We decide whether there is enough evidence to prove the allegations and whether they raise a concern about your fitness to practise.

If you are a registered worker or student we can decide to:

  • conclude the case and take no further action
  • impose a sanction unless you ask for a hearing
  • refer the case to a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing to decide on fitness to practise and impairment.

For more information please see the Factsheet 3 Sanctions.

If you are a worker or student who is applying to be registered, we can decide to:

  • take no further action and grant the application
  • grant the application subject to condition(s) with your consent
  • refuse the application and refer it to a Fitness to Practise Panel hearing to consider registration.

For more information please see Factsheet 4 Application Outcomes.

How will we tell you about our decision?

We will send you a letter explaining our decisions and reasons.

If we have decided we need to impose a sanction or a registration condition, our letter will provide you with an opportunity to ask for a hearing. We will give you access to the information we used to make that decision.

For more information please see Factsheet 10 Imposing a sanction, Factsheet 11 Imposing a sanction: removal orders or Factsheet 12 Offer of a registration condition.

What happens if you don’t think a sanction or registration condition should be imposed?

If we decide we need to impose a sanction or registration condition, we will write to you setting out the reasons for our decision. If we think it is fair to you and that we don’t need to have hearing for some other reason (such as significant public interest) then we will ask if you want a hearing. If you don’t ask us for a hearing, we will impose the sanction and send the final Notice of Decision to: 

  • you
  • whoever referred the case to us/made the allegation if relevant
  • your current or most recent employer or higher education institution
  • any other person or body we think should be informed of our decision if we consider it necessary for the protection of members of the public, or otherwise in the public interest.

For registered worker or students, the Notice of Decision will also be published on our website and your record on our Register will be updated.

For more information on what we publish and why, please see our Public Information Policy

For more information please see Factsheet 7 Fitness to Practise Impairment Hearings or Factsheet 8 Fitness to Practise Application Hearings.

What happens if you don’t tell us that you want a hearing?

We will impose the sanction or registration condition on your registration and write to you to let you know. If you don’t want the sanction or registration condition to be imposed, you should contact your caseholder straight away to let them know. 

Can you appeal our decision?

You have the right to appeal to the Sheriff Court against certain decisions. Appeals must be made, in writing to the court, within 14 days of the decision being sent to you. You can do this even if you did not contact us to ask for a hearing. 

Wellbeing line

We have a dedicated wellbeing line for people undergoing fitness to practise investigations. It offers you free and confidential emotional support and practical advice from an independent source. Find out more about the wellbeing line or call freephone: 0808 169 4430.