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The PSA publishes its review of the Health and Care Professions Council performance for 2022/23

We have published our annual performance review of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). During 2022/23, we conducted a periodic review of the HCPC’s performance against the Standards of Good Regulation (the Standards).

For this period, the HCPC has met 16 out of the 18 Standards. We are pleased that the HCPC has met three of the five Standards it did not meet last year. In particular, we have seen the HCPC’s fitness to practise improvement plan resulting in it meeting two of the four fitness to practise Standards that have not been met for several years. Our report explains how we made our decision.

Following problems we reported last year, we have seen an improvement in the time taken for the HCPC to process international applications to join the register. This was particularly welcome in view of the significant increase in applications the HCPC received this year. For some individuals, however, it is still taking longer than expected to become registered with the HCPC, and we encourage the HCPC to continue to engage with its stakeholders about the international registration processes to ensure any concerns are discussed and addressed. 

We have previously had significant concerns about the HCPC’s fitness to practise systems. We have continued to monitor the HCPC’s implementation of its fitness to practise improvement programme, and as part of our performance review this year, we audited a sample of cases closed by the HCPC to assess the impact of the improvement programme. Although there is still much work to be done, it is clear that performance has improved this year.

  • The HCPC has continued to make progress in embedding processes which are designed to improve the quality and timeliness of its investigations. Some of these measures are starting to take effect and we are encouraged by what we have seen. However, this year’s audit showed that some weaknesses remain, and it was still taking too long for investigations to conclude. Therefore, the HCPC did not meet Standard 15 for timeliness and quality of investigations in fitness to practise.
  • Our audit identified improvements in the quality of decision-making at the early stages of the fitness to practise process, and we continued to see a noticeable improvement in the quality of decisions-making in cases we reviewed when considering whether those decisions are sufficient to protect the public. We determined that the HCPC met Standard 16 on decision-making in fitness to practise.
  • We also saw a noticeable improvement in the quality of risk assessments, following the changes made by the HCPC to its risk assessment process. We determined that the HCPC met Standard 17 on identifying and acting on risk to patient and service user safety.
  • Although we saw some improvement in the support provided to parties participating in the fitness to practise process, the feedback we received from HCPC stakeholders, and the findings from out audit, demonstrated that the HCPC still has improvements to make. The HCPC therefore did not meet Standard 18.

The performance review is our check on how well the regulators have been protecting the public and promoting confidence in the health and care professions. We do this by assessing their performance against our Standards. The judgements we make against each Standard incorporate a range of evidence to form an overall picture of performance. Meeting a Standard means that we are satisfied that a regulator is performing well in that area.

In January 2022, we implemented a new performance review approach, starting with the 2021/22 round of reviews. In the new process, we undertake a ‘periodic review’ of each regulator every three years. This is our opportunity to look closely at all aspects of the regulator’s work. Between these reviews, we monitor their performance, focusing on areas of risk. This year, we undertook a periodic review of the HCPC, and we spoke with a range of stakeholders who had engaged with it during the review period in order to get their perspectives on its performance.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care

Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. 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.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  7. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at