Source: Hong Kong Government special administrative region
Headline: Five healthcare professions preliminarily assessed to meet criteria for accreditation process of accredited registers
The Government today (June 19) announced that five healthcare professions are preliminarily assessed to meet the criteria for accreditation in phases under the Pilot Scheme of the Accredited Registers for Healthcare Professions, namely speech therapists, clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, audiologists and dietitians.
Under the principle of professional autonomy, the Pilot Scheme aims to enhance the existing society-based registration arrangements of healthcare professions currently not subject to statutory registration with a view to assuring the professional competence of healthcare professionals and providing more information for the public to make informed decisions.
The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (JCSPHPC) has been appointed as the independent Accreditation Agent of the Pilot Scheme. The Pilot Scheme was open for application in the end of December 2016. A total of 20 applications from 15 healthcare professions were received. After examining the submissions received, the accreditation team at the JCSPHPC considered that the above five healthcare professions were preliminarily assessed to meet the criteria for accreditation under the Pilot Scheme.
Taking into account the pilot nature of the Scheme and the readiness of healthcare professions to be accredited, the JCSPHPC will first proceed with the speech therapists profession for the relevant accreditation procedures according to the accreditation standards, which include governance, operational effectiveness, risk management and quality improvement, standards for registrants, educational and training requirements, and management of the register of the professional body.
The Pilot Scheme will operate under the principle of “one profession, one professional body, one register”. The Accreditation Agent will accredit the professional body meeting the prescribed standards for each profession under the Pilot Scheme and the accredited professional body shall be responsible for administering the register of its own profession. Accredited professional bodies will be permitted by the Department of Health (DH) to use an Accreditation Mark on their websites and Certificates of Registration issued to their members for easy identification by the public. Members of the accredited professional bodies can also use a specified title on their name cards. Members of the public can look up the registers of healthcare professionals through the accredited bodies.
Professional bodies applying for the Pilot Scheme should demonstrate a broad representation of their profession and maintain a well-established operation of professional practice. Depending on the extent of its fulfilment of the accreditation standards, the professional body will be awarded a three-year full accreditation or a one-year provisional accreditation. The professional bodies awarded with full accreditation have to apply for renewal one year before the expiry of the validity period. The Accreditation Agent will assess whether the professional bodies concerned are able to meet the accreditation standards sustainably before approving the renewal.
The JCSPHPC expects that the accreditation process for the speech therapists profession will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017 and will then submit accreditation results to the DH for consideration. Accreditation results are expected to be announced by the end of 2017. For the other four healthcare professions assessed to have met the criteria, the JCSPHPC will further communicate with them on their submissions and will conduct the accreditation in phases in 2018, depending on the readiness of each profession.
The JCSPHPC will review the effectiveness of the Pilot Scheme and report to the DH with recommended measures to improve the Scheme.