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Home > About regulation > Regulation of further groups > New professions process

New professions process

The Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 gives us discretionary powers to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health and to Scottish Ministers about the regulation of professions and occupations pursuant to the Health Act 1999. In order to assist us in doing this, we previously ran a ‘new professions process’. As part of this process, we previously considered applications for regulation from interested professions. If certain criteria were met, we recommended that group’s regulation to Government. However, the final decision about whether a profession becomes statutory regulated is one for Ministers and ultimately for the UK and Scottish parliaments. Many of the recommendations we made were not and have not been progressed by Government.

We previously consulted on the potential statutory regulation of dance movement psychotherapists between July and October 2009. This took place alongside a consultation about the regulation of psychotherapists and counsellors. Please click here for more information about the consultation.

The new professions process closed in early 2011. We are no longer considering applications. This page provides information about the criteria we previously had in place. We also list the applications we considered which resulted in a recommendation by the Council to the Secretary of State for Health and Scottish Ministers for the regulation of the profession. To date, only operating department practitioners and practitioner psychologists have become regulated.


The new professions / aspirant groups process is now closed and we are no longer considering applications.

The criteria we applied when we considered applications is as follows:

  • Cover a discrete area of activity displaying some homogeneity
  • Apply a defined body of knowledge
  • Practise based on evidence of efficacy
  • Have at least one established professional body which accounts for a significant proportion of that occupational group
  • Operate a voluntary register
  • Have defined routes of entry to the profession
  • Have independently assessed entry qualifications
  • Have standards in relation to conduct, performance and ethics
  • Have Fitness to Practise procedures to enforce those standards
  • Be committed to continuous professional development (CPD)

Previous applications considered by Council

The following lists the applications we considered which resulted in a recommendation by the Council.

Date of Council meeting Applicant Body Profession Council reference paper
2 April 2003 The Association of Operating Department Practitioners Operating Department Practitioners Paper HPC 37/03
4 June 2003 The British Psychological Society Applied Psychologists Paper HPC 50/03
17 September 2003 The Society of Clinical Perfusion Scientists of Great Britain Clinical Perfusion Scientists Paper HPC 76/03
8 October 2003 The Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists Clinical Physiologists Paper HPC 111/03
2 March 2004 The Association of Dance Movement Therapy Dance Movement Therapists Paper HPC 3/04
13 May 2004 The Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists Clinical Technologists Paper HPC 29/04
14 September 2004 The Institute of Medical Illustrators Medical Illustrators Paper HPC 94/04
13 September 2005 The Institute of Maxillofacial Prosthetists & Technologists Maxillofacial Prosthetists & Technologists Paper HPC 108/05
1 March 2006,
11 May 2006 &
10 February 2011
The Society of Sports Therapists Sports Therapists Paper HPC 4/06 (March)
Paper HPC 36/06 (May)

Enclosure 7 (February)
10 September 2009 &
7 October 2009
Society and College of Radiographers Sonographers Enclosure 08
Enclosure 07
10 September 2009 Association of Genetic Nurses and Counsellors Genetic Counsellors Enclosure 09, paper reference: 13.09/147

Please click on the meeting dates above to view the application form, the summary of the full submission, the criteria against which the application was assessed and the executive's assessment of the application for each aspirant group.

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