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Advice for current registrants

In light of the latest Government advice, we have reviewed these pages
Please keep checking the hub for the latest advice

We recognise that these are challenging times for healthcare professionals, even as the situation heads towards normality in many parts of the country.

Many of our registrants are being asked to approach the provision of care in very different ways, work in new environments, and change their scope of practice.

We are doing all we can to help by developing the information and support we provide and by providing clear guidance against the your HCPC standards. This includes areas such as: approach to care, communication, scope of practice, delegation and supervision, data protection, infection control and personal protective equipment, and raising concerns.

We will keep our information and support up to date, and are working with other stakeholders to ensure they do so too. 

Infection prevention and control

  • If you suspect that you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to the virus or have been told to isolate by NHS Track and Trace, you should get tested as soon as possible. More information on getting a test can be found on the NHS website

    If employed, you should also speak to your employer to see if there are any local policies in place you need to follow.

    If you told to isolate, you will need to follow the latest advice issued by Government about self-isolation and who you need to tell. This might include service users, if you are delivering face to face services.

  • We are sorry to hear you’ve experienced these challenges. As your regulator, we would expect you to follow Government advice and therefore self-isolate if required in order to protect your health and others.

    It is important you raise these concerns with your employer. We have issued advice for registrants about this, which can be found at Speaking up during an emergency. You may also want to speak to your professional body and/or trade union if you are a member.

    You can also speak to an employment advice service like ACAS or seek advice directly from your employer's HR team.

  • The HCPC is unable to recommend personal protective equipment to registrants. You should speak to your professional body, if a member, to see if they have any specific advice for members of your profession in your position.

    You can also read our advice on infection control and managing risk which links to relevant guidance on PPE in the four countries.

  • If you are undertaking home visits, we encourage you to follow the latest Government advice. Restrictions will differ across different parts of the UK, so be sure to check the advice for where you live and to follow the guidance.

    In providing care and treatment that will involve a lot of close physical contact, you need to do all you can to minimise risk to yourself and colleagues.

    We advise weighing up the risks to you, your colleagues or service users of contracting COVID-19 through providing face-to-face care and consider:

    • The steps which can be taken to reduce this risk, for example, infection control, social distancing, use of face coverings and adequate PPE;
    • the health implications of not providing face-to-face treatment to that service user;
    • the potential burden that may place on other services in the health and care sector if the service user is left untreated;
    • Whether treatment can be provided remotely.

    In addition to this, you should follow all the Government advice regarding hand washing and hygiene to maintain a safe practice environment. You should also ensure you follow the advice if told to self-isolate.

    If you do visit someone in their home, you should make sure you explain your approach to infection control and personal protective equipment at the earliest opportunity. You can find further information on infection control here. You should also record any decision to continue to provide care/treatment in the home, noting down the discussions you have had, and confirming you gained informed consent to proceed.

    Further information on adapting your practice due to COVID-19 can be found on our advice page, Adapting your practice in the community.

  • We expect registrants to follow Government advice about travelling including the relevant government advice about self-isolation if they re-enter the UK. Government is constantly updating their guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak and what impact this has on travel. You can find this advice on their website.

    You should consult this before your trip, as you may be advised to cancel your plans or take certain steps on your return. This may include self-isolating for a period of time.

    If you are employed, you may also want to speak to your employer to see if they have any guidance. We would expect registrants to adhere to their employer’s policies. You should notify your employer as soon as possible if you need to self-isolate, so that appropriate measures can be put in place for the service users under your care.

    If you are self-employed and need to self-isolate, you will need to communicate this to service users and direct them to other sources of care and treatment where required.

    If you need to hand over the care and treatment of a service user to a colleague, you must share relevant information as appropriate.

  • We are acutely aware of the issues our registrants are facing with regard to PPE shortages, and so have provided guidance in how they should approach this issue in our Managing risk: infection control information sheet.

    In summary, this information recognises the challenging circumstances, highlights current guidance on PPE, affirms the role of the employer in providing appropriate PPE, and supports registrants in making professional judgements to protect themselves and the wider service user population.

