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Character issues that need to be declared

When it comes to character declarations, the information you must provide as an applicant and a registrant is slightly different.

As an applicant

We ask you to make a declaration about your character as part of your application. In this declaration you need to tell us if you have ever:

  • been convicted of a criminal offence or received a police caution or conditional discharge for a criminal offence other than a protected caution or protected conviction in any part of the United Kingdom (these are cautions and convictions that you do not need to tell us about); or
  • received cautions or convictions in countries outside the United Kingdom, if the offence is one that could have resulted in a caution or conviction in England or Wales.

Article 22(1)(a)(iii) of the Health Professions Order, 2001 enables the HCPC to consider allegations against registrants that their fitness to practice is impaired by reason of convictions outside of the UK if they would have constituted crimes in England or Wales only and not for all countries in the UK. We envisage that this should not significantly affect registrants practising in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as there are not significant differences in criminal law across the four nations. However, as a UK wide regulator, our preference would be for a UK wide approach. Amending our legislation to achieve this will therefore be added to the regulatory reform agenda.

As a registrant

Registrants have a personal responsibility, once regulated, to maintain and manage their own fitness to practise. This includes the professional responsibility to declare information to us about any change in your character.

As part of your renewal you will have to complete a declaration. In the declaration you will have to agree that:

  • Since your last registration there has been no change relating to your good character that may affect your ability to practise safely and effectively.

You must also let the HCPC know as soon as possible (i.e., make a self-referral and not wait for your renewal period) if your conduct is listed in standard 9.5 of the standards of conduct, performance and ethics, including if:

  • you accept a caution from the police or you have been charged with, or found guilty of, a criminal offence;
  • you received cautions or convictions in countries outside the United Kingdom, if the offence is one that could have resulted in a caution or conviction in England or Wales;
  • another organisation responsible for regulating a health or social-care profession has taken action or made a finding against you; or
  • you have had any restrictions placed on your practice, or been suspended or dismissed by an employer, because of concerns about your conduct or competence.


If you are unsure

If you are unsure if a matter is something you should refer to the HCPC straight away, you can contact your professional body or trade union for further advice. If you remain unsure, approach the HCPC.

You may choose to tell us about other concerns that do not meet these criteria. If you do, we will review this concern in the same way as any other self-referral or other fitness to practise matter.


Page updated on: 30/07/2021