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Saturday 14 July 2012

Health Professions Council - Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics for Registrants - "You must not do anything, or allow someone else to do anything, that you have good reason to believe will put the health, safety or wellbeing of a service user ( ESPECIALLY CHILDREN) in danger."

VERY PERTINENT TO ETHICAL PRACTICE AND THE HPC CODE OF PRACTICE - challenging colleagues when the safety and welfare of a child is involved is the RIGHT thing to do.


1. You must act in the best interests of service users.
You are personally responsible for making sure that you promote
and protect the best interests of your service users. You must
respect and take account of these factors when providing care or
a service, and must not abuse the relationship you have with a
service user. You must not allow your views about a service user’s
sex, age, colour, race, disability, sexuality, social or economic
status, lifestyle, culture, religion or beliefs to affect the way you
deal with them or the professional advice you give. You must treat
service users with respect and dignity. If you are providing care,
you must work in partnership with your service users and involve
them in their care as appropriate.


You must not do anything, or allow someone else to do anything,
that you have good reason to believe will put the health, safety or
wellbeing of a service user in danger. This includes both your own
actions and those of other people. You should take appropriate
action to protect the rights of children and vulnerable adults if you
believe they are at risk, including following national and local policies.
You are responsible for your professional conduct, any care or
advice you provide, and any failure to act. You are responsible for
the appropriateness of your decision to delegate a task. You must
be able to justify your decisions if asked to.

You must protect service users if you believe that any situation
puts them in danger. This includes the conduct, performance or
health of a colleague. The safety of service users must come
before any personal or professional loyalties at all times. As soon
as you become aware of a situation that puts a service user in
danger, you should discuss the matter with a senior colleague or
another appropriate person.

2. You must respect the confidentiality of service users.
You must treat information about service users as confidential and
use it only for the purposes they have provided it for. You must
not knowingly release any personal or confidential information to
anyone who is not entitled to it, and you should check that people
who ask for information are entitled to it.
Standards of conduct, 8 performance and ethics
The standards of conduct,
performance and ethics
You must only use information about a service user:
– to continue to care for that person; or
– for purposes where that person has given you permission to use
the information or the law allows you to do so.
You must also keep to the conditions of any relevant
data-protection laws and always follow best practice for handling
confidential information. Best practice is likely to change over
time, and you must stay up to date.

3. You must keep high standards of personal conduct.
You must keep high standards of personal conduct, as well as
professional conduct. You should be aware that poor conduct
outside of your professional life may still affect someone’s
confidence in you and your profession.

4. You must provide (to us and any other relevant
regulators) any important information about your
conduct and competence.
You must tell us (and any other relevant regulators) if you have
important information about your conduct or competence, or about
other registrants and health and care professionals you work with.
In particular, you must let us know straight away if you are:
– convicted of a criminal offence, receive a conditional discharge for
an offence, or if you accept a police caution;
– disciplined by any organisation responsible for regulating or
licensing a health or social care profession; or
– suspended or placed under a practice restriction by an employer
or similar organisation because of concerns about your conduct
or competence.
You should cooperate with any investigation or formal inquiry into
your professional conduct, the conduct of others, or the care or
services provided to a service user, where appropriate. If anyone
asks for relevant information in connection with your conduct or
competence, and they are entitled to it, you should provide the
Standards of conduct, performance and ethics 9
We can take action against you if you are convicted of a criminal
offence or have accepted a police caution. We will always
consider each case individually to decide whether we need to
take any action to protect the public.
However, we will consider rejecting an application for registration,
or removing you from the Register if you are already registered, if
you are convicted of a criminal offence or accept a police caution
that involves one of the following types of behaviour.
– Violence
– Abuse
– Sexual misconduct
– Supplying drugs illegally
– Child pornography
– Offences involving dishonesty
– Offences for which you received a prison sentence
This is not a full list. We will always look at any convictions or
cautions we find out about, and we have arrangements in place
to be told about convictions and cautions involving registrants.

