Usually this will only be utilised if the concerns raised under Level 1 are still present despite intervention and/or the concerns are perceived to be of a serious (or potentially serious) nature.
Where Level 2 interventions are seen to be necessary, the member of staff leading the process will usually aim to arrange a further meeting within 5 working days. They aim to do this as soon as possible to avoid the concerns escalating further and as a consideration to your wellbeing. Again, you are permitted to be accompanied to this meeting.
At this meeting, the member of staff should:
- explain and/ or review the concern(s)
- discuss and/or review the perceived impact/implications on your wellbeing and fitness to study
- gather or get an up-to-date understanding of your perception of the matter
- allow you the opportunity to respond to the concern(s)
- identify any related support needs you may have
- agree a referral to the University’s Occupational Health Service (OHS) on the grounds of Fitness to Study, as per the OHS Student at Risk of Fitness to Continue in Study/Practise Referral Pathway
- agree any further interim time-bound actions to help manage concerns while the OHS referral and assessment process is undertaken including; any obligations expected of you (e.g. in respect of their engagement with your studies, conduct, or additional supports you should seek).
After the meeting:
- A written record of the meeting, agreed actions, follow-up and review outcomes should be recorded by the lead staff member and shared with all attendees at the meeting;
- If deemed appropriate information can be shared with appropriate University staff, your GP or external organisation, in line with the University’s Student Privacy Notice.
You will usually be required to attend an Occupational Health Assessment at some stage after this meeting. Upon receipt of the OH report the member of staff leading the process will arrange a follow-up meeting with you to discuss the OH report recommendations.
You should also be notified of this meeting in writing and your right to be accompanied. If you are required to attend an Occupational Health Assessment and fail to do so, a decision regarding your fitness to continue in study will be made in the absence of any independent medical evidence.
As a result of the meeting and the OH report recommendations the following determinations can be decided, but are not limited to;
- Implementation of reasonable adjustments and appropriate support arrangements to be reviewed periodically
- A recommendation is made that you take a voluntary temporary withdrawal from your studies or the relevant area of activity (e.g. student accommodation)
- A decision is made that requires you to take a temporary withdrawal from your studies, placement, overseas study or other University related activity
- You are permitted to continue your studies on a part-time basis or to study away from the University if this is practicable
- Imposing a formal suspension from study for a stated period of time and/or exclusion from specified University facilities/activities, with or without conditions for any subsequent return to study or readmission to those facilities of activities
- Termination of your studies at the University.
The outcome should be presented to you in the meeting and in writing after. If an outcome cannot be decided upon in the meeting, it should be explained to you clearly why this is and you should be given a timeframe in which you should expect the outcome. The outcome should then be communicated to you within the agreed time frame.
Requesting a Review
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Level 2 meeting and subsequent decision regarding your fitness to study, they can request a review of this. The review request must be submitted in writing to the Appeals and Complaints Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) within ten working days of receiving the outcome.
This will be reviewed by a panel made up of the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Students and Education (or nominee), the Director of Academic and Student Affairs (or nominee) and a member of academic staff. You will be invited to present your case to the panel if you wish, though this is not compulsory - you can choose to allow them to review the review request on paperwork alone. They will aim to review the decision within 10 working days of receipt of the review request and will provide five working days notice in advance of any meeting.
The decision of the review panel is final and there is no further internal route of appeal.
Should you get to the end of the review request process and remain dissatisfied or your request be rejected by either the Sifting or Review Panels, then your only option will be to submit a complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Service Ombudsman (NIPSO). You would need to submit a complaint to them on the basis of maladministration and provide evidence that the University did not follow its own procedures correctly.
Complaints to NIPSO must be made within six months of the date you received your final outcome letter. Complaints submitted outside of this time are likely to be rejected.