Student Policy on the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment.

Paul Hughes
Paul Hughes
  • Updated

mceclip2.png

Student Policy on the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment.

Version Number   1              Date: Feb 2022                              Review Date Jan 2024

Status: Active                       Author/s Registrar

Contents

1. Introduction.

2. Statement of Policy.

3. Scope of this Policy.

4. Objectives of this Policy.

5. Definitions.

5.1 Harassment.

5.2 Sexual Harassment.

5.3 Gender-based Harassment.

5.4 Bullying.

5.5 Victimisation.

5.6 What Bullying, and Harassment is not.

6. Statutory Rights.

7. Policy Promotion, Information, Training and Support.

8. Responsibilities, Monitoring and Review.

8.1 Responsibilities.

8.2 Monitoring.

9. Bullying and Harassment Complaints Procedures. 8

9.1 Informal Procedures.

9.2 Formal Procedure.

10. Making a Disclosure or Complaint of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment. 9

11.Investigation.

Representation.

Outcomes from the Investigation.

Appeals.

Appendix 1 Designated Contact Persons.

1. Introduction

The aim of this policy is to indicate what constitutes harassment, sexual harassment and bullying, and to clarify what action the College will take when responding to breaches of this policy.

This policy defines each of the terms harassment, sexual harassment, and bullying. It provides general information and guidance to students at the College and sets out the procedures for processing of complaints where unacceptable behaviour is alleged to have occurred. These complaints may include unacceptable behaviour of students in relation other students, staff members or visitors to the campus of NCI. Complaints in relation to staff members of NCI are handled under the Dignity at Work policy.  

The College in developing and implementing this Policy has had regard to and will have regard to the law and the codes of practice on bullying and harassment published from time to time by the Health and Safety Authority, the Department of Higher Education and the Equality Authority or any other appropriate body and agencies.

Students have a responsibility to create and contribute to the maintenance of an environment free from bullying and harassment or from conduct likely to contribute to bullying and harassment. Management and employees of the College will take appropriate measures to ensure that bullying/harassment do not occur, such as:

  • Providing a good example by treating all in the College with courtesy and respect.
  • Promoting awareness of the policy and the complaints procedures.
  • Being vigilant for signs of harassment and bullying and act before a problem escalates.
  • Dealing sensitively with a student who makes a complaint of bullying or harassment.
  • Explaining the procedures to be followed if a complaint is made to them.
  • Ensuring that an accused person is treated fairly.
  • Ensuring that students making a complaint are not victimised for doing so; and
  • Monitoring and following-up after a complaint are made to ensure that harassment or bullying is not recurring.

2. Statement of Policy

National College of Ireland (“NCI” or the “College “) is committed to the promotion and management of an environment for work and study which upholds the dignity and respect due to everyone. The College supports every individual’s right to study and work in a climate which respects their individuality and diversity, and, in an environment, which is free from threat, harassment, intimidation, and victimisation or bullying.

Sexual harassment, harassment or bullying in any form is totally unacceptable. The College will not tolerate any member of the NCI community, students, staff or anyone approved/contracted to work for or within the College, regardless of their position, being treated with anything less than professional courtesy and respect. Neither will NCI tolerate any member of the College, regardless of their position, treating students, staff or anyone approved/contracted to work for or within the College, with anything less than professional courtesy and respect.

This policy is guided by the general principle that the intention of the perpetrator of harassment or bullying is irrelevant. It is the effect of the behaviour on the individual that is important. In this regard therefore, it is the responsibility of all students and staff to be alert to their obligations under this policy and the possible effect of their behaviour on others and to manage such interactions positively.

A complaint of sexual harassment, harassment or bullying by or against a student may, following investigation, lead to disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include a range of responses, from verbal warnings to expulsion.

3.  Scope of this Policy

This Policy applies to all students of the College in all locations (including the College campus; the campus of any other partner Institute / College; or such other place where students may be representing the College or participating in their capacity as College members at events such as social functions, events organised by the NCI Students Union, conferences, sporting events, field trips, or work assignments which are related to the College, to one’s study) and in all situations including when one communicates in person, in writing, on the telephone, by e-mail or on the internet in any College related activity or situation. This policy applies to online as well as on-campus learning and teaching environments.

