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Signing your professional declaration
You must make a professional declaration once every two years in order to stay registered.
By making the professional declaration you are confirming that you have:
- continued to practise your profession since your last registration; or
- not practised your profession since your last registration but have met the HCPC’s return to practice requirements.
You must indicate which applies to you by selecting one of the two options during the renewal process.
What if I have not practised in the last two years?
We ask you to confirm whether or not you have practised your profession since you last renewed your registration.
For the purposes of renewing your registration, or determining whether our return to practice requirements need to be met, we have defined ‘practising your profession’ as drawing on your professional skills and / or knowledge in the course of your work. For example, if you are working in education, management or research, you are still practising your profession.
If you have been out of practice for more than two years you will need to undertake a period of updating your skills and knowledge before you can become re-registered. You must complete the relevant return to practice forms which can be found on our website at by clicking here.
The professional declaration
As well as confirming that you have practised since your last registration, you are also confirming that:
- you continue to meet the HCPC’s standards of proficiency for the safe and effective practice of your profession;
- since your last registration there has been no change relating to your good character (this includes any conviction or caution, if any, that you are required to disclose), or any change to your health that may affect your ability to practise safely and effectively; and
- you continue to meet the HCPC's standards for continuing professional development.
Standards of proficiency
You will find copies of the standards of proficiency on our website by clicking here.
When we talk about 'health' we mean health conditions which may affect your fitness to practise. We are not asking whether you are 'healthy'. This is because someone may be unwell or may have a health condition which they manage appropriately but they may still be able to practise their profession safely. We do not need information about any health condition unless it affects your fitness to practise. We recognise that a disability may not be seen as a health condition so, we only need information about a disability or health condition if it affects your fitness to practise.
Telling us about a health condition does not necessarily mean we will not renew your registration. Instead, we will consider the information provided to decide whether we need to ask a Registration Panel to consider your application for renewal.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply to an application for registration renewal. This means that you must declare to us any convictions or police cautions that you have received, even if they are 'spent' under that Act, other than a protected caution or protected conviction. Failure to do so may result in a fitness to practise investigation.
When a conviction or caution becomes protected differs across the four UK countries. This means that, legally, the disclosure requirements for registrants living and working in England and Wales are different to those for registrants living and working in Scotland and Northern Ireland. To make sure all registrants are treated the same, the HCPC Council has agreed a policy that the requirements in England and Wales, which provide the highest degree of protection and rehabilitation, should apply to all UK registrants.
The requirements in England and Wales are that:
A caution is protected from disclosure six years after it was accepted. If the offender was under 18 when the caution was accepted then that period is reduced to two years.
A conviction is protected from disclosure after 11 years. If the offender was under 18 when convicted then that period is reduced to five and a half years. In either case a conviction will only be protected if the offender received a noncustodial sentence and has no other convictions.
A caution or conviction will NOT be protected if it is for a 'listed offence' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Listed offences include serious violent and sexual offences and offences which are of specific relevance to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. A caution or conviction for a listed offence must always be disclosed to the HCPC.
Further guidance on listed offences may be found on the Disclosure and Barring Service website.
Continuing professional development
As part of your registration with us, you need to carry out continuing professional development (CPD). Every time you renew your registration, you need to confirm that you are undertaking CPD. Whenever your profession renews its registration, a percentage of your profession will be audited to check our CPD standards are being met.
To find out more about CPD, our standards and the audit process, please download from our website the brochure ‘Your guide to our standards for continuing professional development’.
If you cannot complete any part of the declaration you should contact the Registrar in writing, explaining your circumstances.
For more information about signing your professional declaration, please see our guide how to renew your registration, which explains the declaration in more detail.