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HCPC launches consultation on changes to its Guidance on Health and Character

18 Jan 2021

Today we launched a consultation 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.

We encourage all of our registrants as well as students, education providers, professional bodies, employers and trade unions to help us shape this document.

Background to the review

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.

Proposed changes

The changes we are proposing aim to provide a succinct and understandable document which addresses the needs of applicants and registrants and which is consistent with other guidance and policies of the HCPC. These changes include:

  • Including new case studies which deal with difficult but realistic scenarios
  • Aligning criteria for character declarations to be the same for applicants and registrants
  • Making changes to self-referral information to reflect our online information on this topic
  • Merging the guidance with our existing Health and Character Policy
  • Separating out the guidance aimed specifically at education providers and creating a standalone document.

For a more detailed description of the changes please refer to our consultation page and the documents attached.

Getting involved

Submit your feedback through our easy to use online survey, by emailing our policy team or by posting your responses. We always value the inputs made during our consultations and will work to ensure that our new guidance truly reflects the HCPC’s values and is a helpful tool for all our stakeholders.

You can read the current version of the Guidance of Health and Character and learn more about its use here.

For more information, visit the consultation page or email

The consultation will run until Monday 12 April 2021 however we will keep this consultation period under review, taking into consideration any impact of COVID-19.

Page updated on: 18/01/2021