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JMP - Student Support for Professional Practice (SSPP) Program Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure aims to ensure that the universities subject to the Joint Medical Program Collaboration Agreement:

  1. identify and provide early support to students who may be experiencing major personal difficulties in their progress through the JMP; and
  2. provide support to students who are not academically progressing as expected.

(2) JMP students are informed of the SSPP program during orientation and regularly throughout the course of their studies.

(3) Participation in the SSPP program is designed to assist the student to achieve their individual potential. Participation is voluntary on the part of the student.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This procedure applies to all Joint Medical Program (JMP) students enrolled in MEDI Course/Units offered by the School of Medicine and Public Health (University of Newcastle) and the School of Rural Medicine (University of New England).

(5) The SSPP program and procedure does not apply to behavioural and/or academic misconduct. These matters are dealt with by other relevant JMP and university policies.

(6) This procedure is to be read in conjunction with the following:

  1. JMP - Joint Medical Program Schedule; and
  2. Joint Medical Program Manual.
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Section 3 - Definitions

(7) In the context of this document:

  1. “JMP” means the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine – Joint Medical Program offered by the University of Newcastle and the University of New England according to the terms of the Joint Medical Program Collaboration Agreement;
  2. “Case Manager” means the academic staff member nominated to lead a Case Management Team within the Student Support for Professional Practice (SSPP) program;
  3. “Case Management Team” is as described in Clause 26;
  4. “Clinical Dean” means the clinician academic in charge of a clinical school which is delivering the JMP, i.e., Central Coast Clinical School, Hunter Clinical School, Manning Clinical School in Taree, Maitland Clinical School, Peel Clinical School in Tamworth, Tablelands Clinical School in Armidale;
  5. “Course/Unit Coordinator” means the academic staff member responsible for the delivery of a Course/Unit and for ensuring its appropriate content and assessment as approved by the JMP Teaching and Learning Committee. The Coordinators assigned to a Course/Unit consult with the Program Convenor and the Heads of School as appropriate. Final responsibility for delivery of the Course/Unit rests with the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP). 
  6. “Dean” means the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP);
  7. “JMP SSPP Committee” means the JMP Student Support for Professional Practice Committee;
  8. “ERG” means the Executive Review Group of the JMP SSPP Committee;
  9. “Head of School” means the Head of the School of Medicine and Public Health (University of Newcastle) and/or the Head of the School of Rural Medicine (University of New England), or their respective nominee;
  10. “Mandatory notification” means notification to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as required under National Law;
  11. “School/s” means the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle, and the School of Rural Medicine at the University of New England;
  12. “university” means the University of Newcastle and/or The University of New England; 
  13. “universities” means the University of Newcastle and the University of New England;
  14. “student conduct rules” means the Student Conduct Rule of the University of Newcastle, or the Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules of the University of New England.
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Section 4 - Governance

(8) The following roles govern the Student Support for Professional Practice program:

  1. Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP);
  2. The JMP SSPP Committee;
  3. The Executive Review Group (ERG); and
  4. Case Management Team.

Dean of Medicine – JMP

(9) The Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) has ultimate responsibility for all matters considered as part of the SSPP program.

(10) Any correspondence to external agencies from either university in relation to matters subject to this Procedure must be authorised by the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) or their nominee.

(11) Any action taken by the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) will follow consultation with the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing (University of Newcastle) or Dean of Faculty of Medicine and Health (University of New England).

The JMP SSPP Committee

(12) The Joint Medical Program Student Support for Professional Practice Committee (JMP SSPP Committee) is an advisory committee providing advice and information to the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) on significant matters impacting on students who seek support through the JMP SSPP program.

(13) The JMP SSPP Committee has oversight of the Student Support for Professional Practice program, including the application of the procedure, development of best practice responses, and application of these in a consistent way across both schools.

(14) Membership of the JMP SSPP Committee includes persons internal and external to the JMP, and student and community representation, as outlined in the JMP SSPP Committee Terms of Reference.

(15) Personal information and health information of individual students seeking support through the JMP SSPP program is not disclosed to the JMP SSPP Committee. Members of the JMP SSPP Committee may be consulted on matters relevant to their skills and/or knowledge as required and maintaining confidentiality at all times.

Executive Review Group (ERG)

(16) The ERG membership comprises the Heads of Schools (or their nominee), Clinical Deans, and the JMP Program Convenor (or their nominee). An Administrative Officer within the Joint Medical Program provides secretariat functions to the ERG and the SSPP program.

(17) The Chair of the ERG is appointed by the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP).

(18) Any matter considered by the ERG remains strictly confidential between the ERG and the Case Management Team managing that matter.

(19) Members of the ERG may refer a matter for investigation under an alternate university policy, such as but not limited to student conduct rules.

(20) An ERG member who has referred a matter to the Case Management Team remains responsible for oversight of the processes of the Case Management Team, and must be familiar with the progress of the matter to report its status at ERG meetings as required.

(21) The ERG considers recommendations from the Case Management Team and provides recommendations to the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP) about conclusion of or further management of the matter.

(22) The ERG monitors and maintains a record of referred students, their progress through the SSPP program, and their ongoing welfare.

(23) The ERG monitors any conditions imposed upon a student's registration by the Medical Council of NSW, or the Australian Health Practitioner’s Regulation Authority during the students participation in the SSPP program or until they conclude their enrolment.

(24) Records maintained by the ERG are managed in accordance with the Records Governance Policy or the UNE Records Management Rule.

Case Management Team

(25) A Case Management Team is established for each student who seeks support through the SSPP program.

