HCPC CEO calls for a recalibration of healthcare professional regulation and the GDC reflects on education and training in the context of the reforms. 

Chief Executive of the Health and Care Professions Council, John Barwick, said that forthcoming reforms to the regulation of health and care professionals are an opportunity to determine “how the regulatory system can embrace innovation and foster collaboration.” 

“The ability to act swiftly and innovate should not be confined to emergency situations. Enabling innovation, making full use of digital technology and providing flexibility for registrants must be core principles for us as regulators at all times. 

“But we must also be more ambitious than that. We need to recalibrate professional regulation so that it focuses above all on outcomes, on protecting the public rather than simply protecting titles.” Mr Barwick added. 

He set out three key elements essential to this recalibration:

  • Greater collaboration among professional regulators, and between regulators and the rest of the healthcare system, to reduce the siloes that exist.
  • Recognition of the benefits of the multi-profession model of regulation and a commitment to build on it. The multi-profession model is effective and proven in building common standards and focusing on outcome measures to support improvements across professions, that are increasingly interconnected.
  • Efficiency improvements in the regulatory landscape, including the sharing of a range of functions among regulators to improve performance, to enhance shared learning and reduce costs.

General Dental Council Head of Upstream Policy, Ross Scales, continued on the theme of flexibility saying “Getting this right will mean not only reflecting on what might work for now, but how much flexibility we need to make sure it is sustainable.

“The proposals set out by the DHSC finally give us an opportunity to influence what our future legislative framework might look like – to turn it into something that works better for today – and that will stand us in good stead for tomorrow.”

“Of course, learning doesn’t stop when someone joins the register. Undertaking lifelong learning or CPD is a part of being a healthcare professional. Turning back to the current inflexible legislation again, as we are presently unable to amend the CPD rules, we faced restrictions in the allowances we could offer during the pandemic. The proposals would allow greater flexibility in how and when we can make changes to CPD requirements.” he said.

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