20 June 2016
Article by Rebekah James, National Assembly for Wales Research Service
Individuals from one of the professions listed below must register with the relevant regulator. If they practise without being registered, they are breaking the law and could be prosecuted. Professionals must also meet particular standards to be included on a register.
The health and social care regulators relevant to Wales, along with the professions they regulate are listed below:
- Care Council for Wales (CCW) Regulates: Social care workforce in Wales (CCW will be renamed Social Care Wales, accompanied by a broadened remit by April 2017)
- General Chiropractic Council (GCC) Regulates: Chiropractors
- General Dental Council (GDC) Regulates: Dentists, dental therapists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists
- General Medical Council (GMC) Regulates: Doctors
- General Optical Council (GOC) Regulates: Dispensing opticians and optometrists
- General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) Regulates: Osteopaths
- General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Regulates: Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy premises
- Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Regulates: Arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists/ podiatrists, clinical scientists, dieticians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers, social workers in England and speech and language therapists
- Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Regulates: Nurses, midwives, and specialist community public health nurses
The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care is an independent organisation that oversees the work of nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK. They assess their performance, conduct audits, scrutinise their decisions and report to Parliament. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care website has further information on the work they carry out.
Inspection and regulation of health and social care services in Wales
Health care services in Wales are inspected and regulated by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW). Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) are the regulator for social care and social services in Wales, from child minders and nurseries to homes for older people.
The Regulation & Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 was passed on 18 January 2016 and supports the aims of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. The Act intends to place service quality and improvement at the heart of the regulatory regime and strengthen protection for those who need it. Further information on the Act is available on the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) website.
Towards the end of the Fourth Assembly, a Welsh Government Green Paper consulted on the need to reconsider the arrangements for the regulation and inspection of healthcare settings, in light of recommendations made by the Marks review of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, and the changes proposed by the Regulation & Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016. This included consideration of whether Healthcare Inspectorate Wales should be merged with Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales.