GR3: Student Conduct and Behaviour Procedure 2021/22

The University is a community that aims to provide a supportive and positive environment for all those who are a part of it. As a member of our community, we expect you to ensure that the rights of others are respected and are treated with dignity, respect and courtesy at all times. You are expected to conduct yourself in accordance with this commitment and show a concern for the reputation of the University and the student body and others visiting the University.

If we think that you have failed to meet our acceptable standards of behaviour and conduct, we will investigate this and seek to put in place interventions that safeguard our community. While our approach will seek to be supportive, with the overall aim of helping our students to understand why certain conduct and behaviour could be seen as problematic, the University does reserve the right to suspend or expel any student where it is determined that there is good cause.

The General Student Regulations (GR1) set out the broad code of conduct for our students and will help you to understand what conduct is expected of you as a member of our University community.

More information on the Student Conduct and Behaviour Procedure can be found on this page and within the full document which is published below.

Please contact your Personal Tutor or the Union of Kingston Students if you find any aspect of these regulations difficult to read or understand.

I would like to make a complaint about a student's conduct or behaviour

If you have a concern about a student's conduct or behaviour you should report this to the University within 15 working days of the incident, or of the last in a series of incidents (we will only accept reports outside this timeframe in exceptional circumstances).

Low-level, minor conduct or behaviour issue

If your concern relates to what we might consider a low-level or minor conduct or behaviour issue (such as disruptive behaviour in a teaching space or concerning behaviour which may impact on health and safety, for example in a laboratory setting) this should be reported to the student's Faculty Academic Affairs Co-ordinator (see contact details in the any questions section below).

If you are not sure which Faculty the student is in, you can report it directly to Academic Registry who will direct it to the appropriate member of staff. Appendix 1 of the full procedure (GR3, published above) provides examples of the types of issues that should be reported to a student's Faculty.

What will happen next?

Low-level conduct and behaviour concerns will usually be dealt with by the student's Faculty. This is known as a Faculty Investigation.

If the Faculty determines that the alleged concern meets the threshold for a Faculty Investigation, they will appoint an Investigator and will contact the relevant student(s) to let them know that the allegations have been made and to invite them to a meeting to discuss these allegations in more detail.

Serious conduct or behaviour issues

If your concern relates to a more serious conduct or behaviour concern (such as bullying or harassment, sexual misconduct, or something that might have a significant health and safety impact) this should be reported to Academic Registry.

Appendix 1 of the full procedure (GR3, published above) provides example of the types of issues that should be reported to Academic Registry.

What will happen next?

More serious allegations about the conduct or behaviour of a student will usually be dealt with by Academic Registry. This is known as a University Investigation.

If Academic Registry determines that the alleged concern meets the threshold for a University Investigation, they will appoint an Assistant Registrar as Investigator and will contact the relevant student(s) to let them know that the allegations have been made and to invite them to a meeting to discuss these allegations in more detail.

In the most serious cases, Academic Registry may decide that a Student Conduct and Behaviour Panel is held and/or may recommend to the PVC (Education) that, following a risk assessment, one or more precautionary measures, such as a suspension from campus, are put in place whilst the case is under investigation to safeguard all parties – more information on Precautionary Measures is provided in the full procedure (GR3, published above).

As part of an investigation you may be asked to provide more information about the allegations such as writing a statement outlining the circumstances and providing copies of any evidence that might support your case (for example copies of emails, text messages or other relevant documents).

The Investigator may ask to meet with you to discuss the allegations in more detail.

In most cases, we will need to provide all of this information to the student against whom the allegation has been made, including the identity of the person(s) making the allegation. This is because the student should be provided with a fair opportunity to make a response to the allegations and sharing all of the information, including the identity of the complainant and any witnesses, is the fairest and most thorough way to undertake an investigation.

If you have any concerns about this, you should let us know when you make contact so we can discuss this with you further – more information on Anonymous and Confidential Reporting is provided in the full procedure (GR3, published above).

Sensitive cases

If you have a particularly sensitive case that you would like to discuss in confidence with a member of staff, you should contact your Personal Tutor or Academic Registry in the first instance.

Our staff are available to offer you advice on your options and talk to you about what might happen next if you want to submit a formal complaint.

The Union of Kingston Students is also very experienced in providing advice about this process. We also have a number of other services available to support you (see other sources of advice at the bottom of this page).

With a collaborative partner

If your concern relates to a student who is studying at one of our collaborative partner institutions, the matter should normally be referred to the collaborative partner institution to look at under their own Student Conduct and Behaviour Procedure (or equivalent).

If the partner does not have such a procedure the allegation should be reported to the University to look at in line with this procedure.

