Frequently Asked Questions
We will keep adding to this FAQ and welcome your comments and feedback. Please email us,
Questions from the public
what is case management?
Case management has a broad remit in the provision of rehabilitation and services to clients. The case manager initially identifies needs with a client and makes recommendations to meet these needs. The case manager would then work with the client to agree and implement plans with the clients to achieve their best outcomes. Find out more here.
How do I raise a concern about a case manager?
We are not currently registering case managers so are not able to assist with this. A process for raising concerns about registered case managers will be published in due course. In the meantime you may wish to see whether the case manager is a member of an organisation such as BABCIM, CMSUK or VRA or a regulatory body who may be able to assist.
Questions from case managers
Registration and renewal
How can I become a registered case manager?
Registration is not yet open, we anticipate this happening in Autumn 2022. Please see the details below and join our mailing list to keep up to date.
what are the criteria for becoming a registered case manager?
The process for becoming registered during the first 2 – 3 years will be different from what it will be as IRCM matures. Initially, during the grandfathering period, we envisage these will be members of either BABICM, CMSUK or VRA and:
- Provision of a self-audit that evidences working in line with the IRCM Code of Ethics and Conduct and meeting the IRCM Technical and Business Standards.
- Have practised in a regulated health profession for at least 2 years FTE and have at least 2 years FTE experience as a case manager OR have a minimum of 4 years FTE experience as a case manager.
- Agree to complete the certificate of proficiency once available (see education section below).
Once the certificate of proficiency is available (likely Autumn 2023) it is planned that all new applicants will need to have:
- Achieved the certificate of proficiency.
- Minimum of 2 years FTE of experience as a case manager.
- Provide a self-audit that evidences working in line with the IRCM Code of Ethics and Conduct and meeting the IRCM Technical and Business Standards.
What does the FTE equivalent mean for part-time case managers?
Generally 1,730 hrs equates to FTE. Part-time case managers will calculate the number of hours that they work in a year to reach the number of years it would take them, according to their hours, to achieve each 2 years of actual delivery of case management services. For instance, if you work 2.5 days a week, you need to work for 4 years to get 2 years of FTE experience.
What happens if I don’t have enough experience to register?
Until case managers have gained enough experience they should be working under the direct supervision of an experienced case manager. During this time, they should be undertaking training and development to build competence in case management and their practice should be in line with the IRCM Standards of Best Practice.
IRCM will be publishing an updated competence framework, along with a curriculum and educational standards. It will work with training providers including the membership bodies to establish pre-registration IRCM accredited CPD to support case managers who are not yet eligible to apply for registration.
Having a proper registration process and support with accredited training for case managers will provide reassurance for those who purchase/commission case management and help to protect the public who use case management services. It may also encourage more people into the profession as it will be a much clearer and more structured route into the profession.
Will there be a beginner’s register like a preceptorship for nurses before the experience needed is achieved?
There are no current plans to provide this. It is anticipated that the support of IRCM for training providers including the membership bodies producing CPD and mentorship for pre-registrant case managers will negate the need for a beginners register with the IRCM. The membership bodies may possibly consider some form of recognition for pre-registrant case managers on their membership lists.
However, this is still being debated and we will of course be considering all the feedback received.
Registration as an OT with HCPC didn't require several years experience so why is it needed for IRCM?
To become an OT you complete a degree in occupational therapy and will have gained some practical experience for the delivery of occupational therapy through those supervised placements. Case management is not currently taught in any related qualifying programmes as such there are no equivalent qualifications in case management. A key part of acquiring the necessary skills and experience to work independently as a case manager is working under the direct supervision of experienced case managers.
Has IRCM considered multiple routes to registration so that it does not put off clinicians who bring transferable expertise to case management practice?
This has been an important consideration since the beginning and a wide range of options have been considered. Individuals moving into case management will generally have some transferable skills that will support their practice but they still need to acquire those specific to case management.
Perhaps in the future, there will be in-depth and consistent qualifying training programmes available, that can provide the skills in case management and experience in delivering case management services, with appropriate support and supervision. But until then we believe the model that we are proposing for a Certificate of Proficiency assessment process (see education section below) is the best way to enable an inclusive approach where all those practicing case management have the opportunity to demonstrate they have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and behaviours to meet the IRCM standard requirements.
I am based outside of the UK but work in the UK, can I register?
If a substantial portion of your work is within the UK then you will be able to register even if you are based elswehere. We are not able to accept registrations for people working primarily outside of the UK as PSA can only accredit a register of those working within the UK.
