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Home > Media and Events > Position statements > Archived position statements

The regulation of healthcare scientists

Date of publication: 23/07/2009
Category: Position statement
Audience: Journalists and media
To date the following aspirant* groups of healthcare scientists have been recommended for statutory regulation by the HPC to the Secretary of State:

• Clinical perfusionists (September 2003)
• Clinical physiologists (October 2003)
• Clinical technologists (May 2004)
• Medicial illustrators (May 2004)
• Maxillofacial prosthetists and technicians (September 2005)

In 2007, the Government published a White Paper ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety – the Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century ’ which identified healthcare scientists as a priority group for future regulation.

In November 2008 the four UK health departments published a consultation document looking at the future of the healthcare science workforce. We responded and argued that statutory regulation of these groups was important for public protection. In February 2010, the four UK health departments said that they remained committed to regulation.

More recently, in February 2011, the Coalition Government published a Command Paper ‘Enabling Excellence’, which sets out the new policy on professional regulation. The paper outlines a system of ‘assured voluntary registration’ and says that in the future statutory regulation will only be considered where there is a ‘compelling case’ and where ‘voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage this risk’.

The paper says that for the majority of groups that are currently unregulated, including those where the HPC has previously made recommendations that have not been implemented, ‘the assumption will be that assured voluntary registration would be the preferred option’.

The HPC intend to agree the policy and process for assured voluntary registration over the course of this year before beginning to consider which groups might be suitable for voluntary registration. An impact assessment and consultation would then be required before reaching a final decision in respect of a specific group. As such, we have made no current decisions about whether the HPC should establish a voluntary register of healthcare scientists, or, indeed, of any other professional or occupational group.

- Ends -

HPC information on aspirant group – healthcare scientists

The HPC responded to the consultation: The Future of the Healthcare Science Workforce - Modernising Scientific Careers: Next steps’ on 27 February 2009. Please see below link for full response.

* Aspirant groups – unregulated groups of workers
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