    The information also sets out that, should any concerns be raised about your practice (which could include refusal to practice because of a lack of PPE) we will take account of:

    • The circumstances and context you were working in;
    • any steps you took to raise your concerns; and
    • relevant resource, guidelines and protocols in place at the time.

    This position is set out in the joint statement from Chief Executives of statutory regulators of health and care professionals

  • Service user safety should be your primary concern, and so we expect you to prioritise treatment.

    Notwithstanding this, if the PPE available is not the appropriate standard or in short supply, you may need to make changes to the manner and/or frequency with which you provide treatment.

    If the risks of treating a service user is too high you should raise your concern with your employer, escalating where necessary. You should keep a clear record of your decision, outlining the reasons for that decision.

  • The circumstances leading to any decision to refuse to treat a service user will vary greatly. It is for you to consider the specific circumstances you face and use your professional judgement to determine and appropriate approach.

    Should any concerns be raised about your practice in this regard, we will take account of:

    • the circumstances and context you were working in;
    • any steps you took to raise your concerns; and
    • relevant resource, guidelines and protocols in place at the time.

    This is why it is vital you keep a contemporaneous record of your decision making.

Read about the factors to consider in applying the standards of conduct performance and ethics

Changes to your practice due to COVID-19

  • The four country Governments are ultimately responsible for setting guidance about the impact of COVID-19 restrictions (including a lockdown) on particular services. This means HCPC cannot advise on whether particular services are allowed to continue during restrictions.

    At the time of writing, we are not aware of any requirement that health services close during lockdowns. In general, healthcare should continue as normal provided it can be delivered in a COVID safe way.

    On an on-going basis, we expect registrants to:

    • follow the guidance relevant to where they practise,
    • Follow best practice set out by their professional body (where available)
    • Continue to meet all of the HCPC’s standards while delivering services to the public.

    Remember, government guidance and local rules can change quickly, so be sure you are staying up to date and adhering to your local rules.

    We would recommend familiarising yourself with our guidance on adapting your practice as well as our guidance on infection control. These two guidance documents provide a framework to help professionals make decisions about how they provide treatment.  We would then expect registrants to use their professional judgement to assess all the available information and to act in the best interests of their service users.

  • Government guidance will sometimes refer to ‘essential services’ or ‘essential care’. The HCPC does not define essential services and cannot determine when a service is essential. Instead we expect health care professionals to meet Government guidelines at all times.

    As a healthcare professional, you will be best placed to determine whether or not your services are essential. This might take into account the particular needs of your service users and the risks to them if your services do not take place. If you are unsure, you will need to defer to Government guidance or seek clarity from your professional body.

  • The HCPC has received many queries to ask if professionals working outside of the NHS (fully or partly) are differently impacted by COVID-19 guidance.

    Regardless of what setting you work in or who your employer is, the HCPC expects all registrants to meet all of our standards at all times. This includes compliance with relevant COVID-19 guidance for your place of work. You should check Government guidance to see what impact this might have on your role.  

  • We expect registrants to work within the limits of their skills, knowledge and experience at all times. Therefore, if your employer asks you to move into a new area or role, we would expect you to receive training and/or support to ensure you are still able to practise safely and effectively.

    Due to COVID-19, it may not be possible to get the level of training and support you would typically expect. It is still important that you receive as much training and support as practicable in the circumstances to ensure you are able to practice safely and effectively.

    All our standards need to be read in the round. How to meet them, and what is and is not appropriate, will depend on the full circumstances of an individual’s practice. We recognise that working in a pandemic may give rise to particular challenges that are uncommon in your everyday practise. We would still expect you to use your professional judgement to assess what is safe and effective practise in the context in which you are working during the pandemic. For more information, you can read our information page on scope of practice during COVID-19.

  • If you have concerns about the level of training or support you are receiving, you should raise this immediately with your employer. If they do not address your concerns, you should seek advice from your professional body or union as soon as you can.

