What is an Accredited Register?
It is a register that has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
This means that the organisation which holds the register meets demanding standards set by us in a number of areas, including protecting the public, complaints handling, governance, setting standards for registrants, education and training, and managing the register. A voluntary register differs from statutory registers held by bodies like the General Medical Council because professionals are not obliged to be registered in order to practise.
What kind of practitioners are on an Accredited Register?
Practitioners on Accredited Registers work in health and social care occupations that do not have to be regulated by law. Sometimes people who are on a statutory register (one regulated by law), such as the General Medical Council, also choose to be on an Accredited Register that covers a specialist area of practice.
Practitioners on Accredited Registers have chosen to be on them to show their commitment to good practice, and that they are part of a governing body, with its own standards and procedures.
Why should I use a practitioner on an Accredited Register?
It provides you with assurance that the organisation holding the register meets our standards. This means that they manage their register well and require practitioners on their register to meet specific standards of personal behaviour, technical competence and, where relevant, business practice.
Accredited Registers provide you with greater reassurance because if a practitioner is removed from one accredited register for poor practice, they cannot automatically join another. This way, you can avoid practitioners that have been ‘struck off’.
How do I find someone on an Accredited Register?
You can recognise an Accredited Register by looking out for our Quality Mark. Only Accredited Registers can use it. You can find practitioners easily by using www.checkapractitioner.com. This allows you to search by the occupation you are looking for and will also show you the relevant Accredited Register/s for these occupations. You can then search each register individually for practitioners. You can also find Accredited Registers on the Accredited Registers Directory.
I am a health professional. How do I get your Quality Mark and join your register?
We do not hold a register, or approve individuals directly. We only accredit organisations that hold their own registers. If you want to be part of an Accredited Register, you should approach an Accredited Register that covers your profession and find out whether you meet the criteria to join the register.
Once you are registered, the Accredited Register will provide you with our Quality Mark and advice on how to use it. All practitioners on Accredited Registers are able and encouraged to use the Quality Mark.
Do people have to be on an Accredited Register to work in health or social care?
No, it is a matter of choice. They can choose to be on an Accredited Register or not. You are also free to choose whether or not to use a practitioner on an Accredited Register.
Do Accredited Registers protect the public in the same way as statutory regulators?
The main purpose of the Accredited Registers scheme is to protect the public and raise professional standards. The Authority sets high standards for organisations holding registers and Accredited Registers require practitioners to meet high standards of personal behaviour, technical competence and where applicable, business practice. This helps protect the public.
It does not have the power to bar people from working in the same way that statutory regulation can. However, if someone is removed from an Accredited Register, they cannot simply join another Accredited Register. If you always use www.checkapractitioner.com to check whether a practitioner is on an Accredited Register, you can reassure yourself that they are part of a body which sets high standards.
Does having the Quality Mark mean that a particular therapy works?
We do not make judgements on the efficacy of treatments or therapies. This is a matter for the NHS, employers and service users.
However, when registers apply to us for accreditation, we assess the evidence about the benefits of treatments covered by a register and whether these outweigh any risks. We also consider how clearly and accurately the register and its registrants describe these benefits and risks. This helps to make sure that patients, service users and employers can have confidence about choosing services from someone on an Accredited Register.
What should I do if I am unhappy with someone on an Accredited Register?
First, you should raise the matter with the person concerned if you feel able to do so. You can also contact the organisation that holds the register to ask for advice. If the practitioner cannot resolve your concerns or if the matter is serious, the organisation holding the accredited register can investigate. You can find the organisation by searching for it on The Accredited Registers Directory.
Can I tell you if I am unhappy with an Accredited Register?
Yes you can. We do not consider complaints about individuals on Accredited Registers, as we expect the accredited organisation to handle these concerns. However, if you are unhappy with the way that the organisation handled your complaint or another part of its role and think it does not meet our Standards, you can share your experience with us.
What happens if someone is removed from an Accredited Register?
If a practitioner is removed from an Accredited Register, there will be a record of that on the register with the reason why they were removed. This record is freely available to the public and is published on the Accredited Register’s own website. You can access their register by searching for them through www.checkapractitioner.com or on The Accredited Registers Directory.
The Authority requires all organisations holding Accredited Registers to recognise and acknowledge the decision to remove a practitioner for disciplinary reasons.
My organisation holds a register and would like to apply for accreditation. What do I do?
We welcome applications from organisations that hold registers and are committed to protecting the public. First of all, you’ll need to make sure you meet our Standards and are ready to apply. You’ll find a self-assessment tool on Apply for the Quality Mark. We also encourage you to have an informal discussion with our Accredited Registers team about your organisation and your plans to apply.
Do I need to meet all the Authority's standards to get the Quality Mark?
Yes. The Authority will have to be sure that you meet all the Standards before we award accreditation and accompanying use of the Quality Mark. You can find out more about how we assess organisations at Apply for the Quality Mark.
Do I have to pay to apply?
Yes. Our Accredited Registers scheme has to be self-funding and works on a not-for-profit basis.
You’ll find information on fees at Apply for the Quality Mark and on our Fees page.