Back in February, we responded to a consultation by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The PSA is an independent body that helps protect the public by working with organisations that register and regulate people working in health and social care, which includes both regulators and accredited registers. Regulators are bodies which are given a statutory responsibility by parliament to regulate certain professions such as doctors, nurses or pharmacists. Accredited registers oversee practitioners that work in health or social care settings that are not regulated, to provide the public with confidence in selecting services.
The PSA’s consultation looked at whether accredited registers should be carrying out criminal record checks before allowing a practitioner to join the register, and, if so, what levels of check should be done. You can read the response we gave in full here.
We are pleased to see that the PSA has now published their report on the consultation findings. We welcome the thoughtful and considered approach taken by the PSA in considering the issue of what, if any, criminal record checks should be required of people in therapeutic roles that are not currently covered by regulations. In our response to the consultation, we made clear that criminal record checks (particularly elevated ones that include details of spent convictions) should only be carried out when absolutely necessary for a particular role.
It is also important that it is recognised that checks only play a very small part in safeguarding. We therefore hope the PSA will take a nuanced approach going forward, while also trying to establish some clarity and consistency, which will be beneficial for everyone.
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