Prince Sultan University PSU
Compliance and Policies Office
Compliance Policies

Policy Code: COP0005
Policy Name: Disciplinary Policy
Handler: Compliance and Policies Office, Office of the President
Date Created: 22 January 2022
Date of Current Review: N/A
Approved by: University Council
Date of Approval: 25 May 2022


This policy applies to all employees’ and students’ conduct in all work/study settings and work/study-related settings. It covers one-off incidents if sufficiently serious and repeated inappropriate/unacceptable behavior.


Prince Sultan University (University) expects all its employees and students to behave and interact appropriately in the course of their work and study. They are expected to treat all colleagues, students and contacts with dignity and respect. If the behavior falls short of the standards expected, it will be considered as a breach of University policy, the University will take action to help to achieve and maintain the required standards and/or to protect the safety and wellbeing of others.

This policy explains the action the University will take to investigate and address any concerns regarding employees' and students' conduct at work or in the University.


This policy incorporates the following principles:

  1. Everyone involved in the process will be treated fairly, consistently and with dignity and respect.
  2. Any concerns about one’s conduct will be raised with the concerned individual at the earliest opportunity. Unless the misconduct is sufficiently serious where there will be no time given to address any concerns before any formal action is taken.
  3. The purpose of the policy is to improve employees’ and students’ behavior and to protect the safety and well-being of others. The main purpose of the Policy is not about punishing the individual concerned.
  4. If an investigation has been carried out as part of another process or policy, e.g. grievance policy, research misconduct, etc. a further separate investigation is not required. The outcome of the original investigation will determine if a case progresses to a disciplinary hearing.

Composition of Members of Disciplinary Hearing

This is a five-person committee of University personnel appointed by the President on an annual basis.

Informal Procedure

  1. If a manager/ instructor/administrative staff has concerns about an employee or student's behavior or has breached University policy, the manager/ instructor/administrative staff will advise the concerned individual at the earliest opportunity and explain what is needed to do to improve.
  2. This will usually be when there are minor problems that the concerned manager/ instructor/administrative staff believes that the problem or breach can easily address. The concerned individual will be given reasonable support and time to make an improvement and told when this will be reviewed.
  3. The direct manager/ instructor/administrative staff will write to the concerned individual summarising the discussion and confirming what the concerned individual needs to do to improve or change and by when.
  4. The concerned conduct will be reviewed after the agreed timeframe and if it is shown that the concerned individual achieved the required improvement, and there are no further concerns, the matter will be considered closed.

Formal Procedure

The direct manager/ instructor/administrative staff will progress matters to the formal procedure if:

  • there is no improvement in the concerned individual’s conduct, or
  • a more serious issue has been identified or alleged.

Temporary Suspension

  1. In some cases, if the issue or alleged conduct is very serious the concerned individual may be suspended from work/study while an investigation is carried out.
  2. The direct manager/- instructor/administrative staff manager will discuss the suspension with the relevant department, Head of HR or their nominated deputy before taking this action.
  3. The administrative suspension will not affect any of the concerned individual’s entitlements and benefits.

Disciplinary Investigation

When misconduct comes to light, the direct manager/dean of the respective faculty/students Affairs will contact the Senior Compliance and Legal Manager to request for the appointment of investigation of alleged misconduct or breach. The investigation is to establish a fair and balanced view of the facts. The extent of investigation needed will depend on the nature of the allegations and will vary from case to case. It may involve interviewing the concerned individuals and any witnesses and reviewing relevant documents or other information. The Compliance and Legal Office will inform the concerned individual about the commencement of an investigation.

The Compliance and Legal Office will produce a report containing details of the allegation, the steps undertaken as part of the investigation (e.g. interviewing witnesses and reviewing documents), and a conclusion that will include a recommendation. The Senior Compliance and Legal Manager will include a recommendation as to whether a disciplinary hearing should take place.

The direct manager/instructor/administrative staff will consider this recommendation and make the decision as to the appropriate course of action.

