The UK government has just published its response to its consultation on the future of professional regulation. RWPN submitted a response to this. Here is the UK government response.
With respect to the future regulation of Vision Rehabilitation Workers, the government’s response to questions 1 and 2 (pages 13-15) are particularly relevant. And with respect to regulation in the nations with devolved powers, the response to question 17 (page 37) is relevant.
The response to question one includes the following: "5.7. The UK and Devolved Governments believe that the PSA is best placed to provide independent advice on which groups of healthcare professionals should be regulated”. We feel that this re-enforces RWPN’s decision to seek PSA accreditation for its current register.
We also note that the response proposed a much greater evidence-based approach to deciding which professional groups require regulatory oversight, and we think this is right. Response 5.8 states “The PSA accredits organisations that register health and social care practitioners who are not subject to statutory regulation. The PSA charges for this accreditation. Professions that are not statutorily regulated may choose to seek PSA accredited status and this could create an incentive for the PSA to recommend that such groups should not be subject to statutory regulation”.
It is also worth noting this comment from the consultation: “5.13. A notable number of respondents (157) suggested that that the size of a professional group should not be included in the criteria to assess the right level of regulation. Many of these respondents were members of small professional groups that are currently regulated.” Although the government make no comment on this finding, it is heartening to know that our submission was by no means alone in making this point.
There is still an enormous amount of work to be done by RWPN to achieve accredited status for its register, but we are clearly on the right track to protect the blind and partially sighted people who use our services.