The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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Duty to report

You owe a ‘duty of care’ to your patients, your colleagues and other people you come into contact with.  Sometimes you may have to report incidents or concerns to your employer, the HCPC, or other body. This is your ‘duty to report’.

Whether you are a physiotherapist, associate or a physiotherapy student, it’s important that you understand these obligations. You must also understand how they link to other aspects of professionalism such as confidentiality, data protection and safeguarding.

Your duty to report yourself

Scenarios under which you have a duty to report yourself include:

  • Criminal convictions or cautions 
  • Regulatory complaints 
  • Disciplinary matters 
  • Health issues if impacting your fitness to practise 
  • Potential indemnity claims against you

Your duty to report other people

There are also circumstances under which you have a duty to report other people:

  • Fellow health professionals – if you suspect misconduct; inappropriate sexual behaviour with a patient; or doubt their fitness to practice
  • Patients – if presenting as ‘real and immediate’ danger to themselves or others or showing signs female genital mutilation.
  • Safeguarding - someone suffering, or is at risk of harm, either at home or in an organisation that cares for them. 
  • Your employer - if you believe patient safety or the standard of care is being compromised 

The duty of other people to report you

Sometimes other people or agencies have a duty to report you to the HCPC or your employer: These include:

  • Police forces 
  • The HCPC 
  • Your employer 
  • Your colleagues 
  • Patients and the public 

Duty to report vs duty of confidentiality 

The balance between your duty to report and your duty of confidentiality is not set. Individual circumstances will determine the course of action you should take.

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