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Home > Your registration > Continuing professional development (CPD) > Glossary of terms

Glossary of terms


Audit
A CPD audit is the process where we randomly select a percentage of registrants who are renewing their registration, and ask them to send in a profile showing how their CPD meets our standards.

Appeal
If you come off the Register because your profile does not meet our CPD standards, you can appeal against this decision. When you appeal, we will look at the decision again, with any extra information you send us, and decide whether to change the decision made.

Clinical governance
"A framework through which NHS organisations are accountable for continually improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish." (Scally, G, Donaldson, L (1998) Looking forward: clinical governance and the drive for quality improvement in the new NHS. British Medical Journal, 317, p61-65)

Competence
Your competence is your ongoing ability to meet our standards for your professional knowledge, understanding and skills, so that you can practise safely and effectively.

Continuing professional development (CPD)
A range of learning activities through which health and care professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice.

CPD assessor
An HCPC partner, whose role is to assess CPD profiles against the CPD standards.

Deferral
The process by which a registrant who is unable to complete their profile puts off their CPD audit for two years.

Fitness to Practise
If someone is fit to practise, this means that they have the health and character, as well as the necessary skills and knowledge to practise their profession safely and effectively.

Health and Care Professions Council
The statutory regulator of sixteen health and care professions, set up to set standards, and protect the public.

Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001
The legislation which created the Health and Care Professions Council, and which gives it legal powers.

Hearing
Proceedings at which someone’s fitness to practise is considered, or an HCPC decision is appealed.

Lapsed (registration)
The term used to describe what happens to registration when a health and care professional does not renew their registration, and they are then no longer on the Register.

Partner
Partners work as agents of the HCPC. They provide the expertise the HCPC needs for its decision making, and ensure that we have good professional, and lay (public) input into what we do. Partners include registration assessors, who assess applications from health and care professionals who trained outside the UK, panel members, who sit at hearings to decide on registrants’ fitness to practise, and CPD assessors, who assess CPD profiles.

Portfolio
This name is sometimes used for a registrant’s personal and complete record of their CPD activity. This can be kept in whatever format is most useful for the registrant, and will not be looked at or inspected by HCPC.

Professional body
Each of the professions regulated by the HCPC has a professional body, membership of which is voluntary. Professional bodies may deal with supporting their members, promoting the profession, developing best practice, and continuing education.

Profile
The information that a registrant who has been selected for audit sends to the HCPC to show that they meet the standards for CPD.

Protected title
A title like ‘physiotherapist’, ‘chiropodist’ or ‘dietitian’ which can only be used by someone on the HCPC Register. Anyone who is not registered with HCPC who uses a protected title may be prosecuted and fined £5,000. For a full list of protected titles, please this page

Register
A published list of health and care professionals who meet the HCPC’s standards.

Renewal
The name of the process where professionals on the HCPC Register pay their registration fees, and sign their professional declaration, so that their registration continues for another two year period. Each profession regulated by HCPC renews its registration once every two years. Our CPD audit process is linked to registration renewal.

Revalidation
The process whereby a registered professional is assessed, regularly to ensure that they are fit to practise. (This is not the same as CPD, which is concerned with ongoing development and learning.)

Returners to practice
Health and care professionals who have been out of practice for a period of time, who wish to re-join their profession.

Scope of practice
The term used for the area of someone’s profession in which they have the knowledge, skills and experience to practise safely and effectively, in a way that meets our standards and does not present any risk to the public or to the health and care professional.

Struck off
When a health and care professional is removed from the Register as the result of a fitness to practise hearing.



Related Documents
HCPC Your guide to our standards of continuing professional developmentAdobe PDF Document96kb

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