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Professional bodies

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The Health and Care Professions Council (external link) is an independent, UK-wide, regulatory body which was established by the Health Professions Order 2001. Their job is to protect the health and wellbeing of people who use the services of the health professionals registered with them.

At the moment they register members of 16 professions, some of which are listed below:

  • Biomedical Scientists
  • Clinical Scientists
  • Dieticians
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Radiographers

Each of the professions above has at least one professional title which is protected by law. It is a criminal offence to claim to be registered with the HCPC if you are not, or to use a protected title that you are not entitled to use.

The HCPC will only register people who meet their standards for training, professional skills, behaviour and health. Regulation means that patients and the public, as well as employers and potential employers, know that registered professionals are safe to practise. It makes sure that the public is protected and also that we maintain standards.

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)

The Institute of Biomedical Science (external link) is the professional body for Biomedical Scientists in the United Kingdom. It aims to promote and develop Biomedical Science and its practitioners.

The Institute was founded in 1912 and represents approximately 16,000 members employed mainly in National Health Service and private laboratories, veterinary laboratories, the National Blood Authority, Health Protection Agency, Medical Research Council and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Other members also work in related commercial fields and in teaching. Most members live and work in the United Kingdom and Ireland but many are employed overseas.

The Institute has many roles, and some of the more important ones are listed below:

  • Accreditation of Biomedical Science degree courses
  • Issuing the IBMS (certificate of competence registration) portfolio
  • Conducting assessments of completed portfolios
  • Approving laboratories for registration training
  • Awarding the certificates of competence required for registration by the Health Professions Council.

The Institute of Biomedical Science has been granted a licence by The Science Council to award the designation Chartered Scientist to qualifying IBMS members. The designation Chartered Scientist is a mark of excellence awarded to scientists practising at their full professional level and who stay up to date in their scientific field. The designation was conferred to The Science Council by Royal Charter in October 2003 and adds Science to the now-familiar list of chartered professions such as biologist, accountant or surveyor.

NHS Health Education England (HEE)

Health Education England (external link) was established as a Special Health Authority in June 2012, taking on some functions from October 2012 before assuming full operational responsibilities from April 2013.

HEE provides leadership for the new education and training system, to ensure that the shape and skills of the future health and public health workforce evolve to sustain high quality outcomes for patients in the face of demographic and technological change. The establishment and development of HEE was set out in ‘Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce, From Design to Delivery’, the Government’s policy for a new system for planning commissioning education and training. The driving principle for reform of the education and training system is to improve care and outcomes for patients and HEE exists for one reason alone – to help ensure delivery of the highest quality healthcare to England’s population.

The key national functions of the organisation will include:

  • Providing national leadership for planning and developing the whole healthcare and public health workforce
  • Authorising and supporting development of Local Education and Training Boards and holding them to account
  • Promoting high quality education and training which is responsive to the changing needs of patients and communities and delivered to standards set by regulators
  • Allocating and accounting for NHS education and training resources – ensuring transparency, fairness and efficiency in investments made across England.
  • Ensuring security of supply of the professionally qualified clinical workforce
  • Assisting the spread of innovation across the NHS in order to improve quality of care
  • Delivering against the national Education Outcomes Framework to ensure the allocation of education and training resources is linked to quantifiable improvements.