It is the policy of the College to protect freedom of expression and intellectual enquiry for all members of the College and to ensure, as far as possible, that such freedoms are exercised in such a way as not to interfere with the rights of others or breach this Policy or the laws of the State.

Appropriate disciplinary action, including expulsion for serious offences, will be taken against any student who breaches this policy.

The number of instances of reported bullying and harassment will be monitored, as well as how complaints are resolved. Such information will be used to evaluate this policy and the associated procedures to implement changes as appropriate. The policy will also be updated in line with changes in the law, relevant case law or other developments.

Students are informed of and must agree to the terms and conditions of this policy during the annual registration process. The policy is available online, with links provided to each student in their respective programme handbook.

4. Objectives of this Policy

The objectives of this policy are to:

  1. Promote awareness of unacceptable behaviour by way of direct communication and workshops, and to provide training, where appropriate.
  2. Enable NCI to deter and detect unacceptable behaviour and to help create an environment where staff, students, contractors, and clients of the College can interact together free from sexual harassment, harassment or bullying in any form, in conjunction with other policies such as Dignity at Work.
  3. Provide a clear mechanism for resolving allegations of sexual harassment, harassment or bullying.

5. Definitions

The following definitions are drawn from current legislation and relevant codes of practice and are intended to provide a frame for acceptable behaviour in the workplace.

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2015 do not prohibit all relations of a sexual or social nature. It is the unwanted nature of the conduct which distinguishes sexual harassment and harassment from friendly behaviour which is welcome and mutual.

Sexual harassment, harassment or bullying is defined by the impact of the behaviour on the recipient and not necessarily by the intention of the perpetrator.

5.1 Harassment

Harassment is defined in the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2015 as:

“any form of unwanted conduct related to any of the discriminatory grounds” namely:

  • Gender
  • Civil status
  • Family status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious belief

 

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Social Class
  • Race
  • Traveller community membership
  • The Acts provide a non-exhaustive list of unwanted conduct that may constitute harassment, namely “acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.”
  • A single incident may constitute harassment. Many forms of behaviour can constitute harassment. The term includes examples like those below, although it must be emphasised that the list is illustrative rather than exhaustive.
  • Verbal harassment – spoken words, jokes, comments, ridicule or songs, or jokes about a person’s membership of a protected category, demeaning and derogatory remarks, name calling, unwelcome comments, unwarranted criticism of work/study performance etc. that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.
  • Written harassment – including emails, notices, social media posts, electronic text messages, internet chat and IM interactions etc. that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.
  • Physical harassment – jostling, shoving or any form of assault that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.
  • Intimidatory harassment – postures, posturing or threatening poses that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.
  • Visual display such as posters, emblems or badges that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.
  • Isolation or exclusion from social activities, or in workplace activities or course of study that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.
  • Pressure to behave in a manner that the employee thinks is inappropriate, for example, being required to dress in a manner unsuited to a person’s ethnic or religious background, or otherwise that is related to one or more of the discriminatory grounds.

5.2 Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined in the Equal Status Act as any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person. A single incident may constitute sexual harassment. 

Many forms of behaviour can constitute sexual harassment. Examples include: 

  • Physical conduct of a sexual nature which may include unwanted physical contact such as unnecessary touching, patting, or pinching or brushing against another employee’s body, assault, and coercive sexual intercourse. 
  • Verbal conduct of a sexual nature including unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, requests or pressure for sexual activity, continued suggestions for social activity outside the workplace after it has been made clear that such suggestions are unwelcome, unwanted, or offensive flirtations, suggestive remarks, innuendos, or lewd comments. 
  • Non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature which may include the display or sending of pornographic or sexually suggestive pictures, calendars, objects, written materials, e- mails, text messages or faxes. It may also include leering, whistling, or making sexually suggestive gestures.  

The Acts do not prohibit all relations of a sexual or social nature. To constitute sexual harassment or harassment the behaviour complained of must firstly be unwelcome.