Where misconduct is not considered to be serious enough to warrant a disciplinary hearing, the direct manager/dean of the respective faculty/students Affairs may meet with concerned individuals informally to discuss the circumstances surrounding the misconduct. Written records of this discussion will be kept, as will documentation of any information from witnesses.

Notification of Disciplinary Hearing

When a disciplinary hearing is required, the concerned individual will be notified by letter as soon as practicable of:

  • the date, time, and location of the hearing
  • the allegations against the concerned individual
  • the investigation report, including all relevant documentation, setting out the basis of those allegations
  • the likely range of sanctions if the allegations are upheld

The disciplinary hearing will be convened before a Disciplinary Board, none of whom have had any previous involvement with the case.

If the concerned individual fails to attend without good reason, the hearing may be held in his/her absence and a decision made based on the information available. This may also occur if the concerned individual is persistently unable to attend for health or similar reasons.

Outcome of the Disciplinary Hearing

The possible outcomes of the Disciplinary hearing will be one of the following:

  • No disciplinary action: although the Panel may recommend other remedies or requirements such as training or mediation
  • Written warning
  • Final written warning
  • A sanction short of dismissal: as an alternative to dismissal, a final written warning may be issued together with a serious sanction such as demotion, loss of title, or withholding of a salary increment, giving a zero in the assessment or subject.
  • Dismissal: which will take immediate effect.

The Compliance and Legal Office (Senior Compliance and Legal Manager) will confirm the outcome of the hearing to the concerned individual in writing within one calendar week and they will also explain the right of appeal.


Misconduct is behaviour that is considered unacceptable or inappropriate by the University or is a breach of University policy. Misconduct will normally be considered serious enough to result in a disciplinary warning but not dismissal if it is the first time the issue has occurred.

Below are examples of possible disciplinary actions. This is not an exhaustive list.


A disciplinary action may be taken in the below cases

  • Failure to meet reasonable standards of work, morality and ethics to the extent that an employee is deemed unsuitable for employment.
  • Unsatisfactory performance or work output compared to a satisfactory standard as stipulated in the regulations of the University – examples being, but not limited to: excessive errors in work or not meeting deadlines for important documents without reasonable explanation.
  • Incompetence, inefficiency or negligence in the performance of duty.
  • Insubordination or refusal to work- physical or verbal resistance to direct supervisor and work direction
  • Willful violation of safety rules. Any conduct which may cause the risk of injury to persons or property.
  • Abuse, theft or destruction of university’s property.
  • Falsification of documents, and reports, records or expenses
  • Unauthorized absences/excessive absenteeism/abuse of sick leave privileges/excessive tardiness.
  • Conflict of Interest, employees are prohibited from engaging in any activity, practice, or act which may conflict, or give the appearance of conflict with the interests or business of the agency, its customers or consumers. Situations that create an actual conflict of loyalty or interest or even the appearance of such conflict must be avoided.
  • Conflict of interest, employees are prohibited to engage in any activity, practice or act, which may conflict with the interest of the academic or administrative work of the university.
  • Acceptance of personal gifts, monies, etc…which are given with the expectation of influencing the employee in the performance of his or her duties.
  • Use of official position for personal advantage.
  • Physical fights, assault or harassment – Employees engaged in fighting or in physical or verbal harassment including all racial, ethnic, religious and gender-based insults. All forms of harassment, including intimidation, hostility and offensive behavior.
  • Unauthorized access to computer files or other university files.
  • Distributing of any employee or student information without specific authorization, or violation of any university or Saudi laws governing university personnel and student’s confidentiality or violation of any confidentiality regulation stipulated in the Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL 2021)
  • Providing unauthorized information of any kind to persons outside the university
  • Behavior that jeopardizes the University personnel and students’ safety and welfare.
  • Violation of university policies and regulations
  • Any other activity that is deemed to be an unacceptable behavior

This list is for the purpose of examples and may not be all-inclusive for disciplinary action.

Other cases of misconduct not included in the list may be a cause of a disciplinary action.