The following standards of conduct, ethics and performance are expected of every registered clinical physiologist. If you think a clinical physiologist has breached a standard, please visit the following page: Raise a concern
The Clinical Physiologists Registration Board acknowledges the the Health Professions Council (UK) for allowing us to use and appropriately modify their work in the development of these standards.
HEALTH PROFESSIONS COUNCIL Standards of Conduct, performance and ethics. Your duties as a registrant: 2003 (034/HPC/A5 April 2003)
Summary of Standards
You must always keep high standards of conduct. You must always:
- act in the best interests of your patients, clients and users;
- respect the confidentiality of your patients, clients and users;
- maintain high standards of personal conduct; and
- provide any important information about conduct, competence or health.
You must always keep high standards of ethics. You must always:
- Carry out your duties in a professional way;
- Behave with integrity and honesty;
- Follow out guidelines for how to advertise your services;
- Make sure that your behaviour does not damage your profession’s reputation.
You must always keep high standards of performance:
- Keep your professional knowledge, skills and experience up to date;
- Act within the limits of your knowledge, skills and experience and, if necessary, refer on to another professional;
- Maintain proper and effective communications with patients, clients, users, carers and professionals;
- Effectively supervise tasks you have asked others to carry out for you;
- Get informed consent to give treatment (except in an emergency);
- Keep accurate patient, client or user records;
- Deal fairly and safely with the risks of infection; and
- Limit your work or stop practicing if your performance or judgement is affected by your health.
Standards of Conduct
You must act in the best interests of your patients, clients and users:
You are personally responsible for making sure that you promote and protect the best interests of the people you care for. You must respect and take account of these factors when providing care, and must not exploit or abuse the relationship with a patients, client, user or carer. You must not allow your views about patient's, client's or user's sex, age, colour, race, disability, sexuality, social or economic status, lifestyle, culture or religious beliefs to affect the way you treat them of the professional advice you give them.
You must at all times, act to protect the interests of patients, clients, users, carers and other members of the public. You must try to provide the best possible care, either alone or with other health or social-care professions. You must not do anything, or allow anything to be done, that you have good reason to believe will put the health or safety of a patient, client or user in danger. This includes both your own actions and those of others.
When working in a team you are still responsible for your professional conduct, any care or professional advice you provide, any failure to act and any tasks you ask someone else to carry out. You must protect patients if you believe that they are threatened by a colleague's conduct, performance or health. The safety of patients, clients, and users must come before any personal or professional loyalties at all times. As soon as you become aware of any situation that puts a patient, client or user at risk, you should discuss the matter with a senior professional colleague. If you feel that you cannot raise the matter with a senior colleague, you can contact the Registrar.
You must respect the confidentiality of your patients, clients and users:
You must treat information about patients, clients or users as confidential and use it only for the purpose for which it was given. You must not knowingly release any personal or confidential information to anyone who is not entitled to it, and you should check that people who ask for information are entitled to it. You must only use information about a patient, client or user:
- to continue to care for that person; or
- for the purposes where that person has given specific permission to use the information.
You must also keep to the conditions of any relevant data-protection legislation and privacy laws and follow best practice for handling confidential information relating to individuals at all times. Best practice is likely to change over time, and you must stay up to date. You must be particularly careful not to reveal, deliberately or accidentally, confidential information that is stored on computers.
You must keep high standards of personal conduct:
You must keep high standards of personal conduct, as well as professional conduct. You must not do anything that may affect someone's treatment by, or confidence in, you.
We can consider taking action against you if you are convicted of a criminal offence or have accepted a police caution. We will always consider each case individually and we will take decisions in the light of the circumstances of the case.
However, as guidance, we will seriously consider rejecting an application for registration, or striking you off the register if you are already registered, if you are convicted of a criminal offence that involves one of the following types of behaviour:
- sexual misconduct
- supplying drugs
- drink-driving offences where someone was hurt or killed
- serious offences involving dishonesty
- any serious criminal offences which you received a prison sentence for.
This is not a complete list. We will always look at any conviction or caution that we learn of.
You must provide any important information about conduct, competence or health:
You must tell us (and other relevant regulators and professional bodies) if you have any important information about your conduct or competence, or about other registrants and health professionals you work with. In particular, you must let us know straight away if you are:
- convicted of a criminal offence (other than a minor motoring offence) or accept a police caution;
- disciplined by any organisation responsible for regulating or licensing a health or social-care professions; or
- Suspended or placed under a practice restriction by an employer or similar organisation because of concerns about your conduct or competence.
You should also provide information about the conduct or competence of other healthcare providers if someone who is entitled to know asks for it. This is related to your duty to act in the best interests of your patients, clients or users, which was explained earlier. You should also tell us about any significant changes in your health, especially if you have changed your practice as a result of medical advice. We will keep this information private but it is vital that you tell us, and if you do not, we may take action against you.
Standards of Ethics
You must carry out your duties in a professional way;
You must carry out your duties and responsibilities in a professional and ethical way. Patients, clients and users are entitled to receive good and safe standards of practice and care. We want to protect the public from unprofessional and unethical behaviour, and we aim to make sure that health professionals know all about the standards we expect them to meet. These standards are needed to protect the public and, as a health professional, you have special responsibilities that go beyond those expected of other people.
You must behave with integrity and honesty;
You must make sure that you behave with integrity and honesty and keep to high standards of personal and professional conduct at all times.
You must follow out guidelines for how to advertise your services;
Any advertising you do in relation to your professional activities must be accurate. Any advertisements must not be misleading, false, unfair or exaggerated. In particular, you should not claim your personal skills, equipment or facilities are better than anyone else’s unless you can prove this is true.
