Professional Regulatory press releases - April 2015

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GOC set for move to Farringdon

(GOC press release 30.4.15)

The General Optical Council (GOC) has today announced plans to move to a new, more modern office in the Farringdon area of London. The regulator expects to move by the end of the summer once the new space has been fitted out. The GOC will surrender its lease on its current premises, a converted house on Harley Street.

Dentist who punched his patient can still practise

(Times 11.4.15)

Professor Ninian Peckitt, a leading facial surgeon, has been struck off the medical register for repeatedly punching his patient in the face to treat a cheek fracture. However, the surgeon is still allowed to practise as a dentist after the General Dental Council sent him a letter confirming that it would not be investigating the incident.

GPhC launches new guidance for registered pharmacies providing services at a distance

(General Pharmaceutical Council 24.04.15)

The GPhC has published new guidance which sets out the key areas that need to be considered by registered pharmacies that provide services at a distance. All pharmacies that provide services such as the electronic prescription service, a collection and delivery service or an internet pharmacy service will be expected to follow the guidance.

Christians and psychiatrists clash over "gay cure" 

(Times 15.4.15)

Three members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists have been reported to the GMC over claims that they used "bad science" to uphold the idea that sexuality is biological in nature and fixed at birth. The complaint was made by members of the Core Issues Trust, a Christian group that claims therapists risk their careers if they used conversion therapy for people who felt their sexuality was incompatible with their faith.

“Professional Statement” could be the key to unlocking flexible routes to the Bar, says regulator

(Bar Standards Board 15.04.15)

Using a Professional Statement to define what a newly authorised barrister should be able to do from "day one" - the point of being issued a Full Practising Certificate - could be the key to making qualification routes to the Bar more flexible and innovative, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) has said.

New legal services businesses now being authorised by regulator BRYAN

(Bar Standards Board 08.04.15)

  • The Bar Standards Board is now authorising businesses
  • First 15 BSB-regulated "entities" soon to provide legal services to clients
  • Members of the Bar urged to embrace new business models in a time of flux

The barristers' regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB), has today approved 15 new businesses as it begins authorising BSB-regulated entities - companies or partnerships that provide advocacy, litigation, and expert legal advice services.

New framework for accrediting international VN qualifications 

(Royal College of Veterinarian Surgeons 13.04.15)

The College is now able to accredit international veterinary nursing courses and qualifications, following a decision by the Veterinary Nursing Education Subcommittee.

BIOS Consultation on HCPC registration fees

(BIOS press release 8.4.15)

As you may know the HCPC started a consultation on 27th March to ask for registrant's views about increasing its fees from £80 to £90. It closes on 6th May 2015.

Subject to parliamentary approval and consultation results, the fees would increase from 1st August 2015. You may have already responded as an individual to the consultation but the BIOS would like to provide a group response on behalf of its members.

Panel firms appointed

(General Optical Council press release 7.4.15)

We are pleased to announce that the following firms have been appointed to provide legal services to our fitness to practise department: Bevan Brittan, Blake Morgan and Nabarro. The firms will assist the fitness to practise department by undertaking investigations, presenting before the Fitness to Practise Committee and providing advice, amongst other requirements. Bevan Brittan and Blake Morgan were providers under the previous contract whilst Nabarro is new to the GOC. Nabarro will provide legal services via a joint venture with the barristers' chambers 2 Hare Court.

Legal regulator considers shake-up of barrister's training 

(FT 8.4.15)

The Bar Standards Council is understood to be considering breaking up the Bar Professional Training Course in order to improve diversity and equality in the profession. The chairman of the Bar Council, Alistair McDonald, told the Financial Times there are plans to change the course so the first half – which is the cheapest stage for students – will be conducted online and then only the most talented will be taken through to the second stage. At present the course costs budding barristers between £12,000 and £18,000.

Response to the Recommendations of the Report on the Regulation of Herbal Medicines and Herbal Practitioners

(European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association 27.3.15)

From the Chair European Herbal Practitioners Association (EHTPA). A report from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health about the future regulation of herbalists has just been published. Here is our response.

New conveyancers and changes to Land Registry’s ID forms

(Land Registry 07.04.15)

CILEx Regulation, formerly known as ILEX Professional Standards, has begun authorising individuals and organisations to undertake reserved instrument activities under the Legal Services Act 2007.

This means people so authorised will be ‘conveyancers’ as defined by rule 217A of the Land Registration Rules 2003 and therefore able to lodge applications direct and verify identity.
These newly authorised conveyancers will be called either CILEx Conveyancing Practitioners or Chartered Legal Executive Conveyancing Practitioners.

Legal change will protect nursing and midwifery students who raise concerns 

(NMC press release 7.4.15)

The NMC welcomes a change to legislation which will protect student nurses and midwives from retaliation or victimisation when they raise concerns. The Public Interest Disclosure Act enables nurses and midwives to make ‘protected disclosures’ to the NMC and other organisations. From 6 April 2015, student nurses and midwives who are in practice settings as part of their education programmes will be given the same level of protection.

A new time limit on doctors' provisional registration is introduced today 

(GMC press release 1.4.15)

Today we’re introducing a limit on the time a doctor can hold provisional registration. From now on the length of time doctors will be allowed to hold it will be three years and 30 days (1,125 days in total).

HCPC launches consultation on the revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics

(HCPC press release 1.4.15)

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has today launched a consultation on draft revised Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. These are the high level ethical standards we set for all the professionals we register, laying out in broad terms the behaviour we expect of them. They reflect both public expectations of professionals and the high standards that professionals expect of each other. HCPC are reviewing the Standards to make sure they continue to be fit for purpose, up-to-date and well understood by registrants and the public. The consultation will run from 1 April until 26 June 2015. Once the consultation has closed we will consider the feedback we received in finalising the standards. We expect that new standards will be in place in early 2016. 

HCPC registrants and new applicants to the Register now required to make a Professional indemnity declaration at registration renewal

(HCPC press release 1.4.15)

HCPC registrants and new applicants to the Register now required to make a Professional indemnity declaration at registration renewal

BSB publishes its 2015/16 Business Plan and announces review of regulation of immigration advice and services 

(Bar Standards Board 01.04.15)

The barristers' regulator, the Bar Standards Board (BSB), has today published its 2015/16 Business Plan - setting out the key areas of work it will undertake in the new financial year. These include becoming a licensing authority for barrister-led businesses with non-lawyers as owners (known as Alternative Business Structures [ABSs]) and a review of the way in which it regulates immigration advice and services.

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