    We recognise that right now it must be particularly challenging, but we would encourage, wherever possible, that registrants are given as much support and training as practicable in the circumstances to ensure they are still able to practise safely and effectively.

    You can find further advice on our information pages:

  • The HCPC does not restrict which professions can prescribe certain medicines, nor how medicines are classified.

    For registrants on the permanent register, we are not aware of any plans to change current legal restrictions on administering and prescribing medicines, so expect registrants to follow current legal requirements. If Government were to introduce emergency measures that relax these rules, we will update the advice on our website.

    For temporary registrants, they will not be able to access annotations and therefore will be unable to prescribe. However, temporary registrants can still administer medicines via any other mechanism their profession would be entitled to such as PSDs and PGDs. More information can be found on via Medical entitlements and COVID-19.

  • We have issued guidance for registrants adapting their practice during COVID-19.

    We have guidance on our website which sets out the principles of good practice expected of everyone when consulting and / or prescribing remotely.

    We would also advise you get in touch with your professional body for further advice and support. You can find a list of professional bodies on our website here

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK authority on information rights and data protection and would be best place to assist you. It has released a statement which sets out their position on data protection during the COVID-19 pandemic which should assist you.

    You may also be interested in our information page on Data protection in exceptional times.

  • Our standards require registrants to only delegate work to someone who has the knowledge, skills and experience needed to carry it out safely and effectively. Therefore, COVID-19 temporary registrants should only be given work that they and their employer feels they are able to do.

    What is the appropriate level of supervision will therefore depend on the individual, their level of experience and local policies set by employers. You should take the same steps as you would usually to assess this.

    For more advice, we have developed an information page on supervision and delegation during COVID-19.

    If you are a member of a professional body, they may also be able to provide further support or guidance.

  • We are encouraging registered health and care professionals to keep up to date with all information and guidance concerning COVID-19.

    The Departments of Health and Social Care, and other agencies including Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland are regularly updating their guidance for health and care professionals and information for the public.

    Please remember to check regularly for any new statements issued, as well as being aware of guidance from your employer.

    The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England

    COVID-19: guidance for health professionals 

    Latest information and advice for the public

    The UK COVID-19 data dashboard

    Health Protection Scotland

    Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for health protection team 

    Latest information and advice for the public

    The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health Wales

    Compiled guidance for health and social care professionals

    Guidance for the public – English

    Guidance for the public – Welsh

    Department of Health and Social Care (Northern Ireland)

    Covid-19 guidance for healthcare workers and carers

    Covid-19 information for the public




  • It is not possible to waive our registration fees as they fund our regulatory functions, which are under increased pressure at this time. However, we are able to support in other ways. For example, paying by direct debit allows you to spread the cost of registration over the two year registration cycle and UK taxpayers can claim back tax on their renewal fees.

  • Health Education England (HEE) has a remit to support the workforce requirements and will have access to significant resources that can be utilised during this time. HEE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is working with colleagues to outline how HEE can enable the access to resources through their role in supporting, at a national level, simulation-based education and digital learning resources.

    HEE e-Learning for Healthcare has collated relevant e-learning content from the existing catalogue for the health and care workforce into one programme. This is available to all health professionals, including those outside of England.

    Resources will be available here:


Fitness to practise

  • If you have a concern about a COVID-19 temporary registrant, please email There is additional guidance on raising a concern available on our website.

    Please note, due to the nature of the register, and the increased risks involved, any concern raised which meets our Triage test (as explained in our Threshold Policy) will result in removal from the Register with immediate effect.

    We would encourage employers to read the guidance we have issued on COVID-19 temporary registrants and the standards. In particular, this sets out our position regarding a COVID-19 temporary registrant’s scope of practice and how we will consider the standards if a concern is raised.

  • If you have a concern about a COVID-19 temporary registrant, please email

    There is additional guidance on raising a concern available on our website.

    Our Approach to the Removal of Registrants from the Temporary Register document explains how we will assess and consider a concern we receive about someone on the temporary register.

