‘Fitness to Practise’ means that a Registrant has the skills, knowledge and character to practise their profession safely and effectively. For a Registrant on the NISCC register, being ‘fit to practise’ means adhering to the Standards of Conduct and Practise for Social Workers and Social Care Workers. These set out the required attitudes, behaviours and competence a Registrant requires to practise safely and effectively. All Registrants agree to adhere to the Standards as a condition of their on-going registration with the Social Care Council.
Impaired Fitness to Practise:
If it is considered that a Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired, it means there are concerns about their ability to practise safely and effectively, which may mean that they should not practise at all and should be removed from the Register, or that their practise should be restricted.
If a Registrant has been referred to the Social Care Council due to concerns as to whether they are fit to practise, the Council will consider whether their fitness to practise is impaired due to:
- Lack of competence
- Physical or mental health
- A conviction or caution in the UK for a criminal offence, or a conviction elsewhere for an offence which, if committed in the UK, would constitute a criminal offence
- A determination by a relevant regulatory body that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired
- Inclusion on a list maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The purpose of fitness to practise is not to punish Registrants for past mistakes. It is to protect the public by ensuring that Registrants are fit to continue practising.