UK Inter-Professional Group celebrates 30th birthday

26 June 2007

The UK Inter-Professional Group (UKIPG) has just celebrated its 30th anniversary (25 June 2007), and it is as relevant now as it was in 1977, according to its 10th chairman Jane Hern.

"The Group was set up to offer mutual support and cooperation between the professions at a time when they were considered to be under threat," according to Jane, Registrar of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).

"The professional landscape is different now, but there remains a need for an inter-professional organisation to share experiences of similar challenges and to be in a position to address variations in policy and approach that occur within and between different sectors in submissions to UK and EU authorities."

Together with the first chairman Sir David Napley, then President of the Law Society, RCVS Past-President the late Don Haxby was a driving force behind the Group's establishment in 1977, and past RCVS Registrar Alastair Porter was one of its founding members. It is therefore fitting that RCVS Registrar Jane Hern is at the helm as Chairman to help celebrate the Group's 30th anniversary.

The UKIPG has 30 member organisations, involving a wide range of professions, from accountants to veterinary surgeons. The main Group meets four times a year, with working parties on Professional Regulation and Further and Higher Education and groups looking at CPD, corporate governance and EU and International matters.

The last 30 years have seen profound changes in professional regulation, with self-regulation becoming more of a partnership between the professions, the public and government, thanks to changes in legislation and increasing lay involvement. The latest challenge is the government's call for 'Better Regulation,' focused on a more proportionate, risk-based approach - something the veterinary profession would be keen to see accommodated in updated legislation.

The key activities of the Group today include tracking the impact of changes to regulation in different professions, encouraging widening participation in the professions through the government's Gateways to the Professions initiative, and working closely with the Group's European counterpart to develop a set of pan-European common values for the liberal professions.

Lord Goodhart QC, Chairman of the House of Lords 'Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee', will address the UKIPG's 30th anniversary event - many UKIPG bodies operate under delegated legislation.

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