02 October 2015

Health, disability and becoming a health and care professional

Our new guidance aims to encourage, enable and support disabled people who are considering or training to become HCPC-registered professionals. Policy Officer, Laura Coveney, tells us more.

We think that having a health condition or disability shouldn’t be seen as a barrier to becoming a health and care professional. Indeed, many people who have disabilities successfully complete our approved training programmes, go on to register with us and practise as health and care professionals.

We want to help people with disabilities overcome any perceived barriers to training and then becoming registered with us in their chosen profession. This was the primary reason for producing our updated guidance publication: Health, disability and becoming a health and care professional. It offers insight and advice for those with disabilities, as well as information for education providers about delivering support.

One of the key things the guide does is to break down the process of becoming a health and care professional; from choosing and applying for a course to registering with the HCPC and gaining employment. A brief summary is outlined below.

This four-step process is complemented by a series of case studies from students and staff who have shared their experiences of having a disability and training to become a health and care professional.

Step 1: choosing a course

Those with disabilities may find it helpful to speak to education providers, career advisors, etc., to find out about the support available during training and working in their chosen profession.

Step 2: applying and completing an approved programme

For students with disabilities, it’s important to have a realistic understanding of whether tasks can be carried out safely and effectively. The ability to do certain tasks, or the support needed to carry them out, may change over time. Education providers can assess applications and consider their responsibilities, including making reasonable adjustments if necessary.

Step 3: applying for registration

Part of the HCPC application requires prospective registrants to make a health declaration. We recognise that a disability may not be seen as a health condition.  And we do not need information about any health condition or disability unless it affects your fitness to practise.

Step 4: gaining employment

All professionals using one of our protected titles must be registered before they can begin practising. Similar to education providers, employers are also required to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace to ensure disabled employees are not seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

Health, disability and becoming a health and care professional is available to download here. It is also available in a number of formats on request, including braille and large print.

For more information visit the dedicated health and disability section of the HCPC website: www.hcpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/healthanddisability

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