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Understanding the Duty of Candour- new resources available for you

26 Jan 2022

Grace Costain

Senior Policy Officer - Policy and Standards

New materials outline what candour means and what it looks like in practice

We are very pleased to have launched our new online materials on the duty of candour, which aim to support professionals’ understanding of what candour means and what it looks like in practice.

All professionals we regulate have a duty of candour, which is essentially a responsibility to be open and honest when things go wrong. This requirement is also reflected in Standard 8 of our Standards of conduct, performance and ethics.

Being candid is the right thing to do, but it also has many proven benefits. For example, being open and honest when things go wrong can help encourage a more positive working culture which is focused on learning and support, rather than blame. Not only does this support professional practice and development, but it can also improve patient care by helping to mitigate the risk of the same error recurring.

Helping to promote openness and honesty when things go wrong

While being candid has many important benefits, we recognise that admitting to errors, especially in a professional context, can be intimidating. We believe that we could be doing more to support professionals with being candid, and hope that our webpages will help registrants to:

  • Understand what the duty of candour is, and how to embed it into their practice
  • Understand what HCPC Standards say, and what is required of them
  • Gain insight into the benefits and value of candour for professional practice
  • Understand how to overcome some of the challenges with being candid

The duty of candour applies to all health and care professionals, which means that these resources may also be useful for non-HCPC registrants. We also encourage employers to use them to help embed transparency into their teams.

To access the new resources, please click on the link below.

The purpose of these resources is to support you and your professional practice, so it’s important that the information provided works for you. If you have any suggestions for how the materials could be improved or additional topics you would like to see covered, please get in touch with our team at

Page updated on: 26/01/2022