B1: ORMS Admissions Policy

For courses not validated by Robert Gordon University (RGU)

Aims

ORMS aims to:

  • attract and retain students from a wide pool and from diverse communities, who have the potential to succeed and benefit from the experience;
  • ensure that there is equality of opportunity for all applicants to gain admission to a course suited to their aspirations, and based on their ability to meet the demands and professional requirements of the course regardless of age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; sex or sexual orientation;
  • ensure that the recruitment and application process is fair and transparent and that no applicant is discriminated, harassed or victimised on the grounds of their age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; sex or sexual orientation.

ORMS will achieve these aims by:

  • ensuring that clear, consistent and accessible information and guidance about ORMS and its courses is available to all stakeholders involved in the recruitment and admissions process, e.g. prospective students, schools, colleges, employers, and all ORMS staff and their representatives;
  • assessing all applications on an individual basis;
  • ensuring that all assessment methods used for the selection of students are reliable, appropriate and fair; take into account prior learning and experience; reference qualification guidelines and formal organisational agreements when determining the appropriate stage of entry; acknowledge the requirement to make reasonable adjustments where appropriate;
  • ensuring that the principles surrounding the procedures for recruitment and admission to ORMS are as transparent and accessible as possible;
  • ensuring that all staff involved in making decisions about an applicant’s entry to ORMS do so in a manner that is transparent and consistent with policies and procedures.

This Policy, and the associated procedures noted below, have been prepared in compliance with relevant legislation, in particular, the Equality Act 2010. This Policy and associated procedures are also designed to ensure that ORMS is compliant with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) UK Quality Code for Higher Education – Chapter B2: Recruitment, selection and admission to higher education.

Recruitment

The definition of recruitment for the purposes of this Policy is as defined by the QAA and constitutes any activity in which ORMS provides information and guidance to an individual who is actively seeking admission to ORMS programmes not validated by Robert Gordon University (RGU).

Staff responsible for recruitment activity will be sufficiently knowledgeable, experienced and appropriately trained to provide true and accurate information on ORMS, its courses and relevant entry requirements when undertaking recruitment activity with prospective students.

Staff will have clear and written guidelines of what is expected of them when undertaking recruitment activity with prospective students.

Any procedures associated with recruitment will seek to be clear, transparent and accessible to all stakeholders involved in recruitment activity.

Admissions

Admissions Procedures

To ensure consistency of process, written admissions procedures exist.  All admissions procedures are made available in electronic and hard copy format to all staff engaged in admissions processes, whether academic or support staff.

Entry Requirements

Admission to ORMS is based on an applicant’s individual merits and abilities. The principal academic criterion for determining an applicant’s suitability for admission is that there is a reasonable expectation that he/she will be able to fulfil the learning outcomes of the course, meet any relevant professional, statutory or regulatory body requirements and achieve the standard required for the award.

ORMS will look for the relevant and appropriate level of academic achievement as well as personal and professional experiences that provide an indication of ability to meet the demands and professional requirements of the course. Additional means of assessment, such as an interview or portfolio review may be required to determine suitability for the course applied for.

In addition, applicants, where appropriate, need to fully comply with current legislation on immigration for the purposes of academic study.

The minimum entry criteria for ORMS professional courses not validated by RGU is as follows:

  • 5 GCSEs (including English, Mathematics and/or a science)
  • plus at least 2 A’ levels or equivalent qualifications
  • Equivalent overseas qualifications, SQA, BTEC and access programmes will be considered
  • English Language Requirement – The ORMS requirement for English language proficiency for students whose first language is not English is at or comparable to IELTS Level 7, with no single element scoring below 6.5

All minimum entry criteria are reviewed by ORMS annually, with amendments authorised by the appropriate Director of ORMS and are published in relevant formats.

Transparency and Consistency

ORMS strives to ensure that clear, accessible information is made available with regard to academic and non-academic requirements for entry to its courses.

To ensure consistency of process and decision, admissions decisions are made by trained staff in the ORMS organisation.

Applicants with Criminal Conviction & Protection of Vulnerable Groups

A prior criminal conviction will not necessarily preclude a candidate from being offered a place on an at ORMS course. However, ORMS will be required to assess such applications on a case by case basis in order to ensure that neither the applicant, the staff, patients nor students of ORMS will be put at risk should the applicant become a student of ORMS.

All students on professional courses are required to apply for one of the following criminal record checks, dependent upon their employment location;

  • Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scotland- “enhanced disclosure”
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) England & Wales- “enhanced with lists check”
  • AccessNI Northern Ireland- “enhanced check”

It is the responsibility of the student to provide up to date evidence of this check once a conditional offer of a place on the course has been made and before the offer is confirmed.

