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Fitness to practise FAQs

FAQs on the hearings process

  • Allegations are made available on the website four weeks before their hearing date. Details of interim orders may be posted with less notice as these hearings are convened as soon as reasonably possible.

  • This can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Hearings can last from one day to a week or longer if necessary. There is also a possibility that a hearing may be adjourned at any point during the hearing. The communications team keep a list of journalists who are interested in specific ongoing cases. You can have your details added to the list by contacting the media and PR team on 44 (0)20 7840 9806.

  • This varies; they have the right to attend and be represented if they wish to do so.

  • Hearings are a stressful time for health professionals and all witnesses involved. Please do not approach any parties yourself. If the Hearing Officer is available and is not busy, they may be able to pass on a request for you.

  • The panel chair and members do not talk to members of the press at hearings. Their decisions are those they announce publically and you are able to quote anything they have said in public session during the hearing if you are present.

  • No, we do not allow photography or filming on HCPC premises / external venues but photographers and camera crews are permitted outside the hearing location. We ask that they are considerate to the registrant and the witnesses involved in the hearing.

  • No, we only provide the town or city where they are registered, if applicable.

  • This information is only available if it has been mentioned in public during the hearing. There are some instances where the allegations of misconduct are unrelated to the registrant’s place of work and therefore this information is not relevant and would not be mentioned.

  • We use the civil standard of proof in line with the Health Professions Order 2001, which states that the civil standard of proof should be the common standard for all health regulators.

  • Hearings numbers vary from week to week; please see the website for details.

  • This information is contained with the Fitness to Practise Annual Reports, available for download in our publications section.

FAQs on decisions

  • Details of when sanctions apply will be announced at the hearing. Registrants have a 28-day appeal period. Sometimes an interim order is imposed to cover the period of the appeal.

  • The HCPC online register only shows practitioners who are able to practice. This would include those working under a conditions of practise order. Registrants who are suspended or struck off the Register will not appear on the online site once the sanctions have come into effect.

  • Yes, registrants have 28 days to appeal the outcome of the hearing.

  • If the panel finds the case to be well-founded, they have the following options available. They can decide to:

    • take no further action;
    • impose a caution order. The ‘caution’ will appear against the registrant’s name on the register. Caution orders can be between one and five years long;
    • impose a ‘conditions of practice order’ which is a restriction or conditions on the registrant’s registration. This might include that the registrant works under supervision or has further training for a certain period of time;
    • suspend registration, this can be for up to one year; or
    • make a ‘striking-off order’, .removing the registrant’s name from the register.
  • Yes, we are required by legislation to publish decisions and the reasons given for them.

    There are available on the Fitness to Practise pages of the HCPTS website.

Page updated on: 30/11/2018