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Fitness to Practise

Fitness to practise means that all applicants to healthcare and social work programmes must demonstrate they have sufficient good health and good character for safe and effective practise:

The role of the regulatory organisation is to protect the health and wellbeing of people who use the services and the health and well being of the health professionals registered with them.

For some courses, a good health reference from your GP is required as part of the application process and may be followed up with a medical assessment by the Occupational Health Service.

A good character reference from the Disclosure and Barring Service is required as part of the application process and is an enhanced disclosure. This means that all cautions and convictions spent or otherwise will be identified.

Good health

Health is a very difficult thing to describe and the aim of this part of the website is to give you enough information for you to decide if you have sufficient ‘good health’.

What is good health?

Good health is necessary to undertake practice as a nurse or midwife. Good health means that you must be capable of safe and effective practice without supervision. It does not mean the absence of any disability or health condition. Many disabled people and those with long-term health conditions are able to practise with or without adjustments to support their practice.

Long-term conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes or depression can be well managed and would then not be incompatible with registration.

Temporary health conditions do not necessarily mean a person is not fit to practise. For example having a broken leg may mean a person is not fit to work for a period of time. It does not mean they are not fit to practise as they can reasonably expect to recover fully and return to work (NMC 2008).

Medical questionnaire

With the exception of BA (Hons) Social Work and MA Social Work, all students who are offered a place on a professional course are required to fill out a medical questionnaire. This questionnaire will then be sent to our Occupational Health Department and you will be required to consent to your GP being contacted should the Occupational Health Department have any queries.

If you have any concerns relating to your health you may wish to discuss it with your doctor before applying for the course.

You cannot be fully registered as a student on the programme until this process has been successfully completed. Until you are registered as a full time student you will not receive funding, either a bursary or a grant, and will not be able to start your placements on the programme.

Please note, BA (Hons) Social Work and MA Social Work students will be asked to disclose any medical issues in a Declaration of Suitability form. If any physical health or mental health issues are disclosed through this process, students will typically be referred to occupational health.

Occupational health
Making adjustments
Studying with chronic conditions
Extra support and inclusive learning
Studying with physical disabilities

Good character

Good character is concerned with the attitude, conduct and behaviour, honesty and integrity of professionals working with vulnerable groups of people.

All Universities have to ensure that students working in placement areas as part of their professional programme have the “good character” to do so safely and effectively, both at the start of the programme and throughout the course.

At the end of the programme, the University must typically make a declaration of good character to the professional regulatory body in order that you can register. This does not apply to BA (Hons) Social Work or MA Social Work students, however if an employment reference is sought this would require the University to comment on the conduct and character of the individual student or graduate.

How you’ll be assessed

For certain courses, when you apply to University you are asked to indicate on your UCAS application form whether you have or have had any criminal convictions or cautions. This will not influence the application process at this point. If you meet the programme requirements, you will be invited for interview.

All students who are successful at interview are offered a place subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance. You will be asked to complete the relevant forms as part of this process. It is important to complete these forms as soon as you are asked to because you cannot be registered as a full time student until these have been successfully processed.

Until you are registered as a full time student you will not receive funding, either a bursary or a grant, and will not be able to start your placements on the programme.

Completion of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Applying with a conviction
Your privacy


Inclusive learning

The Inclusion Team aims to provide a holistic service to students with a wide range of learning and additional needs arising from physical or sensory impairments, mental health or complex needs.

Edge Hill Inclusion

Student depression

If you’re applying to university and have or have had depression, you might want to hear how other students found their experience.

Students against depression

Disclosing your disability

Many people ask Skill’s Information Service whether they should tell a prospective employer or educational institution that they have a disability. Other people ask at what stage of applying either for a course or for a job it is best to disclose that they are disabled.

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

The Nursing & Midwifery Council exists to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public.

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The HCPC is a regulator, and was set up to protect the public.

Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Student stories

James is studying on the Operating Department Practitioner programme and has depression
Katie is studying on the child branch programme and has dyslexia
Daniel is studying on the mental health branch programme and had concerns about his health
Emma is studying on the adult branch programme and has asthma