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Professional Standards Committee

What are professional standards

Professional standards are the values, attitudes, and behaviours that seek to put the interests first of the individuals and communities that we serve. These standards include honesty; integrity; humility; accountability to patients, colleagues, and society; respecting and upholding the rights of patients; a commitment to excellence and life-long competency; and working in partnership with the health care team and the people that we serve. The Faculty aspires to graduate health science professionals with high standards of professionalism and ethics.

Why a Professional Standards Committee (PSC)?

Students have long witnessed unprofessional behaviour and abuses of patient rights in health care facilities and communities during their training, experiences which may erode their own respect for professionalism and patient rights. Recent research into these experiences highlighted the need for processes for reporting violations of professional standards.

What is the role of the PSC?

The role of the PSC is both proactive and reactive. It includes promoting awareness of professional standards among staff and students, receiving allegations of unprofessional behaviour within the service learning environment, and supporting and advising those who speak out against unprofessional behaviour.

Why is it important to report unprofessional behaviour?

Reporting of unprofessional behaviour, although difficult, can help to improve the quality of care to patients, to prevent the recurrence of particular incidents, to improve the learning experience for students, and ultimately to strengthen ethical and accountable practice.

What do I do if I witness unprofessional behaviour?

If you witness unprofessional behaviour and feel unable to confront the perpetrator then:

  • Discuss the incident and an appropriate response with the course convener, a trusted staff member, or a student colleague
  • Report the incident to the Chair of the Professional Standards Committee using the Incident Report Form on the PSC Vula site

Please note that incident reports must be made in good faith and may not be anonymous. Frivolous complaints are also violations of professional behaviour.

What will happen to incident reports of unprofessional behaviour?

All incident reports will be reviewed by the PSC. The PSC may request further information from the complainant and from others. The alleged perpetrator will be given an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

The PSC will consider the complaint and the alleged perpetrator's response and will write a report on the incident for the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, recommending an appropriate response by the Faculty. The complainant and alleged perpetrator will also receive copies of these reports, and anonymous summaries will be available on the PSC Vula site in the interests of transparency.

How will confidentiality be maintained?

The PSC will maintain the confidentiality of the complaints. The identity of the complainant or complainants will be revealed to the alleged perpetrator only with their prior consent.