If you are involved in advertising or promoting any product or service, you must make sure that you use your scientific knowledge, clinical skills and experience in an accurate and professionally responsible way. You must not make or support unjustifiable statements relating to particular products. Any potential financial rewards to you should play no part at all in your advice or recommendations of products and services that you give to patients, clients or users.
You must make sure that your behaviour does not damage your profession’s reputation;
You must not get involves in any behaviour or activity which is likely to damage your profession’s reputation or undermine public confidence in your profession.
Standards of Performance
You must keep your professional knowledge, skills and experience up to date:
You must make sure that your knowledge, skills and performance are of a high quality, up to date and relevant to your field of practice.
You must be capable of meeting our standards of proficiency that relate to clinical practice. You have to meet these standards, whether you are in clinical practice or not, and this includes managers, educators and researchers. However, it is important to recognise that the standards of proficiency are minimum standards of clinical practice. If you want to be on our register and use a professional title, you must maintain your clinical standards so that you are able to practice the basic skills of your profession safely, even if this no longer forms the basis of your day-to-day work.
You must stay up to date with the changes to the standards of proficiency that we make for your profession as technology and techniques develop. We cannot and will not test all registrants to check that they are meeting the standards of proficiency. However, we can and will test you if we have reason to believe that you might not met the standards of proficiency any more.
You must act within the limits of your knowledge, skills and experience and, if necessary, refer the matter to another professional;
You must keep within you scope of practice. This means that you should only practice in those fields in which you have appropriate education, training and experience.
When accepting a patient, client or user, you have a duty of care. This includes the obligation to refer them for further professional advice or treatment if it becomes clear that the task is beyond your own scope of practice. A person is entitled to a referral for a second opinion at any time and you are under an obligation to accept the request and do so promptly. If you accept a referral from another health or social-care professional, you must make sure you fully understand the request. You should only provide the treatment or advice if you believe this is appropriate. If this is not the case, you must discuss the matter with the practitioner who has made the referral, and also the patient, client or user, before you begin treatment.
You must maintain proper and effective communications with patients, clients, users, carers and professionals;
You must take all reasonable steps to make sure you can communicate properly and effectively with your patients, clients or users, and their carers and family. You must also communicate effectively, co-operate, and share your knowledge and expertise with professional colleagues for the benefit of patients, clients and users.
You must effectively supervise tasks you have asked others to carry out for you;
People who consult you or receive treatment or services from you are entitled to assume that a person who has the knowledge and skill to practice their profession will carry out their treatment. Whenever you give tasks to another person to carry out on your behalf, you must be sure that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to carry out the task safely and effectively. If they are not health professionals, you must not ask them to do the work of health professionals. If they are health professionals, you must not ask them to do work that is outside of their scope of practice. If they are training to be health professionals, you should always be sure that they are capable of carrying out the task safely and effectively.
Whoever you ask to carry out a task, you must always continue to give adequate and appropriate supervision and you will stay responsible for the outcome. If someone tells you they are unwilling to carry out a task because they do not think they are capable of doing so safely and effectively, you must not force them to carry out the task anyway. If their refusal raises a disciplinary or training issue, you must deal with that separately, but you should not endanger the safety of the patient, client or user.
You must get informed consent to give treatment (except in an emergency);
You must explain to the patient, client or user the treatment you are planning on carrying out, the risks involved and any other treatment possible. You must make sure that you get their informed consent to any treatment you do carry out. You must make a record of the person’s treatment decisions and pass this on to all members of the health or social-care team involved in their care. In emergencies you may not be able to explain treatment, get consent or pass on information to other members of the health or social care team; however you should still try to do all of these things as far as you can.
If someone refuses treatment and you believe it is necessary for their wellbeing, you must make reasonable efforts to persuade them, particularly of you think that there is a significant or immediate risk to their life. You must keep to your employer’s procedures on consent and be aware of any guidance issued by the Ministry of Health or other appropriate authority in the country in which you practice.
You must keep accurate patient, client or user records;
Making and keeping records is an essential part of patient care and you must keep records for everyone you treat or who asks for professional advice or services. All records must be complete and legible, and you should write, sign and date all entries.
If you are supervising students, you should also sign any student’s entries in th notes. Whenever you review the records, you should update them and include a record of any arrangements you have made for the continuing care of the patient, client or user.
You must protect information in records against loss, damage or use by anyone who is not authorised. You can use computer based systems for keeping records but only if they are protected against anyone tampering with them (including other health professionals). If you update a record, you must not erase information that was previously there, or make that information difficult to read. Instead you must mark it in some way (for example, by drawing a line through the old information).
You must deal fairly and safely with the risks of infection;
You must not refuse to treat someone just because they have an infection. You must keep to the rules of confidentiality when dealing with people who have infections. For some infections, such as sexually transmitted infections, these rules may be more restrictive than the rules of confidentiality for people in other circumstances. Confidentiality is discussed in more detail in this document.
You must take appropriate precautions to protect your patient, client or user, their families and carers, your staff and yourself from infection. In particular, you should protect your patient, client or users from infecting one another. You must take precautions against the risk that you will infect someone else. This is especially important if you suspect or you know that you have an infection that could harm others, particularly patients, clients and users. If you believe or know that you may have such an infection, you must get medical advice and act on it. This may include the need for you to stop practicing altogether, or to change you practice in some way in the best interests of protecting your patients. We discuss health issues in more detail later.
You must limit your work or stop practicing if your performance or judgement is affected by your health;
You have a duty to take action if your health could be harming your fitness to practice. We may take action against you if you do not take action and your physical or mental health is harming your fitness to practice. You should get advice from a consultant in occupational health or another suitable qualified medical practitioner and act on it. This advice should consider whether, and in what ways, you should practice, including stopping practicing if this is necessary. You should also tell us about significant changes to your health and any changes you make to your practice as a result.