All educational programmes in special needs education are covered by the Norwegian regulations relating to suitability assessment in higher education. Everyone who is in contact with students at the Department of Special Needs Education (ISP) has the right to deliver a notification of doubt about the suitability of a particular student who does not meet the necessary conditions to exercise the profession.
What is a suitability assessment?
A suitability assessment shall determine whether the student has the necessary qualifications to practice the profession. A student who poses a possible danger to life, physical and mental health is not suitable for the profession. A student who threatens the rights of children, adolescents and adults is not suitable for the profession either.
Two forms of suitability assessment
- Continuous assessment
- Particular suitability assessment
Continuous assessment applies to all students, and is performed throughout the study period.
The modality of "particular suitability assessment" is used exclusively in exceptional circumstances, when there is a specified doubt about the suitability of a student.
Why do we perform suitability assessments?
All educational programmes within the field of special needs education are covered by the Regulations relating to Suitability Assessment in Higher Education.
The purpose of this assessment is to protect particularly vulnerable groups against unfit professionals.
Can I submit my doubt about a particular student?
Anyone who is in contact with the student can report a specified notification of doubt. It may be, for example, that you are concerned about the student's attitudes, professionalism, care-giving aptitudes and personal suitability to work in the field of special needs education. The suitability assessment criteria for the field of special needs education are:
a) The student shows a lack of will or ability to care and to conduct learning for children, youth and adults in accordance with the objectives and guidelines for the kindergarten and school activities.
b) The student demonstrates a lack of willingness or ability to keep track of what goes on in a children's group or class, and consequently fails to create an environment that takes account of children, adolescents and adults, their safety and their mental and physical health.
c) The student fails to take responsibility as a role model for children, youth and adults, in accordance with the objectives and guidelines for the kindergarten and school activities.
d) The student demonstrates a lack of willingness or ability to communicate and collaborate with children, adolescents and adults.
e) The student has problems of such a nature that he/she functions very poorly in relation to his/her surroundings.
f) The student lacks the self-knowledge that is necessary in connection with the tasks of the programme and future professional role.
g) The student demonstrates a lack of willingness or ability to change unacceptable behaviour in accordance with the guidance.
h) The student demonstrates threatening or insulting behaviour in the learning environment.
How do I proceed?
You have both a right and a duty to notify your concern about the suitability of another student in his/her professional role in the field of special needs education. You also have a responsibility as a fellow human being to help a student who has problems.
- Are you a student? Fill out the form to report a specified notification of doubt. This form is available here: Speak up about the learning environment.
- Are you an emloyee? Please contact the Head of study administration.
There are several factors that influence the possibility to comply with such an anonymity request, but usually, the person who delivers a notification of doubt must also be prepared for the possibility that the notifier's name will be disclosed to the student who has been reported.
The Department will, among other things, decide if the case is well-founded, and if it can be processed by the Head of Department, who is responsible for suitability assessments at our department.
Notifications of doubt that are undoubtedly unfounded shall not be processed.
What happens after I report a doubt?
In special cases, a specified notification of doubt about the suitability of a student, which can be submitted by anyone in contact with the student, may result in the suspension of the student from the study programme.The notification of doubt is handled according to the approved institutional procedures. University authorities will gather detailed information, in which all aspects of the case will be considered. The outcome of the proceedings will determine how the case will be handled.
Do you have questions?
Please contact the administrative manager at ISP
The department's Committee for Suitability Assessment assists the Head of Department in the work with suitability issues. The committee is appointed for one year (archive ref. 2019/2229). In 2019, the committee consists of: Ona Bø Wie (Head of Department), Melanie Kirmess (academic manager), and Liv Heidi Mjelve (counseling and academic responsibilities).
Do you want to know more about the suitability assessments?
- Regulations relating to Suitability Assessment in Higher Education (Suitability Regulations) (In Norwegian)
- Circular F-14-06: Regulations relating to Suitability Assessment in Higher Education (In Norwegian)
- Process map for proceedings on suitability assessment, from continuous to special suitability assessment (In Norwegian)