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HCPC launches consultation on the revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

01/04/2015 - 12:24

HCPC launches consultation on the revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has today launched a consultation on draft revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. 

These are the high level ethical standards we publish for all the professionals we register, setting out in broad terms the behaviour we expect of them. They reflect both public expectations of professionals and the high standards that professionals expect of each other.

We started reviewing the Standards in order to make sure they were fit for purpose and relevant, undertaking a range of activities with employers, partners, registrants and service users and carers to gather feedback about the existing standards and how to improve them. We also convened a working group, known as a Professional Liaison Group (PLG), to help us put together a revised set of the Standards for consultation.

Following this work, we are proposing a number of changes to the Standards including:

• a dedicated standard about registrants reporting and escalating concerns that they might have about the safety and wellbeing of service users (standard 7).

• a new standard about registrants being open and honest when things go wrong (standard 8). Registrants would be expected to tell service users and carers when they become aware that something has gone wrong with the care, treatment or other services that they provide and to take action to put matters right wherever possible. They would also be required to consider making an apology and to make sure that the service user receives an explanation of what happened.

• changes to the structure of the Standards to improve their accessibility, particularly to service users and carers.

Michael Guthrie, HCPC’s Director of Policy & Standards said “The Standards of conduct, performance and ethics set out the behaviours we expect from our registrants. They also play an important role in helping us make registration and fitness to practise decisions.

“It is important to make sure that the Standards continue to be fit for purpose, up-to-date and well understood by registrants and the public so we would encourage all our stakeholders, including the professions, employers as well as service users and carers to respond to the consultation with their views on the proposed draft standards.”

The consultation will run from 1 April until 26 June 2015. Once the consultation has closed we will consider the feedback we received to finalise the standards. We expect that new standards will be in place in early 2016.

To see the consultation on the revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics and to take part visit

For further press information please contact Grant Imlach or Rebekah Tailor in HCPC’s press office on 020 7840 9806 or email

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.

Rebekah Tailor
(0)20 7840 9806

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