Dentistry: structured event reporting form (SERF) guidelines

These guidelines are for the dentistry structured event reporting forms (SERF). The SERF is for reporting safeguarding issues, professionalism alerts and positive incidents.

Our dentistry students are expected to behave professionally and responsibly. They must complete the duties and requirements associated with their studies. They should do so in a manner that supports their own wellbeing and health as well as their peers. 

Types of event

Completing a SERF

It is important for both staff and students to appreciate that the SERF is an information notification system. A SERF is not held formally anywhere outside the secure SERF database. The SERF is only the vehicle by which information is securely gathered, triaged, and directed to appropriate person(s).

As such, any situation when a SERF is completed and submitted will be followed up with another process. This may be academic, such as lodging positive feedback in portfolio. It could be safeguarding focussed, such as student welfare needing pastoral or health input. Or it may relate to professionalism, leading to disciplinary note of the professionalism alert.

System following submission of SERF

Our main concern is to ensure that patient safety and student welfare are always supported. All SERFs will be triaged by a Designated Officer (DO). The DO will assess if the level assigned is appropriate for the incident, and if necessary, will up or down-grade the level.

At subsequent meetings with the student a SERF outcome will be completed and uploaded into the student’s eportfolio. This identifies actions to be undertaken.

Actions in the event of multiple SERFs being submitted

A secure SERF summary document is held in line with the School’s confidentiality policy. This gives summary data of the number and nature of SERFs for each student and is only accessible by the DO or nominated proxy.

Frequently asked questions

Designated Officer

Dr Vicky Buller