Restoration following Disciplinary Erasure
If a health and social care practitioner wishes to return to the register after being erased for disciplinary reasons, they must submit an application for restoration. There are, however, strict rules that apply to restoration applications and successive failed attempts are likely to lead to an indefinite suspension of the applicant’s right to make further restoration applications.
Brief Overview of Restoration Rules
- A restoration application cannot be made until five years have elapsed since the striking off order came into force.
- A person may not make more than one application for restoration in any period of twelve months.
- If a person makes two or more applications for restoration which are refused, a fitness to practise panel refusing the second application may make a direction suspending the applicant’s right to make further restoration applications.
- If a direction is made suspending the applicant’s right to make further restoration applications, the applicant may apply to have it reviewed three years after it was made, and at three yearly intervals after that.
How your restoration application will be determined
Restoration applications will be referred to a full fitness to practise panel for a restoration hearing.
On the whole, the procedure followed will be similar to that for other fitness to practise proceedings. This includes, for example, panels may give directions, hold preliminary hearings, order the production of documents or the attendance of witnesses, etc. as they consider appropriate.
However, one important difference is that the applicant has the burden of proof in a restoration hearing. This means the burden will be on you to convince the panel that you are fit to return to practice. In theory, this means that you, as the restoration applicant, will have the opportunity to present your case first.
However, it may be that the panel will want to hear from the regulator’s presenting officer first, so to set out the background to the case and presenting any relevant evidence regarding your fitness to practise. They may also give an indication of whether your regulator opposes the application for restoration, or not.
Generally speaking, the test to be applied by tribunals when considering if you should be restored is, that having considered the circumstances which led to erasure and the extent of remediation and insight, are you now fit to practise having regard to the general requirements for registration relevant to your profession.
In determining restoration applications, the issues which a panel may very well consider include:
- the matters which led to striking off and the reasons given by the original Panel for imposing that sanction;
- whether the applicant accepts and has insight into those matters;
- whether the applicant has resolved those matters, has the willingness and ability to do so, or whether they are capable of being resolved by the applicant;
- what other remedial or rehabilitative steps the applicant has taken;
- what steps the applicant has taken to keep his or her professional knowledge and skills up to date.
The reason(s) why you were struck off
The reasons why you were struck off will invariably be highly relevant to the panel’s, and it is insufficient for an applicant merely to establish that they meet the requisite standard of proficiency and the other general requirements for registration.
It is important to note that an application for restoration is not an appeal from, or review of, the original decision. The fitness to practise panel will avoid being drawn into ‘going behind’ the findings of the original decision, or the sanction it imposed, and attempts by the applicant to persuade the panel to do so may be indicators of a continuing lack of insight or denial.
If a Panel grants an application for restoration, it may do so unconditionally or subject to the applicant:
- meeting any applicable education and training requirements specified by the Council; or
- complying with conditions of practice order imposed by the Panel.
Types of case where restoration is generally unlikely
There will be cases where restoration is generally unlikely. This would be irrespective of the length of time that has elapsed and whether there is strong evidence demonstrating insight. These normally relate to criminal convictions for:
- rape or sexual assault by penetration
- sexual offences involving children or vulnerable adults
- offences involving human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour
- extortion and blackmail
Is Legal Advice and Representation Important?
Evidence has shown that legal representation in fitness to practise proceedings is key to successful outcomes, and this is certainly the case for restoration applications. Without expert legal advice and representation, amongst other things, you will need to:
- be clear in the legal processes involved in a restoration application;
- deal with any directions given by the fitness to practise panel;
- gather evidence and present this; and
- prepare your case, including evidence of insight and remediation.
Without expert legal advice and representation, there is a significantly higher risk of an unsuccessful application and possibly a suspension of your right to re-apply. Kings View Chambers has successfully applied to restore clients who have previously been struck off. Recent case examples:
- Kings View successful in NMC restoration application
- Kings View successful in GMC restoration for doctor following disciplinary erasure
- Kings View represent nurse in successful restoration application
The process is very complicated and the general success rate is low. It is very important that you seek expert legal advice and representation to help you set the right strategy and approach from an early stage.
Insight Works Training – ‘A clear explanation of the restoration process’
Developed by leading legal representatives for medical professionals facing health and social care tribunals, Insight Works Training have designed unique and practical courses with focus on impairment, reflections and remediation.
Insight Works Training will help give you a clear explanation of the restoration process including a focus on preparing for restoration, helping you to understand what is meant by reflection, insight, and remediation, helping you have the necessary knowledge to be able to formulate a personal plan for restoration and understanding what the Tribunal will expect from you at the hearing.
Courses are delivered by both leading healthcare experts with years of experience in mentoring and coaching who also sit on regulatory tribunal panels and, leading legal experts in the field of defence at health and social care regulatory tribunals.
You can read more about our excellent reviews and contact us for a free, no obligation case assessment.
Disclaimer: This article is for guidance purposes only. Kings View Chambers accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken, in relation to this article. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.
I am a GMC Defence Barrister who has represented large number of medical professionals before their regulatory bodies in either first instance proceedings or appeals. I can help with all matters relating to GMC Fitness to Practise Referrals issues including:
- GMC fitness to practise referrals
- GMC fitness to practise hearings
- Appeals against a MPTS Tribunal determination
- MPTS Interim Order hearings
- Appeals against a MPTS Interim Orders Tribunal determination
- Preparing your case before the Case Examiners
- Help with the decision of the Case Examiners
- Help with voluntary removal
- Registration advice
- Appeal against refusal of registration
- Restoration to the Register
- Investigation and disciplinary hearings at work
- Criminal investigation and proceedings
- Police cautions
- DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service] issues
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