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The investigations process - further information

When we receive a case, we will first assess it to decide whether it falls within our powers and is about fitness to practise. The fitness to practise process is not a general service to sort out complaints and we sometimes receive information about issues we cannot deal with. We will write to you if this is the case.

If the information you provide is about one of our registrants and it is something we can deal with, we will do the following.

Powers to demand information

We have powers to demand information. Article 25(1) of the Health Professions Order 2001 allows us to insist that an individual or organisation gives us information or produces documents. This power overrides the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and Caldicott Guardian arrangements. A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person within a health or social services organisation who is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of service user information.

It is a criminal offence not to meet our demand for information. The only person we cannot demand information from is the registrant the allegation is about.

The Investigating Committee

After we have given the registrant the opportunity to respond to the allegation, we will pass the information to a panel of our Investigating Committee to decide whether there is a ‘case to answer’. Each panel is made up of at least three people, including someone from the relevant profession and a lay person (someone who is not on our Register). The meeting is held in private. Their task is to look at the evidence that is available and decide whether there is a real prospect that we will be able to prove the allegation. The panel does not decide whether the allegation is proven. They only decide whether we have a real prospect of being able to prove the allegation at a final hearing.

The Investigating Committee can decide that:

The panel will give reasons for the decision they make. If you brought the case to our attention, we will write to you and give you the panel’s decision and their reasons. If you did not raise the concerns with us, we will write to you as the registrant’s employer if there is a case to answer and they have given us your details.

If the panel decided there is no case to answer and we receive a similar fitness to practise concern about the same registrant within three years, we can take the first case into account when considering the new information.

Related Documents
Information for employers and managers: The fitness to practise processAdobe PDF Document120kb
Fitness to practise referral form - EmployersMicrosoft Word Document101kb