Fitness to practise appeals

Fitness to Practise appeals are initiated by the student in accordance with Regulation B5. The purpose of the fitness to practise appeals process is to allow all students to appeal against the finding regarding fitness to practise and/or the sanction applied by the Fitness to Practise Committee.

Appeals can be made only on one or both of the following grounds:

i) procedural irregularity in the conduct of the case;
ii) evidence which could not have been presented at the time of the original hearing.

You must submit your appeal must in writing to the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Manager within 14 calendar days from the date of the letter sent to you informing you of the decision of the Fitness to Practise Committee. You should send any supporting evidence with your appeal.

The form for all students to submit an appeal can be downloaded here: Appeal Form Fitness to Practice Appeal - Jan 24

Guidance on completing the Appeal Form can be found in the concertina below.

If you require the form or any other materials in an alternative format, please let us know. On request we can provide you with an electronic copy, enlarged print on coloured paper, audio recordings or Braille.

If possible please complete the form by downloading it onto a computer and typing in the information required.  If you are unable to do this then please ensure that your handwriting is legible.

Privacy Notice and how we will process your information

The information that you give in your appeal, together with any supporting evidence, will be processed by the following:

  • Members of the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Team who process your appeal;
  • Representatives from your School (who dealt with the case) and the Chair of the Fitness to Practise Committee who will be asked to provide information on the investigation of the case and to comment on any procedural irregularity. You will be allowed to see and comment on any information which is provided that you have not already seen. 
  • Any other person or service named in your appeal who we may need to contact to check the issue you have raised. g. Finance, Disability Services, I.T. Services.
  • Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Manager and the Chair of the University Fitness to Practice Appeals Committee who will consider your appeal at the filtering stage of the Appeals process to decide if there is a case for appeal.
  • If your appeal is deemed to be straightforward and the evidence to be sufficiently compelling, your appeal will be referred back to the Fitness to Practise Committee (new membership) to rehear the case.
  • Where the appeal is more complex or requires further exploration of the evidence, your appeal will be considered by a full meeting of the Fitness to Practise Appeals Committee.

Other than verification checks (see Supporting Documentation below), your data will not be shared with any third parties without your further consent.

Please see below for information on what to do if you do not wish certain personal information to be made known.

Our legal basis to process your appeals data

The provision of an appeals process is provided as part of the contract we have with our students; and as part of our public task as a University.

Where you have provided any sensitive personal data (Special Category*) we will need your explicit consent in order to process this information. If you do not consent to us processing your sensitive personal data, then we will remove this data from your submission and this will not be considered. Please also see below for information on what to do if you do not wish certain personal information to be made known.

*This includes data related to your health, racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, sex life, sexual orientation or genetic/biometric data.

Personal Data of others

Please do not submit any unnecessary personal information, particularly about third parties.  For example, if your exceptional circumstances are based around the health of a family member, we do not need to see detailed information about that person.  Instead we need to see evidence about how the circumstances affected you.  If you do decide to give information and any supporting evidence about another person, it is your responsibility to tell that person that you have done this and how the University will be processing their information.

How long we will retain your data

As stated in the University’s retention schedule, information regarding your appeal will be kept securely for 6 years following the last action on the case.

Further privacy information

The University’s full Student Privacy Notice, which contains further information and details your rights (including withdrawing consent), can be found at: 

SECTION A – Personal and Programme information

Please write your full name as shown on your Keele card. 

Student Number: this is the 8-digit number that appears on your Keele card. e.g. 00987654

Please also state your programme of study, whether you are a postgraduate or undergraduate and your year of study.

In this section you should also indicate if you are studying at Keele University campus or at one of our partner Universities, the date you were informed of the outcome of your Fitness to Practise Committee Hearing and the date that you are submitting your appeal. If you are submitting your appeal after the 15 day deadline, you must give a reason as to why you are submitting your appeal late.  If you submit the appeal late, without good reason, your appeal may not be accepted.

SECTION B – Grounds of Appeal

You should tick the appropriate box to indicate on which grounds you are appealing. 

