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Who are the HCPC?
We are an independent, UK wide health and care regulator set up to protect the public.
Who do the HCPC regulate?
We regulate 16 autonomous professions:
- Arts therapists
- Biomedical scientists
- Clinical scientists
- Chiropodists / podiatrists
- Hearing aid dispensers
- Occupational therapists
- Operating department practitioners
- Prothetists / orthotists
- Practitioner psychologists
- Social workers in England
- Speech and language therapists
Who regulates the other medical professions?
A variety of other regulators are responsible for the regulation of other medical professionals. For example the GMC regulates doctors and the NMC regulates nurses and midwives. For a full list, please see this link
What does the HCPC do?
We are a regulator and our job is to protect the health and wellbeing of people who use the services of the health and care professionals registered with us. At the moment, we register members of 16 professions. We only register people who meet our standards for their professional skills, behaviour and health.
Is the HCPC part of the Department of Health?
No, the HCPC is completely independent. We are not part of the Department of Health or the Government. We maintain our independence by being paid for entirely by registrant’s fees of £76 per annum. We are not a charity.
When did the HCPC come into existence?
We were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order (2001). There was a predecessor body called the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine (CPSM).
HCPC took over from CPSM in April 2002. They regulated 12 of the current professions regulated by HCPC but it was not a legal obligation to be registered, hence the reason that the majority of people working in private practice chose not to be ‘state registered’.
What powers do the HCPC have?
The HCPC has one core function; to protect the public. We do this in a variety of ways. Anyone can make a complaint about a health professional on our register.
We hold ‘hearings’ where health professionals and lay people decide if a registrant’s fitness to practise (ability to practise) is impaired by their conduct, competence or health. The hearings are there to protect the public – not to be punitive to the registrant. The maximum sanction is to strike a person off the register, meaning they cannot work within the UK for a minimum of five years. To see examples of our hearings and the outcomes, please see this link
We also have the power to prosecute individuals falsely claiming to be health professionals. For example using the title ‘physiotherapist’ or misleading the public by offering ‘physiotherapy services’. Prosecution can result in a criminal record and a fine of £5,000.
How do people become registered with the HCPC?
We approve a number of courses for each profession. Applicants to the register must complete an approved course to be entitled to apply for registration.
How is the HCPC run?
We have an operational business consisting of around 120 members of staff. The HCPC employees are in charge of the day-to-day running of the business, for example the registration process.
The HCPC has a Council that is in charge of the strategic aspects of the business. They make decisions that range from our corporate identity through to recommending new professions for regulation.
The HCPC also works along-side approximately 600 Partners. Their roles include assessing international applications, sitting on hearings and approving courses for registration.
FAQs on the statutory regulation of psychotherapists and counsellorsAdobe PDF Document36kb