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Home > Education > Education provider and employer resources > Revised standards of education and training: guidance and resources

Revised standards of education and training: guidance and resources

In June 2017 we released revised standards of education and training (SETs). These were agreed by our Council on 23 March 2017, and were implemented from September 2017.



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What are the key changes?

Under the revised SETs, we have introduced new standards requiring:

  • Interprofessional education – that all learners have the opportunity to learn from and with professionals and learners from other relevant professions
  • Learner involvement – that learners are able to contribute to the programme in some way
  • Support to enable learners to raise concerns

We have made other changes as follows:

  • Strengthening how our standards of conduct, performance and ethics are embedded into curriculum and assessment
  • Updates to terminology to ensure it is broad, inclusive and up to date.


How are the SETs different?

We have reduced the number of standards from 58 to 52. To do this, we have not reduced or relaxed our requirements, but have rather consolidated similar existing standards.

Some standards have been updated ensure terminology used is broad, inclusive and up to date. For example, ‘learner’ has been preferred to ‘student’ and ‘practice-based learning’ has been preferred to ‘practice placement’.

The following standards have been added or changed as follows:

3.3 The education provider must ensure that the person holding overall professional responsibility for the programme is appropriately qualified and experienced and, unless other arrangements are appropriate, on the relevant part of the Register.

  • The predecessor standard (SET 3.4) required us to make a decision that the nominated professional lead was appropriate to lead the programme. This led to a high number of ‘major changes’ to programmes when the programme leader changed. The revised standard ensures that the education provider’s processes ensure that the nominated individual is appropriate to lead the programme.

3.8 Learners must be involved in the programme.

  • This standard requires that learners are able to contribute to the programme in some way. We do not specify the exact areas of a programme in which learners must be involved, rather requiring education providers to convince us that their learner involvement is appropriate within the context of the programme.

3.17 There must be an effective process in place to support and enable learners to raise concerns about the safety and wellbeing of service users.

  • This standard is about enabling learners to recognise situations where service users may be at risk, supporting them in raising any concerns, and ensuring action is taken in response to those concerns.

4.2 The learning outcomes must ensure that learners understand and are able to meet the expectations of professional behaviour, including the standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

  • The predecessor standard (SET 4.5) required that students understood the implications of the standards of conduct performance and ethics. This has been strengthened to ensure that learners are able to meet these standards along with other expectations of professional behaviour on completion of the programme.

4.9 The programme must ensure that learners are able to learn with, and from, professionals and learners in other relevant professions.

  • Previously this standard was negatively framed, requiring that when there was interprofessional learning that it did not negatively impact on profession specific learning. This standard now requires that learners have the opportunity to learn from and with professionals and learners from other relevant professions.

6.2 Assessment throughout the programme must ensure that learners demonstrate they are able to meet the expectations of professional behaviour, including the standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

  • Similarly to revised SET 4.2, this standard requires that assessments through the programme ensure that learners meet the expectations of professional behaviour, including the standards of conduct, performance and ethics on completion of the programme.


How the SETs were reviewed

We regularly review all of our standards to ensure that they remain effective and fit for purpose, are well understood by our stakeholders and the public, and take account of change including changes in practice, legislation, technology, guidelines and wider society.

We appreciate that statutory regulation does not operate in isolation. Therefore, when reviewing the SETs we:

1. Sought the views of:

  • education providers,
  • registrants (including newly qualified professionals),
  • service users and carers,
  • commissioners,
  • professional bodies,
  • HCPC partner visitors, and
  • HCPC Education Department employees.

2. Commissioned two pieces of research examining

  • the nature and extent of interprofessional education in approved programmes
  • the role of the SETs in ensuring newly qualified professionals are prepared for practice

3. Formed a Professional Liaison Group (PLG), consisting of Council members and representatives from key stakeholder groups. The PLG discussed themes emerging from the review, and informed the drafting of the revised SETs and supporting guidance.

4. Ran a public consultation on the draft standards and supporting guidance, analysed the responses to this consultation, and made updates accordingly.


How we will assess that programmes meet the revised SETs

All programmes visited on or after 1 September 2017 will need to meet the revised SETs.

We will assess whether existing programmes meet the revised SETs via the annual monitoring process in the 2018-19 or 2019-20 academic year. When we inform education providers of our monitoring requirements in these years, we will provide specific information about what they will need to provide regarding the revised SETs.

From the 2018-19 academic year, we will assess all major changes to existing programmes against the revised SETs. This is because all programmes will have implemented the revised SETs by this point.


Further information

  • Sign up to our free seminars, which are running across the UK in the autumn and winter of 2017
  • Read the standards of education and training, plus guidance about the standards
  • Read our blog, breaking down the revised standards, and highlighting additions and changes



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