Where to go and what to do in HCPC fitness to practise hearings
This guide is designed to prepare you for the practical aspects of the day of your HCPC fitness to practise hearing, preventing any uncertainty or unnecessary stress. We have listed the addresses and travel information for the most common hearing centres below, but make sure to check the details you’ve been given to see exactly where your hearing will be held.
Where to go for your hearing
The HCPC has a specific branch which deals with hearings, The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS). The vast majority of HCPTS hearings will be held at the main tribunal centre in London, but they can also be held in cities such as Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, depending on which country you are a resident of.
If traveling by public transport, the best underground stations to use are Kennington or Oval. Vauxhall railway station is also less than a mile away.
Leave the underground station, exiting onto Kennington Park Road. Turn left and walk along Kennington Park Road for roughly 5 minutes, passing the City & Guilds of London Art School on your right. As you approach Kennington Park, you will see the Health and Care Professions Council building on your right. To reach the Tribunal Service building, walk past this building and turn right onto Kennington Road. You should then see the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service building on your right.
Exit Oval underground station onto Kennington Park Road, turning left and crossing Harleyford Street. Continue along Kennington Park Road for roughly 5 minutes, then turn left onto Kennington Road. The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service centre will be on your right.
From Vauxhall Railway Station
The tribunal centre is about 15 minutes walk from the train station. Walk along Kennington Lane, passing the Tesco Superstore on your right-hand side. Turn right after The Pilgrim Pub onto Montford Place, and follow this road until it brings you out onto Kennington Road. Turn right and walk past Hornby House, then you should see the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service centre on your left.
If traveling by car, please be aware that the tribunal centre has no dedicated parking facilities for visitors. There are several car parks in the surrounding Kennington area, with the closest being the 24-hour JustPark on Kennington Park Road. Due to the busy nature of the location, we recommend pre-booking your parking space to prevent any unnecessary stress on the day itself.
When you arrive
Once you have reached the Tribunal Centre, you should make yourself known at the main reception and sign in. If you have any mobility issues, you should make this known with the HCPTS at the time of your hearing being scheduled to enable the Tribunal to accommodate your needs. You will then be directed to a waiting area where you can meet with your barrister.
What to expect in the HCPC hearing
The tribunal will be presented with evidence and submissions related to the allegation(s) against you, the statutory grounds of the allegation(s), and the issue of impairment. The Tribunal will form a decision based on which facts it finds proven, prior to hearing submissions relating to the statutory ground and impairment.
A presenting officer for the HCPC will provide the factual background to the allegation(s) and can call supporting witnesses to provide evidence. If witnesses are called, they will first be subject to an examination-in-chief, followed by a cross-examination from your barrister. We will then have the opportunity to call you to give evidence as well as any supporting witnesses. You and your witnesses will face questions by the HCPC’s lawyer and often from the Tribunal members as well.
The Tribunal will then retire to consider the facts and make a decision. The Tribunal operates using the civil standard of proof, meaning they will deem a fact to be proven if it is more likely than not to have happened.
It is worth noting that HCPTS hearings are usually public, meaning all members of the public and press are allowed to attend if they wish. If required some or all of the hearing may be conducted in private away from the public to protect any confidential information, such as issues regarding your own health.
Imposing a sanction
If the Tribunal decides that your fitness to practise is currently impaired, they will then hear further submissions from your barrister as to what sanction should be imposed.
When deciding which sanction to impose, the Tribunal will focus on which sanction is most appropriate for public protection. The sanctions range as follows:
- take no further action or order mediation;
- caution the registrant (place a warning on their registration for up to five years);
- set conditions of practice that the registrant must meet;
- suspend the registrant from practising (for no more than one year); or
- strike the registrant from the Register.
After the hearing
If you feel the decision made against you by the Tribunal is wrong in law, you have the right to lodge an appeal within 28 days of the hearing taking place. If you have any questions regarding the outcome of the hearing or if you are considering making an appeal, you can get in touch with us for further advice.