It is up to each student to decide

  1. what behaviour is unwelcome, irrespective of the attitude of others to the matter and
  2. from whom, if anybody, such behaviour is welcome or unwelcome, irrespective of the attitudes of others to the matter.

The fact that an individual has previously agreed to the behaviour does not stop the individual from deciding that it has become unwelcome. It is the unwanted nature of the conduct which distinguishes sexual harassment and harassment from behaviour that is welcome and mutual. 

The intention of the perpetrator of the harassment or sexual harassment is irrelevant. The fact that the perpetrator has no intention of sexually harassing or harassing the individual is no defence. The effect of the behaviour is what is relevant. Sexual harassment, harassment or bullying is defined by the impact of the behaviour on the recipient and not necessarily by the intention of the perpetrator. 

If the individual is below 18 years of age or is a vulnerable adult and conduct of a sexual nature occurs, the College’s Child Protection Guidelines and Principles for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults should be referred to for further guidance. 

5.3 Gender-based Harassment

Gender-based harassment is aggression, intimidation, or hostile conduct based on sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation or gender identity, but not involving conduct of a sexual nature. For example, persistent disparagement of a person based on a perceived lack of stereotypical masculinity or femininity or exclusion from an activity based on sexual orientation or gender identity also may violate this Policy.

5.4 Bullying

Bullying is defined as, repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against others, at the place of study/work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity and respect.

An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work, but as a once-off incident is not considered to be bullying.

Bullying can include verbal, gesture or physical bullying, exclusion or extortion.

A pattern of the following behaviours are examples of types of bullying. This list is not exhaustive and includes behaviour towards other students, employees and non-employees of the College.

Many forms of behaviour can constitute bullying. The term includes:

  • Verbal Abuse – shouting, spoken words, making jokes, undermining a person’s authority through misplaced and unwarranted criticism of an individual and their professional performance, ridiculing the employee or student in front of other employees and/or individuals, setting unrealistic and unattainable targets, spreading malicious rumours about an individual around the organisation, humiliation, sneering or ridicule and falling within the definition above.
  • Nonverbal Abuse – Looks, gestures, displaying emblems on clothing, exclusion, whistling, isolation at lunch breaks or social events, etc. and falling within the definition above.
  • Written Abuse – including emails, notices, electronic text messages, social media posts, emails, internet chat including IM interactions etc. and falling within the definition above.
  • Physical Abuse – Hitting, bodily contact that is abusive in nature, shaking fists in a threatening manner, sabotaging a colleague’s personal belongings etc. and falling within the definition above.
  • Cyberbullying refers to bullying which is carried out using the internet, mobile phone, or other technological devices. Cyberbullying generally takes a psychological rather than a physical form but is often part of a wider pattern of bullying behaviour.

As well as,

  • Exclusion with negative consequences
  • Being treated less favourably than others
  • Intrusion – pestering, spying, or stalking
  • Menacing behaviour
  • Intimidation
  • Aggression
  • Undermining behaviour
  • Humiliation
  • Persistent unjustified criticism or sarcasm
  • Blame for things beyond the person’s control

Individuals or groups of people can be responsible for or be the victims of bullying. It can occur between a student/supervisor or lecturer, between staff and students, between students and staff, and within peer groups.

5.5 Victimisation

Victimisation is defined as unfair treatment against a complainant in response to a complaint (both proven and accused), or in response to a belief that someone will make or has made a complaint. Someone who makes a complaint or who supports someone else’s complaint of harassment or bullying cannot be treated unfairly or less favourably based on this complain or support. This extends to witnesses who may be required to contribute to any formal procedures.

5.6 What Bullying, and Harassment is not

Lecturers and supervisors have responsibilities to provide academic guidance and advice to students. Such comment and advice may include critical statements and feedback along with monitoring and review of work and academic performance. The act of correcting students, pointing out areas for improvement, invoking performance counselling or misconduct procedures does not in itself constitute bullying or harassment.

Students involved in peer review, where the function is to provide academic guidance and advice to fellow students, which also may include critical statements and feedback, are also not engaging is harassment or bullying in fulfilling this role.

