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?

IRCM’s definition of case management is,

“a collaborative process which assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet an individual’s health, wellbeing, social care, education and/or occupational needs, using communication and available resources to promote quality, cost-effective and safe outcomes”.

Find out more here.

How do I raise a concern about a case manager?

The register is not yet live and so we are unable to assist with concerns at this stage. We will publish information about how to raise a concern about a registered case manager prior to registration being launched and set out how we will handle concerns that are raised. In the meantime you may wish to see whether the case manager is a member of an organisation such as BABCIM, CMSUK or VRA and governed by their standards or if they are part of a regulated profession then the regulator may be able to assist.

do case managers have to register with you?

Anyone can call themselves a case manager regardless of whether they have appropriate skills and experience for the role.  The IRCM register which will be opening soon is a voluntary register of case managers who meet our eligibility requirements and who commit to working in line with our standards.  IRCM will investigate concerns raised about case managers on our register and where appropriate take action.

IRCM is not a regulatory body but the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) is the body that oversees health and social care regulators and  they also run an accredited register scheme. We will be applying to them to become part of this because being accredited by the PSA will demonstrate our commitment to high standards and public protection.

“Accredited Registers help people get better care by ensuring that the health practitioners they register are competent and trustworthy. They set standards for people working in unregulated health and care occupations, encourage them to meet them and take action to protect the public when necessary. They ensure that the information they and their registrants provide is clear and helps you to make informed choices about the practitioner you want to see and about the treatments, therapies, care and products they offer.”  The PSA

Will you be looking for feedback from service users and their families?

When the register opens there will be a process through which concerns about registered case managers can be raised. We will not be seeking feedback relating to individual case managers outside of this process.  However, we are keen to gain feedback from service users and family members and have lay members of our Boards, Committees and working groups. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us at  hello@ircm.org.uk

Questions from case managers

How can I become a registered case manager?

Registration will open in the final quarter of 2024. Please see the information below to find out more about the process and join our mailing list to keep up to date with our plans for registration opening.

Where can I find the Standards of Proficiency, Case Management Competency Framework and other key documents?

You can find all of our published documents including the standards and competency framework here, Documents are being added regularly as we approach registration opening.

Eligibility

what are the eligibility criteria to becomE a registered case manager?

1) You will need to:

  •  be a case manager; or
  • be a case manager in training; or
  • have already met the number of hours required in one or a combination of these roles and are working within the field of case management in a broader role such as supervision, management, teaching or research.

2) In addition you will need to:

  • have a minimum of 5,000 hours (4 years FTE) experience as a case; or
  • have at least 2,500 hours (2 years FTE) experience as a case manager and

i) have practised for at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE) in a profession regulated by a health and social care regulator overseen by the PSA, or

ii)have been on the BASRAT accredited register and practising in the profession for at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE)

3) You must be working primarily within the UK.

4) You must be working at the competent level of proficiency or above this, as set out in IRCM’s competency framework.

5) You must be working in line with IRCM’s standards of proficiency.

6) Be a member of one or more of BABICM, CMSUK and VRA – this will be for a limited initial period.

The requirements for registration will change once the certificate of proficiency is available.

How do I calculate my hours for IRCM eligibility

Your eligible hours are those spent as either:

    • a case manager; or
    • a case manager in training.

Time spent as a case manager’s assistant, as a supervisor or manager of case managers or providing treatment do not count towards the requirement. 

One year working full-time in a role as a case manager or a case manager in training is equivalent to 1,250 case management hours.  This factors in other normal non-service user-focused elements of the role. 

Part-time case managers will need to calculate the number of hours that they work in a year.  For example, a case manager working 17.5 hours a week, 0.5 FTE (full time equivalent) would take 2 years to acquire 1,250 case management hours.

Where dual roles are held for example as a case manager in training and treating practitioner, or as a case manager and supervisor then the eligible hours, that is the time spent as a case manager or case manager in training, would need to be separated and documented.

Case management is a relatively new profession, and the industry is in different stages of development around the world.  Where your experience has been gained outside of the UK, we may ask for further information about it so we can understand its equivalency to experience gained within the UK.

How does IRCM define a case manager for the purposes of eligibility?

A case manager who meets IRCM’s definition for the purposes of eligibility would be able to answer yes to all of these questions.

1) Do you deliver case management services? We define case management as

“a collaborative process which assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet an individual’s health, wellbeing, social care, education and/or occupational needs, using communication and available resources to promote quality, cost-effective and safe outcomes”.

Notes: This is a high-level overview of case management activity.  Case managers may specialise in a particular area(s) of practice but deliver holistic support within these. Not all case managers are called case managers, examples of some typical job titles include: care co-ordinator, care manager, community matron, vocational rehabilitation practitioner, key worker, care navigator, rehab support co-ordinator, rehab Pathway coordinator, neuro navigator.

