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Our revised standards of proficiency

The standards still:

  • Are professional standards we consider necessary for safe and effective practice
  • Describe what professionals must know, understand, and be able to do when they apply to join our Register, and to remain on our Register
  • Set expectations for professions on our Register, and explain to the public what they should expect of a HCPC-registered professional
  • Hold applicants to the standards at the point of registration, and registrants at the point of renewal and if fitness to practice concerns are raised
  • Do not set out best practice, and do not limit a registrant’s ability to provide the best care they can
  • Complement other sets of standards, such as our standards for conduct, performance and ethics, and policies and guidance from employers and professional bodies



  • While they are based around a common set, each set of standards is unique to each of our 15 registered professions
  • There are 15 overarching standards, which are broken up into generic standards (which apply to all professions) and standards specific to each profession
  • The purpose of the generic standards is to recognise commonality across all the professions we regulate
  • The standards are not hierarchical in order and are all equally important. We have aimed to order the standards logically and clearly
  • We generally list the generic standards first, followed by profession-specific standards



  • The standards intentionally use verbs such as ‘understand’, ‘know’, and ‘be able to’, to ensure that both prospective registrants and current registrants will be able to meet the standards
  • We write the standards so they are relevant to all registrants in a profession, regardless of their area of practice
  • We use the term ‘service user’ or words like ‘treatment’ or ‘intervention’, even though these may not be the preferred term for all
  • The standards' language should enable them to stay relevant if there are changes in the law, technology or working practices
  • We avoid referring to specific pieces of legislation or particular approaches, to ensure the standards remain relevant over time

The revised standards for each of the 15 professions will come into effect on 1 September 2023.

Themes: Find out more on what is different

The key changes in the updated standards of proficiency can be grouped into a number of themes. The themes are:

Across all the standards, the wording has moved away from passive understanding and towards active implementation of the standards

Page updated on: 05/10/2023