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.
We note the following: The consultation proposed that the PSA [Professional Standards Authority], working with relevant stakeholders, should take on the role of advising the UK and Devolved Governments on which groups of professionals should be regulated. The UK Governments recognised the link between assessing new groups for regulation with the PSA’s powers to accredit voluntary registers but did not believe this would amount to a conflict of interest. The ultimate decision regarding whether a group should be regulated would remain with Ministers...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 and that the process will highlight the professional risks involved in vision rehabilitation. Response 5.16 states: The UK and Devolved Governments believe that a single, robust and evidence based methodology for assessing new groups would be beneficial. We appreciate the complexity in developing such a methodology. We expect the PSA to continue to review and refine its model to ensure the advice it provides is robust, transparent and evidence based.
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.