Q: Why should I apply to join the Academy’s Accredited Register?
A: Registration shows that an individual is committed to upholding high professional standards and to keeping their knowledge, skills and experience up-to-date through ongoing professional development.
Being on an Accredited Register is important for the protection of patients and is increasingly viewed as essential by employers, providers, commissioners and patients themselves. Proof of registration on a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) is likely to become increasingly expected by these groups. For those not qualified to join the statutory register of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), voluntary registration through the AHCS register is the only available option.
The Practitioner Training Programme and Higher Specialist Scientist parts of the AHCS Register are already accredited by the PSA. The Clinical Physiologist part will also be once PSA accreditation is received (accreditation applied for on 20th June 2017).
Q: What does being on the register actually mean?
A: Being on the register means you have been assessed as proficient and agree to comply with the requirements of Good Scientific Practice, including keeping your Continuing Professional Development up-to-date.
Good Scientific Practice represents standards and values that apply throughout an individual’s career in Healthcare Science at any level of practise. The standards will be contextualised by the role within Healthcare Science that an individual undertakes and are used to approve education and training programmes.
The Standards of Proficiency cover three areas:
- Professional autonomy and accountability
- Skills required for practise
- Knowledge of Healthcare Science
These standards are not the same as a person’s ‘scope of practise’, which is defined as the area or areas of a registrant’s profession in which they have the knowledge, skills and experience to practise lawfully, safely and effectively, in a way that meets our standards and does not pose any danger to the public or to themselves.
We recognise that the practise of experienced registrants often becomes more focused and specialised over time. This might be because of specialisation in a particular area of practise or with a particular group, or a movement into roles in management, education or research.
As a registrant’s scope of practise changes, they may not be able to demonstrate that they meet each and every standard required in the Standards of Proficiency. This is not a problem, as long as they make sure that they are practising safely and effectively within their given scope of practise and do not practise in the areas where they are not proficient.
Q: I am eligible to apply to join the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) statutory register; do I need to apply to be on the Practitioner register as well?
A: No, because the statutory register already covers you in relation to the ‘Fitness to Practise’ status that employers recognise as being important. If you trained in Healthcare Science and the route of statutory registration and regulation is not presently open to you, you are encouraged to register voluntarily with the AHCS.
Q: Does the development of the Accredited Register by the AHCS mean that it is not interested in statutory registration?
A: No. The AHCS remains committed to the goal of statutory regulation across the whole Healthcare Science workforce.
The Government stated in its Command Paper Cm 8008: Enabling Excellence: Autonomy and Accountability for Health and Social Care Staff published in February 2011, that extensions to statutory regulation would only be considered “where there is a compelling case on the basis of a public safety risk and where assured voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage this risk”.
It remains to be seen what stance the Government will take in the future, but for the time being registration remains voluntary.
Q: Does being on the AHCS Register prevent me from belonging to other registers or professional bodies?
A: No. The Academy has good links with all relevant professional bodies and encourages professional body membership to complement your voluntary registration.
Q: How much will it cost me to register with the Academy?
A: The current fees to apply for Registration or Equivalence are:
- A non-refundable application fee of £10 with respect to determination of the application.
- An annual registration fee of £50 or a proportion of this fee in the first registration period if application is part-way through the registration year.
Q: Can I get tax relief on my Registration Fees?
A: Yes you can! Click here for further information.