Skip navigation

Information on scope of practice

Summary

A registrant’s scope of practice means the limits of their skills, knowledge and experience. Keeping within your scope of practice is a professional obligation set out within our standards.

We work on the principle of ‘professional self-regulation’. This means you have a personal responsibility to maintain and manage your own fitness to practise.

Our standards of conduct, performance and ethics set out the criteria that all our registrants must meet. Within them, our requirements regarding scope of practice are outlined.

You must keep within your scope of practice by only practising in the areas you have appropriate knowledge, skills and experience for (3.1)
You must refer a service user to another practitioner if the care, treatment or other services they need are beyond your scope of practice (3.2)
Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

You must be able to practise safely and effectively within their scope of practice (1)
Standards of proficiency

Scope of practice information

  • A registrant’s scope of practice is composed of all the activities they undertake within their professional role, limited to the areas in which they have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to practise safely and effectively. Scope of practice will vary from registrant to registrant.

    Our standards inform a registrant’s scope of practice, however they do not serve to prescribe or limit it. It is ultimately a matter for the registrant’s professional judgement to determine what their scope of practice is and if they are acting within it, but often professional bodies or employers will be able to provide further advice.

  • A registrant can practice in a role which is not their protected title and remain registered with us, even if this new role has a narrower scope of practice. They must make sure that they are practising safely and effectively within their given scope of practice and do not practise in the areas where they are not proficient to do so, or outside of their current role.

    HCPC does not penalise registrants simply because they are acting in a capacity that is more limited than their protected title allows them to undertake. We recognise that a registrant’s scope of practice will change over time.

  • Registrants should consider our standards when determining what is within their scope of practice, as well as their skills, knowledge and experience. Registrants should use their professional judgement to assess whether this is sufficient to perform the role / activity safely and effectively, and where there are any concerns address this through wider training or support.

    Registrants should speak to their employer (where appropriate) and professional body (where appropriate), and consider any legal limitations around a particular role or activity, to ensure they remain within their legal requirements.

About our guidance

We work on the principle of ‘professional self-regulation’. This means you have a personal responsibility to maintain and manage your own fitness to practise.

Our standards of conduct, performance and ethics set out the criteria that all our registrants must meet. Within them, our requirements are outlined. To help registrants meet these we’ve produced additional material.

Still have a question about meeting our standards?

For more information or clarification about our standards, please contact our Policy and Standards team.

Tel: 44 (0)20 7840 9815 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)

Email: policy@hcpc-uk.org

Page updated on: 29/06/2018
Top