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HCPC releases Guidance on social media

04/09/2017 - 10:29

Guidance on social media

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has today released new Guidance on social media.

This guidance explains to registrants how to use social media in a way which meets our standards. It focuses on issues registrants and other stakeholders come across most frequently, and was informed by an online workshop and a consultation.

The Guidance is divided into four sections which includes top tips and using social media in line with HCPC standards.

Some of the top tips are:
• Think before you post. Assume that what you post could be shared and read by anyone.
• Think about who can see what you share and manage your privacy settings accordingly. Remember that privacy settings cannot guarantee that something you post will not be publicly visible.
• Maintain appropriate professional boundaries if you communicate with colleagues, service users or carers.
• Do not post information which could identify a service user unless you have their permission.

HCPC Director of Policy and Standards Michael Guthrie said:

“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 sometimes have questions or concerns about using social media because they want to make sure that they always meet our standards.

This guidance explains what our standards mean when using social media. We have structured part of the guidance under the areas of our standards which apply to the appropriate use of social media.”
The 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 the HCPC’s Standards of conduct, performance and ethics when using social media. 

The guidance is complementary to other guidance, such as that produced by some professional bodies to support their members in getting the most from this technology.

You can download the HCPC’s Guidance for social media, and learn more about using social media in line with our standards here:

The HCPC will be holding a tweetchat focusing on the new guidance from 6.30pm on Tuesday September 12, 2017. Join in by following @The_HCPC and using the hashtag #my_guidance.


Notes to Editors:

1.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.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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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