Bullying does not include reasonable and essential discipline arising from the good management of the performance or conduct of a student or actions taken which can be justified as regards the safety, health and welfare of students. For example, a student whose performance is continuously signalled at a level below that which is required may feel threatened and upset but this does not indicate bullying.

6. Statutory Rights

Where an individual decides to seek legal redress in advance of the output from the internal investigation, the internal process may be suspended.

7. Policy Promotion, Information, Training and Support

An integrated strategy will underpin the effective roll out and operation of the above Policy. Key action points include:

  • An awareness campaign including the publication of relevant support material/ information leaflets/pamphlets/frequently asked questions.
  • The organisation of information/briefing sessions/workshops for students through the NCISU.
  • Tailored training for nominated Designated Contact People (Appendix A).
  • Training for student representatives (such as NCISU and/or student reps).
  • Training for those who may be appointed to investigate complaints

Designated Contact People as well as staff members who are required to investigate complaints will also be trained in equality and diversity matters including Unconscious Bias.

In addition, where a complaint has been made the College may at any stage make available reasonable counselling services to both a complainant and a respondent, should they request it.

8. Responsibilities, Monitoring and Review

8.1 Responsibilities

All staff and students have responsibility for building and maintaining a work and study environment that is free of sexual harassment, harassment or bullying by committing themselves to:

  • Consciously, through their own behaviour, attitude, and example, creating a climate which is respectful, friendly, and supportive of those seeking to discharge their duties and obligations in an environment which respects the unique contribution that everyone can make to the College and the wider community.
  • Discharging a leadership role within the College in support of this policy statement by taking immediate and positive action, and not accepting any aggressive or unacceptable behaviour, either directed to themselves or others within the College.
  • Cooperating as necessary and in full with an investigation or formal process whether as a complainant, an accused person, or as a witness.

Individual students and staff have a responsibility not to participate in discriminatory, harassing or victimising behaviour within the workplace or learning environment and to behave in a respectful, tolerant and equitable manner to all members of the College community.

8.2 Monitoring

Specific responsibility attaches to the Executive, Heads of Academic Departments, Central Service Managers, Senior Academic Staff, Supervisory Staff and Staff Representatives to set and maintain standards of behaviour and implement the provisions of this Policy, to underpin a positive work and study environment in the College.

The Registrar will have responsibility for monitoring the implementation of this Policy and ensuring that it is effective. The Registrar will report annually to Academic Council and/or the EDI Joint Advisory Committee on the trends and data arising from the implementation of the policy and the impact of the analysis in terms of resource allocation, policy development and planning.

8.3 Review

The College is committed to reviewing this Policy and procedure on a regular basis in line with changes in the law, best practice, relevant case law and other developments. It is the policy of the College to observe the above provisions; however, it reserves the right to depart from same where appropriate.

This policy works in tandem with NCI’s policy on Equality and Diversity, and Dignity at Work policies. For all complaints or equality issues, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager can be contacted for further clarification on equality@ncirl.ie.

Grievances and/or Whistle Blowing matters will be addressed through applicable policies and resolved as identified through the appropriate channels.

The College recognises our responsibilities under the Public Sector Duty as a Higher Education Provider to champion the principles of Equality and Human Rights.

9. Bullying and Harassment Complaints Procedures

The College is actively committed to protecting the rights of both students and employees to achieve their full potential in an environment which values and affirms diversity and is free from bullying, harassment, victimisation and vilification. The College will take all reasonable steps and actions to ensure that Employees and Students will be treated fairly and with dignity and respect whilst working or studying at the College.

Complaints by students will be treated with fairness and sensitivity and in as confidential a manner as possible. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the course of any investigation consistent with the requirements of a fair investigation.

Depending on the nature of a complaint, it may be possible to resolve the matter through informal or formal, investigative processes.

A student who makes a complaint in good faith, who supports a complainant, who gives evidence in proceedings or who gives notice that they intend to do any of the foregoing will not be victimised.

The College will ensure that both parties to the complaint receive appropriate support counselling or other intervention as appropriate.

