We want to exhibit empathy in all our interactions, demonstrate fairness in all that we do, and cultivate professionalism through a supportive, transparent and collaborative approach
Our primary purpose is to protect the public, but as we do so we want to lead with kindness and compassion.
We know that our regulatory processes can be extremely stressful for all those involved, particularly our fitness to practise processes. We know there is more we can do to support, guide and assist our registrants, shifting the focus as far as possible from adversarial interactions to supportive ones that help to build professionalism.
We have been reflecting on our impact, and how we can make this more positive and better support registrants. To support this, we have developed our registrant health and wellbeing strategy.
Background to the strategy
We wanted to learn more about our impact on registrants – so, in 2019, we commissioned the School of Health Sciences at Surrey University, led by Professor Jill Maben, to research registrant’s experiences of fitness to practise.
The research team spoke to registrants who had recently been through our fitness to practise process, to understand the impact it had on them.
The research was published in July 2020 . It revealed the devastating impact our processes can have – and identified important learning for the organisation.
Whilst the focus of this research was on our fitness to practise function, we know that the issues highlighted in the research report extend across all our regulatory functions.
We strongly believe no registrant’s health should be affected by their regulatory body. We exist to protect the public, but in order to ensure the public gets the health and treatment they need we need a healthy and sustainable workforce.
We are committed to improving. The strategy and action plan below commit us to swift action to address the findings.
Our intention is that this strategy, and the action plan that supports it, help us embed a more human approach to regulation across the HCPC.
We exhibit empathy in all our interactions, demonstrate fairness in all that we do, and cultivate professionalism through a supportive, transparent and collaborative approach
We will achieve our vision by taking forward seven strategic aims:
- Taking a person centred approach to our customer service which accounts for context and demonstrates empathy and understanding.
- Leading with fairness and advocating equality, diversity and inclusion.
- Listening, learning and acting on intelligence, and communicating well.
- Enacting processes in a timely way; giving regular updates and responses.
- Delivering clear, open and transparent processes and decisions.
- Actively engaging with stakeholders to ensure the right action at the right time.
- Increasing focus on fostering professionalism.
What success will look like
Success will deliver the following outcomes:
- We provide good customer service and deliver timely, empathetic communications.
- We reach fair, transparent and proportionate decisions which take account of context.
- We are approachable and engaged with registrants and their employers.
- We will see an improvement in perceptions of the HCPC and our processes from registrants and other key stakeholders, through stakeholder polling, complaints and feedback, FTP registrant feedback forms and future research.
- Stakeholders see us act on their feedback and the wider learning we achieve through further insights and intelligence gathering.
- The promotion of professionalism is evidenced in all that we do.
What we plan to do
The strategy sets out in more detail where we are now, where we want to be and what we will do to get there. In broad terms, this covers:
- Embedding the learning of the research through employee training and ensuring we continue to collect and learn from feedback about our work.
- Changing the way we communicate with our registrants and to listen more to address the identified link between our communication and the negative impact our processes can have on registrants’ health and wellbeing.
- Being more transparent and addressing misconceptions about our role and purpose to improve confidence and understanding in our processes and decision-making.
- Increasing our engagements with and support for employers, professional bodies, trade unions and other key stakeholders to develop their understanding of our role and purpose, enabling improved local support and guidance for registrants.
- Improving the quality and timeliness of our fitness to practise work, making it more proportionate and humane, and pressing for regulatory reform to allow for more proportionate outcomes.
Some of our immediate priorities from the action plan include:
- Sharing the research findings and our strategy and action plan with relevant stakeholders and exploring ways to improve support for registrants
- Reviewing and changing our tone of voice, to ensure that our communications are compassionate and humane.
- Delivering our fitness to practise improvements and pursing regulatory reform.
- Increasing our engagements with and developing our support for employers.