Answering that frequently asked question


The regulatorAs part of the essential legal framework surrounding a registered profession, a regulator has to be identified or established with certain key duties focusing upon protection of the public, which are defined by statute. The regulator's role is to protect the public and it does this by: • a) Setting standards, defined in the Standards of Proficiency (Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), 2007) and the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (HCPC, 2008), for the profession and approving education programmes that lead to registration. The regulator can, and indeed in the case of paramedics, quite frequently does, take action against professionals who do not meet the standards it has set• b) Holding and maintaining a register of professionals who meet the standards set by the regulator.There are parallels with medicine, which is self-regulating, but also some differences. For example, the General Medical Council (GMC) sets the standards and maintains the register for doctors whilst each arm of medicine has its own professional body such as the Royal College of Surgeons or the College of Emergency Medicine. Paramedics, along with 14 other health professions, are not self-regulating, but are all regulated by the HCPC. The HCPC is a statutory body which is independent of the 15 professions it regulates. Its primary purpose is therefore to protect the public by setting standards and holding professionals to account where necessary. Read more at www.hpc-uk.org.

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