The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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Professionalism and regulation

The regulation of health and social care professionals helps to ensure ethical practice and integrity in all professional activity.

The purpose of the regulation of health and care professionals is to protect patients and the public. It does this by ensuring that only individuals who have reached a defined standard of education and practice can be registered to practise their profession and to use the title(s) attached to their profession.

Regulation ensures that only individual health and care professionals who are competent and fit to practise are admitted to, and remain on, the register. The key components of regulation are therefore as follows:

  • Standards that define the practice of a particular profession (including relating to conduct)
  • A register of individuals who are eligible to practise that profession
  • Processes to determine individuals’ eligibility to be admitted to, and to remain on, the register
  • Safeguards to protect use of the professional title(s) defined by the standards and register

While having the primary purpose of protecting the public, regulation also safeguards a profession’s standing and reputation.

Only individuals eligible and fit to practise the profession are enabled to use that profession’s title and purport to be of that profession, and to practise that profession.

Regulation is underpinned by the concept of professionalism. It puts patients’ and clients’ needs to the fore, and ensures that individual professionals are accountable for their decisions and actions.

Arrangements for the statutory regulation of health and social care professionals help to ensure individual practitioners achieve and maintain a minimum standard of practice, remain competent and fit to practise throughout their careers, adhere to ethical principles, and act with integrity in all professional activity.

HCPC standards

Further information on the Health and Care Professions Council can be found on the following page, Regulatory requirements.

CSP student members and associate members do not come under formal regulatory requirements. However students, through their pre-registration education, are preparing for entry to the statutory register held by the HCPC, which will then enable them to practise as a physiotherapist in the UK. They are also subject to fitness to practise processes enacted by the university at which they are registered.

Some consideration is being given to the value and practicalities of registering and regulating support workers in health and social care.

The HCPC’s 2012 policy statement on support workers in adult social care can be found on the HCPC website under Adult Social Care Workers in England.

CSP disciplinary procedures

The CSP retains disciplinary procedures, based on established rules of professional conduct, for members who are not subject to statutory regulatory requirements and related HCPC fitness to practise processes.

These procedures, which can be brought into effect if a complaint is made to the CSP, relate to the following member groups:

  • Qualified members who practise on animals
  • Student members
  • Associate members

The disclosure and barring service

Formed on 1 December 2012, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is designed to help employers and higher education institutions make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children.

Covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the DBS merges the functions previously undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Further information on the DBS and equivalent services in Scotland can be found on the following sites:


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