Some of the frequently asked questions journalists have about the HCPC
A variety of other regulators are responsible for the regulation of other medical professionals. For example, the GMC regulates doctors and the NMC regulates nurses and midwives.
We are a regulator and our job is to protect the health and wellbeing of people who use the services of the health and care professionals registered with us. At the moment, we register members of 15 professions. We only register people who meet our standards for their professional skills, behaviour and health.
No, the HCPC is completely independent. We are not part of the Department of Health and Social Care or the Government. We maintain our independence by being paid for entirely by registrant’s fees of £90 per annum. We are not a charity.
We were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order (2001). There was a predecessor body called the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine (CPSM).
HCPC took over from CPSM in April 2002. They regulated 12 of the current professions regulated by HCPC but it was not a legal obligation to be registered, hence the reason that the majority of people working in private practice chose not to be ‘state registered’
We hold ‘hearings’ where health professionals and lay people decide if a registrant’s fitness to practise (ability to practise) is impaired by their conduct, competence or health. The hearings are there to protect the public – not to be punitive to the registrant. The maximum sanction is to strike a person off the register, meaning they cannot work within the UK for a minimum of five years.
Each of the professions we regulate has one or more ‘designated title’, which is protected by law. These include titles like ‘physiotherapist’ and ‘dietitian’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must be on our Register.
We will take action if an individual uses a designated title and is not on our Register.
We approve a number of courses for each profession. Applicants to the register must complete an approved course to be entitled to apply for registration.
We have an operational business consisting of around 250 members of staff. The HCPC employees are in charge of the day-to-day running of the business, for example the registration process.
The HCPC has a Council that is in charge of the strategic aspects of the business. They make decisions that range from our corporate identity through to recommending new professions for regulation.
The HCPC also works along-side approximately 600 Partners. Their roles include assessing international applications, sitting on hearings and approving courses for registration.