In March 2020, HCPC was provided with new legislative powers under emergency legislation to establish a Temporary Register in support of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCPC’s Temporary Register was opened on 17 March 2020 to 21,498 former registrants who had de-registered within the previous three years and 5,976 final year students on UK-approved programmes who had completed all their work-based learning.
The student part of the Temporary Register closed at the end of September 2021. In March 2022, HCPC closed the Temporary Register to new applications as the emergency legislation provisions had expired.
In September 2022 the Government announced that they would keep the emergency temporary registers of health professionals open for a further two years. Following that announcement, we have reviewed our approach to regulating the 10,012 individuals still on the Register whilst it continues to remain open.
Our approach to regulating the Temporary Register
In March 2023, our Council agreed an approach whereby we would seek the following from Temporary Registrants:
- confirmation that they are continuing to practise in support of the Covid-19 recovery and wish to remain on the Temporary Register.
- completed self-declarations about their health and character
- confirmation that they are continuing to meet our standards and keeping their practice up-to-date in line with our CPD
Those on the COVID-19 Temporary Register have until 2 October 2023 to complete and submit the form. Anyone on the COVID-19 Temporary Register who does not do this will be removed in October.
Those who have completed the form will be able to remain on the COVID-19 Temporary Register until the 31 March 2024.
Anyone who wishes to continue practising beyond this date will need to apply to join the HCPC’s main Register. Applications to join the main Register will need to be submitted in advance of the Temporary Register’s closure, otherwise professionals will need to stop practising from the 1 April 2024.
What do we mean by ‘in support of the Covid-19 recovery’?
When the Temporary Register was created, its purpose was to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate that whilst the immediate challenges of the pandemic may be said to have passed, the impact of the unprecedented pressures that the pandemic placed on our healthcare services remain.
You should therefore only use your temporary registration in support of the COVID-19 recovery. If you wish to return to other areas of practice, you should apply to re-join the HCPC’s Register.
Individuals should use their own professional judgment to consider whether they are practising in support of the COVID-19 recovery. . Examples of activity which could be considered in support of the COVID-19 recovery include:
- Ongoing treatment of COVID-19 patients. Whilst acute care requirements may be reduced, patients and service users may still have rehabilitation needs.
- Working to provide backfill for others who are providing ongoing treatment of COVID-19 patients.
- Working in roles to clear the backlogs created by the pandemic.
The examples listed above are not exhaustive. If you are unsure as to whether your practice meets this requirement, we recommend that you discuss with your employer in the first instance and then seek advice from our registrations team.
If you are not currently using your temporary registration but would like to return to the HCPC Register then applying is simple.
All forms and guidance for readmission applications can be downloaded from our website here, as well as the important documents that you should read before applying.
We continue to flexibly apply our Returning to Practice requirements to support those on the Temporary Register returning to the main HCPC Register. You may consider using relevant professional experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic towards fulfilling these requirements.