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PSA welcomes important step towards reforming the regulators and emphasises the need to stay focused on public protection

The PSA welcomes the Department of Health and Social Care’s plans to reform regulators and the draft Order laid before the UK and Scottish Parliaments today. This is a long-awaited step towards reform of all the regulators.

This draft legislation will give the General Medical Council (GMC) the statutory powers it needs to regulate the Anaesthesia Associate and Physician Associate professions in the UK. It will also act as the blueprint for reforms to other regulators down the line. We know that, from our work overseeing the regulators, there is an urgent need for reform.

The regulatory model set out in this Order presents distinct advantages. It grants regulators more flexibility to determine how they use their powers, and provides for a new fitness to practise model that allows more cases to be decided consensually with the registrant, outside a formal hearing.

However, we want to make sure that the right balance is struck between autonomy and accountability for the regulators. We would also like to see greater engagement with a wider range of stakeholders in the next round of reform, including patient representatives, to ensure that public protection is at the heart of regulatory reform.

We will continue to work with government on rolling out reforms and offer our continued support and expertise to DHSC colleagues as matters progress. To support this, we are developing guidance for reformed regulators, to help them implement their new powers as effectively as possible for public protection, and will be consulting on this early in the new year.

Alan Clamp, Chief Executive, said:

As we have said throughout this process, the PSA welcomes reform. We are committed to working with others to design legislation that enhances public protection; and whatever the legislation, we will do everything within our remit, powers and capacity to ensure that reformed regulation is as effective as possible in protecting the public.’ 


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Notes to the Editor
  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 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. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. For our full response to the consultation on this legislation, see here: Professional Standards Authority Response to the Government consultation on the draft Anaesthesia Associates and Physician Associates Order
  8. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at