Are you fit to practice? Clarifying the Role of the Statutory Regulator and The British Psychological Society
Dr Carole Allan
President - The British Psychological Society
July 2009, a legislative change gave the Health Professions Council (HPC) the
mandate to regulate all applied Psychologists within the United Kingdom. This
role was previously undertaken on a voluntary basis by the British
Psychological Society. As the statutory regulator the HPC maintains a public
register of those “fit to practice” and in the interests of public protection
takes action against individual practitioners who breach mandatory standards of
ethics and competence.
analysis of complaints made against Practitioner Psychologists was undertaken
from the public records of “Fitness to Practice” hearings. Findings show that
there were relatively high levels of complaints against Psychologists compared
to other groups regulated by the HPC. The majority of complaints were related
to breaches of ethics and professional conduct rather than for impaired
competence. A range of sanctions were applied and in some instances
Practitioners were removed from the register, effectively removing the ability
to undertake practice anywhere within the UK.
will be used to illustrate the role of the professional body in supporting
practitioners to attain and maintain their fitness to practice.