Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee and Professional Behaviour Policy

All Students enrolled in the Sydney School of Veterinary Science are required to act and be aware of The University of Sydney’s commitment to high standards of ethical behaviour as detailed in the Student Code of Conduct.

Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee

The Sydney School of Veterinary Science will establish a Veterinary Professional Conduct Committee (VPCC) to hear written complaints regarding student professionalism. These complaints may be initiated by fellow students, staff, Educational Partners or members of the public through initial telephone calls, emails or other contact with administrative or academic staff or directly from Supervisor Report Form assessments. Telephone calls need to be formalised as written complaints and complainants must agree to be identified.

The VPCC will consist of the Associate Dean for Students, the relevant Year Coordinator and the Sub-Dean for Animal Husbandry or other relevant academic staff member.

The process for investigation of written complaints will mimic that used by the Veterinary Practitioners Board when hearing complaints against veterinarians and therefore alert undergraduates to the importance of professionalism in their future careers:

  1. The complaint in writing is forwarded to the relevant Year Coordinator
  2. The Year Coordinator forwards a copy of the complaint together with a copy of this policy to the student and the student must respond within 7 days. If the student fails to respond within the required time then the student is required to appear before the VPCC (see 3).
  3. The VPCC examines the correspondence from the complainant and the response from the student, particularises the complaint with reference to the Student Code of Conduct or Unit of Study guidelines, and formulates a view of whether the alleged behaviour is likely, if proven, to constitute:
    a. Misconduct
    b. Unsatisfactory conduct
    c. Neither, in which case the Year Coordinator will inform the student and complainant within 7 days of that the complaint has been dismissed, the reasons for this decision and that no further action will be taken
  4. If the VPCC formulates the view that the alleged conduct is likely, if proven, to constitute misconduct or unsatisfactory conduct, the Year Coordinator will inform the student in writing of:
    a. The preliminary view of the VPCC
    b. The time and place of a formal meeting with the student
    c. The members of the VPCC who will be attending this formal meeting
    d. Provide advice that the student may be accompanied by a support person
  5. After the formal meeting, the VPCC will determine whether the student’s behaviour constitutes misconduct, unsatisfactory conduct or if the complaint should be dismissed
  6. If the complaint is dismissed the Year Coordinator will inform the complainant and the student within 7 days of this finding (see 3c)
  7. If the student’s behaviour constitutes unsatisfactory conduct the Year Coordinator will:
    a. Inform the student of this decision within 7 days of the formal meeting
    b. Provide counselling where appropriate
    c. Require remediation where appropriate
    d. Require additional assessment where appropriate
    e. Apply a fail grade to that part of the Unit of Study requirement where appropriate
    f. This notice forms a written warning which will be recorded on the student’s file and may be used to evaluate any subsequent complaints
    g. A copy of this notice will be forwarded to the Registrar
  8. Unsatisfactory conduct refers to behaviour which breaches of the Student Code of Conduct, Faculty policy or Unit of Study guidelines and is believed by the VPCC to be of sufficient concern that it requires action by the Faculty, but insufficient to warrant referral to the Registrar for misconduct.
  9. If the student’s behaviour constitutes misconduct the Year Coordinator will:
    a. Inform the student of this decision within 7 days of the formal meeting
    b. Refer the complaint, response and VPCC decision to the Registrar