If you've received a refusal for admission or readmission to the HCPC Register, or renewal of your registration, you have the right to appeal the decision.
An appeal must be made in writing. If an application is refused or rejected, a 'notice of appeal' form is automatically sent to them to complete.
All appeals must be signed by the registrant in question and contain the following information.
- Your name and address
- A clear statement that you are making an appeal (for example, “I wish to appeal against the decision to…”)
- A concise statement of your grounds of appeal (which is explained below)
- Details of any person appointed to represent you and whether the HCPC should correspond with them rather than you
- Any documents that you intend to rely upon for the purpose of your appeal
If you wish, you can make your appeal in the form of a letter instead of the notice of appeal form.
The HCPC normally verifies the authenticity and veracity of certain documents which applicants submit in support of a registration application, such as identity documents, qualifications, references and career histories.
The same verification process will apply to any documents of a similar kind which you submit in support of your appeal.
If you wish to appeal, you must do so within 28 days from the date on which the relevant decision was made. Your appeal is not regarded as made until it has been received by the HCPC.
When you make an appeal it is up to you to explain to the Appeal Panel why you believe the original decision is wrong. These are your ‘grounds of appeal’. Your grounds of appeal do not need to be lengthy or written in legal language, but it is not enough just to say ‘the decision is wrong’ or ‘my application should have been allowed’. If you have information or evidence that supports your appeal, you should enclose it with your notice of appeal.
Appeals may be determined on the basis of documents alone but an oral hearing will be arranged if:
- you ask for an oral hearing, or
- the Appeal Panel decides that an oral hearing would be more appropriate.
If your appeal is dealt with based on the documents alone, we will provide you with a further opportunity to submit written representations to the Appeal Panel. You may do this up to seven days before your appeal is considered by the Panel.
If an oral hearing is held, we will give you at least 28 days’ notice of when and where the hearing will take place. Once a hearing date has been set, you will only be able to ask for it to be postponed in exceptional circumstances, such as illness or bereavement.
You are entitled to be represented at a hearing by any person of your choice, other than a member or employee of the HCPC. Your representative may but does not need to be legally qualified.
If you appoint a representative, you need to tell us and also let us know whether we should send all future correspondence to your representative rather than you.
Please remember that, at an oral hearing, the Appeal Panel will almost certainly want the opportunity to speak directly with you, to ask you questions and listen to your answers. A representative cannot give your evidence on your behalf. If you decide not to appoint a representative, you are welcome to bring someone to a hearing for ‘moral support’.
The Appeal Panel may give ‘Directions’ about how a case is to be conducted (for example, setting a deadline by which documents must be filed with the Panel). You must read any Directions carefully and comply with them. The Appeal Panel may include a ‘strike out warning’ in any Directions it gives. This means that, if you do not comply with the Directions within any deadline that has been set, your appeal may be struck out and not considered further.
Most appeals are relatively straightforward and arrangements can usually be made for an appeal to proceed directly to determination or a hearing. Occasionally, in complex cases, the Appeal Panel may decide that it would be helpful to hold a preliminary hearing to determine how the case is to proceed.
The notice of hearing that was sent to you will set out the place, date and time of the hearing.
The Appeal Panel sits from 10.00 am and will typically hear four to five appeals in one day. You should arrive in good time for the hearing start time set out in the notice. As it is not possible to predict exactly how long each appeal will take, the start-time may be a little later but the Appeal Panel will try to start your hearing on time.
Hearings typically take around an hour and the Appeal Panel will normally give its decision the same day.
If you live in England (or outside of the United Kingdom), the hearing will be in London, usually at our offices (Park House) in Kennington.
If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland the hearing will be in Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast respectively.
On arrival at Park House, please give your name and case reference to reception. There may be more than one Registration Appeal hearing taking place on the day.
On arrival at any other venue please ask at reception for directions to the HCPC Registration Appeal hearing and you will be directed to the appropriate room.
You should arrive in good time for the hearing. An Appeals Coordinator will meet and welcome you and explain the venue's facilities.
Park House in London has wheelchair access and a 'loop' system for the hard of hearing. However, if you are attending a Registration Appeal hearing and have a disability, communication difficulties or other additional needs, please discuss this with us in advance so that we ensure arrangements are in place to make your visit comfortable.
By law, the Appeal Panel must comprise:
- a Council member of the HCPC (who will act as Chair);
- a registrant from the part of the HCPC register to which the appeal relates; and
- a lay person.
- If an appeal relates to an appellant's health, the Panel will also include a registered medical practitioner.
The Appeal Panel acts independently and Panel members will not have played any previous part in the decision that is being appealed. The Panel will reach a decision based upon the evidence put before it.
The proceedings before the Appeal Panel will be less formal than a court. Evidence is given seated at a table, not from a witness stand and the Panel is addressed as "Mr. Smith" or "Mrs. Jones" etc.
The Chair will introduce everyone present and establish the part they will play in the proceedings and explain how the hearing is to be conducted. The proceedings may vary from case to case, according to the nature of the issues to be decided.
Typically, the Panel will ask the Presenting Officer (who represents the Education and Training Committee (the Committee) which made the original decision) to outline the history of the case and will then invite you to speak.
The Panel will then ask you questions and give you an opportunity to add anything else you may wish to say. The Appeal Panel will focus on the issues that are in dispute and therefore may not ask you about every aspect of your case. However, if after the Appeal Panel has finished asking its questions, you think it has missed something, please tell the Chair.
At the conclusion of the case the Chair will invite closing submissions from the Presenting Officer and then from you (so that you have the final word). This is an opportunity, if it is needed, to sum up your case.
The Appeal Panel will then retire to consider the case in private. In most cases the Chair will ask you to wait while the Appeal Panel reaches its decision. You will be invited back into the hearing room once the Appeal Panel is ready to announce the decision and will be provided with a written decision notice.
The Appeal Panel may determine an appeal in one of four ways but not all of them will be appropriate for every appeal. The Appeal Panel may decide to:
- dismiss your appeal;
- allow your appeal;
- substitute a different decision (for example, if you have been asked to undertake an adaptation period, the Panel may change its duration or the practice areas to be covered);
- remit your case to the Committee with directions about what must happen next (for example, the Panel may require the Committee to arrange for you to take a test of competence).
If your appeal is dismissed, you have a further right of appeal to the County Court in England and Wales or Northern Ireland, or in Scotland, to a sheriff.
If your appeal is allowed, a different outcome substituted or remitted back to the Committee, HCPC's Registration Department will contact with you within five working days from the conclusion of the hearing, to advise you on the next steps of the process and any action that you may be required to take.
If you fail to attend a hearing, the Appeal Panel may hear the case in your absence.