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Viewpoint - Harry Cayton

One of the strengths of professional regulation in the UK is that it is capable of looking outward to developments internationally. We have much to learn and much to give to developments in regulatory practice around the world. At the present time both the international regulatory federations are led by registrars from the UK; Niall Dickson of the GMC chairs IAMRA and Marc Seale of the HCPC is president of CLEAR.

The IAMRA conference hosted by the GMC in London last summer was a great success with speakers from many countries, most influentially Professor Malcom Sparrow from Harvard, author of The Character of Harms and co-incidentally also British.  The International Health Workforce Collaborative has been in London, hosted by Health Education England, this month and the CLEAR conference will be on our doorstep in Amsterdam this summer.

Recently an International Federation of Dental Regulators has been established and
an International Nurse Regulator Collaborative is also working to share learning and practice. Both these groupings, and indeed many regulators round the world have shown a keen interest in right-touch regulation.

Many Accredited Registers also have active international links and some include members in other countries on their registers. We are currently working with them to see if the accreditation programme can be extended to include international registrants.

The Authority has always valued its international partnerships and commissions. We welcome international visitors to our offices, we are looking forward this month to meeting colleagues from Australia, New Zealand and Canada. When we can fit it in, we are also ready to accept invitations to work with regulators in other countries. In the last year, we have contributed to the review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme in Australia, to the development of accredited registers in Hong Kong and to regulatory governance in Ireland.  We have recently agreed a new commission to work with the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia.

The theme that binds all of us together internationally is a commitment to patient safety and to high standards of professionalism. We all share a need to understand better how to assess and value registrants moving between countries and a desire to learn about best practice in regulation wherever we find it. Health improvement is a global enterprise and open, agile, right touch regulation has its part to play.