Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC also:
- maintains and publishes a register of registrants
- approves UK courses that allow graduates to apply for registration
- sets standards, in particular those expected of registrants and prospective registrants. for example, the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and the Standards of Proficiency
- operates a fitness to practise process.
Fitness to practise
The HCPC ensures that allied health professionals have an initial fitness to practise by:
- checking the qualifications of those who apply for registration
- vetting the qualifications of international speech and language therapists who want to work in the UK
- dealing with complaints against therapists including fitness to practise issues if necessary
- ensuring that the UK courses leading to the speech and language qualification are appropriate.
Registering with the HCPC
A few years ago the speech and language therapy profession applied to come under the HCPC for the purposes of registration of speech and language therapy practitioners. This brought the profession into step with the other allied health professions: art music and drama therapy, chiropody and podiatry, clinical science, dietetics, medical laboratory science, occupational therapy, orthoptics, paramedics, physiotherapy, prosthetics and orthotics, and radiography.
Speech and language therapy came under HCPC control, then known as the Council for the Professions Supplementary to Medicine (CPSM), with effect from 1 October 2000. After this date anyone wishing to practise as a speech and language therapist had to be state registered under the CPSM.
Since 1 April 2002, when the HCPC succeeded the CPSM, anyone not HCPC-registered and calling themselves a speech and language therapist can be prosecuted. Note the term "state" registration no longer applies.
All HCPC registrants are required to renew their registration every two years and must also adhere to the HCPC CPD standards.
HCPC joining fees are tax deductible for UK taxpayers. Check the HCPC website for details. It is sensible to set up your annual registration fee by direct debit, as late payment incurs a penalty.
Registrants cannot work in the NHS during any period they are not on the register.
SLTs who qualified internationally can register with the HCPC providing their qualifications are the equivalent of those of a UK-registered SLT.