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Consultation on the future shape of the Accredited Registers programme




Our consultation sets out our vision for the future, and proposals for changes we will make in 2021 for the Accredited Registers programme.

Why are we holding a consultation?

For the first time since its introduction, we are carrying out a thorough review of the effectiveness of the Accredited Registers programme.

Following widescale changes in the health and social care systems over the last decade, we’ve been taking stock to assess if the programme – as it currently operates – is fulfilling its potential and meeting its original aims. 

We think that fundamental change is required to enable the programme to achieve the greater recognition by patients, service users and employers that is needed for it to be effective. 

This consultation is your chance to tell us what you think.

What does this consultation focus on?

The main themes of the consultation are:

  1. How should we determine which occupations should be included in the scope of the programme?
  2. Should we consider the effectiveness of occupations in decisions about accreditation? 
  3. Should there be greater consistency of standards of competence across Accredited Registers, in particular for individual occupations?
  4. Should we take into account proportionality and risk?

What is our ambition for the future of the programme?

We think the programme should:

  • Support the delivery of NHS healthcare and social care workforce plans in England, NI, Scotland and Wales. This includes a greater contribution to personalised care for patients and to the Covid-19 recovery in health and social care. The pandemic has highlighted the need for greater integration of health and social care, and of the value of mental health care delivered by unregulated roles.  
  • Become a requirement for employers using healthcare practitioners in unregulated roles in the UK, and social care in unregulated roles in England
  • Support innovation and be able to respond quickly to change. This is an advantage that voluntary assurance has above statutory regulation.

We recognise that achieving this will require us to take a phased approach to change. Our consultation tests proposals for changes in 2021, and of the principles that will underpin the more fundamental changes we will seek to make from 2022 onwards. 

You can find out more details about the current programme here.

Why is it important that you take part?

While we have carried out our own research and engaged with stakeholders to find out what they think, we need your input to ensure our recommendations for the redesign of the programme are well-researched and robust. We want to hear about how different people and groups could be impacted by our proposals. 

How to respond?

You can read the consultation document in full here in English and Welsh. There is also a summary of the questions in Word to make it easier to input your answers. This summary is also available in Welsh.

The deadline for responding is 18 February 2021 (28 February 2021 to respond in Welsh). To submit your consultation response, or if you have any questions, please contact us at

About the Accredited Registers and how they contribute to public protection

The Accredited Registers programme was set up in 2012 to provide a system of oversight and assurance for people working in health care roles in the UK, and social care in England who do not have to be regulated in order to work. 

Voluntary registers of occupations can apply for accreditation subject to meeting our Standards for Accredited Registers.

Today, the programme covers 26 registers and over 90,000 practitioners. It covers approximately 60 different occupations including counsellors, psychotherapists, health scientists and complementary therapists. Practitioners work in a variety of settings including the independent sector, education, voluntary organisations and the NHS.  

Read the equality impact assessment completed as part of the Strategic Review: