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Request approval for a new course

Information for education and training providers who are thinking about running a new course.

New courses

Last updated: 28 November 2019

This page is for people who are thinking about running a new course.

New courses must be approved by us to appear on the list of approved courses.

This applies to all qualifying education and training courses, such as:

  • undergraduate degree courses
  • degree apprenticeship courses
  • post-graduate diplomas
  • fast track courses

This also applies to other post-graduate programmes that lead to annotations on the register such as Approved Mental Health Professional courses, or training for Best Interest Assessors.

If you want to make changes to an existing course, you will need to make a different request. You can read more about making changes to an existing course.

Courses we approve are subject to reapproval by us every six years. This means that courses approved by HCPC will need to be reapproved by us over this time.

You will be contacted by us when it is time to reapprove courses for which you are responsible. 

You may want to read the guidance on approvals of qualifying social work courses.

Request approval for a new course

If you want to request approval for a new course, the first step is to complete the form. 

Request approval for a new course

After you’ve submitted the form

Once we have received your form, we will try to get back to you within 2 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.

What evidence you need to provide

When we have all the relevant information to process your request, we will ask you to complete the evidence mapping forms and submit your evidence.

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 mapping form 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.

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 submit your evidence

Once we have received your evidence, we will send you an email to confirm receipt.

The evidence will then be reviewed by the officer who is dealing with your request. They will come back to you if we need additional evidence or have any questions about the evidence you have submitted.

It usually takes about six months, after you submit your evidence, to review and complete an approval request. The time it takes will vary depending on the evidence.  

When you’ll need to prepare for an inspection

We will decide whether you are ready for an inspection based on the evidence you provide. Once we think that you are ready for an inspection, we will contact you to discuss dates and agree on an inspection plan.

We will confirm the date of the inspection at least 40 working days in advance.

You can read more about inspections.

How we make a decision about your course

Our decision is based on the recommendations in the inspection report.

We will usually be able to let you know the decision within a couple of weeks from the date we receive the final report.

There are 3 possible outcomes from a request to approve a new course:

  • approved without conditions
  • approved with conditions
  • not approved (course does not meet the criteria for approval)

Where courses have been approved, we publish the full details to the list of approved courses. This includes where courses have been approved with conditions.

Where courses have not been approved, we only publish the inspection report. You can find those inspection reports in the resource section.

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

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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