SECTION C – Details of appeal case 

New evidence

You should state in a clear and concise manner the details of the new evidence and why you did not made these known to the Fitness to Practise Committee at the time.    Failure to give a valid reason will mean that your appeal will be turned down.  You should also indicate the time period during which you have been affected by these circumstances and how this affected your actions.    It is not the role of those considering your appeal to determine this. You must list all the relevant evidence in section D that you are submitting in support of your claim. If you are not sure what to include please seek the advice of the Advice and Support at Keele (ASK) service within the Students’ Union.  Their contact details can be found at:

This statement will be used to determine if you have grounds for appeal so it is very important that you include everything that you wish to be considered in your appeal, even if it is very personal or embarrassing.   In such cases, you can ask for the contents of your appeal only to be made known to those considering your appeal and the Head of School if necessary. Alternatively, Regulation B.3 states that in very exceptional circumstances where you do not wish the circumstances to be revealed to your School(s), a letter from a doctor or counsellor confirming that the circumstances are very exceptional, and how these may have affected your ability to study, will be acceptable. However please note that under normal circumstances the Counselling and Mental Health Support service at the University will only provide evidence for those already accessing on-going counselling.

Details of case -procedural irregularity

You should state in a clear and concise manner the details of the procedural irregularity, in the box provided.  You should state what you believed went wrong during the academic misconduct investigation, and how you believed this had an adverse effect on the decision.  You should then list the supporting evidence that you are submitting to substantiate your claim in Section D and this should be submitted with your appeal form.

SECTION D - Supporting Documentation

You must have evidence to support your appeal and this should be submitted with your appeal form. Examples of appropriate evidence include:

  • A medical certificate clearly stating that you were unfit to take the examination or were ill at the time of writing the assessment.
  • Letter from a counsellor (under normal circumstances the University Counselling and Mental Health Support service will only provide evidence for those already accessing on-going counselling).
  • A death certificate; funeral director’s letter. You should also indicate your relationship to the deceased.

Detailed information on the exceptional circumstances criteria and evidence requirements can be found in the “Exceptional Circumstances Code of Practice” which can be found at:

Evidence can be scanned and submitted via email but you must retain original copies of all your evidence.  This is important as original copies may be required by those considering your appeal at a later date.  The evidence also needs to be relevant to the time that the circumstances occurred.  For example a doctor’s note saying that you were ill for one week will not be acceptable if you are claiming that you have had medical problems for a month. If the evidence is not in English, an authenticated independent translation must also be attached.

If your evidence is not available at the time of submitting the form, you should indicate that you have requested it and when you will be able to hand it in.  Do NOT delay the submission of your form because you have to wait for a piece of evidence if this means that you will miss the submission deadline.  

There will be circumstances where it is difficult or impossible to gain independent evidence.  If this is the case please indicate this on the form and say why you are unable to obtain any. 

We may contact the organisation that has issued any supporting documentation to verify authenticity.

Please note that your appeal may be rejected if no evidence has been provided.


Forms sent electronically must be sent from your Keele email account.  If you are not able to do this, you should print the form and sign it.   You must tick the boxes relating to the sharing of your or third parties personal data, without this consent, we may be unable to process your appeal.

False Claims

You should note that submitting an Appeals Form that contains false information, e.g. forged medical letters, will be regarded as an attempt to gain an unfair advantage in your studies.  This is academic misconduct and will be investigated under the terms of Regulation D4 by the Academic Misconduct Committee. If proven, it is extremely likely that the penalty will be exclusion from the University. You should note that any proven academic misconduct will also be referred to your Head of School so that any implications regarding fitness to practise may be considered.

Following submission of the appeal, the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Manager will consult with the Chair of the Fitness to Practise Appeals Committee, or nominee. Together, they will assess whether the appeal criteria have been met based on the information provided in the appeal and by reviewing all the paperwork from the University Fitness to Practise Committee, including the minutes and the outcome. If they are of the view that there is no case for appeal (i.e. you have not fulfilled one or both of the grounds), you will be advised in writing, stating the reasons why. If there is a valid case for appeal they will recommend appropriate action to remedy the situation. This will usually mean the case is referred back to the University Fitness to Practise Committee for reconsideration of new evidence or to correct the identified procedural issues. If agreement cannot be reached as to whether the grounds for appeal have been met, or it is not possible to return the case to the University Fitness to Practise Committee, then a University Fitness to Practise Appeals Committee will be convened. 

You will be given no less than 14 working days’ notice of the date, time and location of the hearing.  You will normally be sent a copy of all the paperwork relevant to the appeal no less than 10 working days of the date of the hearing. 

Details about the conduct of the hearing can be found in Sections 16-19 of the Fitness to Practise Code of Practice.

Independent advice on making an appeal can be obtained from Advice & Support at Keele, Students’ Union

Tel: 01782 734800

If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Student Appeals, Complaints and Conduct Team.