In the Professional Standards Authority’s (PSA) monitoring report for 2021/22, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) achieved only one out of five Standards of Good Regulation.

The PSA said however that it was “impressed by the commitment of the HCPC to improving its processes” but ultimately the PSA could “not fully assess the impact of the projects during this review period as it will take time for changes to be embedded. Although we have seen evidence of improvement in some areas of the HCPC’s fitness to practise processes, we agreed with the HCPC that an audit of closed cases would not yet show sufficient impact if completed this review period.

In response to the PSA’s finding, the HCPC said:

“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.”

John Barwick, HCPC Chief Executive, said:

“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.”

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