Let me reply to the points raised recently:

1. Question:
"Surely it cannot be guaranteed that everyone on a voluntary register will be transferred. There must be some check that the entry requirements are sufficient, otherwise we could set up a voluntary register which was open to anyone who could demonstrate an ability in knitting, cross-stitching or paper folding"

Over the last two years the Voluntary Register of Clinical Technologists has gone through a rigorous process overseen by the Health Professions Council and Department of Health. This has involved preparing and submitting a detailed application (running to over 150 pages of information). This was followed by a detailed examination of our application through numerous meetings and a presentation to the entire HPC. As part of the process we had to convince both organisations that we had in place certain criteria, these included:

* A defined body of knowledge
* Establishing that the practise of the profession is based on evidence of efficacy
* The establishment of a Voluntary Register
* The establishment of a body to oversee the Voluntary Register
* Defined routes of entry into the profession
* Independently assessed entry qualifications
* Standards relating to conduct, performance and ethics
* Disciplinary procedures to enforce standards
* A commitment from all in the profession to be committed to, and undertake, continuous professional development

Having established these criteria it stands to reason that all on the voluntary register will transfer to the statutory register.

"There is still the problem of how to deal with the existing, long serving technicians who have absolutely no formal qualifications at all - not even "O" levels - so cannot apply for the voluntary register."

This statement is entirely wrong and mischievous! It would have helped if the author of the statement had read the VRCT application criteria. The plain facts are: unless you were first employed as a Clinical Technologist after 1st August 2001, there is no requirement to hold formal qualifications. Thus long serving Technologists with no qualifications have access to the Register.

3. Question:
What about the private sector and manufacturers' design, sales and service staff?

It is my understanding that all service staff working as Clinical Technologists will require to be regulated regardless of who employs them. There are already significant numbers of private sector workers on the register.

Finally, can I just say that the debate regarding regulation has been raging for many years but as far as Clinical Technologists are concerned is now over? The Government wants all healthcare staff to be regulated regardless of what they do (from ancillary staff to medics. Regulation will be a fact in the near future. Thus for all who are wary of what is happening - please accept that change is inevitable, embrace the process and start contributing to the development of the profession!