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Fitness to Practise
Fitness to Practise
Fitness to Practise Overview
As part of their University programme, some students are required to undertake placement and training that involve dealing directly with patients, clients or service users. Since it is of over-riding importance to protect members of the public from harm and to maintain the trust and confidence of the general public in the professions and the University, it is vital that students are deemed fit to practise while on placement. To describe an individual as ‘Fit to Practise’ in the context of certain professions is to say that he/she possesses the attributes considered necessary in an individual to allow on-going practice as an independent practitioner in the relevant profession. Fitness to practise policies and procedures have been implemented to ensure that, in addition to having achieved the required academic standard, individuals also:
- Have the capacity to perform key skills and tasks (core competencies) so as to be able to practise in their profession
- Are healthy of body and mind so as to be able to practise in their profession
- Conduct and behave themselves so as not to harm their patients, clients, or service users or put them at risk of harm
- Conduct and behave themselves in a manner likely not to harm the reputation of their profession
All students commencing the first year of certain programmes in UCC will be required to comply with the Fitness to Practise Policy and meet the relevant Fitness to Practise standards in order to progress to the next year of their programme. The programmes in question are ones which involve interaction with patients/clients and that lead to registration with a professional body. A full list of the programmes subject to this Fitness to Practise requirement is available below. Students registering on these programmes are required to read and accept the Fitness to Practice requirements at registration and annually at re-registration.
Details of the core competencies relating to Fitness to Practise for the relevant programmes are available below.
Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedures
The most up to date UCC Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedures is available on the Academic Policy Portal.
Programmes Subject to Fitness to Practise
Core competencies Applied Social Studies 2022-2023
Core competencies Clinical Psychology 2022-2023
Core competencies Clinical Therapies 2022-2023
Core competencies Dentistry 2022-2023
Core competencies Education 2022-2023
Core competencies MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics 2022-2023
Core competencies Medicine 2022-2023
Core competencies Nursing and Midwifery 2022-2023
When you register as a student on a programme which is subject to Fitness to Practise (FTP), you will be asked to make a declaration as to any concerns you may have as to you own Fitness to Practise that arises from a health and/or a criminal matter. FTP criminal matters are addressed through student Garda Vetting.
If you have indicated a health concern, your self-declaration at registration will trigger an email which will take you though the next step and you will be asked to complete an online self-disclosure form. This email will be a system generated email from ITS.iEnabler.System@mail3.ucc.ie (a no reply address). If you have made a self-declaration at registration and have not received the email or wish to make a declaration at any time during your studies, please contact your UCC School who will be able to assist you with your query.
Many people with health conditions or disabilities or specific learning difficulties are able to practise with or without adjustments to support their practise and are legally supported in this by the Equal Status Act 2000 – 2015. By declaring a Fitness to Practise health concern, we can ensure that, where possible, the University will make reasonable accommodation to support you during your studies.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What do we mean by the term “Fitness to Practise”?
- Which programmes are subject to Fitness to Practise in UCC?
- Why has UCC introduced Fitness to Practise for these programmes?
- Can I read the Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedure document?
- If I have an illness/disability/specific learning difficulty, does this mean I can’t do certain programmes?
- If I have an illness/disability or specific learning difficulty, do I have to disclose this to the University?
- Where can I get further advice?
- I have a previous criminal conviction. Does this mean I can’t do certain programmes?
- What issues or matters might give rise to a cause for concern about an individual’s Fitness to Practise?
- If I declare a Health Matter, what happens next?
- If I declare a Criminal Conviction, what happens next?
- What happens if I am deemed not to have fulfilled the Fitness to Practise requirements?
- Can I be assured of confidentiality?
- I have futher questions, who can I contact?
1. What do we mean by the term “Fitness to Practise” ?
‘Fitness to Practise’ is the term used to describe that an individual is considered capable and suitable to practise as an independent practitioner in a relevant profession. Many people with health conditions or disabilities or specific learning difficulties are able to practise with or without adjustments to support their practise and are legally supported in this by the Equal Status Act 2000 – 2015.
2. Which programmes are subject to Fitness to Practise in UCC?
A full list of these programmes is available on our Fitness to Practise webpage
3. Why has UCC introduced Fitness to Practise for these programmes?
UCC has introduced Fitness to Practise requirements for programmes (a) which award students on graduation a qualification that permits them to register with a professional body and so practise a profession and (b) which involve students having significant contact with members of the public/patients/clients and service users during placement, training or work experience as part of the programme requirements.
Since it is of over-riding importance to protect members of the public/patients/clients and service users from harm and to maintain the trust and confidence of the general public in the professions and the University, it is vital that students are Fit to Practise while on placement.
Fitness to Practise policies and procedures will also ensure that applicants and students are aware of the profession-specific skills and tasks that they will have to be able to undertake during their training.
