Monday 18 January, 2021 , Monday 12 April, 2021
We will keep this consultation period under review, taking into consideration any impact of COVID-19.
This consultation seeks the views of stakeholders on revisions to our Guidance on Health and Character.
The Guidance on Health and Character was first developed in 2005 and last updated in 2017. It provides registrants and applicants with information about making a health and character declaration, something they are required to complete when renewing their registration or joining the Register. Applicants and registrants must declare they are of good health and character and that neither their health nor character will impair their ability to practise in their profession.
We have undertaken a thorough review of the existing guidance and are seeking the views of our stakeholders on the proposed revised version, to ensure it reflects our up-to-date processes and recently published online information on self-referrals.
It will be of particular interest to HCPC registrants, professionals applying to be on the register, professional bodies, legal representatives, and education providers.
Reviewing our guidance
By reviewing this guidance, we aim to:
- Update the language of the guidance to better reflect our current approach to dealing with health and character declarations from registrants and applicants
- Ensure it is consistent with, and reflects other policies and guidance we issue to registrants, such as our online self-referrals information published in 2018
- Better signpost support for registrants during the process, to achieve our strategic priorities regarding registrant health and wellbeing
- Ensure we adequately take account of equality impacts
- Take account of the latest public and stakeholder opinion
The review is taking place in order to ensure the guidance reflects our up-to-date processes and recently published online information on self-referrals. This updated guidance will reflect the Health and Character Policy and align with the procedures of the Fitness to Practise Department.
- Including new case studies which deal with difficult but realistic scenarios
We have replaced the case studies in the current guidance and have specifically chosen areas where we think applicants and registrants will have more questions
- Criteria for character self-referral
We have made amendments to ensure that self-declarations align with the criteria set out in Standard 9.5 of our Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics
- Aligning criteria for character declarations for applicants and registrants
In the current guidance, there are slight differences for character declarations for applicants and those made by registrants. For instance, applicants are asked to disclose any civil cases brought against them (other than a divorce) whereas registrants are not. We have amended the guidance so that applicants and registrants make the same declarations and that these align with Standard 9.5
- Changes to self-referral information
By making these updates we are trying to emphasise that self-referrals should only be made in the circumstances set out in standard 9.5
- Merger with Health and Character Policy
We propose removing the Health and Character Policy and maintaining all information in an updated Guidance on Health and Character document as we believe that it is in the interests of registrants and applicants to be able to refer to a single public document
- Separation of advice for education providers
We have removed the section aimed at education providers as we believe that it is more useful to have guidance aimed at applicants and registrants and guidance aimed at education providers as separate pieces
- Other changes
In addition to the substantive changes above, we have made a number of minor editing amendments for clarity
This consultation document below explains the background to the guidance as well as the approach we took in reviewing it and the changes we are proposing in more detail.
The consultation will run from 18 January 2021 to 12 April 2021. We will keep this consultation period under review, taking into consideration any impact of COVID-19.
How to respond to the consultation
The consultation closes on Monday 12 April 2021. We look forward to receiving your comments. Please be aware we will keep this consultation period under review, taking into consideration any impact of COVID-19.
You can respond to this consultation in one of the following ways:
Consultation on Guidance on Health and Character
Policy and Standards Department
The Health and Care Professions Council
184-186 Kennington Park Road
London, SE11 4BU
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.