02 September 2015

Students: what you need to know about the HCPC

Welcome to all those embarking on one of our approved education and training courses this autumn. Here’s 11 things all new students should know about the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).  

1. We are a UK multi-profession regulator created to protect the public
The HCPC was created by legislation - the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 - and is independent of government, professional bodies and trade unions. We currently regulate 16 health and care professions.

2. We keep a Register of health and care professionals who meet our standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health
Those registered are called ‘registrants’. Registrants must be HCPC registered in order to use one of our legally protected titles, for example ‘Physiotherapist’, ‘Paramedic’ and ‘Social Worker’. This applies to those working in both public and private sectors.

3. In order to remain registered with us, registrants must continue to meet the standards that we set for your profession
There are four key sets of standards: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics; Standards of Proficiency; Standards of education and training; Standards of continuing professional development. These standards determine registrants’ ‘fitness to practise’.

4. Standards of conduct, performance and ethics set out the behaviour and conduct expected of our registrants
These standards apply to both registrants and prospective registrants. We have produced guidance on conduct and ethics for students based on these standards, which will enable you to familiarise yourself with them prior to registration with us.

5. Students’ behaviour whilst studying can impact on their ability to register with HCPC
While we do not register students or trainees, our Standards of conduct, performance and ethics apply to those studying to join a profession regulated by HCPC.

6. Every registrant must meet the Standards of proficiency for their profession
Meeting these standards is a requirement in order to become registered and to remain on the HCPC Register. Students must be able to meet these standards when they complete an approved programme.

7. Standards of education and training must be met by education providers
These standards ensure that all those completing an approved programme meet the standards of proficiency.

8. Standards of continuing professional development (CPD) must be met by all registrants
CPD is the way registrants continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to work safely, legally and effectively. Registrants must maintain a continuous and accurate record of their CPD activities.

9. The HCPC’s fitness to practise (FtP) process is designed to protect the public from those who are not fit to practise.
We can take action when there are concerns about a registrant’s conduct or competence. It is important to remember that only a very small percentage of registrants are ever subject to FtP concerns. Of the 322,021 registrants on the Register, just 0.64% were subject to FtP concerns last year.

10. Once you have successfully completed your training, you will need to register with HCPC before you are able to start work using a protected title
Your education provider will notify HCPC that you have successfully completed your programme. You can then apply to join the Register at www.hcpc-uk.org/apply. Your application must include: a character reference; certified copies of two forms of ID; the registration fee. Students currently receive a 50% discount on the first two years registration.

11. You must renew your HCPC registration every two years
We will notify you three months before your registration ends. The quickest and most convenient way to renew your registration is online.

Students can find out more about the HCPC via the website at www.hcpc-uk.org. Visit the ‘students and prospective registrants’ section for relevant information and guidance.

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