Students will also have to consider how an illness, disability or specific learning difficulty may impact on their ability to practise effectively. The Fitness to Practise procedures will ensure that reasonable accommodations needed to support students with an illness and/or a disability are considered and provided, where possible.
4. Can I read the Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedure document?
Yes, we strongly recommend that anyone who has applied or is considering applying for one of these programmes familiarise themselves with the full detail contained in the document which is availalbe on our Fitness to Practise webpage www.ucc.ie/fitnesstopractise
5. If I have an illness/disability/specific learning difficulty, does this mean I can’t do certain programmes?
Having an illness or disability or specific learning difficulty does not necessarily prevent you from applying for and successfully completing these programmes, but it may do so. Good health in the context of Fitness to Practise means that an individual’s health is such that they are well enough to undertake safe and effective practice under supervision. Good health does not necessarily mean the absence of any disability/specific learning difficulty, or health condition. Furthermore, most people suffer a period of ill- health at some stage in their lives. People with an illness/disability or specific learning difficulty have undertaken and completed these courses successfully and it is anticipated that these Fitness to Practise procedures will ensure this will continue to be the case.
6. If I have an illness/disability or specific learning difficulty, do I have to disclose this to the University?
Yes, if you have an illness/disability and you consider it may impact on your capacity for safe and effective practice, you are required to disclose this to the University once annually at on-line Registration. Should your health status change or a disability emerge during the programme of an academic year that causes concern as to your capacity for safe and effective practice you are required to inform the relevant Head of School.
7. Where can I get further advice?
If you have an illness/disability, specific learning difficulty and you are concerned that it may impact on your ability to undertake your chosen programme/training, you should consider taking advice from a variety of sources. Professional life is very rewarding and satisfying. It can also be considerably challenging and on occasions stressful and difficult. Discussing the implications of choosing such a programme and eventual career is important. Career Guidance teachers in schools, parents and family and trusted practising professionals known to you may be useful in helping you reach your decision. You should also consider consulting your treating clinician or specialist and/or your family doctor and consider contacting the relevant School or Department to discuss your concerns.
UCC’s Disability Support Service has a dedicated Careers Advisor who deals with Pre-Entry queries from students with disabilities/specific learning difficulties. Students wishing to discuss career options and programme choices can make an appointment to avail of this service. The Disability Support Service can also advise on what reasonable accommodations may be provided when a student begins a programme subject to UCC’s Fitness to Practise policy.
You may also wish to check out the UCC Student Supports Available.
8. I have a previous criminal conviction. Does this mean I can’t do certain programmes?
If you have a criminal conviction, imposed prior to or during your enrolment at UCC, this will not necessarily give rise to Fitness to Practise proceedings, but it may do so.
You are required to disclose any criminal convictions incurred prior to or during your programme of study, when completing your annual on-line registration. Failure to do so may be sufficient grounds to cause concern as to your Fitness to Practise. All programmes subject to Fitness to Practise requirements in UCC also require Garda Clearance.
9. What issues or matters might give rise to a cause for concern about an individual’s Fitness to Practise?
To be deemed Fit to Practise, as well as achieving the required academic standard in examinations and assessments, individuals also need to:
- Have the capacity to perform key skills and tasks.
- Be healthy of body and mind so as to be able to practise the profession.
- Conduct and behave themselves so as not to harm/ put at risk their patients, clients/service users.
- Conduct and behave themselves in a manner likely not to harm the reputation of their profession.
Therefore, anything which impairs your capacity or health, or arises from conduct and behaviour that might harm your patients/clients/service users, or the reputation of the University or the profession, may give rise to cause for concern regarding your Fitness to Practise
10. If I declare a Health Matter, what happens next?
If you make a declaration at registration you will be requested to give further details by completing a Health Disclosure Form and you may be subject to assessment under UCC’s Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedure. See also the Self Disclosure Form section on our Fitness to Practise webpage www.ucc.ie/fitnesstopractise
11. If I declare a Criminal Conviction, what happens next?
Criminal Conviction declarations are subject to the UCC Student Garda Vetting policy. If you are required be Garda Vetted, this process will be initiated by the Admissions Office. For any queries regarding Garda Vetting please contact the UCC Admissions Office. You should familiarize yourself with the student Garda vetting policy at: Student Garda Vetting
12. What happens if I am deemed not to have fulfilled the Fitness to Practise requirements?
If a registered student does not meet Fitness to Practise requirements for a professional degree programme, alternative exit programmes may be recommended so you can graduate with a qualification that best meets your requirements and abilities.
13. Can I be assured of confidentiality?
Any matters disclosed will be handled with the utmost sensitivity and in confidence. Any medical information disclosed constitutes ‘sensitive personal data’ and will be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988, 2003 and 2018.
14. I have further questions, who can I contact?
If you have further queries contact the School. To find the relevant School see list of Programmes subject to Fitness to Practise on our Fitness to Practise webpage www.ucc.ie/fitnesstopractise