No assumption will be made about the culpability of an alleged perpetrator while investigating a complaint.

9.1 Informal Procedures

If suitable, the student may wish to speak informally with the student/s accused of bullying or harassment.

Where a student finds it difficult and/or does not want to approach the other party directly they are able to seek support from a Designated Contact Persons for guidance. A student is under no obligation to take a first step of approaching the student who they feel are bullying or harassing them.  A Designated Contact Persons acts as an initial point of contact for student who believes that they are being treated in a way that constitutes bullying or harassment.

Should an informal process adequately resolve the matter, no further action will be taken.

Following an agreed resolution under informal procedures, consideration will be given to putting in place supportive interventions for the parties involved.

9.2 Formal Procedure

It is recognised that it may not always be appropriate to use the informal procedure. Also, if an early resolution cannot be achieved through the informal procedures, the matter will be dealt with under the formal procedures. Formal procedures will be used where bullying or harassment continues after an informal procedure has been followed or where the student making the complaint wishes it to be treated formally. Formal procedures involve submitting a formal complaint and a formal investigation.

Choosing not to use the informal procedure will not reflect negatively on a complainant in the formal procedure.

When a formal complaint is being made, then the student should contact the Registrar as soon as possible. If the complaint is against the Registrar, the Vice President Academic Affairs & Research should be contacted.

The complainant will make a formal complaint in writing which is signed and dated. The complaint document should be confined to the precise details of the alleged incidents, including dates and the names of witnesses, if any. Within 24 hours of receiving the complaint, the complainant will be informed of the next steps involved, timeframes and possible outcomes. This will include the Registrar completing, or commissioning, an investigation with an outcome report prepared within 5 working days. They will also be given a copy of the College’s Student Policy on the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment.

A meeting will be organised with the person against whom the complaint has been made. They will be given a copy of the complaint document and the College’s Student Policy on the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment. They will be informed of the steps involved, timeframes and possible outcomes of the investigation.

If a complaint of harassment or bullying is made against a person who is not a student or employee of the College and it transpires that it is not possible to secure their participation in either a formal or informal process, such individuals will be kept informed of any developments and given an opportunity to respond to them. The outcome of an investigation and any potential sanctions will be explained to such individuals and/or any person or company for whom they work.

The complainant and the person against whom the complaint has been made will have the right to appeal the Registrar’s decision via the Vice-President or President.

10. Making a Disclosure or Complaint of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment

Students can disclose or make a complaint of any incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and/or sexual exploitation to the College at any time.

The College recognises that the student can make these disclosure or complaint using their preferred method. Students can disclosure or make a complaint of sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and/or sexual exploitation through the following options:

  • Students can talk to a member of the Student Services, the College Facilities Team, or NCI Student Union Official. A student is also able to make a disclosure to a fellow student or member of staff, which may be further referred to a member of Student Services with consideration for the wishes of the reporting student. Students abroad may also raise a complaint or disclosure to a member of NCI International.
  • Use the anonymous reporting tool.
  • Students can make a complaint to An Garda Siochana.

It is recognised that the reporting student may not seek to launch a formal investigation through this policy. In these instances, the College will provide counselling and wellbeing support to the reporting student.

In the following instances, the College is required to instigate a formal investigation regardless of the wishes of the reporting student:

  • An anonymous reporting is received which provides sufficient information to trigger an investigation, or the reporting party concedes anonymity to instigate an investigation.
  • The disclosure is of a nature where it is deemed to be an ongoing threat to the safety and security of other students.
  • The incident involves students representing the College internationally.
  • The incident involves both staff and students
  • If a complainant is under 18, or a Vulnerable Adult, the issue must be reported to NCI’s Designated Liaison Person (DLP), there are reasonable grounds for concern that a child may have been abused/is being abused or is at risk of abuse. The report should be made without delay to Tusla by the College’s DLP. Details are outlined in the NCI CHILD PROTECTION GUIDELINES & PRINCIPLES FOR THE PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE ADULTS Protocols and Procedures

When an individual who has experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct does not wish to make a formal complaint, does not want the College to take any action and/or withdraws their complaint, the College may still have an obligation to act to protect the safety and wellbeing of the College community and instigate an investigation. In this circumstance, the student will not be required to participate in the investigation, however, they may be informed about the outcome. They may be consulted on the outset of the investigation to agree to communication expectations. 

