Rehabilitation Workers
Professional Network

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  • 12 Feb 2020 19:41 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    RWPN has now published supervision guidance for Vision Rehabilitation and Habilitation Workers and their managers.  Rehab and Hab workers require technical supervision from qualified workers but often do not receive it.  Lack of appropriate supervision creates risks for our clients, risks for the workers themselves and risks for employers when things go wrong.  This guidance explains why supervision is vital and offers guidance for how it might be put in place.

  • 28 Jul 2019 14:56 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    We are delighted to announce that RWPN's new professional register has now been endorsed by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Visionary (the representative body for local Vision Impaired Charities and organisations) and Vision UK (the independent partnership organisation working across the eye health and sightloss sector). 

    This recognition is significant: ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) promotes best practice across local authorities in England so this is a clear directive to managers and commissioners to ensure their staff are on the register, and by doing so, are accountable to service users.  The register went live in January 2019.  It is public and can be viewed on this website.  ADASS' endorsement means that it expects employers of Vision Rehabilitation Workers will understand the benefitss of employing this specialist service and understand its inherent risks. ADASS endorses this register as best practice in ensuring its members workforce is fit for purpose in safeguarding the public.

  • 10 Jul 2019 17:15 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    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.

  • 20 May 2019 14:19 | Amanda Labbett (Administrator)

    Lore Thaler from Durham University organised the very well-received echolocation training across various parts of the country last year.  She has written a report documenting the findings of the work, including all feedback from those who attended.  

    The report can be read here....

  • 10 Feb 2019 12:38 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    It is vital that employers, commissioners and workers have a clear understanding of the risks associated with practice.  Vision Rehabilitation is focused on enabling people who are losing (or have lost) their sight to do things they used to do with sight and some of these are intrinsically risky.  Poor practice, or practice undertaken by an unqualified worker (where they are untrained for a specific task) creates avoidable risk. As a requirement of any future application to join the list of approved professional registers endorsed by the Professional Standards Authority, RWPN has drafted an assessment of the risks associated with the tasks that Vision Rehabilitation Workers do.  Assessment of Professional Risk   The final page of the document provides a matrix for understanding the documented risks.

    If you have any views or comments to make please contact RWPN by 31st March 2019.

  • 27 Jan 2019 12:02 | Amanda Labbett (Administrator)

    The 2019 annual seminar will take place on Friday 28th June at Birmingham City University, Edgbaston Campus.  Details of the speakers and workshops will be posted in March.   

  • 10 Dec 2018 18:21 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    New guidance for Vision Rehabilitation Workers in how to handle situations where you see someone driving who you know to have been certified sight impaired or severely sight impaired.

    Certification and Driving - RWPN guidance Nov 18.docx

  • 13 Nov 2018 20:01 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    In January 2019 the Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network (RWPN) will be launching a professional register of Vision Rehabilitation Workers. This will be a UK-wide register of the estimated 500+ workforce.  


    This register is to protect blind and partially sighted people who use the services provided by Vision Rehabilitation Officers, irrespective of who they are employed by.  In joining a register all registrants will be able to demonstrate that a) they have the requisite qualification to practice and b) that they undertake mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) which is to a level already specified by RWPN and which is to a  level similar to that undertaken by allied professions such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Social Workers.


    • ·        Vision rehabilitation work is frequently undertaken with vulnerable people. 
    • ·        It is almost exclusively undertaken on a 1-to-1 basis. 
    • ·        The majority of people receiving such services will have additional disabilities. 
    • ·        Vision rehabilitation work covers areas of practice that are frequently hazardous, that involve risk and can lead to harm. 

    Public and employers need to be assured that the people working with them are professional and continue to demonstrate their professionalism.

    Status of the register

    We will be applying for registration with the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), the government-backed organisation that regulates all health and social care professions.   

    To join the register you need to be a member of RWPN.  If you are not already a member go to the Join Now tab on this website.

  • 11 Oct 2018 17:34 | Simon Labbett (Administrator)

    We are really please to announce that the first apprentices learning to be Vision Rehabilitation Workers have started their two year "on-programme" training.  14 apprentices were among the new cohort of over 30 students starting their first year at Birmingham City University.  Apprentices have come from both voluntary and local authority employers.    

    For employers thinking about next year's intake (September 2019) it is not too early to start the process of accessing the employer's levy or identifying a would-be apprentice.  Go to the Apprenticeship tab on this website.

Press Release: Second Sight  - Argus II Bionic Eye

Second Sight Argus press release.docx

click on the link to read

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