A. We understand why regulators are keen to have more flexible fitness to practice powers. Panel hearings are costly and time-consuming as well as being stressful for all involved. Accepted outcomes could improve things and leave regulators with more time and resource to support the majority of registrants who never come near the fitness to practise process.
However, PSA oversight would have little impact on regulators but would fulfil an important public protection function now as it does for panel decisions. There will be no difference between the kinds of cases that can be dealt with via accepted outcomes or by panels therefore there is no logic in having different routes of appeal.
The alternative proposed in the form of the Registrar Review could also end up being less predictable and more complex for regulators as well as those requesting reviews.
The consultation states that ‘any person(s)’ can request a review. There is currently no information about how many such requests would be received. Even if they did not meet the grounds set out in the consultation, time would still be needed to review and respond to the member of the public asking for the review.
The Authority uses its powers of appeal rarely and we have to meet a high bar before taking them forward. We will often feedback learning points instead helping to improve the fitness to practise process. We are also independent so have no vested interest.