When we talk about ‘health’ we do not mean people who are ‘healthy’ or in ‘good health’. Instead, we consider the effect that a health condition may have on someone’s ability to practise safely and effectively
You may receive an application from someone with a health condition or you may become aware of a health condition once the student is on your programme. You may be concerned about this health condition’s impact on that student’s ability to practice.
We make decisions about these based on the particular circumstances of each case. As a result, we do not have a list of conditions which would prevent someone from practising in any of the professions we regulate, or a list of the health conditions which would prevent someone from completing an approved programme.
You have certain responsibilities in dealing with admissions to a programme we have approved. You may have specific legal duties under equality and non-discrimination laws, such as the Equality Act 2010, which the HCPC would expect you to meet. As we have approved your programme, you also are responsible for ensuring that your students will be able to meet our standards of proficiency pre-registration. This includes our requirements regarding maintaining fitness to practise.
Standard 2.7 of our Standards of Education and Training requires education providers to have quality and diversity policies in place relating to applicants and that these policies are implemented and monitored. The specific steps and processes you follow to meet this standard will vary, but when assessing applications you should first consider the reasonable adjustments that you could make in order to accommodate the applicant.
As part of assessing an application you must decide whether any of the standards are likely to cause difficulties for the applicant and consider whether you can deliver the programme in a way that helps them meet these standards. This will include considering any reasonable adjustments that can be made.
Having considered this, you might then want to consider separately whether having made these adjustments the applicant would, at the end of the programme, meet our standards of proficiency.
We have produced a guide for prospective registrants and admissions staff, called Health, Disability and Becoming a Health and Care Professional.
When making a decision about an applicant or a student with a health condition, there are a number of other factors that you may want to look at. These are:
- how they currently manage their condition;
- whether they have shown insight into and understanding of their condition; and
- whether they have medical or other support.
When you make admissions decisions about applicants, you may want to set up an advisory panel to help you make the decision. You may also want to refer to the section How we consider health information on page 16.
We advise education providers as well as applicants to our register to familiarise themselves with our guidance on health and character. While these pages do not provide guidance to education providers about how they should make decisions, it does provide insight into how the HCPC views health and character declarations.
While not an exhaustive list, education providers should be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
- Is the student’s health condition managed?
- Where the condition is manged is the student able to meet the learning outcomes of their programme? Can reasonable adjustments be made which enable the student to meet these outcomes?
- In light of the above, will the student be able to meet the Standards of Proficiency if admitted to the Register?
Our guidance should be read in the round and so we would advise education providers to familiarise themselves with all relevant guidance in this area. For health conditions, our Health, Disability and Becoming a Health and Care Professional provides detailed information about managing health conditions, including reasonable adjustments.