(26) The SSPP Case Management Team:

  1. comprises at least two members, with:
    1. at least one member being an academic staff member (drawn from a panel of academic case managers trained in the provision of Student Support for Professional Practice); and
    2. the other member being an appropriately trained academic, professional, conjoint or adjunct staff member;
  2. is established by the Chair of the ERG and JMP Administrative Officer, in consultation with the ERG;
  3. convenes meetings with the student on a needs basis according to the nature of the concern(s);
  4. is able to consult with relevant stakeholders and seek other relevant information about the concern, ensuring all aspects of confidentiality, and where necessary, consent, are met;
  5. assesses concerns, identifies relevant support and resources in collaboration with the student for prioritising and actioning, and makes recommendations to the ERG (and in this way to the Dean of Medicine - Joint Medical Program (JMP)) regarding management or interventions required;
  6. concludes its role when the student and the case management team have completed the agreed case management plan and/or the student no longer requires the support offered by the SSPP program, and the ERG is satisfied that the SSPP program should be concluded for this student.

(27) Members of a Case Management Team must be independent of any teaching and/or academic responsibilities to avoid any conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest must be declared and managed in accordance with the University of Newcastle Conflict of Interest Policy and its relevant procedure or the UNE Conflict of Interest Policy.

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Section 5 - SSPP Program Objectives

(28) Ensuring a student's wellbeing and preparedness for professional practice is the key objective of the SSPP program.

(29) Students may require case management support in dealing with or addressing:

  1. health or personal issues;
  2. professional behaviours; or
  3. issues external to the program.

(30) Matters subject to National Law will be managed according to the Medical Board Ahpra Mandatory Notifications Guideline.  University of Newcastle students and staff should also refer to the Ahpra Mandatory Notification Procedure.

(31) Matters subject to the student conduct rules of the universities will be referred to the appropriate business unit in accordance with the relevant rule (see Student Conduct Rule (University of Newcastle) and Student Behavioural Misconduct Rules and the Student Academic Integrity Policy (University of New England).

(32) Where an issue is dealt with through a university investigation or disciplinary process, the outcome of that process may have implications concerning an individual’s fitness to practice.

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Section 6 - Identification and Referral of Students


(33) The JMP curriculum activities and assessments within each course/unit which assess participation and professionalism may identify acute concerns about a student.

(34) Other indications for referral of a JMP student to the SSPP program may include (but are not limited to):

  1. a student who may identify a need for structured assistance;
  2. ‘below expected level’ of academic performance that has previously been addressed through the School;
  3. repeated notifications of concerns about wellbeing in relation to preparedness for professional practice on supervisor’s report forms;
  4. significant concerns about an aspect of wellbeing in relation to preparedness for professional practice on a supervisor’s report;
  5. persistent poor academic performance where an issue of compromised student wellbeing is identified as a contributory cause;
  6. concerns about a student's health or wellbeing;
  7. as an outcome of university disciplinary process; 
  8. recurrent applications for special consideration in assessments; or
  9. any offence or crime the student is charged with.

(35) Student peers can raise concerns about the wellbeing or fitness to practice of another JMP student by bringing concerns to the attention of a Head of School or Clinical Dean, or any other academic or trusted members of staff for action as required.


(36) Student concerns can be brought to the attention of the ERG by any JMP staff member, affiliate, conjoint or associate of the universities and these referrals to the SSPP program must be made via email to using the endorsed referral form.

(37) Students can self-refer to the SSPP program through the email The Chair of ERG then contacts the student for any additional information that may be required to enable determination of timely support and/or the need to establish a case management team.

(38) Where a student is referred, but not self-referred, and chooses not to participate in the SSPP program, the matter will be reviewed by the ERG, and additional recommendations may be made to the student.

Informing the Student

(39) Students who are referred to the SSPP program are to be informed in a timely manner, and kept up to date about:

  1. their referral to the SSPP program;
  2. the convening of their Case Management Team;
  3. what to expect from the SSPP program;
  4. any referral for investigation or notification under a separate procedure;
  5. what the referral to the SSPP program might mean for them; and
  6. how to seek additional support and services outside of the SSPP program.

Support Persons

(40) In any meetings involving the student, the student may select a support person to be present and observe the proceedings. This support person would not act as a ‘representative’ in terms of speaking for the student, as the student's own responses are required for adequate assessment of the matter.

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Section 7 - Case Management

(41) Case Management Plans are developed with the student and agreed to by the student. Milestones and outcomes of the Case Management Plan are reported to the ERG.

(42) Case management may involve, but is not limited to:

  1. observation and monitoring of conduct;
  2. goal planning (with a timeline and a mentor identified). For example, this may include the student completing specific sessions on interpersonal communication, or online modules dealing with aspects of professional behaviour;
  3. referral to other services;
  4. referral to other university support services;
  5. advice to the relevant Head of School to ensure the case management plan is able to be supported in its delivery. 

(43) Where a matter is subject to the National Law it will be managed according to the Medical Board Ahpra Mandatory Notifications Guideline. University of Newcastle students and staff should also refer to the Ahpra Mandatory Notification Procedure

(44) A Case Management Plan should be finalised by the Case Management Team and recommendations made to the ERG within 30 calendar days of the student being referred to the ERG. Complex matters may take longer than 30 calendar days to finalise and have recommendations formulated. These circumstances should be advised to the ERG within the 30 calendar day timeframe with an estimated time of completion.

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Section 8 - Case Monitoring

(45) The progress of any referred student will be reported at ERG meetings until the ERG is satisfied that the student no longer has concerns, or until the student concludes their studies in the JMP.

(46) The number of students participating in the SSPP program, their status and case outcomes are reported as de-identified data to the SSPP Committee annually.