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The publication last year of two key documents by HM Government "Reducing Regulation Made Simple" and the Command Paper "Enabling Excellence" confirmed that the Coalition Government does not support statutory regulation as the standard for healthcare professionals and confirmed that the profession’s on-going quest for the statutory regulation of clinical photographers is now redundant despite being approved by the Health Professions Council in 2003/04.
The Government’s preference is to manage unregulated healthcare professionals using a combination of the Vetting and Barring Scheme and the use of Assured Voluntary Regulation. This is very disappointing for our registrants who have waited patiently for the legislation to be developed to enable statutory regulation.
The Health and Social Care Bill (2012) when finalised will give powers to a number of organisations to accredit voluntary registers. The Council for Health and Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) will become the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) and will extend its remit to include setting standards for voluntary registers and accrediting them from December 2012.
Representatives from IMI and CAMIP have already had preliminary discussions with the CHRE and at CAMIP’s EGM on May 2nd it was formally agreed that CAMIP would pursue ‘assured accreditation’ of the CAMIP Voluntary Register by the CHRE.
There is now much enabling work needed to prepare for such an application in order to satisfy an application to the CHRE (as indicated in the CHRE’s draft guidance). This will include: making CPD a mandatory requirement of CAMIP Registrants (along with an annual declaration process indicating any factors affect registration); improving CAMIP’s governance for adding and removing registrants and fitness to practice issues. Over the coming months the CAMIP website will be developed and will provide the latest information about progress.
Whilst accreditation of a voluntary register can never be as rigorous as statutory regulation because it will not be compulsory – the CHRE is already working with the Department of Health’s team who are developing the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) database which will be used by commissioners (in England) to ensure that AQPs must use health professionals on an accredited register and there is an expectation that NHS employers and commissioners will want to select individuals who are registered in this way. And unlike our original application to the HPC in 2003/04 which was for clinical photographers and videographers – this new application will be made by CAMIP on behalf of medical illustrators of all disciplines – clinical photographers, videographers, medical artists and graphic designers working in healthcare.
IMI will continue to work with the Department of Health and The Council for Health and Regulatory Excellence in achieving registration of medical illustrators.