Institute of Registered Case Managers: update for VRA members

This is a recording of the June 2021 presentation in which VRA Chair Deborah Edwards updated members on the development of the Institute of Registered Case Managers during our conference Emerging Insights into Vocational Rehabilitation.

The IRCM website can be found here.

Below is the email sent out to members by the Chair following the event.

On Tuesday we had our Virtual Conference called Emerging Insights into VR.  As the name suggests we had insightful questions from the audience and meaningful information from research past and ongoing; and we identified future research areas for us all to consider.  Following some requests from members unable to attend we hope to be able to make the opportunity available to purchase access to the recordings and will update you on this shortly.  We also have several interesting free CPD events coming up, details here.
In addition to the research review, I shared at the event I gave an update on the developments of the Institute of Registered Case Managers.   I tried to cover off:

  • what we are doing?
  • why we are doing it?
  • how it is being done?
  • how will this will affect you?
  • do you need to do anything and how much will it cost me?
  • when will this be in place?

Members can access the recording of this session here. For those of you not in attendance, I thought I would also try to summarise here the key messages which I think are important for you.

The idea of an organisation that brought the 3 strongest voices in case management together back in 2006 (VRA, CMSUK and BABICM) originated as a result of a meeting between member organisation Chairs Jo Clark Wilson (BABICM), Rosie Corless (CMSUK), Gail Kovacs (VRA) it was agreed that there was a need for shared standards for case managers between them.  They agreed on a shared definition of ‘case management’ for BABICM and CMSUK, and that for vocational work, vocational case managers would need a different title due to different professional qualifications and registration.

With this the first step was taken that has now seen the formation of The Institute of Registered Case Managers (IRCM). Over all of these years, work has gradually been going on to bring the strategic group to where we are today which is on the cusp of engaging the Professional Standards Authority to certify the IRCM as a voluntary register of case managers.  The IRCM purpose remains an initiative to validate, collaborate and expand the professional practice of case management in order to protect the public.

There have been many phases in this 15 year process, and progress has been extremely slow at times, but it has been ongoing and gradually making strides.  Communication to the member groups has been intermittent and sometimes only really noticeable at our annual conferences. However, some of you may remember a significant consultation process with members in workshops, in various locations, to inform the development of the case management framework of competence that was launched at our first joint conference in 2015.

Since then, the commitment of the leadership of these member bodies has been steadfast and work has progressed as you would expect from a busy group of professionals devoting their time voluntarily to develop this alongside their commitments to their individual membership bodies and their day job.

Our current phase of development is to formally seek accreditation by PSA which is a process that culminates the background development and makes the IRCM an entity that can help to positively influence quality and professionalism.

The IRCM will hold a voluntary register; within the various membership bodies there will be practitioners, and especially within the VRA, who do not see the benefit to their own practice to enter into the registration process once it is in place. However, even if individual practitioners choose not to become registered, your Trustees believe that it is beneficial to have registration as an option and the leadership group has devoted time and finance to progress the development to this point.

We believe that certification by the PSA is an important next step to ensure that our services are recognised by stakeholders that include not only the public with whom we directly work, but also other stakeholders, including the government, who greatly influence our ability to positively impact the lives of our rehabilitation clients either by funding our services or promoting them through the NHS and private sector.

The VRA 3 Year Strategic Plan which you will hopefully have seen and endorsed in your hearts if not formally through feedback, commits to Promoting VR, Enhancing Member Services and Growing the Business of the VRA.  Your leadership board feels this is one way in which we remain at the forefront of developments and we hope you feel the same.  I would encourage you to review the session on the IRCM from the conference to hear more detail and to let us hear your thoughts on this development.  It is an important step and a positive one for you.

Kind regards
Deborah Edwards
VRA Chair