Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

The Faculty of Physician Associates (FPA) is poised to take significant steps towards becoming an independent professional body, separate from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), following a recent vote by its members. This decision comes after an extensive membership engagement process and a decisive vote at the FPA’s annual general meeting.

During the engagement, FPA members were asked whether they believed the FPA should become an independent organization, distinct from the RCP. The results showed strong support for independence, with 693 members (60.2%) voting in favour and 458 members (39.8%) voting against the move.

Furthermore, when asked if they agreed with the FPA Board’s decision to begin discussions on becoming independent, an even larger majority of members supported the initiative, with 776 votes (67.4%) in favour and 375 votes (32.6%) against.

“The clear direction from our membership is for the FPA to pursue independence,” said a spokesperson for the FPA. “We would like to thank all the qualified FPA members who participated in the engagement process, sharing their views and helping to shape the future of our organization.”

Previously, the FPA was an independent organisation and known as UKAPA. In 2015, its members voted to become a faculty within the RCP, to help facilitate and grow its membership, and organisation and establish the foundations of the PA profession. At the time of UKAPA, the organisation actually ran its own MVR and national exams, much like what the aims of a new, larger independent faculty of Physician Associates is now aiming to become (albeit without the MVR, as this will convert into the GMC register for PAs).

Currently, the FPA operates under the auspices of the RCP, which means its activities are subject to the RCP’s governance and policies. However, with the strong mandate from its members, the FPA executive team will convene to discuss the next steps towards establishing a separate, autonomous professional membership organization for physician associates (PAs) in the UK.

The FPA remains committed to its mission of supporting and advancing the PA profession. This includes correcting misinformation about the PA role and ensuring that the contributions of PAs to healthcare are accurately represented.

What does this mean for us PAs? Independence will allow us, as a profession to write our own scope of practice documents, recommend our own supervision requirements and help chart our own path forward. Further updates will be provided following the executive team’s upcoming discussions on this pivotal transition. The FPA is dedicated to keeping its members informed throughout the process and ensuring that the move towards independence is carried out smoothly and effectively

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