The Registrar will commission an investigation, which will include the gathering of relevant documentation, witness statements and liaising with all relevant parties to complete the investigation. 

11. Investigation

The investigation of any formal complaint will be handled with fairness, sensitivity and with due respect for the rights of both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator. The principles of natural justice will be adhered to when an investigation is being conducted.

The investigator may consult with/seek input from NCI staff, students or external legal guidance in the preparation of the investigation report and final recommendations.

Terms of Reference along the following lines will be established for the investigation:

  • The investigation will be conducted by <name>.
  • The scope of the investigation will cover the specific complaints made by <the Complainant> in his/her complaint document dated <date>.
  • In adhering to the principles of natural justice <the Respondent> will be furnished with documentation detailing the allegation and with all other information upon which the Investigator may rely on in arriving at a decision.
  • The <Respondent> will be given reasonable time to consider the documentation and an opportunity to respond in writing.
  • During the investigation, the Investigator will meet with <The Complainant>, and with any of his/her witnesses or relevant person(s). The Investigator will also meet with the <Respondent> and with any of his/her witnesses or relevant person(s). These meeting will take place on a one-to-one confidential basis.
  • The Investigator may also identify appropriate witnesses.
  • Copies of witness’ statements will be furnished to both the Complainant and the Respondent.
  • Both the Complainant and the Respondent may be accompanied at the investigative interview by another student, or a friend or a family member or a representative of the Students’ Union.

In the interests of the parties involved and in the interests of integrity of the investigation process, all parties to the investigation are expected to adhere to the highest standards of confidentiality regarding the content and process of the investigation. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation to the greatest extent consistent with the requirements of a fair investigation. For clarity, this means that the Complainant and the Respondent should not discuss any matter in relation to the investigation with any person other than their respective representatives or with the Registrar in the context of procedural matters. On no account should either party discuss subject matter, the investigation or the investigation process with a witness or potential witness. Similarly, witnesses should not discuss the subject matter, the investigation or the investigation process with any person other than the Investigator or the Registrar in the context of procedural matters.

Both the Complainant and the Respondent will be provided with a written record of all meetings, and any documentation or material in relation to the allegation and with all other information upon which the Investigator may rely on in arriving at a decision. Both parties will be given an opportunity to respond in writing, or if necessary, in person, to this material before the Investigator considers the evidence.

On completion of the investigation, the Investigator will furnish a written report containing the findings and the reasons for the final decision. In arriving at a conclusion, the Investigator will consider whether, on the balance of probabilities, the behaviours complained of occurred. Where a complaint is not upheld, the Investigator will consider, whether, on the balance of probabilities, the complaint was false, malicious or vexatious. A complaint not being upheld does not necessarily mean that the complaint was vexatious.

Where a complaint is upheld, the report will recommend whether the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedures should be invoked.

The Investigator will furnish the Report to the Registrar within 10 working days of the sign-off of final interviews. The timeframe for the investigation will be impacted by the availability of parties for interview and by the number of witnesses or parties for interview. The objective of the Investigator will be to complete the investigation and report as quickly as is practicable but depending on the circumstances it could take up to three months to complete from the date of the initial interview with the Complainant.

Representation

The complainant, the respondent and any witnesses have the right to be accompanied by another student or a friend or family member, or representative of the Students’ Union.

Outcomes from the Investigation

Where a complaint is upheld against a student, the matter may be dealt with under the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedures. This could lead to disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion being imposed. In the case on non-employees, sanctions could include the suspension of contracts or services, or exclusions from the College campus or other work environs or the imposition of other sanctions (as appropriate).

Complaints that are found to be false, malicious or vexatious may also be dealt with under the College’s Student Disciplinary Procedures.

A record of the investigation will be maintained by the Registrar in accordance with the Data Protection requirements.

