Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise
Practising as a Dentist, Dental Therapy and Hygiene, Doctor or Healthcare Scientist requires the highest standards and we take seriously our commitment to enrol, and teach, only those students with the integrity required by these professions.

Student Agreements

All students are required to sign a Dental, Medical or Healthcare Science Student Agreement as part of any conditional offer of a place on their respective programme. 

The Dental Student Agreement is a code of conduct that derives from the General Dental Council’s statements on the duties of the dental team as outlined in Standards for the Dental Team (2013) and the needs of a dental student as outlined in the General Dental Council’s Preparing For Practice (2012). 


The Medical Student Agreement is a code of conduct that derives from the General Medical Council’s statements on the duties of a doctor as stated in Good Medical Practice (2001), from the GMC’s Education Committee Position Statement (2006) on the core education outcomes of medical degree programmes, and of the outcomes of Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009).


The Healthcare Science Student Agreement is a code of conduct that derives from the Health & Care Professions Council’s statements on Standards of Proficiency (2007) & Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (2008). 


Student Agreements form a contract between the respective School and its students and states clearly the level of behaviour expected by us of our students. Non-compliance with each Student Agreement may constitute a fitness to practise issue and may put at risk a student’s continued enrolment on BDS , BMBS, DTH or HCS programmes. A copy of either the Dental or Medical School Student Agreement is available as a download from 
www.plymouth.ac.uk/peninsula.

Fitness to Practise

For further information please see the Medical and Dental Schools policies page.

We are responsible for ensuring that all students admitted onto our programmes in Medicine, Dentistry, Dental Therapy and Hygiene and Healthcare Science are fit to practise. We measure fitness to practise both in terms of an applicant’s behaviour and health.

The Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine & Dentistry will not admit onto our degree programmes in Medicine, Dentistry or Healthcare Science, any individual who, at the time of entry, is not deemed to be fit to practise under the terms of either the GMC, GDC or HCPC guidance, or who cannot fulfil any other health and non-academic entry requirements.

Fitness to Practise and Behaviour

We strive to admit onto our programmes in Medicine, Dentistry, Dental Therapy and Hygiene and Healthcare Science only those students who will show exemplary behaviour and courtesy toward patients, teaching staff, other members of the healthcare team and the wider community. In becoming a Doctor, Dentist, Dental Therapy and Hygiene or Healthcare Science practitioner it is essential that you do nothing to diminish the trust which these groups place in you. 

For further information on the GMC’s guidance set out in Good Medical Practice and its guidance on undergraduate medical education contained in Tomorrow’s Doctors, please visit the GMC website.

Further information may be found in the GDC’s publication entitled Standards for the Dental Team (2013) and in its guidance on undergraduate dental education contained in Preparing for Practice (2012). Both are available from the GDC website.

Further information on HCPC standards of behaviour and conduct can be found at: www.hpc-uk.org.

* This version of the standards for fitness was correct at the time of writing. 
We reserve the right to be guided by subsequent revisions and amendments to this Occupational Health 
guidance issued after the date of writing.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

All offers are conditional upon students completing a Criminal Conviction Self Declaration Student Conduct and Fitness to Practise form in addition to completing an Enhanced Disclosure check via the Disclosure and Barring Service. We will review all significant reports of candidates’ convictions, actions and verbal warnings and decide on a candidate’s suitability to enter our degree programmes. In addition failure to declare a conviction, or other formal sanction that is later discovered, may result in the student being referred to the Schools’ Fitness to Practise Committee and, possibly, a requirement that the student concerned withdraw from their respective programme of study.


Fitness to Practise and Health

We also seek to admit onto our programmes in Medicine, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene and Therapy and Healthcare Science, students who are physically and mentally capable of meeting the demands placed upon them by a medical, dental or healthcare science degree and by the professional duties of qualified medical, dental and healthcare science practitioners. We will seek, where possible, to make any reasonable adjustment to assist students who have specific health requirements and challenges. 

The final determination of admission will be based on an occupational health assessment. Before your place on these programmes can be confirmed, you must satisfactorily complete the Fitness to Practise assessment, which involves completion of a pre-course health screening form which must be signed by your GP and may also include a meeting or medical with the Schools’ Occupational Health doctors.

