We welcome the PSA’s report on the HCPC’s performance which covers the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2022. The HCPC met 13 out of the 18 standards set by the PSA.
The report recognises the progress we have made in Education, Standards and Guidance, the improvements in our approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and our closer and more effective engagement with stakeholders.
We are pleased to have achieved the EDI Standard for the first time in the HCPC’s history. This is the first time a professional health regulator has moved from not meeting Standard 3 to meeting it since it was introduced in 2019. The HCPC therefore met all five General Standards, as well as maintaining all four Standards relating to Education and Training and Standards and Guidance.
We are now able to collect data on protected characteristics when registrants renew or when individuals first apply for HCPC registration, to better enable us to understand the EDI implications of our policies and processes.
We met three out of the four registration standards. While we are disappointed not to have met all four standards, over the last year we have taken important steps to enhance our registration process. From January 2021 to March 2022, we added over 21,000 professionals to our Register, helping the NHS and wider health and care system to provide more safe, high quality care to more patients.
We have made significant improvements in fitness to practise (FTP), which we believe will allow us to meet additional PSA standards at the next performance review. We must acknowledge, however, that we only met one out of five FTP standards this year.
The PSA’s report does recognise the enhancements we have made, highlighting our focus on the right initiatives, and the strong improvement in our decision making in FTP cases. The measures we have taken have significantly increased the quality and efficiency of our risk assessments. We have also not seen a delay in case progression which was a risk during this period of wide ranging improvement work. In fact, we have seen some improvements in the length of time taken to conclude cases at final hearing.
“I am pleased with the recognition of the changes we have made across registration, fitness to practise (FTP) and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Our hard work since the last PSA review in 2021 has set us firmly on the right track, but we must invest in and implement further improvements and upgrades in order to ensure we continue to provide effective public protection.
“We have undertaken many new initiatives in the last year, aimed at increasing our ability to protect patients and service users, supporting our registrants and improving our performance against PSA standards. We are committed to continuing to deliver against our Corporate Strategy and we are confident that we will be able to demonstrate further improvements when the PSA carries out its next performance review.”