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Make a change to a course

Information about types of course changes, how to make a change to a course and what evidence to provide.

Course changes

Last updated: 28 November 2019

This page is for course providers who are thinking about making a change to an approved course which would affect how the course meets our education and training standards.

This also applies to courses that were approved by HCPC and are now monitored by us.

We understand that some changes are unforeseen. If a change has already been made, please let us know as soon as possible by sending an email to [email protected].

Types of course changes

If you’re making changes to a course, you may need to tell us. You will need to tell us if the changes will affect (one or both of the following):

  • how the course meets our standards
  • how the course appears on our approved list of courses

For example, you should tell us if a change to a course will change the level of study, curriculum, entry requirements, placement provision, resourcing or management.

You should also tell us if you are closing a course.

If you’re not sure about whether to tell us about a change, you can contact us by sending an email to [email protected]

How to make a request to change a course

If you want to request a change to a course, the first step is to complete the form.

Request a change to a course

After you submit your request

Once we receive your request, we will try to get back to you within two working days.

One of our officers will be your named contact to help you through the process. They may want to ask you further questions or request more information.

If we decide that the changes to your course are too extensive, we will recommend that your change request should be dealt with as a new course approval request.

If the changes are small enough, we may decide to deal with your request through our annual monitoring process instead.

If we decide to deal with your request as a course change, we will ask you to complete the evidence mapping forms and submit your evidence.

Your named contact will let you know how we want to receive your evidence and by what date.

What evidence you need to provide

You do not need to provide evidence until we ask you to complete this step of the process.

If you want to have a look at the evidence maps in advance, you can find them in the resource section. You can also find guidance there to help you think about what evidence you could provide.

It is your responsibility to reflect on how the change will affect the course, and the effect it will have on how your course meets our education and training standards.

Your evidence should be based on which of our education and training standards you think will be affected by this change.

You should consider asking someone to proofread and check your evidence before sending it to us. This is to make sure that the evidence is easy to navigate, that links work and that it matches the evidence mapping form.

Internal documents on shared servers may not be accessible to us, so please make sure to provide all the necessary details.

The easier it is for us to understand and navigate your evidence, the quicker we will be able to get back to you.

After you’ve submitted evidence

Once we have received your evidence, we will send you an email to confirm receipt. We will also explain the process to you and talk you through next steps.

Timelines will depend on how complex the change is and whether we need further evidence.

If we have any questions about the evidence you have submitted or need further evidence to demonstrate how your course will continue to meet our standards, we will let you know.

The evidence will be reviewed by one or more inspectors, depending on the proposed changes.

When we assign inspectors to review your evidence, we follow our conflict of interest process. But, when we tell you the names of your inspectors, you should let us know if you think there is a conflict of interest.

Your named contact will let you know when we have reviewed the evidence. They will also send you a questionnaire, so you have an opportunity to make any comments before we make our decision.

If we have any concerns about continuing the course change process, we will discuss this with you. This could happen if we feel that our new course approval process would be more appropriate, that the review is too early, or if there is not enough evidence to continue.

If enough documentary evidence is provided to demonstrate how your course will continue to meet our standards, we will write to you confirming that the changes to your course have been approved.

How we make a decision about your course

We will decide whether to approve the change to your course based on the inspectors’ recommendations.

Inspectors can recommend that:

  • enough evidence has been provided to show that the course meets our standards
  • there is not enough evidence to show how the course meets our standards and an onsite inspection is needed
  • there is not enough evidence to show how the course meets our standards and additional evidence is needed

Approved or approved with conditions

Where changes have been approved, we update the course details on the list of approved courses. This includes where changes have been approved with conditions.

If we decide to approve the change with conditions, we will let you know:

  • what conditions we have decided to attach to your course
  • how you can demonstrate how you have met or are meeting the conditions
  • the action we’ll take once we decide that the conditions are met
  • the action we’ll take if we decide the conditions are not met

If you wish to challenge our decision, you have a right of appeal to the County Court in England and Wales.


We will not usually undertake inspections for course changes. But, if we feel the change will significantly affect how your course meets our education and training standards, we may decide to do an inspection. 

This would be to collect additional evidence, such as from speaking to students, staff, or people with lived experiences of social work involved in the course.

If the inspectors recommend that we do an inspection, your named contact will discuss this with you, offer further guidance and provide you with the relevant forms to complete.

If possible, we will use the same inspectors who have reviewed your changes for the onsite inspection.

You can read more about inspections

Further information

As we move towards implementing our 2020 education and training standards, our processes will change.

We will continue to develop our guidance documents throughout the next year.

You can find more information about our education and training standards. If you have any questions, please contact us on [email protected].

Detailed guidance

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