The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has launched its new tribunal service, The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS).
The HCPTS is a new impartial hearings service which will provide a distinct identity to highlight that the adjudication of fitness to practise allegations is undertaken at arm’s length by panels which are independent of the HCPC who investigate the matter.
It comprises the Tribunal Services Team, which manages the operations of the hearings and the Tribunal, which are the Panels that make decisions on what action is needed to protect the public. HCPTS Panels may caution or place restrictions on registrants’ practise and in the most serious of cases remove or suspend professionals from the HCPC Register.
Based in a dedicated centre in Kennington, London, the HCPTS is part of the HCPC but will be operationally separate from the regulator’s complaint handling, investigation and case presentation.
John Barwick, Acting Director of Fitness to Practice at HCPC, said: ‘It is important for us to deliver a service where there is a distinct separation. The HCPTS will provide reassurance to registrants that the Panel making a decision on allegations about them is at arm’s length from the organisation that investigated the matter. It is important from a registrant and public perspective that our hearings are objective, impartial and transparent.”
The HCPC regulates 16 professions, including hearing aid dispensers.