The Higher Education Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS) has developed a series of standards of medical fitness in consultation with the GMC and GDC in order to train as a doctor, dentist or dental therapy and hygienist. A copy of these standards for medical and dental students is available on the HEOPS website.

Non-disclosure at the admission stage of a mental or physical health problem that is significant within the context of fitness to practise which is later revealed, will be considered a serious fitness to practise issue by the Schools. This may lead to the student concerned being referred to the Schools’ Fitness to Practise Committee and, possibly, required to withdraw from their respective programme of study.

* This version of the standards for fitness was correct at the time of linking to from our website. We reserve the right to be guided by subsequent revisions and amendments to this Occupational Health guidance issued after the date of publication.

Blood Borne Viral Infections – Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV

Medical students

Screening medical students for Hepatitis B virus infection is carried out to protect both medical students and their patients against the risk of transmission of Hepatitis B in the healthcare setting. Although not essential in order to qualify and work as a doctor, many medical students wish to participate in exposure prone procedures including surgical procedures during their training. To do so and to protect patients, Department of Health (DH) requirements are that students are free from infection from Hepatitis B, C, and HIV. Voluntary screening will be undertaken by the Schools’ Health and Well-Being Service – without this clearance, students may undergo medical training and qualify, but will not be allowed to assist in exposure prone procedures. 

Dental and Therapy and Hygiene students
 
All prospective dental and therapy & hygiene students are required to provide evidence that they are free of infection from Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV before enrolment onto the BDS programme. This is necessary to protect both dental students, and their patients, against the risk of transmission of infection in the healthcare setting. We will make arrangements for mandatory blood tests to be taken for all students in receipt of a conditional offer of a place on the BDS programme, in order to demonstrate freedom from infection from Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. These mandatory blood tests form part of the conditional offer for all applicants. Screening for tuberculosis will be addressed separately upon enrolment on the BDS programme. We will also require all students to be immunised against Hepatitis B prior to commencing work with patients. Students will not be able to progress to clinical work with patients until they have completed their Hepatitis B immunisation programme. 

Our approach to health screening is informed by Best Practice Guidance (2007) from the Department of Health and is consistent with professional obligations placed on dental practitioners by the General Dental Council.

Healthcare Science students
As a healthcare student, you are expected to comply with Department of Health guidelines with regard to the immunisations required to protect you, and your patients, during the course of your work. In order to go on placement you will need to have a complete immunisation record. Students should therefore be aware that it is a compulsory requirement for healthcare students to have complied with this policy. Screening/immunisation against Hepatitis B, Mumps, Measles, Rubella and Tuberculosis is required, and your immunity status to Varicella Zoster, (Chicken Pox) will also be established by a blood test. Students undertaking exposure prone procedures will also require a blood test to confirm their Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV status.

All of our prospective students who consider they may be at risk of one of these infections, should contact the Occupational Health and Well-Being Service on 0845 155 8200 as soon as possible for a confidential discussion. 

Further detailed information about the Schools’ immunisation requirements will be sent to you upon receipt of a conditional offer of a place.

Students with Disabilities

We are committed to meeting the needs of students with disabilities and we recognise that they are an integral part of the academic community which we strive to make as inclusive as possible.

We will need to consider the impact of a disability on an applicant’s fitness to practise medicine, dentistry or healthcare science because we have a special responsibility to ensure that all students admitted to our programmes accredited by professional regulatory bodies will be eligible for registration by the GMC or GDC or HCPC on graduation.

We are committed to ensuring that all applicants who are judged to be academically suitable, are neither treated less favourably nor placed at a substantial disadvantage on the grounds of their disability. If you consider that you have a disability you should tick the relevant box on the UCAS form. Disclosing a disability on your UCAS application form will not affect the screening of your application, or, indeed, influence the decision to invite you to interview. If an offer is made, we will seek advice from the University’s Disability Services and the Health and Well-Being Service, so that the type of assistance needed to enable you to successfully follow our degree programmes can be assessed in more detail.

There may be rare occasions when, following professional assessment of a disability, a student’s suitability for admission may be affected. However, we will take a positive view and will try to meet the needs of students with disabilities by making, where possible, reasonable adjustments to their programme of study. 

If you would like to discuss this further or would like general advice and information about the support available at Plymouth University for students with a disability, or a specific learning need, please contact:

Debbie Couch
Disability Co-ordinator
Disability Services