Regulatory Press Round-Up: January 2014

13 January 2014

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

  • Further to the NMC’s introduction of the process of revalidation, a consultation was launched at the beginning of this month seeking views on how patient feedback can be incorporated into this. The consultation will seek views on:
    • Ways in which nurses and midwives can obtain confirmation of their continuing fitness to practise by someone well placed to comment;
    • How practice related feedback can be used to improve standards of care and;
    • How revalidation can meet the needs of an individual’s scope of practice or setting.
  • The NMC is also asking what a revised Code should look like and include. The consultation will run until 31 March 2014.
  • The NMC has released a statement in response to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee’s annual report. The NMC’s business plan for 2014-15  will include progressing their work in areas such as:
    • Launching a consultation about revalidation
    • Reviewing the NMC code, and
    • Consulting on a duty of candour
  • The NMC has welcomed further independent scrutiny of the quality of midwifery at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in England.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

  • The GPhC has made two important changes to pre-registration training, which came into effect on 4 December 2013:
    • It is now a requirement that pre-registration trainee pharamacists conduct themselves in accordance with the GPhC’s Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance. This change has been made to make it clear that although trainees are in training, they are professionals.
    • The GPhC has introduced a procedure for dealing with serious concerns about a trainee raised with them. The new serious concerns procedure will only be used when local procedures have not or cannot resolve a concern.

Security Industry Authority (SIA)

  • In December 2013 the SIA shared the latest estimates of business licensing costs under the proposed regime. The ranges are intended to assist businesses in planning and preparing for the new regime. In summary:
    • The fees associated with business licensing will have two components an application fee and a subscription fee.
    • Business licensing fees will be determined by the size of a business.
  • This month the SIA will stop issuing paper-based licence applications. For individuals, the only way to apply for a new licence will be to fill in their application online at the SIA website. For businesses the SIA will continue to offer the bulk application service.

Bar Standards Board (BSB)

  • The new Handbook and revised Code of Conduct are effective from 6 January 2014. Some of the biggest changes are:
    • The core elements of professional conduct will apply to all barristers, including unregistered barristers when they are providing legal services. New guidance has been published for unregistered barristers.
    • Regulated persons will be required to self-report and report others in relation to ‘serious misconduct’.
  • In December 2013 the BSB published guidance on deliberately failing to attend court following enquiries from some barristers who refused to attend court in protest to proposed legal aid reforms.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

  • The SRA is warning firms to come clean about their insurance position. Firms that failed to secure a new professional indemnity insurance policy by 1 October 2013 automatically entered the extended policy period (EPP), which provided a 90 day extension. That period ended on 29 December 2013 and firms that still did not have cover should now have closed.
  • The SRA is now making sure that those firms without insurance do not carry out work on live matters. Those firms who fail to co-operate when contacted will face enforcement action by the SRA.
  • On 4 December 2013 the SRA launched a consultation on changes to its education and training regulations. A key focus of the consultation is the removal of bureaucratic processes which serve no regulatory purpose and which fail to protect the public interest. The closing date for responses is 25 February 2014.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

  • The HCPC has published new revised standards of proficiency for speech and language therapists.

*All information correct at time of press and can be accessed on each of the individual regulators websites*

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