2) Do you provide case management to a service user or group of service users as a distinct and separate role?

Notes: You may also carry out different roles if you have multiple jobs – for example you may work as an OT in the NHS and also as a self-employed case manager or you may have a role in which you carry out two separate functions independently of each other – this criteria only relates to the case management role. Where you are undertaking multiple roles in relation to a single service user you need to be very aware of conflicts of interest – see section 2.4 in our standards of proficiency.

3) Do you carry a caseload of clients independently? 

Notes: You would be the named case manager in communications with all parties including on client reports and be responsible for the activity.

4) Are you working at the competent level of proficiency as set out in IRCM’s competency framework?

Notes: You may be exceeding this requirement and working at advanced or expert level of proficiency.  The competent level is a minimum requirement.

HOW DOES IRCM DEFINE A CASE MANAGER in TRAINING FOR THE PURPOSES OF ELIGIBILITY?

A case manager in training who meets IRCM’s definition for the purposes of eligibility would be able to answer yes to all these questions.  Experienced case managers may again become case managers in training when developing a new area of practice.

1) Your supervisor and/or employer has agreed that the work you are carrying out is part of a development route towards becoming an autonomous case manager who would meet the competent level of proficiency as set out in IRCM’s competency framework?

Notes: This should be clearly documented as part of your personal development plan and the date this commenced from noted on it.

2) Do you carry a caseload of clients but receive additional supervision from an experienced case manager over and above normal professional supervision?

Notes: You would be named as the case manager in communications with all parties including on client reports and be responsible for the activity.

If you are not named as the case manager but some clients are allocated to you for specific aspects of their case management or other supporting activity, then you are working as a case manager’s assistant not a case manager in training. 

Definitions from IRCM’s glossary of terms

Professional supervision is defined as:

“Like practice supervision but with a broader and more long-term focus. Involves identifying professional learning and development needs and CPD. Also includes supporting the case manager to maintain their own wellbeing through supported reflection.”

Practice supervision is defined as:

“Aims to support learning and develop competency related to a specific task. Supervisor with more advanced skills than the supervisee. Lasts until the supervisee has reached competence in the specific task(s).”
Will my experience as an Assistant Case Manager count towards the required hours for eligibility?

This is not simple to answer because the term is not standardised and may be used differently in different contexts or organisations.  Eligible experience is that gained as a case manager or a case manager in training the definitions of which are set out above.  

What happens if I don’t have enough experience to register?

If you wish to sufficient register you will need to gain experience as case manager or a case managers in training in line with our definitions above.

Case managers should be working under the direct supervision of an experienced case manager whilst they gain experience.  During this time, they should be undertaking training and development to build competence in case management and working to ensure their practice is in line with the IRCM Standards of Proficiency.    

Our case management competency framework provides useful information for pre-registrants and we are developing an education framework and a core curriculum. We will be working with training providers including the case management membership organisations 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 there will be a much clearer and more structured entry route.

You can download the competency framework and standards here.

I qualified outside of the UK how does this impact on my ability to register?

Case management is a relatively new profession, and the industry is in different stages of development around the world.  Where your experience as a case manager has been gained outside of the UK, we may ask for further information about it so we can understand its equivalency to experience gained within the UK.

Where a Case Manager has been accepted for registration by a health and social care regulator overseen by the PSA such as NMC or HCPC, their experience in that profession can count towards the requirements for eligibility in the same way experience gained within that profession in the UK would.  Where they have not been accepted by the appropriate regulator then they may still be eligible for registration if they can meet the higher number of case management hours required.

Please note that registration is only open to case managers working primarily in the UK.

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. 

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 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 in line with the IRCM standards of proficiency.

Will I be able to register as an organisation?

Registration is for individual case managers.  Organisations that employ case managers will be encouraged to ensure all their case managers are registered or working towards registration 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. 

Organisations may show their support for IRCM by becoming part of our supporters’ community.  Find out more about our supporter community here.

How will the eligibility criteria change once the Certificate of Proficiency is available?

Cnce the certificate of proficiency is made available the following requirements will need to be met.

You will need to:

  • have at least 2,500 hours (2 years FTE) experience as a case manager.
  • have passed IRCM’s certificate of proficiency.

This replaces the requirement to:

  • have a minimum of 5,000 hours (4 years FTE) experience as a case; or
  • have at least 2,500 hours (2 years FTE) experience as a case manager and

i) have practised for at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE) in a profession regulated by a health and social care regulator overseen by the PSA, or

ii)have been on the BASRAT accredited register and practising in the profession for at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE)

The following requirements will remain the same:

1) You will still need to:

  •  be a case manager; or
  • be a case manager in training; or
  • have already met the number of hours required in one or a combination of these roles and are working within the field of case management in a broader role such as supervision, management, teaching or research.

2) You must be working primarily within the UK

3) You must be working at the competent level of proficiency or above this, as set out in IRCM’s competency framework.

4) You must be working in line with IRCM’s standards of proficiency.

Registration and Renewal

How can I prepare for registration opening?

Prior to registration opening we will provide more details of the information that needs to be submitted as part of the process.

In the meantime, you may want to consider our eligibility criteria and ensure you have ready information about relevant dates and roles.  We will be asking for details of experience as a case manager and/or a case manager in training as part of the registration process.

Will registration be open to everyone at the same time?

We will be carrying out testing prior to registration officially opening. As a new register with a small team of staff we need to manage the launch of the registration process carefully. Therefore, registration will open in a phased manner over a number of weeks.  This approach will help avoid placing too much pressure on the operations team and our new IT system. 

Initially we will test our registration processes with people who are part of the IRCM team.  This includes people from a range of backgrounds and with different levels of case management experience.  This will help us ensure that our documentation is as clear as possible and that the IT system is working as expected.

We’ve considered the most appropriate approach to opening registration more widely carefully.  When we move from the testing period and formally open registration it will be available first to more experienced case managers. We anticipate there being less questions around eligibility in relation to this group and therefore these applications should be simpler and quicker to process.

Registration will open to people with more than a stated number of years of experience in bands, we anticipate this beginning with people with 15 years or more experience.  You will be able to apply any time from the point you have the number of years’ experience onwards, for example if you have 5 years’ experience once registration is open to people of 5 years or more you can apply at a time to suit you.

It’s not possible to set out a definitive timetable showing how quickly we’ll open fully as it will depend on the volume of applications.   However, we anticipate it being spread over no more than 2 months and will open registration fully as soon as practical.

As we have previously stated during the initial period registration will only be open to members of BABICM, CMSUK and VRA.  Membership status will need to be evidenced as part of the registration process and we will provide details of how to do this prior to the register opening.  Registration for eligible members of one of the three membership bodies who apply within a set time will be free for the first year.

Who will assess my application for registration?

Whilst we are testing our processes with theoretical examples prior to registration opening we are putting additional safeguards in place for when registration opens.

During an initial period, applications will be independently assessed by two members of the operations team who will then compare their results and discuss these to identify the reasons for any differences in proposed outcomes.  If following this, they cannot reach agreement a third member of the IRCM team will be asked to independently consider the application. 

Following this initial period, we will follow the standard process set out in our registration and renewal policy.  The process is that a member of the operations team will consider each application with a further review where it is felt the application does not meet the registration criteria. 

Throughout this process further information will be sought from an applicant where needed.  In the initial period emphasis will be placed on asking an applicant for additional evidence to support eligibility prior to a decision being made where there seems a realistic possibility that the requirements may be met.

A reason for refusal will be given if registration is rejected and the applicant may choose to appeal.  The appeal will be heard by a group of three IRCM panellists which will include two registered case managers.  Panellists will not hear appeals in which they may be conflicted.  

How much will registration cost?

Initially, registration will only be open to members of BABICM, CMSUK or VRA who meet IRCM’s criteria. When they register before a set deadline their initial year of registration will be free. It isn’t possible at this stage to give details of fees for when registration is open more widely or for renewal but we are mindful of the costs of multiple registrations and memberships.

Will there be a register of case managers in training who have not yet met the experience requirements like a preceptorship for nurses?

There are no current plans to provide this. It is anticipated that the support of IRCM for training providers including the case management membership organisations producing CPD and mentorship for pre-registrant case managers will negate the need for a beginners register with the IRCM.

However,  we will of course be considering all the feedback received and it may be considered further in the future.

Will I have to renew annually?

There will be an annual renewal process and as part of this registrants will need to meet CPD requirements as set out in our CPD Policy which can be found here. We will share more details about the renewal process in due course.

Education and Certification

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 need to pass this assessment before they can register once it is available. Where case managers have been registered prior to the launch of the certificate they will be given a time limit to pass the certificate in order to maintain their registration.  

The Certificate of Proficiency is an entry-level requirement and will not address specialisms; it will be taken online in exam conditions using remote invigilation.  The certificate is currently being developed and more information will be provided as work on it progresses.

Once the certificate of proficiency is available the eligibility criteria for registration will change.

Will IRCM have an education framework for case managers?

We have published our case management competency framework, and will be developing an education framework and a core curriculum. We will accredit appropriate training. The membership bodies are also committed to supporting case managers’ training and development and providing CPD to support case managers and case managers in training .

will I need to sit the certificate of proficiency more than once?

