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 definitionof 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?

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.

Are you a regulator?

IRCM is not a regulatory body.The Professional Standards Authority (PSA), the body that oversees health and social care regulators also operates an accredited register scheme and we will be applying to them through this.  Being accredited 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 clients/ families who case managers work for as part of competencies?

There are no plans for us to implement a process to do this at present and it is not something we are aware of other regulators or registers doing.  We will have a process by which concerns about registered case managers can be raised and investigated.

We will be involving lay people in all levels of the organisation and as part of any consultations and hope to see service users and service user groups represented within this.

General feedback about case managers and case management as well as suggestions for developing our policies and procedures in the future are very welcome. Please contact us at hello@ircm.org.uk

Questions from case managers

Registration and renewal

How can I become a registered case manager?

Registration is not yet open. Please see the information 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 become as IRCM matures. During the initial period, we envisage these will be membership of either BABICM, CMSUK or VRA and:

  • Have a minimum of 5,000 hours. (4 years FTE) experience as a case manager; or 
  • Have at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE) experience as a case manager and 
    1. 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 
    2. have been on the BASRAT accredited register and practising in the profession for at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE)

Once the certificate of proficiency is available it is planned that all new applicants will need to have:

    • Achieved the certificate of proficiency.
    • Have at least 2,500 hours. (2 years FTE) experience as a case manager

All existing registrants will need to complete a certificate of proficiency once available

    What does the FTE equivalent mean for part-time case managers?

    Part-time case managers will need to calculate the number of hours that they work in a year.

    Will my experience as an Assistant Case Manager or Case Manager in training count towards the required hours for registration?

    This is not simple to answer because the terms are not standardised and may be used differently in different contexts or organisations.

    Essentially, the issue is one of autonomy and independence, and there may be two clear distinctions depending on whether you: –

    a) carry a caseload independently with some supervision over and above normal professional supervision and it is agreed with your supervisor and/or employer that this is part of a development route towards becoming an autonomous case manager yourself.

    In this case you may be considered to be a ‘Pre-Registration’ Case Manager (a trainee CM), as described in the IRCM Competency Framework.

    You would need to be able to evidence your development and its duration (through a CPD plan, and/or CPD logs) and any experience whilst on this route could be counted towards the experience requirement for an application for IRCM registration

    or

    b) practice as a Case Manager’s assistant where the caseload is actually carried by the Case Manager and some of their clients are allocated to you for specific aspects of their case management or other supporting activity.

    In this instance, the work is not being carried out as part of an agreed plan for you to be training or transitioning towards independent or autonomous practice as a Case Manager and your hours would not be counted towards the experience requirement for an application to the IRCM register.

    You can access the IRCM Competency Framework, The Standards of Proficiency, and the Glossary of Terms here.

    Trainee case managers: please can you explain normal professional supervision as referred to above?

    The case management competency framework states,

    “Competent denotes a case manager who can plan effectively. They should now know what to expect and have adopted a holistic approach in their practice. They will think analytically, with an evidence-informed approach (see glossary), rather than following instruction. They can anticipate risks and consequences in unpredictable situations, operating with an increasing level of autonomy and scope.

    They should continue to develop by engaging in managerial and professional supervision for themselves, as well as by providing the same for others.”

    The definitions taken from the IRCM Glossary of Terms which is available here.

    Supervision (practice)

    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).

    Supervision (professional)

    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. This term may be used in relation to the Case Management Service providers working together to achieve positive outcomes for their service users.

    Supervision (operational/ management)

    Refers to the oversight and support of case management provision to ensure that practitioners can and do perform competently, and service users experience effective and safe services. It involves regular monitoring, review, reflection, and support, often from the line manager. Mainly for inexperienced/novice case managers, or in performance management situations.

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

    If the 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 be taken into account during grandfathering.  All other criteria such as the number of hours and case management experience must also be met.  

    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.

    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 working to ensure their practice should be in line with the IRCM Standards of Proficiency. 

    We have published an updated case management competency framework which provides useful information for pre-registrants and are developing an education framework and a core curriculum. We will be working 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.

    You can download the competency framework and standards here.

    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. 

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

    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.

    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. 

    Organisations can show their support for IRCM by becoming part of our supporters’ community, part of becoming a supporter is signing up to our code of conduct for supporters.  Find out more about our supporter community here.

    Education and Certification

    Will IRCM have an education framework for case managers?

    We have published an updated case management competency framework, and will be developing 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 assessment before registration once available or in the case of  case managers who have become registered prior to the launch of the certificate within the time limit specified by IRCM in due course.  

    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.
    will there be a need to sit the certificate of proficiency more than once?

    Once the Certificate has been passed,  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 findings.  However, in order to retain registration, case managers will be required to complete relevant continuing professional development as set out in our policy.

    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.  It will therefore be a standardised assessment.

    If you are interested in being part of the advisory group please get in touch.

     

    Other questions

    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. Members of the IRCM Supporters 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;”

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

    We are in the process of finalising many of our documents but you can find all of our published documents including the standards and competency framework  here.

    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; we intend for it to be 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?
    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”
    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.

    Anyone will be able to use the relevant process to raise concerns with IRCM about registered case managers. 

    How is inclusion and diversity 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. 

    IRCM is consulting widely on all aspects of its work. In addition to the 2021 standards’ consultation, we hold regular check-in sessions with Q&As. 

    We We will be reflecting further on our role in relation to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion within the case management industry.

    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.  IRCM will continue to support membership of these groups because they do vital work.

    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 (3 years full time working) 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 any particular specialism. We believe the services offered by the membership bodies and IRCM are complementary.

    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.

    It is for BABICM to comment on any plans they may or may not have.  You can listen to our June Check-In where BABICM Chair Vicki Gilman shared her thoughts on this.

    As a 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.

    Still have questions?

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