the evidence, the PSC will meet in a closed session with its members only, to:
- consider the evidence;
- make its findings; and
- make its recommendations to the Dean regarding the disposition of the matter.
A majority of PSC members is required for the recommended disposition of the matter.
- the Committee Chair of the PSC will only vote in the event of a tie.
The PSC may recommend the following to the Dean:
- dismiss the matter;
- reprimand the Student in writing;
- allow the Student to remain in the program and attach conditions prescribing future conduct;
- suspend the Student from the program for a specified period of time and attach conditions prescribing future conduct (any course which is incomplete as a result of a suspension will be marked as Failed, “F”, on the Student’s transcript);
- require the Student to withdraw from the program and attach conditions which must be fulfilled before any application for re- admission to the program can be considered (Failed, “F”, will be placed on the Student’s transcript);
- with approval from the Vice-President responsible for the program, require the Student to withdraw from the program with no right to re- admission (Failed, “F”, will be placed on the Student’s transcript); and/or
- make any other recommendation deemed appropriate.
A Student may be required to withdraw from the program at any time throughout the academic year or at any point in their program.
The Dean will review the recommendations of the PSC and render a final decision.
The Student will be informed of the PSC decision, and the final decision of the Dean, in writing within fifteen College working days of the PSC hearing. This timeframe may be extended by mutual agreement between the Student and the Dean. The final decision will include reasons for the decision.
Copies of the final decision will be sent to the Chair of the academic program, the Vice-President responsible for the program, the Dean of Student Services and the Office of the Registrar.
9. Appeal Process
All decisions resulting from the above process are final. The student may, however, request a hearing by the College Appeal Committee in accordance with Policy S3 – Student Appeals. The Appeal must be made in writing, providing details of the alleged unfair process, to the Office of the Dean of Student Services within 10 working days from receiving the Dean’s decision.
S1 – Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities
S2 – Student Discipline
S3 – Student Appeals
S4 – Academic Integrity
This policy is applicable to the following College Programs in consideration of the vulnerable populations they directly or indirectly serve. The Senior Academic Committee may direct additional programs, not listed here, to be governed by this policy.
- Animal Health Technology
- Applied Counseling
- Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Nurses
- Child and Youth Care (all delivery modes of the program)
- Deaf Studies
- Dental Assisting
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Ultrasound
- Disability and Community Support
- Early Childhood Education (all delivery modes of the program)
- Educational Assistant
- Funeral Director and Embalmer
- Health Care Aide
- Health Unit Clerk
- Medical Device Reprocessing Technician
- Medical Laboratory Science
- Medical Radiologic Technology
- Nursing (including the Registered Nurse Refresher)
- Paramedicine – Primary Care, Advanced Care
- Studies in Aboriginal Child Care
- Studies in Special Needs Child Care
- Teacher Education (certificate, diploma and degree programs)
- Therapeutic Recreation Facilitator for Older Adults
- Youth Recreation Activity Worker