The NRCPD complaints process has undergone a substantial review (including ALAS input) and NRCPD have launched a consultation on a revised procedure to be known as the Fitness to Practice Procedure. It will be a public consultation given that it has been much discussed and there is wide interest in it. The consultation has been launched and the period will run until Monday 22 August 2022.

Registrants and Regulated Trainees have received an email with a link to the consultation materials and inviting their feedback over the next five weeks. NRCPD have suggested they may feedback to us personally or participate in the submission by their own professional association.

We ask all ALAS members to respond to the consultation and to help us to develop the ALAS submission.

Please find attached the relevant documents. There is a Guide to the Consultation (which should be read first), the consultation draft of the Fitness to Practice Procedure, and the amended Code of Conduct. Alternatively, you will be able to access the materials in English and BSL on our website. Feedback on the navigation of the Fitness to Practice Procedure on the website is welcome too.

The key and obvious changes to help orientate you to the revised procedure are:

‘Complaints Process’ is now the ‘Fitness to Practice Procedure’;
‘Complaint’ has been replaced by ‘Misconduct Report’;
‘Complaints Committee’ is now the ‘Professional Conduct Committee’;
‘Retained lay professional’ has been clarified as a ‘retained legal professional’.
Mediation has been removed as an option for Case Examiners to recommend.
Case Examiners have a Three-step process to go through in considering cases.
There is extensive additional guidance for Case Examiners on the public interest test, sanctions and consideration of evidence.
Separately to the Fitness To Practice Procedure, the Code of Conduct has two significant changes that:
extend the scope of the Code beyond an assignment, and
adds a provision around bullying, harassment and discrimination against fellow professionals.

There are many other changes and adjustments throughout the procedure. You will see reference to a Glossary – this is written but needs some final checks and refinements before publication and will go up on the NRCPD website soon.

ALAS input is important to make sure NRCPD are getting the new procedure right so I hope you are able to find the time to look through it all. You can submit your feedback contribution to ALAS by sending us a message here.