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Home > Media and Events > Press room > Archived press releases

HCPC launches consultation on revised guidance on confidentiality

03/10/2016 - 9:15

New consultation launched

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has today launched a consultation  on revised Guidance on confidentiality .

The Guidance will be of particular interest to HCPC registrants, but might also be helpful to potential registrants, employers and other people who want to know how we expect professionals to approach issues of confidentiality.

The HCPC first published the document ‘Confidentiality – guidance for registrants’ in June 2008.The proposed changes to the Guidance are primarily aimed at increasing the clarity and usefulness of the guidance, and reflecting recent changes made to the Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics following a review in early 2016.

Proposed changes include the following:
• Clarification on the definition of ‘consent’ by a service user to the use or disclosure of confidential information – in that it must be voluntary, informed, and given by an individual with the capacity to make the decision.
• Strengthening references to advice and guidance from other organisations such as professional bodies, emphasising that the HCPC guidance cannot cover all issues or situations.
• Additional guidance on a small number of topics which we often receive queries about, including electronic records and sharing information about children and young people.
• We have also reordered sections of the Guidance and made other editing amendments for clarity throughout the document.

Michael Guthrie, Director of Policy and Standards, commented:
“We want to make sure that the guidance on confidentiality reflects the Standards of conduct performance and ethics and helps registrants meet the expectations we have set out.  The Guidance does not cover every situation where problems or challenges relating to confidentiality might come up, but does summarise some of the most important issues and provides key principles which registrants should think about and apply to their practise”. 

Opening on Monday 3 October, the 16 week consultation runs until Friday 13 January 2017. The revised version of the Guidance is expected to be launched in mid 2017.

To take part in the consultation, complete our online survey, email or write to Consultation on revised guidance on confidentiality, Policy and Standards Department, Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU.

For further press information, please contact Grant Imlach or Louise Shewey in HCPC’s press office on 020 7840 9806 or email

 Notes to Editors:

1. You can respond to this consultation in the following ways.

• By completing our easy-to-use online survey

• By emailing us at:

• By writing to us at the following address:

Consultation on revised guidance on confidentiality
Policy and Standards Department
Health and Care Professions Council
Park House
184 Kennington Park Road
SE11 4BU

2. We do not normally accept responses by telephone or in person. We normally ask that consultation responses are made in writing to ensure that we can accurately record what you would like to say. If you are unable to respond in writing please contact us on +44 (0)20 7840 9815 to discuss any reasonable adjustments which would help you to respond.

3. Please complete the online survey or send us your response by 13 January 2017. We look forward to receiving your comments.

4. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

5. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. To see the full list of protected titles please see

Arts therapists
Biomedical scientists
Chiropodists / podiatrists
Clinical scientists
Hearing aid dispensers
Occupational therapists
Operating department practitioners
Practitioner psychologists
Prosthetists / orthotists
Social workers in England
Speech and language therapists

6. The HCPC regulates social workers in England. Social workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are separately regulated by the relevant Care Council in that country.

7. To contact us via social media, use the Twitter handle @The_HCPC or search the Health and Care Professions Council on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Louise Shewey
44 (0)20 78409806

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