Sending us a written response

Once a case has been referred for further investigation, we will write to let you know about the matters we are concerned about. We will invite you to send a written response to the allegations within 28 days of the date of our letter using a form that we will enclose.

While you are not obliged to respond to the concerns at that stage, you are required to complete a personal details form and give us your employer’s contact details. You must also tell us if you change your address. Failure to provide any of this information could result in action being taken against you.

Engaging with us during the investigation process

We recognise that being the subject of a referral can be a stressful experience. Working with us early on will help the process to run more smoothly. Seeking advice and responding to us about the concerns at an early stage can help to bring the case to a conclusion more quickly and may help to reduce the stress of the situation and result in a better outcome for all involved.

Providing reflection on the events that led to the concerns, or demonstrating learning insight and strengthened practice, can often have positive results. For example, these actions could lead to the case being closed at an earlier point or, if a case continues to the later adjudication stages, a lesser sanction being imposed.

We also want to understand the wider context when things go wrong. Sometimes concerns that appear to be the result of poor individual practice are actually caused by system pressures or other factors. We want to hear from you about any factors that you think might have had an impact on the events referred to us. We’ve created a form to help you tell us your perspective, which we’ll send out at the beginning of the process.

If we get your response at an early stage, it may reduce the level of investigation required and the time that the process takes. For example, obtaining full witness statements may not be necessary and seeking additional information from the employer may be sufficient.

Similarly, cases can sometimes progress to the hearing stage without any engagement from you. If you had engaged with us earlier, the case may have concluded in a different way.

For more information see our insight and strengthening practice guidance.

Informing your employer

The Code requires that you must tell us and any employer you work for at the first reasonable opportunity if you have been disciplined by any regulatory or licensing organisation. It is also likely that individual contracts of employment require you to promptly tell your employer of any issues that call into question your fitness to practise.

We may investigate if you do not comply with the Code by failing to inform us or your employer in such circumstances.