Medical Certificates - Guidelines for Departments
The Student Health Centre has issued the following advice to Departments:
Detailed guidelines as to when the Student Health Centre will issue medical certificates
are given below. Students should self-certify for shorter absences.
Tutors, in particular, need to be made aware of these guidelines.
Certificates are sent only at the request of the student, and are sent
direct to the Departmentss.
- Trivial illness
We are concerned about the length of time some students are taking off with
trivial illness. Students need to be made more aware of the importance of
attending their courses and examinations even if they do feel under the weather.
Students need to visit or contact the Health Centre once their time off due to an
illness goes over the one week allowed for self certification rather than weeks
- Exact extent to which performance is affected
Many illnesses we see have to be evaluated on the basis of the patient's history
rather than on clinical signs, particularly in the cases of fatigue, pain or
distress. We are often, therefore, unable to be very precise as to the degree of
- Non-medical problems
Social - social problems including attending family funerals or noisy
halls keeping students awake should be reported directly to the Department.
Counselling - students who have been receiving counselling from the Wellbeing Centre
over matters affecting their work should ask the counsellor involved
to supply an appropriate letter.
- Certification by nursing sisters
Many students with minor ailments who do not have an appointment are seen by our
Nursing Sisters who are empowered in these circumstances to issue medical
- Glandular fever
90% of the adult population have had glandular fever as demonstrated by antibody
testing. Most are not aware that they have had it, ie glandular fever is often a
very trivial illness. A certificate merely confirming a diagnosis of glandular
fever is, therefore, meaningless.
Students should see one of the Medical Officers before a final decision is made
of suspension on medical grounds.
Provision of Medical Certificates
The doctors at the Student Health Centres will provide written medical
certificates to Departmentss under the following circumstances. The
Nursing Sisters are also empowered to issue certificates relating to
If a student has, due to illness, been continuously absent from their course
for a period of more than one week. Shorter absences should be reported
directly to the Department by the student. The only exception to this is for
students on Teaching Practice who may require certificates for shorter
If a student is, due to illness, late handing in work by more than one week.
Reasons for shorter delays in handing in work should be reported directly
to the Department.
If a student's work has, due to illness, been significantly affected over a
prolonged period (several weeks or more).
If a student is, due to illness, unable to attend an examination contributing
more than 10% to their end of year mark (for the module).
If a student's performance in such an examination has been significantly
affected due to illness in the examination or over the revision period.
If a student is, due to illness, suspending from their course.
See also: Mitigating Circumstances Affecting Assessments