Tougher sanctions for Universities that fail to tackle the growing problem of sexual misconduct and harassment

The Office for Students (OfS) today released their ‘statement of expectations’ covering the processes, policies and systems they expect providers to have in place and proposals for sanctions on Universities who fail to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct.

Significantly the proposals expect providers to investigate complaints made in relation to any of its registered students and that “the investigation process should be demonstrably fair, independent, and free from any reasonable perception of bias”, and that “all panel members should be appropriately trained in handling complaints of this nature and be independent from the investigatory process and specific case being considered”.

Certainly when the misconduct is so serious that in any other context it would amount to criminality there is often an over reliance and frankly unrealistic expectation of the capability of university management staff to have the specialist skills that equip them to interview those reporting or reported of serious ill-discipline.

The team at Intersol Global have been  supporting this sector with first class external investigation services for many years and have identified ‘3 C’s’ that continually challenge it;

  • Competency
  • Capacity
  • CONSISTENCY

and provide a world-class support service training HE staff to investigate the low-risk, high-incidence, simple incidents whilst supporting them operationally as external investigators of low volume, complex, and high-risk incidents so that outcomes for ALL university stakeholders are reliable and fair.

The bottom line is that investigations conducted poorly have potential to seriously impact on the health and well-being of ALL, the reporting as much as the reported, and that:

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Our full response to the OfS ‘statement of expectations’ can be read here: Universities_Piece_Final 9_Jan

If you’d like to know more about how the Intersol investigation case management system can help you and your institution please contact the team at info@intersolglobal.com or use the contact form on the website.

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