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Consultation on permanent changes to our Rules to hold remote hearings

Download the consultation document

Date:

Tuesday 31 August, 2021 , Tuesday 23 November, 2021

Location:

Online

This consultation seeks the views of stakeholders on our proposal to permanently amend our Rules to give us the express power to hold hearings remotely.

The consultation will run from 31 August 2021 to 23 November 2021.

We encourage all of our registrants as well as professional bodies, employers and trade unions to help and provide input on this consultation.

Overview

The measures introduced by the government and devolved administrations to respond to coronavirus in March 2020 meant that we could no longer continue to work in the same way as before the pandemic. We therefore had to adapt some aspects of our fitness to practise and registrations appeals processes, particularly those which had previously been dependent on staff, parties to a case or other stakeholders having a physical presence in our offices or hearings centres.

Our aim in making these changes was to ensure that we were able to continue to fulfil our statutory duty to protect the public, progress fitness to practise investigations without unnecessary delay and conclude hearings as efficiently and safely as possible. A major part of our pandemic response was the introduction of remote hearings to ensure fitness to practise and registrations appeals cases could be heard expeditiously.

On 4 March 2021, the HCPC was granted an amendment to our existing Rules by the Department of Health and Social Care, which gave us the express provision to hold hearings remotely during an emergency. Currently, the Coronavirus emergency provisions are due to expire on 30 September 2021.

We would like to continue to hold hearings remotely once the emergency period ends, where it is fair and practical to do so. We are therefore seeking an amendment to our Rules to give us permanent powers to hold hearings remotely.

Our consultation paper sets out our reasoning for this proposal in more detail and our experience of holding remote hearings to date. You can also access the consultation questions in this document.

How to respond to the consultation

The consultation closes on 23 November 2021. We look forward to receiving your comments.

You can respond to this consultation in one of the following ways:

Online:

Complete our easy-to-use online survey

By email:

In writing:

Consultation on Remote Hearings
Policy and Standards Department
The Health and Care Professions Council
Park House
184-186 Kennington Park Road
London, SE11 4BU

Contacting us 

To request a copy of this document in an alternative format, or in Welsh, or if you require any reasonable adjustment, please contact us by emailing consultation@hcpc-uk.org

Please note, due to COVID-19, the organisation is partly working from home and so post is not checked frequently. If you are able to respond by email or online survey, we would encourage you to do so.

We do not normally accept responses by telephone or in person. We ask that consultation responses are made in writing to ensure that we can accurately record what the respondent would like to say. However, if you are unable to respond in writing please contact us on +44 (0)20 7840 9815 to discuss any reasonable adjustments which would help you to respond.

Please note that, due to COVID-19, this telephone line is not staffed. However, you will be able to leave a message for the team to review and get back to you as soon as possible.

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