From 1 September 2023, all Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registrants will need to meet the updated standards of proficiency as far as they relate to their scope of practice.

 What that means for you depends on your role, workplace and individual practice. But between now and 1 September, you’ll need to identify and address any gaps between the standards and your current practice.

The HCPC has provided a raft of resources to help registrants get up to speed with the changes. You can download the updated standards for the profession. There’s a range of pdfs and a gap analysis tool to plan your next steps.

The HCPC has provided us with the following overview:

The main content we have on our SOPs page flags the key thematic changes from our point of view, which might be useful in this:

  • We have changed the wording of the standards to move registrants away from a passive understanding of the standards, and towards active implementation of them.
  • We have introduced new standards about promoting public health and preventing ill-health.
  • We have significantly expanded the role of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), placing specific importance on making sure that practice is inclusive for all service users.
  • We have improved the central role of the service user. This includes registrants understanding the importance of valid consent and effective communication in providing good care.
  • We have emphasised the importance of registrants looking after their own mental health and seeking help where necessary as a part of maintaining their fitness to practise.
  • We have emphasised the need to be able to keep up to date with digital skills and new technologies.
  • We have emphasised the role and importance of leadership at all levels of practice.

It is important to note that the Standards still:

  • Are professional standards we consider necessary for safe and effective practice
  • Describe what professionals must know, understand, and be able to do when they apply to join our Register, and to remain on our Register
  • Set expectations for professions on our Register, and explain to the public what they should expect of a HCPC-registered professional
  • Hold applicants to the standards at the point of registration, and registrants at the point of renewal and if fitness to practice concerns are raised
  • Do not set out best practice, and do not limit a registrant’s ability to provide the best care they can
  • Complement other sets of standards, such as our standards for conduct, performance and ethics, and policies and guidance from employers and professional bodies

Please make use of all the resources provided by the HCPC to ensure you are to to speed with all the changes.