A course may claim that, on successful completion, the learner has achieved a degree of professional competence. If so, providers should adopt measures to support those claims.
This is particularly true if the learner may go on to offer a service which can involve risks to clients or to third parties, or where the clients themselves are unable to judge in advance whether the professional service on offer is safe, efficacious or of good quality.
The Council does not impose specific requirements or standards in this area, but accredited providers are expected to behave responsibly. These guidelines indicate the kinds of measure the Council would consider as offering evidence of responsible behaviour.
Providers are encouraged to negotiate with an appropriate professional body for entry of its completed learners to the membership of that body, possibly after further requirements have been fulfilled.
Such an arrangement may not be possible. No such professional body may exist, or there may be some other difficulty. Here the provider should consider what measures it needs to put in place to minimise risks to potential clients or third parties, and mitigate any unforeseen consequences of professional incompetence or misconduct on the part of its completed learners.
This implies a continuing and supportive relationship between the provider and its completed learners, and an element of continuing responsibility for their professional conduct and a willingness to help them maintain their professional competence.
Measures to do this could include:
a) establishment and development of a continuing membership roll for the provider
b) maintenance of a register of members, published if possible
f) maintenance of adequate long term membership records
c) provision of appropriate in-service training and CPD
e) maintenance of, and continued support for, the membership after a course is withdrawn
d) adoption of a code of conduct which members sign
g) adoption of a complaints and disciplinary procedure for members
h) monitoring and maintenance of the members’ professional standards
i) provision of, or pointers towards, appropriate insurance services such as Professional Indemnity Insurance.
j) ongoing dialogue with other bodies representative of the profession, and a willingness to play a role in the support and representation of the profession generally within the UK and abroad.
These measures need not be implemented in full in every case, but providers are expected to have considered them, and adopted those which are appropriate. And in certain cases, Council might insist that specific measures, such as the provision of appropriate insurance, are introduced.
© ODLQC 1st March 2018