Suspension or Dismissal from a Program on the Grounds of Professional Unsuitability Faculty of Health Professions

The Faculty of Health Professions, acting through its Faculty Committee on Student Appeals and in consultation with the Directors and Dean, may suspend or terminate a student from a program if the student is judged to be unsuitable for the profession in which s/he is studying. Because of the nature of the study and practice of the various health professions, which places care givers in a position of special trust, certain impairments or some types of conduct unbecoming to a member of a health profession may be grounds for suspension or dismissal.

The following list includes examples of behaviors that might indicate unsuitability for the various health professions. The nature of these behaviors is such that, should any of them ever be repeated, grievous harm could be caused to clients. This list should not be considered to be all inclusive:

  1. a criminal act (e.g. assault, sexual assault, fraud, and drug trafficking) which according to established Faculty processes was determined to be of such a nature as to bring disrepute to the profession, or by which in the opinion of the Faculty, the student demonstrated poor judgment, lack of integrity or (other) unsuitability for the profession; or evidence that, on the balance of probability, the student had committed such an act;
  2. being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while participating in client care, any other professional activity, or any activity related to the practice of the health profession;
  3. in accordance with provisions of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, the occurrence of a health condition that impairs essential performance required for the health profession;
  4. unethical behaviour as specified by the code of ethics/standard of practice of the health profession.

The student’s situation will be considered with discretion throughout the investigation of the allegation of unsuitability and these deliberations shall determine whether suspension, dismissal or neither is recommended. The principles of natural justice and due process will be observed in all investigations.

Any member of the University community can bring to the attention of the Director behaviors that are deemed unsuitable. These behaviors will be investigated and allegations heard.

Appeals will follow the appeal procedure for academic matters within the Faculty of Health Professions notwithstanding that the criteria are different. At the University level, appeals will require formation of an ad hoc Senate Committee.

Where the rules of a faculty, such as Health Professions, expressly provide that suitability, fitness, or aptitude for the practice of the profession is a requirement for advancement or graduation, or both, and a Faculty determines that a student should be suspended or dismissed or otherwise should not advance or graduate because of unsuitability for the relevant profession, an appeal from the Faculty decision may be made to an ad-hoc appeal committee established by the Senate Steering Committee. The Ad-hoc Appeal Committee shall:(1) hear an appeal by a student from the decision of a Faculty regarding suitability, fitness or aptitude for the practice of the relevant profession when: a) the student has exhausted the approved appeal regulations and procedures of the relevant Faculty; and b) the student alleges that there were irregularities or unfairness in the application of the regulations in question. The Ad-hoc Appeal Committee shall not hear appeals: a) by students on a matter involving a requested exemption from the application of Faculty or University regulations or procedures; b) on substantive aspects of a finding of unsuitability.