This is (supposed to be) a reflective diary by a (not very) anonymous biomedical scientist who works somewhere in the south of England.
One day this diary may well be submitted to the Health Professions Council as evidence of ongoing continual professional development....
In this month’s issue we provide you with some tips on using social media in a way that meets our standards. We also highlight new research around why social workers in England and paramedics receive a disproportionately high percentage of complaints and what we can do about this.
There are also several partner recruitment opportunities running at the moment and a chance to join our Education and Training Committee, so be sure to get in touch if you would like to work with your regulator.
Look out for the next issue of HCPC In Focus in November 2017.
Daniel Knight, Editor
Focus on social media
Our recently published Guidance on social media contains useful pointers for professionals and students about how to interact using social media in a way that meets our standards.
The guidance focuses on issues that registrants and other stakeholders come across most frequently. It was informed by an online workshop and public consultation and complements guidance produced by professional bodies.
Our Director of Policy and Standards, Michael Guthrie, said:
“We know that registrants sometimes have questions or concerns about using social media because they want to make sure that they always meet our standards. This guidance explains what our standards mean when using social media. We have structured part of the guidance under the areas of our standards which apply to the appropriate use of social media.”
9.30am, Thursday 2 November 2017, The Bridgewater Hall
This event is for employers and managers of HCPC registered professionals. It will focus on our regulatory standards and how employers can support registrants to meet them, as well as understanding the fitness to practise process and how employers can help prevent fitness to practise concerns arising.
It is a chance to ask us questions, network with other professionals and share good practice on how we can work together to prevent fitness to practise issues arising.
Our Education and Training Committee (ETC) will be recruiting two new members independent of the HCPC Council, after Council agreed to a new composition of the Committee.
The ETC is a statutory Committee of the HCPC Council. It advises the Council on matters relating to education, training and registration. It also sits as the Education and Training Panel and deals with Visitors' reports, annual monitoring reports and major or minor changes to programmes.
The Committee will be comprised of six members, four to be drawn from the existing HCPC Council and two to be appointed independently.
For the first candidate, we are seeking specific input from an individual with education quality assurance experience. The second candidate should be a recently-qualified registrant, someone that has qualified from an HCPC approved programme in the last five years. They should have experience of contributing to the quality and effectiveness of a professional training programme. Both candidates should also have the ability to contribute to strategic planning and delivery and collective decision-making.
The closing date for applications is Monday 30 October 2017.
Upcoming research looks at complaints about paramedics and social workers in England
In 2016 we commissioned the University of Surrey to undertake research to better understand the reasons why paramedics and social workers in England are over-represented in the number of fitness to practise cases we handle, and what we might be able to do about this trend.
The research included a review of published literature; interviews and focus groups with registrants, employers and service users; and a review of ten per cent of fitness to practise cases, at all stages of the process, over two years. Our thanks go to all those who participated.
Overall the research found a number of themes that appear to be behind fitness to practise concerns. These include the evolving nature of the two professions, changing public and societal expectations, as well as the challenging nature of practice and pressurised work environments. The case review found that whilst the number of concerns received is relatively high, the number of cases leading to us needing to take action is not.
Council are at the early stages of thinking about how we might respond to and take forward the findings. Some initial actions are likely to include using the insights from the research to further engage with the public and with employers on when to refer a fitness to practise concern. We will also want to consider how we might use fitness to practise case studies developed as part of the research to develop teaching and learning materials for social educators.
The research will be published on the HCPC website at the end of September.
Joint statement on handling conflicts of interest
We have recently joined other health and care regulators to agree a joint statement on handling conflicts of interest. The statement sets out our expectations of how HCPC-regulated professionals should act in relation to avoiding, declaring and managing actual or potential conflicts of interest.
At the HCPC we are committed to developing and improving the service provided by our Registration Department and we would like your help by providing feedback in our independently-managed registrant survey.