Protocol and Procedure for Investigating and Responding to Alleged Unprofessional Conduct

Responding to Allegations of Unprofessional Conduct

When investigating an allegation of unprofessional conduct the Faculty will follow the Protocol and Procedure for Investigating and Responding to Alleged Unprofessional Conduct in the Program outlined below.

Teacher candidates should note that the laying of criminal charges, the commencement of civil proceedings, or the commencement of proceedings under another University policy or procedure does not preclude the Faculty from following the procedures set out in this policy.

If the Faculty becomes aware that a teacher candidate has been accused of serious unprofessional conduct, then the Faculty reserves the right to postpone the teacher candidate’s advancement in the Program, including graduation from the Program, until the allegations of unprofessional conduct have been investigated and resolved by the Faculty. Where a teacher candidate has been charged with a criminal offence that, if proven, would constitute unprofessional conduct, the Faculty may postpone the student’s advancement in the Program including graduation from the Program, until such time as the criminal charges are dismissed or have proceeded through the court system to acquittal or conviction and sentencing.

If the Faculty becomes aware at any time that a teacher candidate has been accused of unprofessional conduct, then the Faculty may require the teacher candidate to obtain an updated criminal record check pursuant to the Criminal Records Review Act and provide the results to the Faculty.

Conduct that is considered unprofessional under this policy may also violate other University policies. The Faculty or another unit of the University may commence proceedings against the teacher candidate pursuant to those processes in addition to taking action pursuant to this policy.


Protocol and Procedure for Investigating and Responding to Alleged Unprofessional Conduct in the Program

Allegations of unprofessional conduct may come to the Faculty from the observations of its faculty or students, from the staff of institutions where students are placed on practicum, or from third parties. The nature and extent of an investigation of unprofessional conduct depends on the source of the allegation and the evidence supporting the allegation.

The process below outlines the procedure for investigating unprofessional conduct. The Faculty may vary its procedures when investigating allegations provided that in all cases a teacher candidate accused of unprofessional conduct will be given the opportunity to respond to allegations before any decision is made regarding his or her academic standing.

Persons in receipt of allegations of unprofessional conduct may wish to report the matter to the Teacher Education Office for advice on how to proceed. Program Coordinators in the Teacher Education Office are available to provide guidance and are also available to participate, where appropriate, in discussions with teacher candidates regarding unprofessional behaviour.

Incidents occurring at or related to a practicum or field experience

A. If a faculty advisor, a school advisor, other teacher, community partner, teacher-candidate peer or student believes that unprofessional conduct may have occurred, then he or she is expected to discuss the matter with the school or faculty advisor or school administrator who will make reasonable efforts to invite the teacher candidate to meet in order to discuss the matter.
B. At the meeting, the allegations will be reviewed. The teacher candidate will be given the opportunity to respond.

If the teacher candidate does not respond to the invitation or refuses to meet at all or within a reasonable period of time, then the meeting will proceed without the benefit of the teacher candidate’s response and he or she will be informed of the outcome.
C. After the meeting described above in Section B, if a matter related to professional conduct is not resolved to the satisfaction of the school advisor, faculty advisor and/or school administrator (or community partner), he/she or they may recommend termination of the practicum or field experience, and the matter is referred to the Program Coordinator (Practicum).

The Program Coordinator will review the matter and will normally give the teacher candidate an opportunity to meet with him or her. After reviewing the matter the Program Coordinator may:
D.
1. Determine that unprofessional conduct did not occur and dismiss the matter;

2. Determine that unprofessional conduct did occur and:

a) impose a warning with or without other remedial action;
b) confirm termination of the practicum; and
c) assign the teacher candidate a grade of F (Fail ) in the course or practicum and/or

3. Make a determination pursuant to Section E below;

4. Make a determination pursuant to Section F below.
E. If the Program Coordinator determines that the matter is a potentially serious one that cannot be adequately investigated and resolved at that time due to a lack of available evidence (for example if the teacher candidate has been charged with a criminal offence) then the decision to postpone the teacher candidate’s progress should be referred to the Associate Dean, Teacher Education for a decision pursuant to Section I, below.
F. If the Program Coordinator determines that the teacher candidate is unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching, he or she will provide a written to recommendation to the Associate Dean, Teacher Education, along with documentation and a report regarding the matter.

The Associate Dean, upon receipt of the recommendation of the Program Coordinator will review the matter to determine if the teacher candidate is unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching.

This review will include an opportunity for the teacher candidate to meet with and/or provide documentation to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will notify the teacher candidate of his or her decision in writing.
G. The teacher candidate may request a review of the decision of the Program Coordinator where the decision of the Program Coordinator was that unprofessional conduct occurred, which resulted in a termination of the teacher candidate’s practicum or the assignment to the teacher candidate of a grade of F (Fail) in the practicum pursuant to Section D.

