Guidelines for current students with a criminal conviction

These Guidelines apply to students currently registered with the University of Bristol.  If an applicant to the University has a criminal conviction, please see the separate document Guidelines for the Recruitment of Students with Criminal Convictions.

Separate guidelines exist in relation to staff members – please contact the Resourcing Manager in Human Resources for further information.

1. Introduction

1.1 The existence of a criminal conviction may prevent a student from working or studying at the University, or prevent a student from pursuing his or her preferred course of activity.

1.2 Under the Student Disciplinary Regulations (“the Regulations”)

“any conduct which constitutes a criminal offence” amounts to misconduct. Accordingly a student who is convicted of a criminal offence(s), after acceptance onto a programme of study at the University (i.e. who has an unspent conviction), may also be guilty of misconduct under the Regulations.

1.3   There is an on-going requirement for students to disclose cautions and criminal convictions, including those obtained since applying for a place at the University and whilst registered at the University.

1.4   These Guidelines apply to all students at the University including those on foundation courses and foundation degrees, lifelong learning courses (excluding short courses), undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes, regardless of duration, mode of study or qualification aim.

1.5   These Guidelines apply irrespective of how the University becomes aware of a student’s criminal conviction(s).

1.6   Under these Guidelines any convictions for road traffic offences for which the individual received a fixed penalty fine with a maximum of three penalty points should normally be disregarded. 

2.      Disclosing Criminal Convictions

2.1   The University must assess whether it is appropriate to permit an individual with an unspent conviction to continue to be part of the University community.  In some circumstances, where a professional body regulates a programme of study, the University conducts specific procedures in relation to a student’s fitness to practise. It is a criminal offence for an organisation to allow a barred individual to work in Regulated Activity[1].

2.2   The University may become aware of the existence of students’ criminal conviction(s) in a number of ways including: -

  • Self-disclosure
  • Information provided by a member of staff
  • As a result of a Disclosure and Barring Service (“DBS”) check
  • As a result of check of the DBS Barred Lists
  • Student Disciplinary proceedings under the Student Disciplinary Regulations (the “Regulations”)
  • Through the media

2.3 If it is disclosed to the University that a student has been convicted of a criminal offence (s) after acceptance onto a programme of study the following procedure should be instituted.

3. Consideration of a student convicted of a criminal offence (s) and who is studying on a programme that does not involve Regulated Activity

and

Consideration of a student convicted of a criminal offence (s), who is on a DBS Barred List, and who is studying on programme that does not involve Regulated Activity

3.1  ln all cases in respect of an unspent conviction the student will be referred in the first instance to the University Secretary who will refer the case to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) to be considered under the Student Disciplinary Regulations (“the Regulations”).

3.2 Consideration will be given to whether the conviction amounts to misconduct under the Regulations and what further action, if any, needs to be taken.

3.3 Where appropriate the student’s Head of School will be consulted as to the impact of the conviction on the student’s ability to participate in their studies / chosen activity.

3.4 If the Pro Vice-Chancellor considers it appropriate not to take any further action the student, and Head of School if appropriate, will be informed in writing of the outcome.

3.5 If the Pro Vice-Chancellor considers the conviction amounts to misconduct the procedure set out in the Regulations will be followed.

4. Consideration of a student convicted of a criminal offence(s) who is not listed on the DBS Barred lists, and who is studying on a programme that involves Regulated Activity

and

Consideration of a student who is on a DBS Barred list and who is studying on a programme that involves Regulated Activity

4.1  In all cases in respect of an unspent conviction the student will be referred in the first instance to the University Secretary who will refer the case to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) to be considered under the Student Disciplinary Regulations (“the Regulations”).

4.2 Consideration will be given to:-

i)    Suspending the student in respect of participation in Regulated Activity.

ii)   Whether the conviction amounts to misconduct under the Regulations and what further action, if any, needs to be taken.

iii)  Referring the matter to the relevant school’s Fitness to Practise procedure. If a referral takes place under the school’s Fitness to Practise procedure the school must keep the Pro Vice-Chancellor informed as to the progress and the outcome of that process.

iv)  Following notification of the outcome by the school the Pro Vice-Chancellor may consider dealing with the matter under the Regulations.

4.3   If the Pro Vice-Chancellor considers it appropriate not to take any further action the student, and Head of School if appropriate, will be informed in writing of the outcome.

4.4   If the Pro Vice-Chancellor considers the conviction amounts to misconduct the procedure set out in the Regulations will be followed.

5.  Further Information and Advice

Further information and advice on implementing these procedures can be obtained from:

Director of Legal Services and Deputy University Secretary, University Secretary’s Office: legal@bristol.ac.uk