Questions and answers about registration, particularly for practitioners
Q. I am a practitioner who is not required by law to be registered with the HCPC. Why should I bother with voluntary registration?
A. Registration of professionals is important for the protection of patients and is increasingly viewed as essential by employers, providers, commissioners and patients themselves.
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.
Registration on a register that has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority* (PSA) is likely to become increasingly expected by these groups. [* This was previously called the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE)]
Q. If I decide to join the AHCS voluntary register, will it be accredited by the PSA?
A. The AHCS voluntary register will be started in ‘shadow’ form while PSA accreditation is applied for and will be fully implemented once accreditation has been achieved.
Q. When will the standards for registration be available?
A. The standards for registration have been published on our website and can be found here .
Q. I am already on a Practitioner Training Programme (PTP), which was not accredited when I started. How will I become registered?
A. The AHCS and the MSC team are jointly developing a process to enable trainees who began a non-AHCS accredited programme to exit with an Academy Certificate that will confer eligibility to apply for voluntary registration. Trainees will be kept informed of progress, updates will be posted on the Academy website.
Q. I am a practitioner but I did not undertake a Practitioner Training Programme. Will I be able to apply for registration?
A. Yes there will be an equivalence process established, much like the equivalence process for clinical scientists (see earlier FAQs) which will enable those who are working at Practitioner Training Programme level to submit evidence and then join the AHCS Accredited Voluntary Register if they wish to and are deemed eligible.
Q. I am already on a voluntary register. How is the AHCS working with other voluntary registers?
A. The Academy is working with other registers and with the PSA i.e. to become accredited by the PSA . The AHCS register will meet all the required standards of the PSA covering structures, policies and procedures. This will include: disciplinary action when a registrant is found not to be complying with Good Scientific Practice; fitness to practise panels; patient and public assessors etc. Sponsorship arrangements will give the bodies holding existing voluntary registers the opportunity to share the AHCS structures, policies and procedures if they wish to. Discussions with the various stakeholders who currently hold voluntary registers are on-going.
Q. How do I get onto the AHCS Accredited Voluntary Register if I am a practitioner?
A. You will be eligible to apply for registration if you obtain either a Certificate of Attainment after successful completion of a MSC Practitioner Training Programme or a Certificate of Equivalence to a Practitioner Training Programme, as outlined above.
Q. How much will it cost me to register with the Academy?
A. Practitioner Training Programme Equivalence will cost £50. The fee for joining the Academy’s Accredited Register is also £50.
Q. Does the development of an Accredited Voluntary Register by the AHCS mean that it is not interested in statutory registration for practitioners?
A. No. The AHCS remains committed to its goal of statutory regulation across the whole Healthcare Science workforce. However the Government stated in its Command Paper ‘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 takes in the future.
Q. I am interested in applying for Equivalence, but have yet to submit and Expression of Interest. What should I do?
A. We currently have a PTP Expression of Interest survey available via the Equivalence tab on the homepage. Please note that the STP and PTP Expression of Interest surveys are independent of each other.