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Authority releases special report on regulating health workforce

The Professional Standards Authority has today released a special report, Right-touch reform to assist people responding to the government consultation on reform of professional regulation.

Christine Braithwaite, Director of Standards and Policy said:

‘This government consultation is so important that we have released a special report. It is not our response to the consultation – it is essentially a reference manual to help people understand how regulation works now and what needs to change to keep patients safe in future. We want people to get informed and respond to the government consultation – we cannot let this opportunity for modernisation slip by.

Our report is detailed. If you are interested in education and training read that section, if you are concerned about fitness to practise read that part or if you think regulators should be doing more to stop harm happening in the first place read the chapter on preventing harm.’

The report covers in detail four main areas: the role of regulators in prevention of harm; the future of fitness to practise; professional regulators’ role in education and training; and modernising registers.

As well as making proposals for future development and improvement, the report provides detailed summary and analysis of current arrangements in these areas to help stakeholders understand them and to act as a platform for discussions about reform.

Right-touch reform is the third in a series of publications about the need for reform by the Authority including Rethinking regulation, and Regulation rethought.

The Authority will be making a formal response to the consultation by the government’s deadline.

The Authority urges people to ‘get informed, get involved and respond’.

Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


Christine Braithwaite, Director Standards and Policy
Reception: 020 7389 8030

Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. The Standards of Good Regulation are designed to ensure that the regulators are protecting the public but also promoting confidence in health and care professionals and themselves. The Standards cover the regulators’ four core functions: setting and promoting guidance and standards for the profession; setting standards for and quality assuring the provision of education and training; maintaining a register of professionals; and taking action where a professional’s fitness to practise may be impaired.
  4. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  5. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  6. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  7. Our values are at the heart of who we are and what we do. We are committed to being impartial, fair, accessible and consistent in the application of our values.
  8. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at