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Viewpoint - David Bennett

Working with the healthcare science workforce
In this article we explain the importance of the healthcare science workforce and how we are working with the workforce to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of the public. Later in the article David Bennett, Head of Quality Assurance at the Academy for Healthcare Science, explains the importance of registration.

Healthcare scientists play an important role in delivering healthcare. At some point in our lives, we all rely on healthcare scientists to help prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses. Some of their responsibilities include analysing our blood samples to imaging our internal organs using ultrasound, analysing our tissue or fluid samples to help diagnose illnesses, such as infectious diseases and cancer, and ensuring that equipment is safe to use. Their expertise and skills help to save lives and improve care for millions of people. It is therefore important that they are well trained, competent and regulated.

Some healthcare scientists are required by law to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) where they are required to meet standards for training and professional skills, amongst others. However, some healthcare scientists, such as Genetic Technologist and Tissue Bank Technologists, are not required by law to register with the HCPC. These healthcare scientists have the option to register with a voluntary register to ensure that they keep their knowledge, skills and experience up to date.

Along with overseeing the HCPC, we are also required to set standards for organisations that hold a voluntary register for professionals. The organisations must prove that they meet our demanding Standards for Accreditation (the Standards) to be validated by us. Our standards include ensuring professionals have completed accredited courses to ensure they are trained properly, which helps to ensure they are competent and trustworthy.

Last year the Academy for Healthcare Science applied to be accredited by us and was awarded our quality mark. David Bennett, Head of Quality Assurance at the Academy, explains why it is important for healthcare scientists to be registered. He also provides further information for healthcare scientists who would like to apply to be on the register.