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Protecting the public from unregistered practitioners

03 Feb 2010 | Professional Standards Authority
  • Policy Advice

For this February 2010 good practice report we consulted the nine health professional regulators to understand the size and scope of title misuse, barriers preventing regulators tackling title misuse, including prosecution, and how these may be overcome.


This report considers the options available to regulator to tackle misuse of protected titles following a finding in our Performance Review in 2008/2009. It examines the risk to patient safety and public protection from title misuse, and the difficulties in prosecuting unregistered and unqualified practitioners.


The report concludes that regulators should be proactive in tackling title misuse and wider issues of unregistered practice, and recommends that regulators should work to increase public awareness of health professional registration and regulation, foster relationships with organisations that share an interest in preventing title misuse, including Trading Standards authorities and directory listing organisations, undertake a periodic audit of directories to ensure individuals listed under a protected title are registered and those that are not will be removed, and send ‘cease and desist’ letters to those who misuse a title, as a first step in tackling title misuse.