The Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) has published its annual performance review of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC’s register covers just over 361,000 registrants in a variety of health and care professions in the United Kingdom, including paramedics, physiotherapists, dietitians, and social workers (in England).
We assessed the HCPC’s performance against our Standards of Good Regulation. Our Standards are designed to ensure that the regulators are protecting the public and also promoting confidence in health and care professionals and themselves. This year the HCPC has met all of the Standards for Guidance and Standards, Education and Training, and Registration. It has met four out of 10 of the Fitness to Practise Standards.
Last year we reported concerns about the HCPC’s performance against the Fitness to Practise Standards leading us to conclude that it had failed to meet six of them. Our concerns included:
- How the HCPC was applying its ‘Standard of Acceptance’ criteria, often inconsistently resulting in closing some complaints early that should have been investigated further
- How it was carrying out risk assessments
- How it was handling possible health issues during the Fitness to Practise process.
This year our report recognises that the HCPC has taken a number of steps to address our concerns about its performance against the Fitness to Practise Standards. It has instigated a wide-ranging action plan: with some activities to run into late 2018 and beyond. At this point, it cannot demonstrate enough evidence of sustained improvement for us to conclude that it has met those Standards. However, we welcome the fact that the HCPC has engaged positively with our findings. We will continue to review its progress.
More information about how we came to our conclusions is set out in our review – the HCPC Annual Review of Performance 2017/18 or read a summary in our snapshot.
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Christine Braithwaite, Director of Standards and Policy
Reception: 020 7389 8030
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- 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.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulates the practice in the UK of arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists/podiatrists, clinical scientists, dieticians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists/orthotists, radiographers, speech and language therapists and social workers in England. As at 31 March 2018, the HCPC was responsible for a register of 361,061 practitioners. The annual registration fee is £90.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk