HCPC welcomes recognition of progress on key areas of activity and sets out plan for further improvement
In its Performance Review, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has recognised the work that has been done right across the HCPC to transform our way of working and champion high-quality practice. We acknowledge that there remains more to do, and we are determined to meet all of the PSA’s standards.
The PSA Review, published today, covers our performance in 2019. We’ve made substantial progress since then. We are now nearing the completion of our Change Plan and are ready to look to the future, guided by our 2021-2026 Corporate Strategy. This will embed the improvements we are making and take us forward for the next five years.
This Review is an important step in this journey. We will continue to work closely with the PSA as we focus on the areas that they have identified for improvement. We hope that our engagement with them and the initiatives that we have continued to pursue this year, underscore our commitment to improve our performance.
2020 has been a successful and important year for the HCPC. We have played our part in protecting the public throughout the COVID-19 crisis, quickly creating a temporary register to enable over 25,000 former registrants and final year students to assist the NHS. We are proud of the huge strides forward we have taken, and the immense effort from everyone involved.
Our Change Plan has fast-tracked improvements to the way we work, including our engagement with stakeholders. We have undertaken considerable work to communicate our mission and purpose as well as consistently consult and reach out to our registrants, partners and stakeholders across the four nations. We are committed to continuing this approach in helping us to shape our organisational priorities.
The PSA Review recognises our strong commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and highlights the practical steps that we have taken so far and the investment we have made. To build on this, we’ve created an EDI Stakeholder Forum so that we can regularly engage with registrants and other key stakeholders on EDI issues and ensure that our work is informed by that engagement.
While we have not yet met the PSA standard on EDI, our work is focused on ensuring we have a culture which invites all parts of UK society to feel part of what we do, encouraged that our work speaks to their background and experience. This is critical given the impact of COVID-19. It is clear, that parts of our society are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and its effects, as a result of deeply entrenched inequalities. We are committed to ensuring EDI remains a priority for us and welcome further PSA reviews of our progress
The PSA notes the improvements that we have made to the triage stage of our Fitness to Practise (FtP) work acknowledging the beneficial impact of our new Threshold Policy for fitness to practice investigations.
While the majority of the FtP cases audited by the PSA in this Review were conducted under our old investigation process, we of course acknowledge that there is more to do. We recognise that we have not met all the PSA’s standards and the improvement of all elements of our FtP work is core to addressing this outcome. We are committed to accelerating the rate of improvement. We have invested in people and processes. This includes a new Case Management System which will support a reduction in the length of time cases can take as well as delivering improvements in the quality of case resolution.
We are also committed through our prevention and intelligence work to support registrants to meet our standards and address the conditions that can cause fitness to practise concerns to arise. This focus will ultimately reduce the number of FtP concerns and the need for hearings, which can be stressful for those involved.
We are not complacent and remain focused on accelerating improvement. We welcome the opportunity to work constructively and collaboratively with the PSA to regularly share evidence of our progress against our improvement plans in ‘real time’ and ensure we maintain a positive improvement trajectory.
While of course the future remains uncertain, our new Corporate Strategy will provide a clear direction for the years ahead, underpinned by a strong set of values and a commitment to ensuring effective protection for the users of health and care services across the whole of the UK. After this extraordinary year, all of us at HCPC are looking forward to advancing on this path of change and continuing improvement.