Relevant staff from the partner institution may be asked by the University to undertake the appropriate roles as outlined within this document, with the exception of the final appeal stage, which will continue to be undertaken by Academic Registry.

Whilst on a placement

If your concern relates to a student's conduct or behaviour whilst on a placement, this should be referred to the student's Faculty in the first instance. If your concern is about a particularly sensitive or serious matter, please refer this directly to Academic Registry.

In Halls of Residence / Headed Tenancy property

If your concern relates to a student's conduct or behaviour whilst in Halls of Residence or Headed Tenancy, this should be reported to the relevant Halls Manager or Headed Tenancy manager in the first instance (see contact details below).

If your concern is about a particularly sensitive or serious matter, please refer this directly to Academic Registry.

Relating to Union of Kingston Students activity or officers

If the allegation concerns a breach of conduct or behaviour that has taken place on Union of Kingston Students premises, during a Union of Kingston Students organised activity, or by a sabbatical officer, this will be dealt with the Union's disciplinary process in the first instance.

However, misconduct that might have implications on an individual's status as a student may also be dealt with under the University's procedure.

Please contact the Union of Kingston Students to discuss or report a concern.

Possible outcomes

Following the investigation we will decide if, on the balance of probabilities (i.e. whether it is more likely than not), there has been a breach of our expected standards of student conduct and behaviour.

If we decide that there has been a breach, we will also decide what the Level (seriousness) of this breach is and will agree one or more outcomes in line with this, for example a written warning or a requirement for the student to apologise to a specific individual or group of individuals.

The outcome will be proportionate to the seriousness and circumstances of the case. Some examples of the types of outcomes that we may agree can be found in appendix 2 of the full procedure that is published below).

We will let you know when our investigation has been completed and we will keep you updated if there are any delays.

If measures have been put in place that relate to your safety, we keep you updated on what these are.

It will not usually be possible for us to let you know any of the other details of our investigation or what outcomes may have been issued to the student due to data protection constraints.

What can I do if I am not satisfied?

If you believe that we have not followed our procedure correctly when handling your complaint about a student and you have some evidence to explain why you think that, you may be able to submit a complaint under the Student Complaints Procedure (GR2).

There has been an allegation about my conduct or behaviour

The University will contact you via email to let you know that there has been an allegation about your conduct or behaviour that we believe requires further investigation.

What will happen?

The University will contact you via email to let you know that there has been an allegation about your conduct or behaviour that we believe requires further investigation.

If the allegation is what we consider to be a low-level or minor breach of our expected standards of student conduct and behaviour, this will usually be dealt with by your Faculty. This is known as a Faculty Investigation.

More serious allegations about your conduct or behaviour will usually be dealt with by Academic Registry. This is known as a University Investigation.

In the most serious cases, we may decide to hold a Student Conduct and Behaviour Panel to hear your case.

We may also put in place one or more precautionary measures, such as a suspension from campus, whilst the case is under investigation to safeguard all parties (more information on Precautionary Measures is provided in the full procedure which is published below).

If you are close to graduation, we may decide to withhold your award until the process has concluded.

When we write to you, we will let you know what the allegation(s) are, and we will invite you to an interview to discuss these allegations in more detail. In advance of this interview, we will let you have all the information that we have collected about your case so that you have time to read this before you meet with the Investigator.

We will also let you know about what support and advice is available to you to throughout this process. As well as accessing Health and Well-being support services, we always recommend that you speak to an Advisor in the Union of Kingston Students (UKS) who are very experienced with supporting students through this process.

You can be accompanied at your Interview by someone from the Union, or another individual but it is important that you understand that this person cannot usually represent you (more information on Accompaniment and Representation is provided in the full procedure which is published below).

As part of an investigation, you may be asked to provide more information about the allegations that have been made, such as writing a statement outlining the circumstances and providing copies of any evidence that might support your case (for example copies of emails, text messages or other relevant documents).

You must engage with what is asked of you during the process, including responding to emails, providing further information, and attending interviews or a Panel. If you do not engage with the process as instructed this could result in a more serious outcome.

If you are unable to engage with the process or attend an interview that has been scheduled, you must contact the relevant member of staff as soon as possible with a reasonable explanation for your unavailability. We may be able to reschedule the proceedings but if we do not hear from you, or we deem your explanation unreasonable, then we may proceed in your absence.

What are the possible outcomes from an Interview or a Panel?

When considering your case, the Investigator or Panel will use the balance of probabilities (i.e. whether it is more likely than not), to decide if there has been a breach of our expected standards of student conduct and behaviour.

If we decide that there has been a breach, we will also decide what the Level (seriousness) of this breach is and will agree one or more outcomes in line with this, for example a written warning or a requirement for you to apologise to a specific individual or group of individuals.

