What we do
We help to protect the public by improving the regulation and registration of people who work in health and care. There are three main areas to our work:
Working with health and social care regulators
The 10 health and care regulators we oversee ‘register’ health and care professionals working in occupations that Parliament has said must be regulated. For example, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and paramedics are all regulated by law in the UK. Social workers are also regulated by law in England. You can find out more about each of the individual regulators, and the occupations they cover, here.
We set Standards for regulators and carry out performance reviews each year to assess how well they meet them. Performance reviews tell everyone how well the regulators are doing and, through our recommendations, help the regulators to improve. 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.
Our Accredited Registers programme
Not everyone working in health and social care is regulated by law, which is why it is important to choose practitioners from registers we have accredited. There are many unregulated health and care occupations in the UK, including counselling and psychotherapy, non-surgical cosmetic practice, sports therapy and public health.
We independently assess these organisations using our Standards for Accredited Registers. We award a 'Quality Mark' to organisations that meet all of these standards, to show that an organisation is committed to protecting the public and is working to good practice. This is a log which all Accredited Registers and their registrants can display on their websites, on business cards and in treatment rooms.
You can see the full list of Accredited Registers, and the occupations they cover, here.
Improving regulation in health and social care
Through our policy work, we look at a broad range of issues in health and social care regulation and offer our advice. We are often asked particular questions by the Secretary of State for Health and the health ministers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
We apply the principles of Right-touch regulation to everything we do. Right-touch regulation is all about ensuring that the level of regulation applied is proportionate to the level of risk to the public. We use eight elements to determine this. Read more here.
We regularly commission and publish research to help improve regulation on a range of subjects including dishonesty, sexual misconduct, the duty of candour and professional identity. All our research papers can be found here.
You can access all of our latest updates, including research, consultation responses, performance reviews and more, here.