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Triage stage

A guide intended to help answer questions about the fitness to practise process and what to expect.

If a concern is raised against you

Last updated: 27 January 2021

Our triage team considers all new concerns to determine whether there is evidence of impairment.

Impairment means that there would be serious concerns about the suitability of your character or your ability to practise safely and effectively.

Your fitness to practise could be impaired due to:

  • misconduct
  • lack of competence or capability
  • a conviction or caution in the UK for a criminal offence
  • a conviction which would be a criminal offence if committed in England or Wales
  • serious physical or mental health conditions
  • a decision by another body that your fitness to practise is impaired
  • being barred from working with children or vulnerable adults
  • not having the necessary knowledge of English

If a concern is not about your fitness to practise, we do not investigate.

Sometimes we may need supporting information from other people, such as your employer or the police, before deciding whether to open an investigation. We may decide to close the case and refer the concern to other organisations, such as your employer. 

How we decide if we need to investigate

Our triage test helps us decide if there are reasonable grounds to investigate your fitness to practise.

You can read more about how we decide whether there are reasonable grounds to investigate in our triage guidance.

When we apply the triage test, we carefully consider all the information that the person who raised the concern has given to us.

When making this decision, we may consider:

  • the seriousness of the concern
  • whether there is likely to be any evidence to support the concern
  • whether the incident is isolated or repeated
  • whether there has been a breach of established standards or guidance
  • what action has been taken already to address the concern, including whether you have taken any steps to remediate
  • any outcomes of any previous regulatory investigations

Triage decisions are always made by groups of social workers, lawyers, and a senior members of the fitness to practise team.


Read more about how we investigate concerns

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