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Fitness to practise

What you need to know as an employer or manager.

About fitness to practise

When we say that someone is 'fit to practise' we mean that they have the skills, knowledge and character needed to practise their profession safely and effectively. The fitness to practise process is designed to protect the public from those registrants who are not fit to practise. If a registrant's fitness to practise is 'impaired' (negatively affected), it means that there are concerns about their ability to practise safely and effectively. This may mean that they should not practise at all, or that they should be limited in what they are allowed to do.

What concerns should you tell us about?

Whether or not you tell us about a concern will depend on the circumstances and the seriousness. However, you should tell us if:

the behaviour or actions of a registrant have raised concerns about their fitness to practise;

you have dismissed or suspended a registrant; or

you have taken the decision to downgrade the status of the registrant (i.e. you restrict the work they can do; you place them under supervision; or you move them to a lower skilled or lower paid job).

If you are in doubt, contact the fitness to practise team and they will discuss the matter with you.

When should I refer a concern to you?

You should refer a concern to us immediately if:

your concerns are serious, for example, they involve dishonesty, violence or detriment or harm to service users;

you have dismissed, suspended or downgraded a registrant’s status while you are investigating a fitness to practise concern about them or as a result of your investigation;

a registrant resigns while you are investigating a fitness to practise concern about them or as result of your investigation; or;

a registrant has been charged with, cautioned for or convicted of a criminal offence.

Otherwise, you should normally refer a concern to us when you know the outcome of your disciplinary process.

If you are in doubt, contact the fitness to practise team and they will discuss the matter with you.

What happens if a concern is raised about an employee?

We may receive information from members of the public or another source about one of your employees which may mean we need to ask you for information as their employer or manager. This may include the service-user records of the person who has complained or more information about a particular incident.

Registrants can continue to practise while we investigate a case unless we have imposed an interim order preventing them from practising or placing restrictions on their practice.

What happens if previous concerns have been raised about an employee?

If a registrant has been suspended, they cannot work until that suspension order has been revoked.

If conditions have been placed on a registrant's registration, they can work but under restriction. As their employer, a registrant may ask you for assistance with their conditions.

When considering whether there is a case to answer in relation to a concern about a registrant, the Investigating Committee Panel has the legal power to take into account any similar concerns made about the registrant within three years.