Recommendation 219

Applying leadership standards to a wider range of managers

Accepted in part
An alternative option to enforcing compliance with a management code of conduct, with the risk of disqualification, would be to set up an independent professional regulator. The need for this would be greater if it were thought appropriate to extend a regulatory requirement to a wider range of managers and leaders. The proportionality of such a step could be better assessed after reviewing the experience of a licensing provision for directors.

The government agrees that a focus on standards and their enforcement through normal employment processes and a fit and proper person test is the right place to start.  Further action may be justified following a review of how this approach works in practice; but the government agrees that the proportionate approach is to test how well the combination of a standards-based approach and the use of a ‘fit and proper persons’ test by the regulators would work.


Fit and Proper Persons Test Regulations have been passed by Parliament and are in place in November 2014 for NHS organisations and from April 2015 for other organisations. The Care Quality Commission held a consultation between July and October 2014 setting out proposals on how organisations can meet the fit and proper person test. It will be the responsibility of the provider and, in the case of NHS bodies, the chair, to ensure that all directors meet the fitness test and do not meet any of the ‘unfit’ criteria. The Care Quality Commission will work with providers, other regulators and government departments to define the processes that its inspectors will use to make these assessments and judgments. The Department of Health will keep in view how the implementation of this test is progressing as part of ongoing monitoring of the reforms.