Understanding the HCPC's Updated Standards of Conduct, Performance, and Ethics

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the regulatory body responsible for setting standards and regulating allied healthcare professionals (AHPs) in the United Kingdom. Established by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001, the HCPC oversees a wide range of professions within the health and care sectors, including social workers, paramedics, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and many others.

The primary role of the HCPC is to protect the public by ensuring that healthcare professionals meet and maintain high standards of conduct, performance, and ethics in their practice. It achieves this through the development and enforcement of regulatory standards, the registration of qualified professionals, the investigation of fitness to practice concerns, and ongoing monitoring of professional standards.

As part of its regulatory functions, the HCPC establishes clear guidelines and expectations for these professionals regarding their conduct, performance, and ethical behaviour. These standards serve as benchmarks for professional practice and are designed to promote safe, effective, and ethical care delivery to patients and service users.

In this blog, we will look into the HCPC's recently updated standards of conduct, performance, and ethics in healthcare practice, set to take effect from September 2024.

The HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics

The HCPC's (Health and Care Professions Council) Standards of Conduct, Performance, and Ethics are set out in general terms, including how registrants are expected to behave and what the public should expect from their health and care professionals. They are also used if someone raises a concern about a registrant’s practice. The standards of conduct, performance, and ethics are:

  1. Promote and protect the interests of service users and carers.

  2. Communicate appropriately and effectively.

  3. Work within the limits of your knowledge and skills.

  4. Delegate appropriately

  5. Respect confidentiality

  6. Manage risk

  7. Report concerns about safety.

  8. Be open when things go wrong.

  9. Be honest and trustworthy.

  10. Keep records of your work.

The Updated Standards

The key changes in the revised standards of conduct, performance, and ethics can be grouped into a number of themes, which are:

These detailed revisions reflect the evolving landscape of healthcare practice, underpinning your commitment to excellence. Ensure you stay current with professional guidelines by acquainting yourself with the updated Standards of Conduct, Performance, and Ethics available on the HCPC website. Additionally, the HCPC provides comprehensive guidance on the use of social media, helping you navigate online interactions with the same professionalism expected in your practice. 

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