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Home > Media and Events > Press room > Archived press releases

HCPC launches consultation on guidance for social media

03/10/2016 - 10:25

HCPC launches consultation

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has today launched a consultation on new guidance on social media for registrants.

Registrants are increasingly using social media as a personal and professional communication tool. This guidance has been created in response to feedback that professionals would value published guidance from us which provides reassurance and the confidence that they are meeting expected standards when using social media. 

The guidance has been drafted using feedback from an online workshop. This identified the areas that should be addressed by the new guidance and participants were asked to comment on the challenges and value of using social media as well as offering top social media tips – dos and don’ts.

Focusing on the ethical aspects of social media use, our draft guidance provides advice about meeting our Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. It also acknowledges the value of social media as a dynamic and effective communication tool and sets out how we expect registrants to apply our standards when using social media in different contexts. The proposed guidance is also complementary to any guidance produced by the professional bodies.

Michael Guthrie, Director of Policy and Standards, commented:

“The vast majority of registrants who use social media already do so responsibly, in line with our standards, and without any difficulties at all. However we know that registrants can sometimes be anxious about using social media because they want to make sure that they always meet our standards. The guidance, therefore, explains what our standards mean and how we expect registrants to apply them.

We would encourage our registrants, service users, carers, education providers and anyone with an interest to respond with their views on the draft guidance.”

Opening on Monday 3 October, the consultation will run to 13 January 2017. HCPC will then publish a document which summarises the comments received and explains the decisions taken as a result.

To take part in the consultation, complete our online survey, email or write to Consultation on guidance on social media, Policy and Standards Department, Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU.


For further press information, please contact Caitlin Drysdale or Grant Imlach in HCPC’s press office on 020 7840 9806 or email

Notes to Editors:

1. The consultation will run from Monday 3 October 2016 to Friday 13 January 2017.

2. For further information about the consultation, please contact Natasha Wynne, Policy Officer,

3. Responses to the document can be made by:

Completing our easy-to-use online survey:

Emailing us at:

Writing to:
Consultation on guidance on social media
Policy and Standards Department
Health and Care Professions Council
Park House
184  Kennington Park Road
SE11 4BU

You may also send a fax to +44 (0)20 7820 9684

4. If you would prefer your response not to be made public, please indicate this when you respond. We will publish on our website a summary of the responses we receive, and the decisions we have taken as a result.

5. The full documents are available online and a copy can be downloaded from the HCPC website:

6. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

7. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. To see the full list of protected titles please see

Arts therapists
Biomedical scientists
Chiropodists / podiatrists
Clinical scientists
Hearing aid dispensers
Occupational therapists
Operating department practitioners
Practitioner psychologists
Prosthetists / orthotists
Social workers in England
Speech and language therapists

8. The HCPC regulates social workers in England. Social workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are separately regulated by the relevant Care Council in that country.

9. To contact us via social media, use the Twitter handle @The_HCPC or search the Health and Care Professions Council on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Caitlin Drysdale
44 (0)20 7840 9806

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