At the HCPC we are just starting a policy project which aims to identify any regulatory challenges and any risks presented by registrants’ advancing their practice, and how the HCPC should respond to these to ensure public protection and to support our registrants’ professionalism/good practice.
We appreciate that the terminology for advanced practice (AP) is variable, and is often referred to by several other terms, but for the sake of clarity and ease we will be using ‘AP’ to refer to all forms of our registrants extending or advancing their scope of practice beyond their core profession across the UK. For more information and definitions, please refer to the national frameworks for AP in each of the four countries of the UK.
How to get involved
If you would like to inform the next stages of the HCPC’s project exploring and are happy to be contacted in the next few months to be asked to participate, please send the following details to Charlotte Rogers, Policy Manager at Charlotte.Rogers@hcpc-uk.org:
- Full name
- Job title
- Employer name and location (region, and England, Wales, Northern Ireland, or Scotland)
- The level of your scope of practice (registrant; advanced practice; consultant).
At this early stage of our project, we are planning what our engagement will look like, but it is possible that we will run a survey/questionnaire and another type of qualitative engagement (such as focus groups or interviews) throughout Summer 2020. It is also likely that the engagement will be virtual/online. We recognise that this is a particularly challenging time for our registrants in responding to Covid-19, and we will completely understand if you choose not to participate when you are contacted if it does not work for you.
Background to the project
Regulation of AP is at the level of the AP’s core (cognate) profession. There is no regulation specific to the advanced level of practice or any advanced practice education programmes, nor is statutory registration of a practitioner’s standard level work necessary to work at AP level.
Some of the professional regulators, such as the General Dental Council, have produced guidance on the activities its registered professions are trained and competent to undertake. The HCPC does not collect information on scope of practice, nor do we prescribe the areas in which our registrants work, instead, "registrants must ensure that they practice safely and effectively within their chosen scope of practice".
We are regularly contacted by registrants asking for advice and support in relation to AP scope of practice; quite often in relation to advanced clinical practice roles. Some registrants raise concerns about how to ensure they are acting within the scope of the Standards of Proficiency in their new roles; for example Operating Department Practitioners moving in to Surgical Care Practitioner roles.
For decades there have been repeated calls from a number of organisations and professional groups to consider introducing some form of additional regulation of AP. It is in response to these calls that the HCPC is undertaking this project to understand the range of views and experiences of our registrants, and those of other key stakeholders, before the HCPC’s Council makes an informed decision on how to proceed.