5. You must keep your professional knowledge and skills
up to date.
You must make sure that your knowledge, skills and performance
are of a good quality, up to date, and relevant to your scope
of practice.
You must be capable of meeting the standards of proficiency that
apply to your scope of practice. We recognise that your scope of
practice may change over time.
We acknowledge that our registrants work in a range of different
settings, including direct practice, management, education or
research. You need to make sure that whatever your area of
practice, you are capable of practising safely and effectively.
Standards of conduct, 10 performance and ethics
Our standards for continuing professional development link your
learning and development to your continued registration. You also
need to meet these standards.

6. You must act within the limits of your knowledge, skills
and experience and, if necessary, refer the matter to
another practitioner.
You must keep within your scope of practice. This means that you
should only practise in the areas in which you have appropriate
education, training and experience. We recognise that your scope
of practice may change over time.
When accepting a service user, you have a duty of care. This
includes the duty to refer them to others for care or services if it
becomes clear that the task is beyond your own scope of
practice. If you refer a service user to another practitioner, you
must make sure that the referral is appropriate and that, so far as
possible, the service user understands why you are making the
In some circumstances, a person is entitled to be referred to
another practitioner for a second opinion. In these cases, you
must accept the request and make the referral as soon as you
If you accept a referral from another practitioner, you must make
sure that you fully understand the request. You should only
provide the care or services if you believe that this is appropriate.
If this is not the case, you must discuss the referral with the
practitioner who made the referral and, as appropriate, the service
user, before you provide any care or services.

7. You must communicate properly and effectively with
service users and other practitioners.
You must take all reasonable steps to make sure that you can
communicate properly and effectively with service users. You
must communicate appropriately, cooperate, and share your
knowledge and expertise with other practitioners, for the benefit
of service users.
Standards of conduct, performance and ethics 11

8.You must effectively supervise tasks you have asked
other people to carry out.
People who receive care or services from you are entitled to
assume that you have the appropriate knowledge and skills to
provide them safely and effectively. Whenever you give tasks to
another person to carry out on your behalf, you must be sure that
they have the knowledge, skills and experience to carry out the
tasks safely and effectively. You must not ask them to do work
which is outside their scope of practice.
You must always continue to give appropriate supervision to
whoever you ask to carry out a task. You will still be responsible
for the appropriateness of the decision to delegate. If someone
tells you that they are unwilling to carry out a task because they
do not think they are capable of doing so safely or effectively, you
must not force them to carry out the task anyway. If their refusal
raises a disciplinary or training issue, you must deal with that
separately, but you should not put the safety or wellbeing of the
service user in danger.

9. You must get informed consent to provide care or
services (so far as possible).
You must explain to service users the care or services you are
planning to provide, any risks involved and any other possible
options. You must make sure that you get their informed consent
to any treatment you do carry out. You must make a record of
the person's decisions and pass this on to others involved in
their care. In some situations, such as emergencies or where a
person lacks decision-making capacity, it may not be possible for
you to explain what you propose, get consent or pass on
information. However, you should still try to do all of these things
as far as you can.
A person who is capable of giving their consent has the right to
refuse to receive care or services. You must respect this right.  
You must also make sure that they are fully aware of the risks of
refusing care or services, particularly if you think that there is a
significant or immediate risk to their life.
Standards of conduct, 12 performance and ethics
You must keep to your employers’ procedures on consent and be
aware of any guidance issued by the appropriate authority in the
country you practise in.

10. You must keep accurate records.
Making and keeping records is an essential part of providing care
or services and you must keep records for everyone you treat or
for whom you provide care or services. You must complete all
records promptly. If you are using paper-based records, they must
be clearly written and easy to read, and you should write, sign
and date all entries.
You have a duty to make sure, as far as possible, that records
completed by students under your supervision are clearly written,
accurate and appropriate.
Whenever you review records, you should update them and
include a record of any arrangements you have made for the
continuing care of the service user.
You must protect information in records from being lost,
damaged, accessed by someone without appropriate authority, or
tampered with. If you update a record, you must not delete
information that was previously there, or make that information
difficult to read. Instead, you must mark it in some way (for
example, by drawing a line through the old information).

For the complete code go onto the HPC website.

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