Concerns Process

The Medical School has an obligation to the public to monitor the progress, professional attitudes and conduct of medical students and to take action if there is any cause for concern. The standards are set by the General Medical Council (GMC) and all UK Medical School students are expected to work towards achieving these standards during their time of training. 

We all recognise that as you develop and mature your understanding of what is required of you will improve, so the systems are aimed to detect any issues at an early stage and intervene in ways that will bring you back on track. The process is a supportive one, where students are helped to recognise problems, supported to make any changes, reflect on their errors and learn from their mistakes. Most issues will be resolved in this way and the result is a student who has grown in their understanding and maturity.

The 'Concerns process' receives information from a wide variety of sources regarding issues that may be flagged as needing some form of support. 

Recognising problems early and cooperating with those who are trying to help you is expected from our students; failure to recognise or accept the support could become an additional cause for concern.

Concerns tend to fall into three categories:  Professionalism, Academic and Health.

The GMC's Achieving Good Medical practice sets out the expectations of Medical School students and behaviours falling short of these can lead to a Concern being raised. We therefore recommend that you take time to read this document so you are aware of the expectations and can take steps to avoid any pitfalls.

Students who do not do so well in their academic journey will also be flagged for Academic Support through an Academic Concern.

Some students may struggle with their health during the course, leading to a big impact on their learning, and a Health concern may be raised as a supportive process. This will ensure appropriate assessments by occupational health or other agencies, and required support is put in place to help you as your illness is resolved or managed more effectively. You must recognise the responsibility to look after your own health and to cooperate with those who are trying to manage your health problems; failure to do so could become an additional cause for concern.

The 'Concerns process' considers all three areas of academic progress, health issues and conduct together because there are often complex interactions between them and equally complex interventions may be required to resolve the issues. This is a supportive process aiming to help you deal with issues so you may continue on the course and be successful.

The initial approach of the Concerns process is always supportive, aiming to help you reflect on issues and change your behaviour through a variety of interventions. However, if you do not respond to those interventions, or if your behaviour is deemed an immediate major concern, then you may be referred from the Concerns process to our 'Fitness to Practise' process, which is very serious. Your case will be evaluated independently and a decision made as to whether you are fit to practise and can remain on the course. You will continue to be supported by the Medical School during this process, but if you are found to be unfit to practise, this could lead to the termination of your course.

Please note: you have a responsibility to report any concerns you may have about a fellow student or any member of staff, so that the concerns group may act early to manage the situation and minimise adverse consequences. Guidance on this can be found in the Whistle-blowing policy.

Last modified: Tuesday, 7 February 2023, 12:06 PM