How much will registration cost?
The initial year of registration costs will be covered by BABICM, CMSUK or VRA therefore registrants will be required to be a member of one of these bodies to register. It isn’t possible at this stage to give details of future fees, however we are mindful of the costs of multiple registrations and memberships.
Will I have to renew annually?
There will be a process for renewal, however, the details are in development as we have initially focused on the many aspects of registration. We will share more details about this once its available, please join our mailing list to keep up to date.
Will I be able to join as an organisation?
Registration is for individual case managers only. Organisations that employ case managers will be encouraged to ensure all their case managers are registered and those who instruct case managers to ensure that all of those instructed are registered or are working towards registration and practising under the direct supervision of an experienced registered case manager.
We will be providing opportunities for organisations to show their support for IRCM. More details will be available shortly, please join our mailing list to keep up to date.
Education and Certification
Will IRCM have an education framework for case managers?
We will be publishing an updated competence framework, along with an education framework and a core curriculum and we intend to accredit appropriate training. The membership groups are also committed to supporting case managers’ training and development and will work with the IRCM on requirements for the development of pre-registration CPD.
What is the certificate of proficiency?
This will be a standardised assessment of the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to be a Case Manager. It will use case studies with questions requiring specific responses that represent the minimum level of competence that clients have a right to expect. Case managers will complete this one-off assessment before registration once available or in the case of grandfathered case managers within the time limit specified by IRCM in due course.
Who will be assessing case managers?
The certificate of proficiency case studies and required responses will be created by experienced case managers and developed by a group not an individual. Parameters for these groups have not yet been set but will be shared in due course. It will therefore be a standardised assessment.
Will I be able to practice as a case manager if not registered? Will it become a protected title?
No, it won’t become a protected title. The government’s preference is for voluntary registration and a compelling case would have to be made for statutory regulation. An extensive review of alternative mechanisms for accreditation, which included Chartership was held. Following this, it was agreed that seeking Professional Standards Authority approval for an accredited voluntary register was the most suitable route.
Instructing parties will still be able to commission whichever case manager they choose. However, feedback has been that many commissioners have been concerned about a perceived lack of quality assurance in the industry to date and welcome the opportunity and reassurance of being able to access case managers from an accredited register.
Where can I find the Standards of Practice?
A consultation on the standards was held in Autumn 2021. The feedback has been reviewed and the standards are currently being updated. They will be published here in due course.
As a member of HCPC do I need more regulation?
IRCM registration is specifically in relation to your role as a case manager. Your registration with HCPC is in relation to the specific profession that you are registered for (e.g., social worker, OT, Physio etc), which does not include your case management role.
To reiterate, the IRCM is not a regulating body; it is a voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) who also accredit many of the registration bodies (e.g., HCPC).
A case manager’s knowledge is based on clinical experience so could creating a separate profession have a negative effect?
Whilst there are roles in which it is required that a case manager have a clinical background, there are equally many roles where a clinical role is not required. IRCM are liaising with both clinical and non-clinical groups to ensure that we are developing in an appropriately diverse way being inclusive and reflective. In some specialist areas, having clinical training and experience alongside case management knowledge and skills is important, but the case management aspects of these roles are not currently regulated in the way that the clinical aspects are.
The IRCM believes there is a need for a professional pathway for all types of case management that includes an educational framework and a mechanism that protects the public by providing a register of case managers working to recognised standards, whatever area they work in.
Some case managers are not CQC registered how will this be picked up within the competencies?
How is inclusion and diversity being addressed within IRCM's work?
IRCM is consulting widely on all aspects of its work. In addition to the recent standards’ consultation, we hold regular check-in sessions with Q&As and follow up with surveys providing the option of giving feedback anonymously as well as seeking out more direct feedback. We welcome all those who want to get involved in our project groups.
If I am registered with IRCM do I need to be a member of BABICM/CMSUK/VRA?
IRCM, as a body, is focused on ensuring that experienced case managers who deliver case management do so safely, effectively, and consistently, in the interests of protecting the public.
The membership bodies are focused on representing their members and their specialisms, supporting their skills and practice development, networking and delivering events, lobbying government and other stakeholders, providing training, sharing good practice and providing valuable support and guidance to practitioners.
The IRCM sees the membership groups as important organisations facilitating the growth of case management as a powerful beneficial service. These groups encourage new practitioners into the field and they nurture them to the point where they are ready to become registered. The IRCM will continue to support membership of these groups because they do vital work.