Appeals

The College will respond to any comments submitted and will advise the parties of the appeals process.

The appeal will be heard by a party not involved in the investigation or not connected with any of the issues considered under the investigation.  An appeal would be reviewed /heard by the Vice President or in the case of a complaint against the Registrar – Chaired/heard by the president. An Executive Group member not included in the initial review might then be appointed to conduct a secondary investigation if needed to inform the appeal decision by the Vice President/President. The appeal will focus only on the aspect(s) of the case cited by the appellant as being the subject of the appeal.

Appeals arising from any Student Disciplinary Procedures initiated will be dealt with under that process.

Appendix 1: List and Role of NCI Designated Contact Persons

Name

Area

Email

Emily Carruthers

She/Her

Student

x20506176@student.ncirl.ie

Grainne Grier

She/Her

Student

x21344841@student.ncirl.ie

Tomas Quinn 

He/Him 

Lecturer School of Business

tomas.quinn@ncirl.ie

Isabel O’Connor 

She/Her

School of Computing

isabel.oconnor@ncirl.ie

Jordan O’Connor

He/Him 

Student

x18348833@student.ncirl.ie

Cristina Pons 

Programme Coordinator Business School

cristina.pons@ncirl.ie

Michael Shiel  

Regional Executive Asia

michael.shiel@ncirl.ie

Emer Thornbury 

Computing Support

emer.thornbury@ncirl.ie

Designated Contact Persons

The College will appoint and train Designated Contact Persons (spanning staff and NCISU Representatives), who will be equitably distributed across all areas of the College to ensure all Students and Employees have ready access to a Designated Contact Persons. Designated Contact Persons appointments will be representative of the diverse students and workforce of the College.

Students who wish to address bullying or harassment from a staff member may contact a Designated Contact Person from the lists published annually by the NCISU and NCI Student Support Services Team who will all have received training in this policy.  

Role of NCI Designated Contact Person

The Designated Contact Person may offer support to an employee or student who feels that they are being subjected to bullying/harassment or to an employee or student against whom a complaint of bullying/ harassment has been made but not to both in the same situation.

If a Designated Contact Person is contacted by both parties, they should support the first person who requests support and refer the second person to another Designated Contact Person.

The role of a DCP is:

  • To provide support to students who are concerned at the behaviour of staff, students, or contractors towards them.
  • To act as support to students.
  • To help students talk through the situation and identify behaviours which are creating difficulties for them
  • To assist the person to gain clarity around the changes in behaviour they are seeking
  • To outline the options available to them in handling this situation under the Student Policy on the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment
  • To help the person to think through the options by examining the benefits and consequences of specific action or inaction
  • Empower the student to decide for themselves the next step they wish to take.

NB: The role of the Contact Person does not extend to intervening or approaching any individual on behalf of a student they are supporting.

The Designated Contact person will be to:

  • Listen in a non-judgmental, impartial, and empathetic way to the student’s situation as the student sees it.
  • Explain and clarify issues in relation to bullying and harassment.
  • Treat all discussions as completely confidential and will not be requested to disclose information to a third party. The DCP will not retain any notes or records of these discussions
  • Meetings between the Designated Contact Person and the student seeking support should normally take place during normal College hours. No home or personal mobile telephone numbers should be exchanged.
  • Meetings should take place in suitable locations where privacy can be assured. Where it is not practicable to meet on the College premises an alternative suitable venue may be used.
  • Meetings should last no longer than an hour and no more than 3-4 meetings with any one individual should ever be needed. More than this could mean the Designated Contact person is being drawn into a counselling relationship.
  • The Designated Contact will ensure that they are attentive to their own level of competence in performing the role and will actively develop their competencies, including attending Designated Contact meetings and any relevant training courses as required.

Relevant Information

Disability Act 2005

Employment Equality Act 1998 – 2015

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (HSA – Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work.

Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2015

Common Law

Equal Status Act 2000 - 2015

Equality Act 2004

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Public Sector Duty

Safe, Respectful, Support and Positive: Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions.

Was this article helpful?

Comments

0 comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.