If the student already holds an Enhanced Disclosure that they have from the DBS Update Service then they may be able to re-use it. If it covers them for the relevant workforce then ORMS will run a status check on it. In this case they will only be required to obtain a new Disclosure if the information contained therein doesn’t remain current and further information had been identified since it’s issue

Any student who has lived abroad for more than 13 weeks in the same place in the last 5 years of the course commencement date will also have to provide clearance from the country they were resident in; it is the student’s responsibility to source the required information for submission.

At the commencement of each subsequent academic year, students on professional courses will be required to provide evidence of their PVG/DBS/AccessNI status and to immediately inform ORMS of any changes at any other time during study.

The fees associated with these checks will be borne by the student.

The fees associated with these checks will be borne by the student.

  • The prospective student must be fully aware that ORMS will make a decision on an applicant’s suitability for study with ORMS, not on his/her suitability for employment or for registration with the HCPC.
  • ORMS does not take responsibility for decisions made by HCPC regarding application for registration as a Paramedic with the HCPC at the completion of studies with ORMS.
  • Any change in a student’s PVG/DBS/AccessNI status during the course of studies will result in a review of suitability and may result in removal from studies, regardless of the initial decision made, if ORMS considers that the student, the staff, patients or students of ORMS will be put at risk.

Disclosing convictions or cautions on application

If you have a conviction or caution, you should tell us at interview or by sending a written disclosure with your application. NACRO provide advice on how to do this on their webpage (follow this link). Scroll down to the section ‘How should I disclose my criminal record?’ and follow their advice on preparing written disclosure statements.

Feedback to Unsuccessful Applicants

ORMS is committed to providing feedback, when requested, to any applicant whose application has been unsuccessful or where they feel that the conditions placed in their offer are unexpected. Feedback will be given to enable applicants to reflect on their progress through the application process and does not constitute a reconsideration of an application or a challenge ORMS’s decision on an application.

Appeals and Complaints

ORMS aims to consider all applications fairly, effectively and in line with current policies and procedures. If an applicant is dissatisfied with the outcome or treatment of their application, they should follow the appeal or complaint procedure as appropriate.

Appeals

Appeals: If an applicant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their application and any subsequent feedback received, they are required to submit a formal appeal.

Complaints

Complaints: If an applicant is dissatisfied with the handling of their application, they should in the first instance, contact the ORMS Administration Team. A formal complaint may then be submitted. Further details of how to complain are in Policy E8: Complaints Handling ProceduresCourse Changes

Changes to any of ORMS’s courses which impact on course or module delivery or availability as previously communicated will be made at least 12 weeks prior to the start of the course. Such changes will be communicated to applicants affected at the earliest possible opportunity.

Course Suspension

A course will be considered suspended when it is no longer going to be running in the next or any future intakes. The decision to suspend a course should be made at least 16 weeks prior to the start date of the course. Any course being suspended within 16 weeks of the course start date should continue to recruit and be suspended for the following intake.

The decision to suspend a course will be communicated to applicants affected at the earliest possible opportunity. Affected applicants will also be given clear guidance on their future options.

Courses will not recruit during a period of suspension.

Course Cessation

The decision to discontinue a course will be communicated to applicants affected at the earliest possible opportunity. Affected applicants will also be given clear guidance on their future options.

A course will continue to recruit until it has been formally discontinued unless it was already suspended.

Responsibilities

The Education Director is responsible for ensuring the ORMS Admissions Policy is annually reviewed, and any necessary changes pay due attention to the regulations and standards set by RGU, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and any other appropriate body.

The Education Director is responsible for ensuring:

  • staff responsible for organising recruitment activity employed in ORMS are aware of and support the ORMS Admissions Policy and associated procedures;
  • Directorate staff and accredited agents responsible for recruitment are competent and trained to an appropriate standard;
  • all Directorate staff involved in recruitment activity are aware of the ORMS Equality and Diversity Policy and how to obtain further advice on issues related to equality and diversity when dealing with prospective students;
  • recruitment procedures related to the ORMS Admissions Policy are clear and updated annually.

The Head of Administration is responsible for ensuring:

  • staff working on admissions that are employed in ORMS are aware of and support the ORMS Admissions Policy and associated procedures;
  • the Administration Team communicates with applicants affected by changes to or suspension and cessation of courses;
  • admissions procedures related to the ORMS Admissions Policy are clear and updated annually;
  • ORMS staff engaged in decision making for admissions are competent to make fair and sound judgements; are trained to an appropriate standard;
  • all staff involved in admissions activity are aware of ORMS’s Equality and Diversity Policy and how to obtain further advice on issues related to equality and diversity when dealing with prospective students.

Monitoring and Review

ORMS’s Admission Policy will be reviewed annually (unless a change in the law, RGU policy, HCPC standard or QAA guidance requires an earlier review) by the ORMS Quality management processes in order to ensure it continues to meet national and institutional requirements.