Who sits on our Committees and what do they do?
Each Committee has three people – 1 lay Chair, 1 lay member and 1 social care member. Our Committees are made up of people who come from all walks of life – some are people who use services and / or carers, some are registered Social Workers and Social Care Workers, and some just have an interest in making sure that vulnerable people who use social care services are treated properly and professionally.
Committee members are appointed every few years through an application process. If you are interested in becoming a Committee member for the Social Care Council, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
The Registration Committee considers applications for registration which are not straightforward e.g. where the applicant has a certain type of conviction or has declared a disciplinary issue at work. The Committee assesses all of the information, including hearing from the applicant if they attend, and decides whether the applicant should be granted registration, granted registration with conditions or refused registration.
If you are an applicant and have been told that your application is being put before the Registration Committee, you can find guidance materials in the Associated Resources.
Preliminary Proceedings Committee
The Preliminary Proceedings Committee meets to consider:
– Applications for urgent Interim Orders in cases where there could be a risk to the public or service users if a registrant is allowed to work, or to work unrestricted, whilst an investigation into allegations is on-going;
– Reviews of Interim Orders;
– Whether cases should be sent to the Fitness to Practise Committee for hearing.
Cases will only be sent to the Fitness to Practise Committee for hearing if the PPC is satisfied that the realistic prospect test is met. This means that the Committee considers, based on the evidence which it has heard and read, that there is a case to answer.
If you are a registrant and have received a Notice of Referral for a PPC, you can find guidance materials in the Associated Resources.
Fitness to Practise Committee
The Fitness to Practise Committee meets to decide:
– Whether, based on the evidence it has seen and heard, it is satisfied that the allegation(s) against a registrant are found proved;
– If so, whether the allegation(s) as found proved amount to impaired fitness to practise;
– If so, what sanction, if any, should be applied.
The Fitness to Practise Committee has the following sanctions available to it:
– A Warning, which can be imposed for a period of up to five years;
– A Conditions of Practice Order which can be imposed for a period of up to three years;
– A Suspension Order for a period of up to two years;
– A Removal Order.
The Committee, when making its decision on sanction, will have regard to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council Indicative Sanctions and Use of Interim Orders: Guidance for Fitness to Practise Committees.
If you are a registrant and have received a Notice of Hearing, you can find guidance materials in the Associated Resources.
A decision of the Fitness to Practise Committee may be appealed to the Care Tribunal within 28 days. Copies of appeal documents can be found here or by contacting the Care Tribunal directly.