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For over 20 years, the chiropractic profession has been regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) under the terms of the Chiropractors Act 1994. This, now dated legislation, prevents the GCC from being as responsive and flexible in line with modern regulation. Furthermore, the professional health and care regulators have varying founding legislation and rules resulting in differing and inconsistent approaches to regulation across the professions.

A way forward

For some years, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and devolved administrations have been examing various options to streamline all regulators’ legislation, allowing them to become more responsive, fit-for-purpose and meet today’s health and social care needs.

In March 2021, DHSC published its consultation on ‘Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public’, seeking the views from registrants, patients, the public and other interested stakeholders on its proposed reforms. The DHSC has established a number of principles underpinning their propositions:

  1. Public safety is paramount and at the heart of professional regulation

  2. Registrants’ rights must remain protected

  3. The system should be able to respond to changing workforce models and developments in health and social care delivery without the need for ongoing legislative change

  4. Regulators should have broadly equivalent powers to maintain a level of consistency and effective public protection

  5. Overly detailed legislation should be replaced

  6. Minimise the cost of regulation where possible, provided this is consistent with public protection.

Over the last few months, the GCC has been gathering the views and opinions from key stakeholders, such as the Royal College of Chiropractors, professional associations and education providers. Our final submission will be informed by what we hear and we also hope those bodies will respond directly.

Your views matter

As part of this process, the GCC is encouraging as many registrants to engage and input into this consultation, thereby helping to shape the future of the profession.

The consultation document is lengthy and seeks responses to 70 questions, although it is not a requirement to respond to all (you can simply respond to one question, if you choose).

The consultation covers four main areas relevant to the GCC: Governance, Education and Training, Registration and Fitness-to-Practise. We encourage all stakeholders to identify areas of interest, consider the proposal, and respond accordingly, either directly to DHSC or to the GCC via email or the comments box below. 

As an aid to the key issues being discussed, (Para) references from the consultation paper have been listed below.

  • The composition of Council Membership (Para 65)

  • Delegation of powers to other bodies (Para 81)

  • Post-graduate training (Para 122-125)

  • Fee setting powers including flexibility on, for example, pro-rata fees (Para 72)

  • Protection of title (Para 182)

  • Simpler and streamlined fitness-to-practise processes (Para 243-253)

In addition, a briefing document has been provided below which outlines the main proposals of the consultation and paragraph references each question.

We would be pleased to receive your queries, thoughts and comments by 9 June 2021.