Once the Certificate has been achieved, registrants will not normally be required to sit it again.  Registrants may be asked to sit the Certificate again in cases where registration has lapsed for a given period or as a result of a fitness to practice determination. More details about these circumstances will be included in  policies to be published in due course. However, in order to retain registration, case managers will be required to complete relevant continuing professional development as set out in our CPD policy which can be found here.  

Who will be assessing case managers?

The certificate of proficiency is being created by a group made up primarily of case managers and including people with professional academic experience.  It will therefore be a standardised assessment.

Case Management Membership Organisations

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 case managers provide services safely, effectively, and consistently, in the interests of protecting the public.

The BABICM, CMSUK and VRA are case management membership organisations (CMMOs) and their duty is to their members.  They support professional practice. professional development and promote the development of competency.  They also research, highlight and lobby on issues relevant to members.  They will support their members in their duties as registrants and those members working toward registration.

IRCM and the CMMOs all play important roles in supporting professional practice in different and complementary ways.

Will the registration of Case Managers (IRCM) supersede the need to register as a BABICM Advanced Practitioner?

BABICM advanced practitioner requires people to have completed an evidence-based assessment process by submitting evidence of their ability to work at level 3 across all of the BABICM competencies to a peer-review process. To apply for this assessment, they must be able to demonstrate a minimum of 3500 hours  as a case manager and show evidence of their CPD and supervision.

Registration with the IRCM will reflect general experience in case management rather than within a specialism. 

Is there a way in which BABICM Advanced and IRCM Competences will combine, or will they be kept as two separate pieces of work?

IRCM competences are relevant for all case managers regardless of specialism and experience levels. We have no plans to combine them with those of other organisations.  You can listen to our June Check-In where BABICM Chair Vicki Gilman shared her thoughts on this.

Other organisations

Some case managers are not CQC registered how will this be picked up within the competencies?

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is not related to IRCM because not all case managers provide services that are a CQC regulated activity. The IRCM Standards of Proficiency require registered case managers to comply with regulation relevant to their practice and client base.

“The case manager will act with due regard to the protection and safety of the service user and not in any way that causes harm, regardless of their role or position, and must… have knowledge of, and adhere to, any relevant professional standards, codes, guidance, legislation, and policy, acting accordingly to safeguard the service user and others”

Will IRCM be able to ask CQC or regulators such as NMC/HCPC for information/evidence on case managers?

IRCM is keen to develop relationships with other registers and regulators and we have already been in contact with a number on various matters. This is something we will pursue further once registration has opened, and we have applied to PSA. We will check publicly available information where an applicant declares that they hold or have previously held a registration.

In cases where we receive a concern that may be more appropriately dealt with by another regulator or register these may be referred on. We will also be notifying relevant registers and regulators when we publish sanctions.

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., 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 and we will be applying to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) for accreditation.  PSA oversee many regulatory and registration bodies including HCPC and NMC.

Getting Involved

I'm intersted in becoming more involved in IRCM - how can I do that?

IRCM’s Board, Committees, working groups and panels are made up of both registrants and lay people who volunteer their time. All of these people play a critical role in achieving our mission, contributing to our work of safeguarding the public.  We advertise vacancies from time to time through our mailing list and on this website. However, please do get in touch if this is something you would be interested in knowing more about.  You can also find the terms of reference for our committees here.

As an organisation how can I show my support for IRCM and its work?

Organisations can join our supporter community and play an important role in IRCM by showing their commitment to safeguarding users of case management services and the public. We have inclusive opportunities for organisations of all sizes. Find out more here.

Other questions

How is equality, diversity and inclusion being addressed within IRCM's work?
We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and reflecting this within our ways of working, core documents, policies and guidance. We are establishing an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the terms of reference are here. Its role is to advise the Board on the promotion of a respectful and inclusive culture. The committee will make recommendations to the Board on EDI strategy and will support the leadership, strategic direction and embedding of EDI across all functions of IRCM ensuring that its processes are fair and free from unfair discrimination.
Will I be able to practice as a case manager if I DOn't register? 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. Members of the IRCM Supporter and Ally Community have committed that “when commissioning, recommending or employing case managers, to endeavour to use the services of registered case managers or those working towards registration whilst being supervised by registered case managers;”

What processes are in place to ensure non clinical case managers are able to effectively assess and manage complex clients?

All case managers whether clinical or not are required to work within their scope of practice as set out in our standards of proficiency. We have provided guidance on scope of practice here.

There will be a process through which anyone can raise concerns about registered case managers. 

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 have been liaising with both clinical and non-clinical groups and individuals 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 specialism they work in. 

Still have questions?

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