The outcome will be proportionate to the seriousness (Level) and circumstances of the case and any previous instances of similar breaches.

Some examples of the types of outcomes that we may agree at each Level of seriousness can be found in appendix 2 of the full procedure (GR3, published above).

How long will a record of misconduct stay on my student file and what are the implications of this?

If the Investigation or Panel determines that misconduct has occurred, a note will be placed on your student file. This will not impact on your ability to continue with your studies or be awarded and graduate (unless you have been expelled or are on a course with very specific professional requirements) and this record will only be referred to again if you are involved in another incident.

We will not normally disclose a record of misconduct to a placement provider or as part of an external reference request unless you are on a course with very specific professional requirements that mean that we must disclose this. In these cases, we will let you know that we have been asked to provide this information before we do so.

Is there an appeals process?

Once you receive the final outcome of either a Faculty, or University, Investigation , you may submit an appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

  • The University's Procedures have not been followed and this has affected the outcome;
  • Based on the evidence available at the time, the outcome is unreasonable;
  • You have new evidence which you were unable to provide earlier in the process, for valid and evidenced reasons, and this has affected the outcome.

You must put your appeal in writing and submit this, along with any supporting information, within five university working days of the date of your outcome letter to Academic Registry.

Appeals which do not meet the grounds for appeal, or are submitted late and do not provide compelling exceptional reasons, will not be considered. Academic Registry will let you know if this is the case and will provide you with a Completion of Procedures Letter which will allow you to take your case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (more information on the Office of the Independent Adjudicator is provided in the full procedure which is published below).

A member of Academic Registry staff, with no prior involvement in your case, will consider your appeal and will provide you with an outcome in writing within 10 working days of its receipt.

If your appeal is upheld, the Investigator may recommend that a fresh and independent Investigation or Panel into the original allegations is undertaken or they may overturn the original decision and replace this with their own decision. The outcome of the appeal is final and as such you will be issued with Office of the Independent Adjudicator (more information on the Office of the Independent Adjudicator is provided in the full procedure which is published below).

Whilst an appeal is being considered, the outcome of the Faculty or University Investigation will be suspended. This will not include any precautionary measures that have been agreed on health and safety grounds which will stay in place.

What if I am still unhappy following the outcome my appeal?

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator, the "OIA" provides a free and independent scheme for the review of student appeals and complaints, which includes the right for you to appeal against our final decision. When you have exhausted the University's internal processes, you will be issued with a Completion of Procedures letter which will allow you to take your case to the OIA for an independent review.

Applications to the OIA need to be made within 12 months of the date that the Completion of Procedures information was issued by us.

Further information about submitting a complaint to the OIA can be found on their website – www.oiahe.org.uk - and more information on the Office of the Independent Adjudicator is provided in the full procedure which is published below.

Any questions?

Contact us

Academic Registry

Faculty Academic Affairs Coordinators

Halls of Residence

Other sources of advice

The following are additional sources of support and guidance:

Harassment Contact Scheme

  • Provides advice, support and guidance to students and staff who feel they are experiencing inappropriate behaviour that could be harassment or bullying.
  • The volunteers listen to the issue and experience and help to consider how the problem can be resolved.

Contact details: Harassment Contact Scheme on My Kingston or email harassment-info@kingston.ac.uk

Student Health and Wellbeing

  • Provide a number of services to promote student wellbeing, such as stress workshops and counselling, as well as health advice, medical services and complementary therapies

Contact details: health@kingston.ac.uk, tel: +44 (0) 20 8417 2172

Union of Kingston Students Advice Service

  • Can provide advice and guidance for students who are considering reporting an incident to the University
  • Can provide advice and guidance for students who are the subject of an investigation
  • Can assist students in preparation for panel hearings and can accompany students to these
  • Can assist students with preparing and collating case documents
  • Information on the support offered can be found on the Union of Kingston Students website

Contact details: support@kingston.ac.uk, tel: +44 (0) 20 8417 2974

Address: Union of Kingston Students Advice Service, Union of Kingston Students, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2EE

Personal Tutors

From the start of your degree you are assigned a personal tutor. Your personal tutor can give you guidance on studying, student life and career progression. Regular meetings with your personal tutor are a great opportunity to discuss issues and developments you experience during your course. They'll be on-hand to answer any questions about your academic studies and signpost you to further support.

To find out who your personal tutor is contact your Faculty Student Office.

Student Achievement Officers

The Student Achievement Officers can support you to get more out of your time at the University. They can also help you if you feel that things are not going to plan or if you are uncertain of what to do next. Get in touch if you would like to discuss any issues that are currently impacting your university life.

Trade Unions and Relevant Professional Associations

These are professional bodies which look after the interests of their members and relevant professional practitioners. They can provide advice and support to these individuals when required.