ITT providers should have due regard to the following principles:
- The focus of the Occupational Health process should be on determining the reasonable adjustment(s) (if any) that a trainee requires in order to have a realistic opportunity of completing a programme of ITT.
- The Occupational Health process should be consistent across all ITT providers. Inconsistency is the most frequent cause of successful legal challenge.
- The Occupational Health process should not begin until an applicant becomes a recruit having accepted a conditional offer and should be applied consistently to all recruits.
- Programme advertising and application materials should give potential applicants clear guidance about the requirements of the role including referring to the role description, person specification and the typical work pattern and work context so that they can acquire a realistic understanding of the impact of these on their health and physical capacity.
- Potential applicants should be given clear guidance on the requirements of the recruitment process and how to request reasonable adjustment(s) to fully access this. They should also have details of the health and physical capacity assessment process to be used if they accept a conditional offer of a place on the programme.
- Medical information should only be seen by a qualified health professional who, through their professional codes of practice, treat such information appropriately. This requirement is met through the services of an Occupational Health provider meeting the Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) standard and with the qualifications and experience to make assessments of the health and physical capacity required to teach.
- All recruits should complete an Occupational Health questionnaire directly related to the role description, person specification and the relevant work pattern and work context and which should be returned directly to the chosen Occupational Health provider.
- The information on the Occupational Health questionnaire should be reviewed by the Occupational Health provider in order to identify any adjustment(s) that may be required. Additional information may be sought through a telephone conversation or face-to-face interview.
- If adjustment(s) are required, the ITT provider must decide whether these are ‘reasonable’ and can be implemented. If the adjustment(s) required are not ‘reasonable’, the grounds for unreasonableness should be discussed with the recruit and the offer of a place on the programme withdrawn.
- The ITT provider must clearly inform, in writing, any recruit for whom a reasonable adjustment(s) is being offered that such adjustment(s) are for the purposes of teacher training and they cannot guarantee that the same adjustment(s) would be offered in future employment. (See the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s guidance on Fitness to Practise.)
- ITT providers must inform recruits before the training commences if they are concerned the adjustment(s) proposed may not be deemed reasonable in their future employment as a teacher. (See the Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s guidance on Fitness to Practise.)