The Health and Care Professions Council is a council that is set up to monitor and regulate the activities of professionals in health care within the United Kingdom. In order to practice as a professional in a number of designated professions within this country, you must be registered with the council. There are a number of different application processes applicable to different applicants, depending on their qualifications as well as one their country of origin, but registration is available for international professionals who would like to become established either permanently, on an intermittent basis, or temporarily within the UK.
Aims Of The Council
According to the organization’s website, these are its aims:
- Maintaining and publishing a public register of properly qualified members of the professions
- Approving and upholding high standards of education and training, and continuing good practice
- Investigating complaints and taking appropriate action
- Working in partnership with the public, and a range of other groups including professional bodies
- Promoting awareness and understanding of the aims of the Council
In addition to these aims there are 5 basic values that the council holds, including transparency in all of their dealings, collaboration between themselves and all other relevant parties that need to be involved, responsiveness to the needs and wants of shareholders and registrars, a promise that they will provide value for money to all concerned, and last but not least the promise that high quality services will be provided at all times.
Who Does The Health And Care Professions Council Regulate?
The Health and Care Professions Council regulates the following professionals:
- Arts therapists
- Biomedical scientists
- Clinical scientists
- Hearing aid dispensers
- Occupational therapists
- Operating department practitioners
- Practitioner psychologists
- Social workers in England
- Speech and language therapists
There are a few important things to note in relation to this. For one thing it is against the law for anyone to claim that they are registered with the council within the UK if they are not in fact registered. This could lead to serious legal ramifications should the person be caught. In addition you will be unable to use one of the protected titles listed here if you are not, in fact, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. Consequently, in order to practice as a professional in one of the above disciplines, you must become a member of the organization.
In order to become registered with the council you must have completed one of the programs that the council approves in your specific discipline. On the council’s website you can find a list of approved programs. The list is long and extremely comprehensive and is the best way through which potential registrants can find out if they are eligible to register. In addition the program providers are able to use the council’s website to inform the council regarding any major changes in their program so that the council can reapprove the program. For comprehensive information regarding programs, please visit this site.
Because it is possible for international as well as domestic professionals to apply for registration with the council, there are a number of different routes that you can take to become registered. There are basically 4 different routes through which you can apply for membership with the council. Read through the following and determine which applies most to you:
- The first route is for anyone who has completed a training program within the UK and has met all of the program and country requirements accordingly. In order to apply for registration with the council you must take this route. Information regarding this course of action can be found here.
- There are also several professionals who were once on the register but who have since been removed for various reasons, perhaps due to inactivity as a health care professional. If this is the situation that you find yourself in, you will need to apply for readmission to the register. This can be done by going to this website and following the directions and using the information provided.
- For professionals who have studied in foreign countries who would like to begin practicing within the borders of the United Kingdom, a different route must be taken. Consequently on the council’s website there is a page for international applicants. This can be found by going to http://www.hpc-uk.org/apply/international/ and following the steps provided.
- For international individuals established elsewhere in the EEA as well as in Switzerland and who would like to practice within the UK on a temporary or part-time basis, the “Temporary provisions of services” application must be filled out. This can be found by going to this website and following the steps provided. This temporary registration is generally available for only 1 year, but it is easy enough to renew once you have received the initial registration. This is useful for professionals who only plan to live in the area for a short period of time, but who would like to work while they are there.
Consequently this is an organization that is open to professionals from a variety of different countries, although there will be fairly stringent educational as well as other requirements that you may be required to meet before you will, in fact, be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council of the UK. If you meet all of the previously mentioned requirements you will be able to practice within the UK within the health care profession that you have studied.
The council itself is a small organization consisting of only 20 members (which includes the chair itself). In addition to this there are various committees falling under the domain of the council and which report to the council on various matters.
Meeting The Council’s Standards
As a member of the council it is extremely important that you know what is expected of you and what the standards are. If you fail to meet the standards you may be stopped from practicing in your capacity as a health care professional. Consequently it is exceedingly important that you take the time to report any grievances that you may experience in the course of your work in order to ensure that the council is fully equipped to meet the needs of everyone.
The Health and Care Professions Council is dedicated to ensuring that the best service is provided to its stakeholders as well as to its registrants. This includes taking any feedback offered by their registrants very seriously. Consequently it is on your best interests to make your grievances known.
The contact details of the Health and Care Professions Council are as follows:
Renewals, applications, CPD queries, fees, online account activation or general queries:
Tel: 44 (0)845 300 4472*
Fax: 44 (0)20 7840 9801
For all other queries (office hours are 8am to 6pm):
Tel.: 44 (0)845 300 6184*
Fax: 44 (0)20 7820 9684
Health and Care Professions Council,
Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road,
London, SE11 4BU
There are other regulating bodies that you may also need to be registered with in order to work as a healthcare professional in the UK. These are:
The General Chiropractic Council (GCC)
Tel: 020 7713 5155
The General Dental Council (GDC)
Regulates: Dentists, dental therapists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians, and orthodontic therapists
Tel: 020 7887 3800.
The General Medical Council (GMC)
Tel: 0845 357 8001
The General Optical Council (GOC)
Regulates: Dispensing opticians and optometrists
Tel: 020 7580 3898
The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
Tel: 020 7357 6655
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Regulates: Arts therapists, Biomedical Scientists, Chiropodists/ Podiatrists, Clinical Scientists, Dieticians, Hearing Aid Dispensers, Occupational Therapists, Operating Department Practitioners, Orthoptists, Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Practitioner Psychologists, Prosthetics and Orthotists, Radiographers, Social workers in England and Speech and Language Therapists
Tel: 44 (0)845 300 6184
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Regulates: Nurses, midwives, and specialist community public health nurses
Tel: 020 7333 6622
General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
Regulates: pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy premises
Tel: 020 3365 3400
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
Regulates: Pharmacists and pharmacy premises in Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9032 6927
Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)
Regulates the social care workforce (Northern Ireland only)
Tel: 028 9041 7600
Care Council for Wales (CCW)
Social care workforce regulator (Wales only)
Tel: 029 2022 6257
Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
Responsible for registering people who work in social services (Scotland only)
Tel: 0845 60 30 891
The Health and Care Professions Council is an essential organization with which to be registered as a healthcare professional in the UK. Not only is it a legal requirement, it is also a way through which you may find opportunities for expanding your career options and finding new ways forward. Registrants have access to a number of different services as well as other resources that can help them in their job. If you are considering a career in the UK in one of the professions regulated by the council, knowledge regarding the Health and Care Professions Council is an essential tool.