Our regulatory processes can have profoundly negative impacts on our registrants. We explain here how we hope to change that and what you can do to better support your staff.
Our new Corporate Strategy confirms our vision to be a high performing, adaptable and caring regulator that ensures public protection through strong, evidence-based regulation. Closely linked to this vision is how we treat our registrants and support their employers. We know that our regulatory processes can be stressful and that our registrants work in extremely stressful circumstances, made all the more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is more we, and you, can do to support, guide and assist our registrants; shifting the focus, as far as possible, from adversarial interactions to ones that help support wellbeing and build professionalism.
We have been reflecting on our impact, and how we can make this more positive and better support registrants.
What our research revealed
Our health and wellbeing research revealed the devastating impact our processes can have on registrants, which was often made worse by how we communicated with registrants, and how registrants were treated by their peers and employers.
It identified how our communication and transparency affected understanding and confidence in our processes and decision-making and led to frustrations about not being heard. It also revealed misconceptions about our role and purpose amongst registrants and across other stakeholders, including employers, and the inconsistent levels of support and advice for registrants from their peers, employers and organisations such as professional bodies.
In response, we developed our Registrant health and wellbeing strategy and action plan, to help us embed a more human approach to regulation across the HCPC, which includes:
- Changing the way we communicate with our registrants and to listen more to address the identified link between our communication and the negative impact our processes can have on registrants’ health and wellbeing.
- Being more transparent and addressing misconceptions about our role and purpose to improve confidence and understanding in our processes and decision-making.
- Increasing our engagements with and support for employers and other key stakeholders to develop their understanding of our role and purpose, enabling improved local support and guidance for registrants.
- Improving the quality and timeliness of our fitness to practise work, making it more proportionate and humane, and pressing for regulatory reform to allow for more proportionate outcomes.
You can read the full research here.
To help address misconceptions about our role and purpose and to improve consistency in the support and advice given to registrants by their managers and employers, we provide resources within our employer hub specifically on:
- Registration: what you need to know as an employer
- How to support your employees: CPD and supervision
- Using our standards to support employee development
- Managing concerns about an employee
We will explore these topics and more at our live employer events, which will be held from September 2021. To find out more and register for these events, visit our events page.
Our Professional Liaison Service can also deliver our Understanding fitness to practise workshop to you and relevant colleagues. In this workshop we explore what fitness to practise is, when it may be impaired, when and how to make a referral, and how to support those involved in a fitness to practise case. Please email email@example.com to find out more.
Our next steps and priorities
Some of our immediate priorities from the action plan include:
- Sharing the research findings and our strategy and action plan with relevant stakeholders and exploring ways to improve support for registrants
- Reviewing and changing our tone of voice, to ensure that our communications are compassionate and humane.
- Delivering our fitness to practise improvements and pursing regulatory reform
- Increasing our engagements with and developing our support for employers
Our Strategy and action plan will be published shortly. In the meantime, you can read about our approach here.