Harassment & Sexual Misconduct Policy

1. Choice Training policy on Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

Choice Training is committed to providing a safe environment for all. Choice Training want all to participate freely and contribute fully in the life of the Choice Training. A safe environment, free of harassment or threat, is fundamental to the academic and social life of our community here in Choice Training

Harassment and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.  All members of the community must treat each other with respect and there must be a clear understanding of the types of behaviour which are inappropriate and unacceptable. The Choice Training will support and assist the victim of any harassment or assault.

Choice Training defines harassment as single or repeated incidents involving unwanted or unwarranted conduct towards another person which it is reasonable to think would have the effect of (i) violating that other’s dignity or (ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for that other.

Unacceptable behaviour may include a number of specific behaviours, such as bullying and harassment on account of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

2. What Choice Training will do for students

Students can expect the Choice Training to:

  • Support them in reporting incidents of harassment or sexual misconduct

The Choice Training will ensure appropriate information and assistance is available to support a student in deciding what steps to take following an incident of harassment or sexual misconduct.

  • Treat harassment or sexual misconduct seriously should the complaint not be a criminal matter, or the student does not wish to involve the police

The Choice Training procedures on harassment and sexual misconduct allow for complaints concerning harassment and the behaviour of members of Choice Training to be addressed in a robust and fair manner and the Choice Training will ensure anyone raising a concern is not victimised or disadvantaged as a result.

  • Provide personal support

Everyone is likely to react differently to an assault. The Choice Training will endeavour to ensure a student has access to welfare provision and support, which is appropriate to their needs. Support may be required in the short-term or for a longer period. Steps may need to be taken relating to accommodation or academic arrangements to ensure the student feels safe and can continue to study and participate in the Choice Training community.

  • Respect confidentiality

Whenever possible, Choice Training will respect the confidentiality of someone reporting harassment or sexual misconduct. However, Choice Training has a wider duty of care and if it considers that anyone may be at risk of further harm, it may need to report a crime to the police.

  • Promote a culture of zero tolerance of harassment and sexual misconduct

3. Student guidance and procedures

Seeking advice, guidance, and support

Definitions of harassment and sexual misconduct are in our Choice Training Policy.

If you believe you have been harassed or been the subject of sexual misconduct, you may need emotional support and advice to talk through your experiences, you may want advice on how to address and prevent the behaviour or you may want to know how to take up a formal complaint. You can also report any incident of harassment or sexual misconduct anonymously through the choice Training website incident form.

If you decide to seek an alternative resolution or would like to raise a complaint with Choice Training, you should speak to your Choice Training Tutor or the Choice Training Harassment and Discrimination Contact/Senior Tutor. They will advise you on the procedures available to you.

Seeking alternative resolutions

 

Direct approach

In some cases, relating to some forms of harassment or unacceptable behaviour, students who are unhappy with the behaviour of another student may want to try to resolve the matter themselves directly with the other student. If seeking resolution in this way, a student is advised to seek support (on a confidential basis) from their Tutor, the Senior Tutor, or another staff member, either to help them work out what to say or to accompany them when they meet the person about whom they are complaining.

Because of the possibility of counteraccusation or recrimination, all students are advised to alert a supporting person, such as a Tutor, to the problem before approaching the person concerned, even if they feel able to act on their own.

Students making a direct approach are advised to:

  • describe the behaviour very precisely, including where and when it happened.

  • make it clear how they feel about what has happened.

  • describe the effect it is having on them.

  • say precisely what they want to happen going forward.

 

Mediated approach

If a direct approach has been tried and has not worked, or if a student does not wish to make such an approach, the Tutor or other Choice Training adviser may be able to seek to resolve the problem on their behalf.

Choice Training might also propose that both parties agree to cooperate with an independent mediator

If an attempt at an alternative resolution has not resolved the issue to the satisfaction of the student making a complaint, they can raise a formal complaint to Choice Training there is no requirement to attempt an alternative resolution before a formal complaint is raised; students may move to a formal complaint immediately if they wish.

Student on student: raising a formal complaint

This is a summary of the procedure relating to student harassment and sexual misconduct. It is intended to help students understand the process of making a formal complaint about another student at Choice Training. If you decide to make a formal complaint, you should read the procedure in full.

Procedures concerning other students or staff are noted below.

Purpose of the procedure

An important feature of the procedure on student harassment and sexual misconduct is that it seeks, where possible, to achieve a fair and mutually acceptable resolution between a student complaining of harassment and a student who is accused of harassment.

