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COVID-19: Information for education providers

06 Mar 2020

We understand that many organisations are putting contingency plans in place relating to novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

We recognise that in highly challenging circumstances, education providers may need to depart from established procedures to continue with education and training.

Our Standards are designed to be flexible, to ensuring those who complete programmes meet relevant proficiency standards. Therefore, in managing the risks associated with COVID-19, you can adapt your plans so learners can continue to undertake programmes, and do not require regulatory approval to implement these changes.

We recognise the extraordinary nature of this public health matter, and that we must be supportive and proportionate in our requirements and expectations.  We understand that measures may need to be put in place quickly, and reviewed and changed regularly, depending on the challenges posed in both academic and practice-based settings.

With this flexibility, we expect you to use professional judgement and experience to inform the implementation of changes to manage COVID-19 risks.

In doing so, you must ensure that any measures put in place continue to provide the quality of teaching and learning required to meet our Standards, and to ensure individuals meet the relevant proficiency Standards on completion of the award.

Supporting student progression on your programme

  • No, you don't need to let us know about any changes you need to make which you feel are in line with our overall guidance we have set out for education providers.

  • Our standards are flexible and education providers can develop their programmes as needed to respond to COVID-19.

    This could extend to changing your assessment methods to build upon any experience learners gain.

    You would need to consider the nature of the learner’s role in service, the type of experience they gained, and how this might be to relevant the achievement of the programme’s learning outcomes.


  • You would need to consider your own academic regulations, as these may provide flexibility around awarding final qualifications under circumstances such as COVID-19.

    In doing so, you must ensure that only those learners who have demonstrated the achievement of the relevant proficiency standards receive the final HCPC approved award. 

  • We recognise that it may no longer be practical for some students to complete their minimum placement hours, due to the unavailability of suitable placement sites.

    Our standards are flexible in this regard and do not prescribe a minimum that must be achieved. We expect education providers to consider what is necessary to ensure learners have met the relevant learning outcomes through any practice-based learning.

    On this basis, it may be possible to adjust the minimum practice-based learning hours you set. If you do make an adjustment, please ensure you are clear on the reasons for doing so, and also ensure you can evidence this.


  • Yes. This might include making provisions to adjust planned learning where placements are no longer available, including bringing forward elements of academic learning.

    It may also include supporting students to work in assistant type roles, as part of an extended placement experience.

    Education providers should discuss and agree their arrangements locally, and involve employers as needed to inform any approaches taken.

Students on the temporary register

  • We have a template which you are required to fill in. Please contact to request a copy

    It is important that only final year students who have completed all their required placement learning on the programme are included. You will be able to notify us periodically if you have additional students who meet our crtieria for entry to the temporary register.

  • If students have fulfilled our criteria for entry to the temporary register, you should forward their details to us as soon as possible.  

    This will enable them to be deployed within the health service immediately to support COVID-19 related care.  

    Whilst a student is on the temporary register, they are still able to apply for full registration upon completion of their final award.

  • Yes, if you feel the changes made still ensure students have achieved all the necessary learning outcomes you would normally require by this stage of the programme.

  • If a concern is raised about a student which meets our Triage test (as explained in our Threshold Policy), this will result in removal from the Register with immediate effect.

    We will advise the student’s employing organisation of this, and they may refer the matter back to the education provider. We would expect the heightened pressures involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to be taken into consideration in any student fitness to practise process that is undertaken by an education provider.

  • No. We only require that the programme team is satisfied that students have completed all the necessary placement learning.

    Once this has been determined, the education provider should send us the relevant student information for inclusion in the temporary register.

Service update: Education

  • We will be in contact with education providers offering them the option to postpone their scheduled visit or proceed with a virtual visit event.

  • We are conscious that education providers will also be managing with less staff through the pandemic. We are happy to be flexible if more time is needed to make annual monitoring submissions.

  • We ask that education providers do not telephone us at this time, but instead email our team at We will get back to providers as soon as we are able.

Page updated on: 18/03/2020