Such request for review must be made in writing to the Associate Dean within 14 days of the receipt of the Program Coordinator’s decision.
H. The Associate Dean, Teacher Education, upon receipt of a written request for review from the teacher candidate pursuant to Section G, will review the matter. This review will include an opportunity for the teacher candidate to meet with the Associate Dean and/or provide documentation to the Associate Dean.

The Associate Dean may uphold, dismiss, or vary the decision of the Program Coordinator. The Associate Dean will notify the teacher candidate of his or her decision in writing.
Postponement

I. If the Associate Dean is referred a matter pursuant to Section E, he or she will consider the matter and may postpone the teacher candidate’s advancement in the Program (including course work, practicum placements or graduation from the Program), until the matter can be adequately investigated, for example, when the criminal charges are dismissed or have proceeded through the court system to acquittal, conviction and sentencing.

Appeal to CCASA

J. If the teacher candidate is not satisfied with the Associate Dean’s decision pursuant to Sections F, H and I, then the teacher candidate can appeal the decision to the Faculty of Education’s Committee on Curriculum, Admissions, Standings and Appeals (CCASA). An appeal from the decision of CCASA may be available to UBC’s Vancouver Senate Committee on Academic Standing in accordance with its procedures.

Incidents unrelated to a practicum or field experience

A. If a teacher-candidate peer, instructor or other personnel in the Faculty believes that unprofessional conduct may have occurred, then he or she is expected to discuss the alleged unprofessional behaviour with a Program Coordinator (Student Services) in the Teacher Education Office. The Program Coordinator will make reasonable efforts to invite the teacher candidate in writing to meet in order to discuss the matter.
B. At the meeting, the allegations will be reviewed. The teacher candidate will be given the opportunity to respond.

If the teacher candidate does not respond to the invitation or refuses to meet at all or within a reasonable period of time, then the meeting will proceed without the benefit of the teacher candidate’s response and he or she will be informed of the outcome.
C. After the meeting described above in Section B the Program Coordinator may:

1. Determine that unprofessional conduct did not occur and dismiss the matter;

2. Determine that unprofessional conduct did occur and impose a warning with or without other remedial action;

3. Make a determination pursuant to Section D below;

4. Make a determination pursuant to Section E below.
D. If the Program Coordinator determines that the matter is a potentially serious one that cannot be adequately investigated and resolved at that time due to a lack of available evidence (for example, if the teacher candidate has been charged with a criminal offence) then the decision to postpone the teacher candidate’s progress should be referred to the Associate Dean, Teacher Education for a decision pursuant to Section H, below.
E. If the Program Coordinator determines that the teacher candidate is unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching, he or she will provide a written to recommendation to the Associate Dean, Teacher Education, along with documentation and a report regarding the matter.

The Associate Dean, upon receipt of the recommendation of the Program Coordinator will review the matter to determine if the teacher candidate is unsuited to proceed with the study or practice of teaching.

This review will include an opportunity for the teacher candidate to meet with and/or provide documentation to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will notify the teacher candidate of his or her decision in writing.
F. The teacher candidate may request a review of the decision of the Program Coordinator where the decision of the Program Coordinator was that unprofessional conduct occurred, which resulted in a termination of the teacher candidate’s practicum or the assignment to the teacher candidate of a grade of F (Fail) in the practicum pursuant to Section C.

Such request for review must be made in writing to the Associate Dean within 14 days of the receipt of the Program Coordinator’s decision.
G. The Associate Dean, Teacher Education, upon receipt of a written request for review from the teacher candidate pursuant to Section F, will review the matter. This review will include an opportunity for the teacher candidate to meet with the Associate Dean and/or provide documentation to the Associate Dean.

The Associate Dean may uphold, dismiss, or vary the decision of the Program Coordinator. The Associate Dean will notify the teacher candidate of his or her decision in writing.
Postponement

H. If the Associate Dean is referred a matter pursuant to Section D, he or she will consider the matter and may postpone the teacher candidate’s advancement in the Program (including course work, practicum placements or graduation from the Program), until the matter can be adequately investigated, for example, when the criminal charges are dismissed or have proceeded through the court system to acquittal, conviction and sentencing.

Appeal to CCASA

I. If the teacher candidate is not satisfied with the Associate Dean’s decision pursuant to Sections E, G and H, then the teacher candidate can appeal the decision to the Faculty of Education’s Committee on Curriculum, Admissions, Standings and Appeals (CCASA). An appeal from the decision of CCASA may be available to UBC’s Vancouver Senate Committee on Academic Standing in accordance with its procedures.