 

Acceptance of a resolution will not require the student who is the subject of the complaint to admit liability nor imply the Choice Training has made a finding of wrongdoing. In this sense, the procedure is distinct from the Choice Training's student disciplinary procedure, although referral to the disciplinary procedure may be an outcome of an investigation from the student harassment and sexual misconduct procedure.

Pastoral support

Choice Training will provide pastoral support, as desired, to any Choice Training student involved in the procedure, whether as a student making a complaint or as a student who is the subject of a complaint.

How to make a complaint

  • Bring your complaint to the Apprentice & Welfare Manager- Simone Frankel

  • Fill in an incident alert form online

 

Student on student complaints: summary guide to Choice Training procedure.

A detailed procedure is appended. The summary below is intended to guide you.

At all stages of the formal procedure, decisions will be taken by people who are trained to make those decisions. In deciding what, if any, action to take, Choice Training will need to consider a variety of relevant factors, including for example: the evidence that is available to support an allegation; any admission of responsibility by the person against whom the complaint has been made; the limitations of Choice Training's internal procedure in terms of obtaining and assessing evidence; and the need to safeguard the rights of both parties.

 

Bringing a complaint under Choice Training's procedure does not prevent the student from reporting the matter to the police at any time. If the matter is being dealt with under the criminal process, Choice Training will suspend any action under its procedure but may take precautionary action to ensure that a full and proper investigation can be carried out and/or to protect the student who is making the complaint, the student who is the subject of the complaint or others while the matter is being dealt with. Any precautionary measures are not intended to be punitive and do not make any assumptions or judgements about the merits of the complaint.

Raising a complaint

Students making a complaint should write to the Apprentice & Welfare Manager, setting out details of the events that form the basis of the complaint, together with any evidence and, if appropriate, information on any attempts that have been made to resolve the matter informally.

The Apprentice & Welfare will consider the complaint and decide:

  • to refer it to an investigation.

  • to request the student seeks an alternative resolution on the matter (with the support of the Choice Training).

The student making the complaint will normally be told the outcome of this initial consideration within 10 working days of submitting their complaint.

The investigation

If the case is referred for investigation, an investigator will be appointed by Robert Tye.

The investigation will try to establish as many undisputed facts about what happened as possible. The investigation will be conducted fairly and objectively.

If the parties are willing, the investigator will meet with both students separately and may also meet any witnesses to the events that are the subject of the complaint. The investigator will then write a report and recommend a course of action.

Both the student making the complaint, and the student who is the subject of the complaint, may be accompanied during the investigation by a supported, should they wish.

In some cases, after discussions with the investigator, both parties may agree that alternative resolutions should be explored through mediation.

Outcome of the investigation

Following the investigation, the report and any recommendation will be considered by Robert Tye who may decide that:

  • with the agreement of both the student making the complaint and the student who is the subject of the complaint, the parties should seek to resolve the matter through mediation; or

  • resolutions should be proposed; or

  • the case should be referred for consideration under Choice Training's disciplinary procedure or under the disciplinary procedure; or

  • the complaint should be dismissed.

Acceptance of a resolution will not require the student who is the subject of the complaint to admit liability nor imply the Choice Training has made a finding of wrongdoing.

Resolutions

Resolutions might include asking the student who is the subject of the complaint to abide by a conduct agreement. This might stipulate that the student who is the subject of the complaint will refrain from contact with the student making the complaint, either indefinitely or for a specified period in the first instance. It might be necessary for the student who is the subject of the complaint to move rooms. The student who is the subject of the complaint may also be asked to agree to intermit or to attend behaviour awareness training.

Disciplinary proceedings

A complaint under the Choice Training's formal procedure may lead to disciplinary proceedings under the Choice Training's disciplinary procedure; this may be by the student themselves or by other in Choice Training. If the latter, the student making the complaint will be kept informed of the progress of the proceedings and will be formally notified of the outcome of any disciplinary hearing and any sanctions applied to the student who is the subject of the complaint that have any impact on the student making the complaint.

Dismissal and mediation

If the complaint is dismissed, the student making the complaint and the student who is the subject of the complaint will be offered help and guidance to restore reasonable relations between them. This process might include mediation.

Record keeping

A record of conduct agreement will be retained by the Choice Training and may be considered if a further complaint is made against the student who is the subject of the complaint under this procedure, whether that subsequent complaint is made by the original student making the complaint or another.

Review

If the student making the complaint or the student who is the subject of the complaint feels dissatisfied with a decision made using this procedure, they have the right to ask for a review of the decision.