One of the questions on the lips of Sports Therapists or those wishing to become Sports Therapists is, "Is Sports Therapy regulated?"

The answer is YES!  Sports Therapy is Regulated by the CNHC, it is voluntary regulation which is itself governed by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).   The PSA oversee all of the Health Regulators including CNHC, HCPC, BASRaT, GMC etc.

There is currently work underway to move some of the professions currently within Statutory Regulation, to Voluntary Regulation.  If this happens it could be that we see Physiotherapy, Podiatry and the like, moved over to Voluntary Regulation.

Another question is, "Where does Sports Therapy stand in relation to Statutory Regulation?"  These are the answers below.

We have received emails from HPHC and the Dept for Health:

HPHC have stated that there is no change in the regulation situation (see below).

The Dept for Health have advised that their preferred route for Sports Therapy is Voluntary Assured Regulation, which we already have achieved.

“As you are aware, in February 2011 we recommended to the Secretary of State for Health and to Scottish Ministers that sports therapists should be regulated, following an application made through our now closed ‘aspirant groups’ process by the Society of Sports Therapists.

Although we have powers to make recommendations that a group should be regulated, the decision about whether that group becomes regulated, and indeed, how they are regulated and by whom, rests solely with Government and Parliament.

In this case, you may be aware that in February 2011, around the time the sports therapists application was being further considered, the coalition Government published the Command Paper ‘Enabling Excellence’ which sets-out its policy on professional regulation. This paper set-out an alternative system of what is called ‘assured voluntary registration’. The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence* (CHRE) will have powers to accredit voluntary registers held by professional bodies or other organisations.

*this is now the PSA

The Paper said that the Government considers that ‘assured voluntary registration’ is a better way of balancing improving quality with the intention to ‘avoid introducing regulation with its associated costs wherever possible’. The Paper indicates that the Government will now only consider statutory regulation in exceptional circumstances, and where ‘voluntary registers are not considered sufficient to manage the risk’. ‘Assured voluntary registration’ is referred to as the preferred and presumed option, including for those groups, such as sports therapists, for whom the HPC has made a recommendation.

Since 2000 we have made a number of recommendations to Government for the regulation of groups and we stand by those recommendations, including for sports therapists. However, as outlined above, the decision about whether regulation is introduced is one for the Government rather than for the HPC. Given the current Government’s policy as outlined above, there is no current timetable attached to the regulation of sports therapists”.

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