"We welcome IRCM at Circle Case Management"

Richard Thorp, Managing Director, shares why he believes the introduction of The Insititue of Registered Case Managers is a positive move for the Case Management industry

"Having been involved in case management for over ten years and having founded and managed a UK wide case management company for the last 6 years I have a good insight into the industry. When I first became involved and worked as a freelance self-employed case manager the industry was largely made up of self-employed case managers who worked either independently or as associates registered with case management companies. Back then case managers came from a variety of backgrounds and professions ranging from nurses and social workers to occupational therapists and physiotherapists.  Depending on whether you worked for a company as an associate or as a sole trader it was up to you to ensure that you did adequate CPD and received appropriate mentoring/supervision. Back then nobody was checking up on individual case managers and the industry was largely unregulated, the result was that there was a huge variety in the standard and quality of those involved. This meant that ultimately the individual clients received wildly different standards of case management and that those business paying for the case management also received a varied in standards of work."

"Inevitably over the last decade the industry has changed and instructing parties and individuals have sought to ensure that when they instruct a case manager or company, they are getting a certain quality of work for their client or injured person. We have seen the introduction of a requirement for CQC registration for case managers who are directing regulated activity for clients with care packages. Most recently we have seen after many years of negotiation and work by the CMSUK, VRA and BABICM the formation of the IRCM or Institute of Registered Case Managers."

What would you hope to see because of the IRCM?

"For me the formation of the IRCM can only be a good thing, for too long anyone could set themselves up as a sole trader call themselves a case manager and start marketing themselves to work with vulnerable clients with no checks in place. Sometimes this works and the client has a fantastic experience and achieves their goals. Other times they can have a very indifferent experience which leads them to be disillusioned with case management making it very difficult for a new case manager or company to take over and re-build the client’s trust. I know that the ICRM is producing a set of competencies and requirements for people who wish to register. I suppose the big question for me is who is going to check that these requirements are being met and how often will this be done? As the MD of an award-winning case management business, I see the benefits of being CQC registered, having a comprehensive supervision structure in place, and ensuring all your case managers are up to date in all training and CPD. However, I can see that an independent practitioner may find that this is cost prohibitive. For me however these standards must be upheld as we strive to drive the case management industry towards being a fully regulated industry."

Do you think that IRCM can compliment the work of BABICM, CMSUK and VRA?

"I think that there is a wealth of knowledge within BABICM, CMSUK, VRA and they should be able to work together within the ICRM. My only concern is that with so many different parties involved each with their own priority’s things can take a long time. For example, I believe that from conception to date the whole ICRM process has taken more than 5 years. Lets hope that the changes can be brought in swiftly and the instructing parties ie solicitors and insurance companies welcome the ICRM and reinforce it by only working with case managers and companies who are ICRM registered."

So overall you are pleased to see the long overdue start of IRCM?

"For me regulation of case management is long overdue, I lose count of the number of times our business has taken over the case management of a client and I hear ‘I could never get hold of my case manager’. This is predominantly due to a case manager having to many cases so that they are not able then to deliver the quality of work required. This would not happen if they are regularly mentored/supervised and their cases are discussed and worked through with a colleague. For those of us who wish to uphold the case management industry and strive for high quality of work and recognition for the amazing work that top quality case managers produce, bring on regulation!"

To find out more about the IRCM please visit Home - Institute of Registered Case Managers (ircm.org.uk)

Posted on February 21st 2022

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