About the COVID-19 temporary register

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCPC has worked with the UK Government to create a COVID-19 temporary register. 

    Our intention in doing so is to ensure there are no regulatory barriers to the following two groups practising on a temporary basis:

    • Former registrants who have de-registered within the last three years.
    • Third year biomedical science and clinical science students, on UK approved programmes, who have completed all their clinical practice placements.
  • COVID-19 temporary registrants who go back into practice will need to meet the Standards of conduct, performance and ethics and the standards of proficiency for your profession (as far as they relate to your scope of practice).

    They will not need to meet our standards for CPD, nor will they be subject to CPD audit. This reflects that registration is a temporary, short term measure. However, they should take all steps possible to ensure their skills, knowledge and experience are kept up to date when practising. We have provided more information about this here

    The HCPC standards will only apply to people on the COVID-19 temporary Register if they return to practice. If they do not return to practice, the HCPC standards will not apply to them in their personal life.

    Please note, the COVID-19 temporary register should not be read as a list of professionals ready to enter practice, or who are in any way verified to be meeting the standards and safe to return. It is the responsibility of the individual and prospective employer to determine this, based on their individual circumstances.

  • If you have a concern about a COVID-19 temporary registrant, please email

    There is additional guidance on raising a concern available on our website.

    Our Approach to the Removal of Registrants from the Temporary Register document explains how we will assess and consider a concern we receive about someone on the temporary register.

  • Our Approach to the Removal of Registrants from the Temporary Register document explains how we will assess and consider a concern we receive about someone on the temporary register.

  • COVID-19 temporary registrants will be able to use the protected title of the profession they are working in for the duration of their time on the COVID-19 temporary Register. However they should be open and honest about their level of experience and qualifications.

    It is likely employers will set in local policies how COVID-19 temporary registrants will be deployed. This might include practising under a different title, which makes it clear to the public their COVID-19 temporary status. 

Message from Christine Elliott, the Chair of the HCPC

Latest service information for registrants

  • You are welcome to contact our Registration team by email to discuss any aspect of your registration. We encourage email as the best way of getting a full response, however more contact options are available on the Registration team's contact page.

  • We will continue with our planned renewal timelines, but with extra flexibility understanding the pressures our registrants will be under.

    We have extended the renewal deadlines for the following professions: 

    • Art Therapists: deadline now extended to 30 June 2020
    • Dietitians: deadline now extended to 31 July 2020
    • Chiropodists / podiatrists: deadline now extended to 31 August 2020 
    • Hearing aid dispensers: deadline now extended to 31 August 2020

    We have also written to those select registrants to confirm this in writing.

    More information on how to renew can be found here.

  • Registrants will understandably be concerned about how they can keep up to date with CPD or have time to submit profiles if chosen for audit at this time.

    Individuals should comply with their CPD obligations, where time allows and if it is possible to do so. You can find more information as well as tips for completing your audit here.

    If you have any questions around the CPD audit process, please email


  • We will postpone our advertised My Standards events and CPD workshops, but ensure there are online alternatives.

    Once details are finalised we will be in touch with all those who expressed an interest in attending.

  • We will continue to receive and promptly triage any concerns made via our website, ensuring interim orders are put in place to protect the public if needed.

    Given many registrants will be working in challenging circumstances, context will be taken into account in this process.

  • We will continue with this activity without a public meeting. We will be in contact with all parties.

  • We have had to postpone a number of scheduled final hearings, following UK government advice to work from home and restrict all but essential travel and social contact.

    We are able to conduct some final hearings remotely, where suitable, using virtual meeting methods.

    To ensure service-user safety we will be prioritising the consideration of all interim order activity and the review of existing sanctions.

    We will be in direct contact with any Registrants where this applies.

  • You are welcome to contact our Fitness to Practise team by email with enquiries about cases. We are continuing to respond to postal enquiries and updates on cases but we are subject to limited access to incoming post, so please bear with us in the event of any delays. More details are on the Fitness to Practice team's contact page.



Page updated on: 20/07/2021