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Approval of programmes in the UK

Information for education providers considering running new provision

If you are planning to run a new programme for the first time, we need to approve the programme before it starts.

If your programme is not entirely new, for example, if it is being developed out of an existing HCPC approved programme, you should engage with our major change process.

Requesting programme approval 

The first step to having a new programme approved is to submit a visit request form. This gives us the information we need to begin arranging our approval visit.

We undertake an approval visit to all new programmes, to consider whether they meet our standards for the first time. Visits allow us to discuss how the programme will work with relevant stakeholders, and to make judgements about the facilities available to learners. We also require a documentary submission as part of the process.

More information about the approval process

The process to approve a new programme takes at least nine months, but can take longer should we identify significant issues with how your programme meets our standards.

How to advertise your programme

We require that publicly available information for any programme going through our processes is accurate, so that potential learners and service users are not mislead. The following information is intended to help education providers achieve this.

How to refer to programmes

Terms such as “subject to HCPC approval” may only be applied if you have engaged with our approval process for the programme. You may only use the term “HCPC approved” if the programme appears on the register of approved programmes.

Admitting learners

You may admit learners to a programme that is not approved, but they must be aware that:

  • one of the results of our approval process is that we do not approve the programme, and that if this was the case the programme could not run
  • we may require changes to the programme that could impact on your intended start date.
Status of those completing programmes

Completing an approved programme does not automatically lead to HCPC registration. Rather, completing a programme to “eligibility to apply for HCPC registration”. Learners must then apply to join the HCPC Register, and we will make a decision about whether to admit them.

Page updated on: 12/06/2018