January 2009: The bps’s plea to Parliament not to cosh it with regulation

by Julia Evans on January 9, 2009

This letter is not now available on the internet, as is any of the archive material from the bps’s statutory regulation web-site. I have therefore retrieved it from my files and have had to adjust the formatting.  The content remain untouched.

Letter to Chair of Joint Committee on the Statutory Instruments

From British Psychological Society,

48 Princess Road East,



Tel: 0116 254 9568 Fax: 0116 227 1314

E-mail: mail@bps.org.uk www.bps.org.uk


David Maclean MP

Chairman, Joint Committee on the Statutory Instruments,

House of Commons



9 January 2009

Dear David Maclean,

Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2009

I am writing to you on behalf of the British Psychological Society of which I am President. My letter concerns the Statutory Instrument (s60) Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order 2009, which I am given to understand you and your Committee will be considering shortly.

Part of the Instrument concerns the Statutory Regulation by the Health Professions Council (HPC) of practising psychologists. Our concern is that the secondary legislation as drafted will exclude from automatic entry to the new HPC Register some 2,000 existing Chartered Psychologists who have been deemed by this Society to be safe to practice psychology independently. The effect of this exclusion is that these individuals may be disbarred from professional practice using one of the proposed protected titles – a restraint of trade issue – and they may potentially have to pay an extra fee to the HPC to be assessed to gain entry to the Register via one of the grand parenting routes.

History and background

The Society is and has been committed to Statutory Regulation for many years and indeed via changes to our Royal Charter back in the late 80s we have been successfully running the Register of Chartered Psychologists for 20 years, therefore we have enormous experience of setting standards, assessing quality measures for safe and independent practice, and for policing our voluntary system.

Over the last three years we have discussed the Government’s proposed regulation with Department of Health officials and lawyers and have attempted to persuade them that the exclusion of the 2,000 existing accredited practitioners would be a weakness and would therefore not fully protect the public from a group of professional practitioners who will more than likely continue to practice, but outside of a statutory framework. The Department of Health have taken a narrow view to only recognise and therefore regulate those of our Chartered Psychologists who are members of one of our seven profession Divisions, whilst we have argued that many of the ‘excluded 2,000’ work in areas that cross professional boundaries or in specialist subsets of professional practice, but who are nonetheless safe and independent practitioners.

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We, therefore, feel that the proposed Statutory Instrument would not achieve its purpose of fully protecting the public from the full range of existing qualified practitioner psychologists; it may disbar existing Chartered Psychologists from future employment; and it may force some 2,000 existing Chartered Psychologists to go through potentially costly HPC grand parenting scrutiny.

We believe these matters should be of concern to your Committee in considering the detail of the proposed Statutory Instrument, if you require any further information from the Society please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to monitoring progress on the legislation and to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Dr E A Campbell

President, British Psychological Society


Joint Committee on the Statutory Instruments:

Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Mr Peter Bone MP

Michael Jabez Foster MP

Mr David Kidney MP

David Simpson MP

Lord Campbell of Alloway

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Lord Kimball

Countess of Mar

Earl of Mar and Kellie

Lord Walpole

Clerks to the Committee:

John Whatley, House of Commons

Kath Kavanagh, House of Lords