New HCPC health and character declaration guidance
In July 2021, the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) council approved new health and character declaration guidance. We look at the new guidance and what it means for HCPC registrants.
n July 2021, the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) council approved new health and character declaration guidance. We look at the new guidance and what it means for HCPC registrants.
The HCPC consulted on new guidance from January to April 2021. It said there was “overwhelming support for the changes.” The new guidance, according to the HCPC provides “clear explanations of when applicants or registrants need to declare issues with their health or character and the kind of information they would need to provide.”
What kind of information about your health and character you would need to provide to the HCPC
The HCPC defines ‘health’, as any health conditions which may affect either an applicant or a registrant’s fitness to practise; that is, their ability to practise safely and effectively.
Standard 6.3 specifically says:
‘You must make changes to how you practise, or stop practising, if your physical or mental health may affect your performance or judgement, or put others at risk for any other reason.’
The HCPC guidance notes that in cases where a registrant is unsure whether their health would affect their fitness to practise, they should still declare this to the HCPC.
You might also be interested to read our article on “Fitness and Practise and Adverse Health”.
Character is slightly more complex but principally relates to criminal activity and sanctions. The HCPC’s guidance states you must declare:
- A conviction for a criminal offence or received a police caution or conditional discharge for a criminal offence other than a protected caution or protected conviction in any part of the United Kingdom (these are cautions and convictions that you do not need to tell us about);
- Similar to the above, but in countries outside the United Kingdom, if the offence is one that could have resulted in a caution or conviction in England or Wales.
For existing registrants, the following additional declaration requirements also exist:
You must also let the HCPC know as soon as possible (i.e., make a self-referral and not wait for your renewal period) if your conduct is listed in Standard 9.5 of our Standards of conduct, performance and ethics, including if:
- you accept a caution from the police or you have been charged with, or found guilty of, a criminal offence;
- you received cautions or convictions in countries outside the United Kingdom, if the offence is one that could have resulted in a caution or conviction in England or Wales;
- another organisation responsible for regulating a health or social-care profession has taken action or made a finding against you; or
- you have had any restrictions placed on your practice, or been suspended or dismissed by an employer, because of concerns about your conduct or competence.
You might also be interested to read our article “Cautions, Convictions and Fitness to Practise”.
When you would need to provide information about your health and character the HCPC
There are three instances in which you should provide information to the HCPC:
- When you apply to join the Register
- When you renew your registration
- When there is a change in your health and character
What happens when you make a health or character declaration?
The HCPC will open an investigation and allocate your case to a case manager as part of the HCPC’s fitness to practise investigation process.
Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) Defence Barristers
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