We offer specialist health professional solicitors for all professions regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC):
- Arts therapists
- Biomedical scientists
- Clinical scientists
- Hearing aid dispensers
- Occupational therapists
- Operating department practitioners
- Practitioner psychologists (e.g. Clinical psychologists)
- Prosthetists and orthotists
- Social workers in England
- Speech and language therapists
All of these professions have at least one professional title that is protected by law. This means, for example, that anyone using the titles 'physiotherapist' or 'dietitian' must be registered with the HCPC.
It is a criminal offence for someone to claim that they are registered with the HCPC when they are not, or to use a protected title that they are not entitled to use.
The HCPC will investigate allegations that a professional’s fitness to practise is impaired due to:
- deficient performance
- a criminal conviction or caution in the British Isles (or elsewhere for an offence which would be a criminal offence if committed in England or Wales)
- physical or mental ill-health
- a determination (decision) by a regulatory body either in the British Isles or overseas.
The HCPC can issue warnings or can suspend or completely remove a professional from the HCPC register.
The investigation process
1. If an allegation is made to the HCPC a case worker in the Fitness to Practise department will first determine whether the HCPC is responsible for dealing with it. If further investigation shows that there may be a case to answer, the HCPC will give you the opportunity to respond to the allegation.
2. An Investigating Committee then decides if there is a case to answer and refers the matter on to a committee:
- A panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee (for cases about misconduct, lack of competence convictions or cautions, decisions by other regulators and barring decisions).
- A panel of the Health Committee (for cases where the health of the professional may be affecting their ability to practise).
- Another panel of the Investigating Committee (for cases where an entry to the Register may have been made fraudulently or incorrectly).
3. At the end of the Fitness to Practise hearing, the panel may then:
- take no further action
- issue a warning
- impose an interim suspension
- remove the professional from the HCPC register.
The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence has the power to appeal any decision of the Fitness to Practise panels on the grounds that it is ‘unduly lenient’.
How we can help
There is comprehensive information in our Employment pages on the support we can offer for any workplace situation, including:
- Drafting grievances
- Harassment and bullying
- Internal disciplinary investigations & hearings
- Employment tribunal litigation
- Disclosure & Barring Service representations
- Investigation by the HCPC
- High Court Injunctions
- HCPC Fitness to Practise Hearings
- High Court Judicial Reviews
- HCPC Interim Orders Panel Hearings
If you have been suspended or are under investigation, please contact us as a matter of urgency. It is much better to get advice at this stage, rather than risking the potential consequences for your career if the matter goes further. Anything that calls into question your suitability to remain on the HCPC Register can have far-reaching consequences.
As a member of a regulated profession, we are fully aware that any investigation or disciplinary process is very stressful, as it will usually go to the heart of your professional practice.
We can support you throughout this process, with pragmatic, considered advice. Should a Fitness to Practise panel decision go against you, we can advise you on the likelihood of success at appeal and can represent you robustly in proceedings in the High Court or Court of Session.
Professional Regulatory Contact
For more information on our Professional Regulatory services, please contact Riz Majid – Head of Employment – +44 (0) 20 7429 3906