We have previously had significant concerns about the HCPC’s fitness to practise systems. Since January 2021, the HCPC has accelerated its fitness to practise improvement programme to address our concerns, covering investigations, decision-making, interim orders and support provided to parties involved in proceedings. We have seen improvements in decision-making across all stages of the fitness to practise process, and in risk assessments. We recognise the work that has gone into making these improvements and are pleased to report that the HCPC has met Standards 16 and 17 this year and has again met Standard 14. We have seen some improvements in the quality of investigations and support provided to parties, but we were not fully assured that the concerns we had previously identified in these areas had been fully mitigated. We also continue to be concerned about the time the HCPC is taking to progress cases through its fitness to practise system. The HCPC has therefore not met Standards 15 and 18 this year. We will continue to monitor the HCPC’s ongoing programme of improvement.
Last year, we were concerned with the length of time it was taking the HCPC to process international applications for registration. To improve services, the HCPC made a number of changes to its registration processes which has led to an improvement in the time taken to process international applications. We commend the HCPC’s work in this area, particularly as the number of international applications it received during this review period increased significantly. The HCPC has therefore met Standard 11 for registration this year. We encourage the HCPC to continue to improve its processes and the services provided to applicants.
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