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Professional Conduct Publication

Policy statement

The Register acts in the public interest to uphold standards of professional conduct and practice, to protect the public and maintain public confidence in the benefits of Equine Interactions.

Publishing our professional conduct decisions

We provide information to the public to allow them to make better informed choices when choosing a professional and promote a greater understanding among Practitioners of the high standards expected of them.

We aim to be transparent and accountable for our decisions. We therefore publish findings of the Professional Conduct Review Committee (“PCRC”) unless there are compelling reasons why they should not be published.

On application to The Register, Members must agree to our terms and conditions of membership and registration, which include agreeing that we can challenge their practice and conduct. This is done through our complaints handling approach. We aim to ensure that the public is protected and that confidence in the benefit of Equine Interactions is maintained.

For transparency and openness, we are committed to providing a fair and balanced complaints process. We look to protect the confidentiality of our Practitioners during an investigation. We will ensure that any disclosure of information is lawful, proportionate and fair.

Decisions subject to publication

Generally, decisions of the PCRC will not be published if no allegations have been upheld. If one or more allegations are upheld, and a decision is made to publish in accordance with the criteria below, we will publish the following on our website.

We will publish the findings in any case where the allegation (or at least one allegation if more than one) has been upheld. We will publish the hearing findings, decision and sanction imposed. If no sanction is imposed, we will still publish any findings and decisions.

We will publish the name of the member and their membership/registration number to allow them to be identified correctly. We will not include private personal information which might cause disproportionate harm to the private life of the person concerned.

Our starting point is that we will publish outcomes in full without amendment or revision, but we may make redactions where necessary to:

  • protect persons other than the Practitioner (including Complainants, clients or witnesses)
  • prevent the identification of Complainants, clients or witnesses, or any others involved in the complaint.

All published decisions (other than withdrawal of membership) will remain on our website generally until the all imposed sanctions are acknowledged as complete. Where findings and decisions do not impose specific sanction, the notice will remain on our website for one year.

Where registration is suspended, the notice will remain on the website until either the suspension is lifted or until any other sanction or condition imposed together with the suspension is complete, whichever period is longer.

Any decision by the PCRC which results in withdrawal of registration will remain on our website for five years from the date of the decision.

We will normally publish a decision after the 28 day appeal period has ended, or after the outcome of any appeal, if any allegations are upheld.

Sanction compliance notices

Where it is deemed by the PCSC that an imposed sanction has been complied with, we will publish a ‘Sanction Compliance Notice’. This will remain on our website for two months.

Withdrawal of registration

If a matter submitted to PCRC results in the withdrawal of registration, we will publish a notice at the end of the appeal period (if there is no appeal) or following the outcome of the appeal if any allegation is upheld.

If the PCRC considers that a Practitioner has not complied with a sanction imposed and decide to withdraw registration, we will publish the decision to withdraw registration on our website.

Any decision which results in the withdrawal of registration will remain on our website for five years from the date of the decision.

Consensual Disposal

Where a complaint about a Practitioner has been dealt with by way of a Consensual Disposal, the outcome will be published. Where a sanction is imposed, the outcome will remain published until a PCRC have deemed the sanction complied with.

Interim Suspension

Any Practitioner, whose membership is suspended pending an investigation regarding their alleged misconduct, and where no appeal is made, will be published, for the duration of the suspension. Where an Interim Suspension is lifted, this decision will be published and will remain on the Register’s website for a period of two months.

Lapsed members

If a Practitioner lapses their registration before, during or after a professional conduct hearing, (including before completing any sanction imposed) we will still publish any relevant PCRC decision.

Re-entry to membership

If someone who has been subject to an adverse conduct decision successfully re-applies for membership, we will publish a ‘Re-entry to membership notice’.

Factors relevant to the publication decision

This publication policy confirms our intention to publish decisions where it is in the public interest to do so. However, the decision to publish is made on a case by case basis, taking into account the factors below (this list is not exhaustive).

Publication may involve a degree of interference with the Practitioner’s right to privacy. In such cases the PCRC Panel will undertake a balancing exercise, weighing the public interest in publication of the decision against the Practitioner’s right to privacy.

The PCRC will consider any representations made by a Member regarding publication, taking into account the factors below.

Therefore, as well as making a substantive decision on the allegations, the PCRC will also decide whether or not to publish.

The factors in support of a decision to publish are:

  • the importance of transparency in our decision-making processes
  • the importance of providing information about action against members to enable, for example: clients or perspective clients to make informed choices about who they should enter into a relationship with, or clients and others to decide whether to report behaviour of concern to us
  • the need to maintain public confidence in the provision of equine interactions by demonstrating what action is being or has been taken to uphold standards and why
  • the need to disseminate information to encourage adherence to proper standards

The factors in support of a decision not to publish are:

  • the inability to publish without disclosing confidential or legally privileged information (including information concerning someone’s medical condition or treatment) or prejudicing legal proceedings or other investigations
  • the impact of publication on the Practitioner would be disproportionate, balancing the Practitioner’s right to privacy with the public interest in publication (as set out above)

Post publication requests

Where a request is made, after publication of the decision, and before the requisite time has expired, because of new information or a change in circumstances, a decision may be amended or removed from our website where we consider that publication is no longer necessary in the public interest, or to correct or update information.

 

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