Our report to Parliament on the work of the Authority in the year 2014-15.
Chief Executive's introduction
As this report shows, the Authority has continued to focus on public protection, the improvement of professional regulation and the effective delivery of all our statutory functions.
We conducted our annual performance review of all the regulators between September 2014 and May 2015 and this is described in detail in Volume II of this report. We have also continued with our risk-based cycle of audits of the initial stages of fitness to practise decisions.
In the past year, our workload from reviewing all final fitness to practise decisions by the regulators has continued to grow and the proportion of cases we appeal, although very small, has also continued to grow.
The Accredited Registers programme, although still relatively new, is now fully integrated into our work plans, governance and financial management. With 18 registers accredited covering some 65,000 professionals, it is making a valuable contribution to choice and quality in health and care.
Our policy work and our research programme have continued to grow in influence.
In the last year, we have, in response to a commission from the Department of Health, provided advice on the Duty of Candour. We also looked in detail at issues around social work, a relatively new area of responsibility for us. In research, we are examining how we can make the most effective use of the data we ourselves hold on professional performance. Our annual research conference was well attended and widely praised.
Our international reputation, as demonstrated by the large number of requests for help and advice we receive, is significant. We have been pleased to continue our relationship with regulatory bodies in New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. We have advised colleagues in Hong Kong on the establishment of accredited registers there. We were pleased to win a contract from the Australian Council of Health Ministers to advise on the efficiency and cost effectiveness of health professional regulation in Australia as part of their review of the National Accreditation and Registration Scheme.
We are committed to best practice in governance and operations and financial management. We have spent particular time and effort in preparing for our new financial arrangements as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the consequent Fee Regulations. The new arrangements have required a significant shift in our budgeting and accounting practices and have caused us to think carefully about new risks and new assurances. The Board has been particularly mindful of these matters while, at the same time, maintaining the high productivity and quality of our activities.
Read the full report in the PDF below.