The Health Practice Associates Council (HPAC) has applied to the Authority for an assessment against Standard One of our Standards for accredited registers. Also known as ‘the public interest test’, Standard One checks whether the benefits of activities of the roles registered by the HPAC are likely to outweigh the risks.
The Minister of State, Edward Argar MP commented: ‘The Accredited Registers programme, run by the Professional Standards Authority, ensures that people receiving care from professionals working in unregulated roles are better protected. Accreditation demonstrates a register’s commitment to high standards of care and professional behaviour.’
HPAC, a UK-wide organisation, which registers pre-hospital clinicians below the grade of paramedic has received support from several national bodies. The Care Quality Commission (CQC), recently wrote to providers, highlighting a ‘best practice’ approach to recruiting from the HPAC Register for relevant roles when transporting patients receiving secure and mental health services.
The CQC commented: ‘We have previously highlighted concerns about unsafe recruitment in the ambulance sector. We therefore support HPAC in applying to the Professional Standards Authority to support the safe recruitment of non-paramedic ambulance clinicians.’
Kenny Gibson, the national Head of Safeguarding for NHS England and NHS Improvement, who has supported the HPAC as a representative of NHS Safeguarding and as the Safeguarding Lead for the HPAC since 2019, commented: ‘The safeguarding of all citizens is of critical importance across all health and care providers and NHS Safeguarding are privileged to be working with HPAC in their endeavours to make all ambulance and paramedic contacts with the public more robustly safeguarded from harm, abuse, exploitation and violence.’
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) also recognises the HPAC in supporting the safe recruitment of non-paramedic clinicians and has included the HPAC in their safeguarding landscape. Dr Suzanne Smith, Executive Director for Barring and Safeguarding at The DBS said: ‘DBS is committed to supporting safer recruitment to help protect the most vulnerable in our society from harm and abuse. It’s good to see HPAC recognise the need to strengthen safeguarding and the need to work alongside partners to make recruitment safer.’
The HPAC registers a variety of roles which are: first aiders, first responders, ambulance care assistants, police medical responders, fire medical responders, emergency care assistants, ambulance technicians, associate ambulance practitioners and sub-registration for student paramedics.
The Authority offers an initial assessment against Standard One to check whether a Register falls within the scope of the Accredited Registers programme, ahead of submitting a full application.
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
- We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
- Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk