02 Februry 2024


The Society of Health Play Specialists is seeking an Administrator to help with the running of the society in relation to professional development opportunities and national conference.

Click here to find out more.

09 January 2024


Wave Trust – Trauma Informed Training
8th March 2024

£40 per delegate – 3.5/4 hours CPD accredited – 09.30 – 13.30hrs online

We train staff to understand and respond to the impacts of trauma on their team, clients and service users. Our course covers:

  • How the brain develops
  • What trauma is and how it affects people
  • How to recognise trauma in others and respond effectively
  • How to boost a person’s emotional resilience
  • How to build a more collaborative workplace with 21st Century science at its heart

Our training will give your staff the ability to apply this understanding to workplace issues and build up a toolkit of skills to respond more effectively to challenging and vulnerable behaviour.

Trauma-informed Training | WAVE Trust

Places bookable via the NAHPS website.

08 January 2024

NHS England Uniform Standardisation

This is an update on the work which has been taking place regarding the standardisation of uniforms for NHS staff working in England.

The National Healthcare Uniform project is being conducted by NHS Supply Chain in collaboration with NHS England. NAHPS contacted the team at NHS Supply Chain and the Deputy Chief Allied Health Professions Officer in September 2023 regarding the fact that the Health Play Specialist profession had not being allocated a colourway in the NHS uniform standardisation process when the colourways were announced. NAHPS stressed the importance of including health play staff in the allocation of a standard uniform, as we work face-to-face with patients and families in a variety of clinical settings.

Many health play specialists contributed to the uniform consultation process which has led to disappointment that our profession has not been allocated a standard uniform colourway. In response, the team at NHS Supply Chain are re-evaluating the allocations and will be in contact with us again in the very near future.

Please be assured that NAHPS are working with NHS Supply Chain on this matter and will update the profession as soon as further details are available. Play staff are asked not to contact NHS Supply Chain directly as this matter is being managed between NAHPS/HPSET on behalf of the profession.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Penelope Hart-Spencer at: admin@nahps.org.uk.

20 December 2023


HPSET’s Board of Trustees send everyone best wishes for a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

2023 has been a busy but exciting year for Health Play in the UK and elsewhere. HPSET was pleased to collaborate with NAHPS, Starlight and NHS England on new national Standards and Guidance for children’s play in healthcare and we look forward to this project coming to fruition in 2024. Our merger with NAHPS is almost complete and 2024 will see the fulfilment of many years of hard work with the creation of the Society of Health Play Specialist (SOHPS). In the past year, we have welcomed 54 new HPS to the register and welcomed back 19 lapsed registrants. Things have never looked brighter for the profession.

The trustees would like to thank everyone – play staff, mentors, students and tutors– for all you do for the benefit of children accessing healthcare services.

The annual re-registration window opens on 5th January and we anticipate another record year for re-registration. The Registration Standards Committee look forward to reading and assessing the CPD Profiles of those due for audit next year, and registration coordinator, Julia Whitaker, is poised to help with any questions or queries around registration and profile submission.

Happy Christmas!

18 December 2023

Stories from the field

We are pleased to share details of a new resource “The Child Life Chronicles: Stories from the Field” which is now available for purchase via digital download or paperback (printed on demand).

E-book ($19.99)
Paperback ($24.99)

The book takes readers through the interventions of Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) and Hospital Play Specialists (HPS) from around the globe, as they explain how they use their strategies and expertise to prevent and reduce the effects of trauma on children. Read how they tailor their interventions to each patient, work through unpredictable situations, and collaborate with allied professionals to provide the best support they know how. This is a resource rich in insightful content surrounding the CCLS state of mind (and expertise!) and includes contributions from 20 authors representing work in 4 different countries.

The editor, Christen Bradbury, is accepting submissions for Volume 2 of this series – for further information, please go to www.sandboxconsultingco.com

28 November 2023

Children’s Cancer priority setting partnership paper

Registered Health Play Specialist, Penelope Hart-Spencer has been involved in the priority setting partnership for children’s cancer with the CCLG and academics from Surrey University, representing the National Association of Health Play Specialists and The Christie. You can read about the work of the partnership here.

28 November 2023


Please visit the Research & Development > Research & Publications page to view this resource.

Utilizing the Language of Play

16 November 2023

All registrants due to submit their CPD Profile in 2024 are reminded that their Profile Form needs to cover the 3 years preceding submission:

  • Year 1: 01 April 2021 – 31 March 2022
  • Year 2: 01 April 2022 – 31 March 2023
  • Year 3: 01 April 2023 – 31 March 2024

Each year of data should run sequentially. It will be necessary to empty the form of any previously submitted data in order to enter your new evidence for the required time period.

17 October 2023


By Julia Whitaker (HPSET’s registration coordinator) and Alison Tonkin (HPSET Trustee)
Routledge (8 September 2023)


In this, their fourth book examining the interdependence of play and health, Julia and Alison unpack the concepts of play, health and childhood in the context of children’s rights. The book investigates how practitioners can advocate for the child’s right to play to meet all their health and development needs. It presents numerous examples of best practice from a range of settings – including schools, hospitals, charities, families and more – and incorporates the voices of children as they imagine a future in which play is elevated to a central position in their lives.

‘Whitaker and Tonkin present a comprehensive and compelling argument from a human rights perspective for the correlation between play and health … We are left in no doubt that a child’s right to the highest attainable standard of health cannot be realized if they are not supported to engage in play.’
(Cathy Gilman, CEO, Starlight Children’s Foundation)

Exploring children’s rights from a practical perspective, this accessible book is considered essential reading for students and practitioners in healthcare, social work, community work, early years and education. Contributors include registered Health Play Specialists, Lisa Dodd, Emma Fratangelo, Gail Manning and Shirin Vohra and retired HPS Elizabeth Wilkinson.

‘Written in an engaging format, this book is an impressive read for those wishing to understand both theory and practice in relation to play and the effect it has on a healthy childhood.’
(Helen Forrest, Chief Executive, Children’s Health Scotland)

At the official Book Launch in Edinburgh on 29 September, over 50 guests from education, health, children’s charities and the local community listened to presentations from some of the book’s contributors including Edinburgh Young Carers and Licketyspit Theatre Company and enjoyed readings, music and a display of Circus Arts by pupils of Edinburgh Steiner School.

Freya reads her Foreword to the book

UNNCRC Article 13 – ‘Children have the right to share freely with others what they learn, think and feel.’

Pupils conduct a Q&A with the authors

UNCRC Article 29 – ‘Children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents and abilities.’

Reference: UNICEF, The Convention on the Rights of the Child: The child-friendly version:


10 October 2023


Between January and June 2023, HPSET’s Registration Standards Committee assessed and approved 101 Professional Development Profiles. Of those submitted within the required timeframe and approved at the initial assessment, 7 Profiles were identified as having gone above and beyond the required standard and nominated for the Suzanne Storer Award for Profile of the Year.

At a meeting of the Registration Committee in May of this year, all 7 nominated Profiles were reviewed and discussed before 2 were selected as joint winners of the Award. An announcement was made at the NAHPS Conference on 24 June, congratulating STEPH FAIRBAIN and EMMA MARSHALL as this year’s winners of Profile of the Year. Steph and Emma have each received a cheque for £100 towards their continuing professional development and a copy of Play and Health in Childhood: A Rights-based Approach by Julia Whitaker and Alison Tonkin.
Extracts from the winning Profiles will be added to the Exemplar Profiles on the website.

Steph Fairbain qualified as an HPS in 2006, following a varied career in playwork as practitioner, trainer and assessor. Until October 2022, Steph was the Therapeutic Play Manager for Cambridge University Hospital and is proud to have led a very skilled and proactive team of qualified play specialists and play team staff. After taking early retirement from the NHS Steph now works for the University Centre, Leeds, as an assessor and tutor on the Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism and sits on committees with NAHPS and HPSET.

Emma Marshall has worked in paediatric cardiology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals for over 21 years, starting as a playworker, before qualifying as an HPS in 2005 and progressing to a senior position in 2010. As part of a multi-professional working group, Emma has been involved in the development of resources to support children having surgery including anaesthetic preparation booklets for children and young people. Emma’s involvement in her hospital’s Youth Forum led to her completing a Foundation Degree in Healthcare Transition at York University in 2014, and she continues to work with colleagues to improve services for young people. These include Play and Psychology Preparation clinics run in collaboration with the cardiac psychology team in Leeds. Emma is a committed HPS mentor. She has already supported 3 HPS students through their training with a fourth about to benefit from her experience and expertise.

Thank you Steph and Emma for all you do for the profession and for the positive impact you have made on the children, families and professional colleagues you have crossed paths with during your practice.

04 September 2023


In March of this year, Starlight co-hosted a symposium on Play in Healthcare at Cambridge University, including presentations from HPSET’s registration co-ordinator, Julia Whitaker, and Registered Health Play Specialist, Cath Hubbuck. A Summary of the Proceedings have now been published and are available to view here.

31 August 2023

ISupport – Do you know your rights?

Click here, or on the image for further information and free downloadable resources.

26 August 2023


The University Centre Leeds are hosting a Health Play Specialist HTQ Launch Event, to be held on 13.09.2023, 09.30-16.00, in the Boardroom at the Printworks Campus, Leeds City College, Hunslet Road Leeds LS10 1JY.

This event is ticketed, numbers are limited due to the size of the venue, therefore, if you wish to attend book through this Eventbrite link

This is a great CPD opportunity for HPS and for employers to hear more about the course and routes to training.

14 June 2023


Health Play Specialist, Carmen Casingena, has had an article published in EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES DEGREES NETWORK JOURNAL in which she explores the development and prevention of trauma in children within the Emergency Department and the role of the play specialist.

Carmen qualified in 2016 having studied for the FdA in Healthcare Play Specialism at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College. She is currently employed as a Senior HPS in one of the busiest Emergency Departments in the UK where she encounters a wide variety of differing scenarios on a daily basis. Every hour in the ED is different: one minute Carmen might be supporting a child having breathing difficulties, and the next distracting during a bone manipulation. She says that she works with a great team, who really value the impact of play.

Carmen has recently been involved in improving psychological care for children and families that have been through a traumatic event, resulting in hospital care. Her dissertation is based on how play can mitigate the development of PTSD and her research has led her to develop care packages for children and their families passing through the ED, and to share her findings with other clinicians.

Carmen lives in England with her fiancé, their two boys and Kasper the dog. She is currently studying for a MSc in Psychology.

Well done Carmen! We look forward to hearing where you go from here.

11 June 2023

Profile Guidelines update

The 2023 revision of the Profile Guidelines is now available on the following page:
Registration > The Professional Development Profile

24 May 2023


The Registration Committee met in person on 19 May for the annual quality review and would like to share the following key points:

Registrant Feedback
The website and associated processes continue to function as intended. HPSET’s webmaster logged just 6 referrals for IT issues which could not be resolved by first-line advice from the registration coordinator. Improved guidance re. uploading and saving updates to the Profile Form will be published on the website at the earliest opportunity.

The Registration Coordinator received email feedback from 4 registrants regarding the piloting of auto-assessment of 50% of submitted Profiles. This feedback was discussed in detail along with 2 additional emails regarding other aspects of the audit process. The committee would like to thank those who have offered feedback on the audit process which has been taken into account in future planning.

CPD Audit and Profile Assessment
Audit requirements remain unchanged. The Committee maintain the view that the balance of demands reflects the unique role of the HPS in the multi-professional team and enables professional development in the role, as well as ensuring the quality and safety of individual practice.
Auto-assessment of 50% of audit profiles will continue in 2024 with some mitigations:

  • All late/extended submissions will continue to receive a full assessment.
  • All those previously auto-assessed will receive a full assessment of their next submission.
  • All first submissions will receive a full assessment.
  • A new clause in the Annual Re-registration (Renewal) Form will require all registrants to declare that they have updated their Profile Form and reviewed it with their line manager.
  • Line managers will be asked to complete an additional form when the audit profile becomes due.

There will be some minor revisions to the Profile Guidelines which will be published as soon as possible. All registrants will be advised when these are available online.

A bookable online Support Session for those due for audit in 2024 will be offered later in the year. Details will be published on the website and sent to those to whom it applies.

A bookable online Support Session for lapsed applicants will be offered in June/July. Details will be published on the website as soon as they are available and sent to those to whom it applies.

Profile of the Year Award
Committee members reviewed 7 nominations for Profile of Year (Suzanne Storer Award) and selected two joint winners. A third profile was identified for special mention. Winners and nominees will be notified by email over the coming days.

Mentor Training
In a change to the current protocol, registrants will become eligible to mentor an FdA student/apprentice after 12 months in employment as a registered HPS. All registrants will be able to access mentor training from 9 months after their first registration date in order to be ready to accept a student on placement when they become eligible.

Further details will be posted online and sent to all registrants by email as soon as they have received final approval.

The Registration Standards Committee will meet again in November 2023.

23 May 2023


Public Register 01-01-2023 669 672
Annual re-registrations confirmed 616 (92%) 630 (93%)
Late re-registrations confirmed 8 7
Voluntary lapse (retired/career break) 21 14
Involuntary lapse (no contact) 32 28
Public Register 19-05-23 624 637
2023 Audit sample 229 196
Profiles approved at first submission 74 126
Profiles approved on re-submission 20 28
Profile auto-approved 89
Total approved + auto-approved 19-05-23 183 (80%) 154 (79%)
Voluntary lapses listed for audit 13 8
Involuntary lapses listed for audit 14 10
Re-submissions outstanding 4
Profiles awaiting assessment/re-assessment 1
Extensions granted 15 31
Extensions outstanding 10

20 May 2023

Calling all HPS

As part of the task force work we are doing with NHS England and Starlight we are keen to include the voices and opinions of CYP and their families. We want to hear from CYP about their experiences/thoughts/ideas on play and recreation in hospital/ healthcare. This is going to help shape the standards, guidelines and recommendations that will be published (and hopefully implemented!)

Please can you share this survey with CYP/parents carers (for babies /younger children). Attached is a poster that you can print and display in your setting or give to out when working with CYP in the community. There is also a QR code to share that will take them directly to the survey.

If you can really encourage and help facilitate CYP completing the survey (shouldn’t take more than 5-10 mins) it would be really appreciated.
You can use iPads to offer this to CYP if available or if they have their own smart phone of iPad you can direct them to the QR code via the poster.

We are also interested in speaking with CYP about their experiences to create digital stories. This can be recorded on zoom or similar (with or without camera). We have the help of the NHS England patient experience team to help us with the creation and collation of these.

If you have any CYP/parent carers that you think would like to share their feedback in this way please let me know and I can provide more information and or speak with them. Or you can speak directly to your patient experiences teams.

The deadline is 9th June.

Many thanks in advance!

(Click below to download a PDF version)

18 May 2023

We say Goodbye to …

In 2023, we have said ‘Goodbye!’ to 13 registrants who are leaving the profession due to retirement, many after being employed for decades as a Health Play Specialist.

Tina Clegg, Chair of HPSET, writes: ‘Thank you for your personal contributions to children’s healthcare in the UK. Over the course of the past 60 years, play in hospital has grown from a poorly understood concept to become an integral feature of most children’s healthcare experience – and you have been part of that change. Your interactions with children and their families will have made a real difference to their lives, and your interactions with your professional colleagues will have had an impact on the way they practice.’

One of this year’s retirees is Caroline Langham who has chosen to share the following reflection after 20 years in HPS practice. Caroline started her career in the Day Surgery Unit at the children’s hospital in Carshalton, before specialising in radiotherapy/cancer care. In 2013, Caroline was given a staff achievement award for services in cancer care. In 2016, she was nominated as a clinician and an honorary member of the Beads of Courage charity for commitment and dedication to the Child Life profession and, in 2018, Caroline’s team were honoured with an award in the ‘above and beyond’ category.

‘I have many wonderful memories. Working with children/young people and their families was the very best as an HPS; in very stressful and challenging times, children/young people showed amazing resilience. It was a privilege to build trusting relationships, supporting and just being there for families too. This was the best part of the profession.

Mentoring was an amazing experience and I learned it was a two-way process of sharing knowledge and experience, supporting students to maximise their potential and to develop as a skilled HPS.

Caroline’s message to new entrants to the profession is to, ‘Enjoy play. Show energy, enthusiasm and a sense of fun. You need to understand the importance of play to enjoy working with children/young people and their families, and to have a belief in children’s rights. Put the child first, before the illness.’
Caroline is a passionate horse rider and in retirement she plans to volunteer at a local riding centre for people with disabilities.

Happy retirement Caroline!

15 May 2023

New CPD Opportunity

Management of Procedure-Induced Anxiety in Children Programme.

Procedure induced anxiety affects the majority of children on their journey through the healthcare system and can have long-term consequences on their mental health and wellbeing. This anxiety may be generated by any medical intervention, from the simplest and transient, to the most complex, spanning most of a person’s childhood.

We are excited to share details of a new elearning programme that provides a comprehensive account of research evidence to illustrate the prevalence and consequences of this condition.

Introducing the training, Dr Richard Martin, Consultant Anaesthetist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Clinical Lead for Procedure Induced Anxiety (GOSH), said: “This comprehensive course represents what I have always believed should be a core competency in training for anyone caring for children. It offers an understanding of the significance of anxiety and how it impacts on a child’s mental health and wellbeing.”

To find out more and to access the training, please visit click here.

08 May 2023


Have you ever mentored a Health Play Specialist student? Have you ever declined mentoring? Are you a student who struggled to find a mentor? Did you find mentoring rewarding? If so we want to hear your thoughts and experiences!

HPSET, NAHPS and the Taskforce group for workforce and accreditation would like to invite you to a virtual one hour engagement event. As part of the joint Starlight and NHS England workforce and accreditation work-steam we want to widen our engagement with the profession. HPSET are reviewing the mentoring process and want to hear from you. Your experiences, both the positives and the challenges, can help shape the future of mentoring in the Health Play Specialist profession.

Wednesday 17th May 2023 at 8pm-9pm

Click here to register

Please contact us if you have any questions:

We hope to see you there!
Irene O’Donnell Senior Adviser to the Taskforce on Play in Healthcare NHSE & Starlight and Catherine Gardner HPSET, Standards lead Taskforce

25 April 2023


Give your CPD Profile a boost with FREE CPD OPPORTUNITIES from Early Childhood Education as part of their Centenary Festival (16-18 May).

Register and book here: https://early-education.org.uk/centenary/

16 March 2023


Please visit the Research & Development > Research & Publications page to view this clinical professional resource.

16 March 2023


HPSET are eager to make it easier for lapsed practitioners to re-join the workforce and to be part of current development initiatives. The Trust is on the brink of merging with NAHPS to create a Society of Health Play Specialists and, at the same time, we are working with NHS England and Starlight Children’s Foundation as part of a Taskforce on Children’s Play In Healthcare. You can find out more about this exciting project here.

Meanwhile, colleges are currently receiving record numbers of applicants for HPS training and are having to turn away potential trainees due to a lack of HPS mentors. We are looking at creative ways of recruiting, training and supporting potential mentors for this important role. The future of the profession depends on training enough practitioners to meet the growing demand.

The Registration Standards Committee have therefore decided to offer a temporary amnesty to those registrants whose registration lapsed prior to 2023 In order to expedite their return to the register. This means that if you are currently practising as an HPS, you may submit a Late Re-registration Application with just one year of CPD evidence and pay just the standard annual re-registration fee of £36.00 – the late surcharge is waived until 30 September 2023.

Please contact registration@hpset.org.uk if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to re-register and be part of the future of the profession. Please note:

  • Applicants must be in current (or recent) practice as an HPS
  • Applications must be made by 30 September 2023
  • Applicants must submit a CPD profile with one year of CPD evidence, corresponding to the period April 2022 – March 2023
  • Re-registration fee £36.00 until 30 September

If you choose not to re-register at this time, despite the above, it would be helpful to us to know the answers to the following questions in order to better understand the reasons why HPS colleagues allow their registration to lapse:

  • Are you currently practising as an HPS?
  • Does your contract of employment specify HPSET registration as essential?
  • Have you left the profession/retired?
  • Would you be more inclined to re-register if you were offered the opportunity to attend a re-registration workshop (online)?
  • Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

Please contact registration@hpset.org.uk with any questions or requests for clarification.

20 February 2023


Do you ever find yourself wondering about the identity of those responsible for assessing your audit profiles?

Now you can meet the members of the Registration Standards Committee by visiting the Registration page or clicking here.

Working together for a fully registered workforce.

26 January 2023


HPSET have been contacted by a Child Life Specialist named Christen Bradbury who is inviting Child Life Specialists and Health Play Specialists to contribute to a new book of ‘stories’ based around their most impactful clinical cases.

Please continue reading for further details from Christen:

As a CTRS/CCLS who has recently supervised a number of practicum students, I have become more aware of how their learning is enhanced by discussing stories from the field. While there may be some excellent case studies and exemplars available to them, I personally saw the most impact when debriefing my interventions, dissecting the details of what I noticed, how I felt, and my thought process during the session. These conversations, less formal but with clinical intent, seemed to solidify understanding and create excitement.

Because of this, I am developing a new tool that I think will be helpful in providing a deeper understanding and perspective to the Child Life profession, with the focus being on the outlook and process of the clinician rather than solely the patient. I believe this will add further context for learning, and will encourage more confidence, sharing of ideas, and ultimately, better care.

I am calling on Child Life Specialists/Health Play Specialists from across the globe to submit their most impactful clinical stories – the moments where they struggled, learned, failed, and accomplished.

The list of topics currently being considered are: Medical Play, Diagnosis education, Procedural Prep, OR/Anesthesia/Conscious sedation prep, School re-entry, Emotional expression, Group interventions, Procedural support, NICU, Emergency Department/Codes, Neurodivergent populations, Camps, Caregiver/Sibling support, Psych/Behavioral health, Co-treating, Abuse/Advocacy, Animal Assisted Therapy/Activities.

Children of affected caregivers, LGBTQ+, Hospice, Noncompliance/Behavior, Chronic Care, Grief/bereavement/legacy building, Alternate/Community settings (Adoption/Foster, School, Organ Donation, Disaster relief, Community based, Consulting), Cultural humility, Advocating for CCLS role, Management, Student/Volunteer Management.

Other ideas/suggestions for chapters are welcome! The deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2023.

The link to the google form for submission is here: https://forms.gle/b6g6Jy97WSsA4RB7A, and the link to a recording of a meeting I held last week regarding the guidelines and logistics is here: https://clipchamp.com/watch/ciUUfz5oO2D

I am also accepting resumes for those interested in an editing role. I will be holding a meeting about the criteria and logistics for potential editors today (Wednesday, January 25th) at 12pm EST here: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/5977703466?pwd=OEcySWNsd2ptVHJMK3FGMVdPTHZyQT09

The meeting will be recorded. If you are unable to attend and would like to view the recording of the editor’s meeting, please let me know.

I very much hope you and/or your team will consider submitting a story for this book. It could be a great clinical ladder opportunity for those involved in those programs. In fact, your staff may already have exemplars written that can be easily adapted to fit this project. If anyone would like to read an example submission, please write to hello@sandboxconsultingco.com.

09 January 2023


HPSET’s Registration Standards Committee congratulates Registered HPS Kirsty Murdock on winning the Trust’s Profile of the Year Award for 2022.

Kirsty presented three years’ of quality evidence of her professional development as an HPS at Leicester Royal Infirmary where she has worked for 8 years, successfully achieving the FdA in Healthcare Play Specialism in 2018. Kirsty has worked across many areas of the hospital and is currently based in the Intensive Care Unit where she makes a positive contribution to the patient experience through her respected relationship with the multi-professional team.

In recognition of the award of Profile of the Year, Kirsty receives a cheque for £100 to put towards future CPD activities, and a copy of ‘Stories from the Seven Ages of Play: Play for Health Across the Lifespan’ by Julia Whitaker and Alison Tonkin.

Well done Kirsty!

22 December 2022


The HPSET Board of Trustees wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2022 has been again a challenging year for those who are working in health services. Post pandemic activity is high with many of you still working with a changed environment and restrictions on practice, others are celebrating the opening of playrooms and welcoming families and visitors.

January sees start of the annual registration process and submission of the three yearly audit profiles. The registration committee with the support of Julia Whittaker, registration co-ordinator are looking forward to reading your submission.

A review of 2022 and planning for 2023 will be published in the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

19 December 2022


We are delighted to invite you to join NAHPS and HPSET on 11th January 2023 to share your thoughts and views on our new Society of Health Play Specialists. Please view the invitation below and register via the QR code or follow this link:

Webinar registration | Microsoft Teams

19 December 2022


HPSET are pleased to announce a new feature of the website. Registrants are now able to manage their own mentor training through their User Page. This includes: booking onto mentor training sessions, downloading training material and submitting the Part 3 Reflection and Evaluation. This development streamlines existing processes and gives the registrant control of their mentoring experience.

Registrants will find a third button at the top of their User Page. This will take them to the new Mentor Training section, where they will find all relevant information and guidance for using this new feature.

Registrants are encouraged to log in to their User page to explore this new development. Mentor Training dates for 2023 will be advertised early in the new year.

Any queries related to mentor training should be sent to mentortraining@hpset.org.uk

10 December 2022


Please view this invitation for the taskforce working group on children’s play in healthcare.

Click to View

The closing date is 19th December.

09 December 2022


The strike action for nurses has been called by their union and voted for by members. HPSET appreciate how challenging working in the NHS has been over the last few years and the reasons why nurses have taken this action.

Hospital managers have responsibility for ensuring that safe nursing to bed ratios are maintained. They will be in the process of planning their responses and will share these when they are able to. This could result in closing beds, cancelling outpatients and theatre list for the duration of the strike.

It is important that Registered Health Play Specialists continue to work within the boundaries of HPSET’s Code of Professional Conduct to ensure their own safety and wellbeing, as well as that of the children and families they work with.

08 December 2022


RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS > Click to ViewThe Evolution of Hospital Play in the UK

25 November 2022


HPSET are pleased to make the following Starlight reports available.

16 November 2022


HPSET would like to alert all registrants to a valuable new resource which has just been published.

The Handbook of Research on Play Specialism Strategies to Prevent Pediatric Hospitalization Trauma, edited by Giuila Perasso and Yagmur Ozturk, represents a compilation of the latest thinking, practice and research in the field of healthcare play from international experts in the field.
The many topics covered in the book include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Chronically Ill Children
  • Culturally Sustaining Practices
  • Deepening Play Opportunities
  • Hospital Trauma
  • Hospitalized Children
  • mHealth for Pediatric Patients
  • Pediatric Oncology
  • Play Interventions
  • Play’s Continuum of Needs
  • Socio-Emotional Skills

Please take an opportunity to explore this important new contribution to the field of healthcare play at: https://www.igi-global.com/book/handbook-research-play-specialism-strategies/293274 and consider sharing the link with your institution’s library and/or promoting the book through your social media channels.

The first chapter of the book Defining Play in the Healthcare Context: A UK Perspective was authored by HPSET’s registration coordinator, Julia Whitaker, on behalf of HPSET and is available to read here.

14 November 2022


HPSET have been contacted by an Italian researcher who will be visiting the UK during the summer of 2023 to conduct research for her thesis:

‘The healing power of books, picture books or fairy tales used in hospital school for hospitalized or traumatized children (because of chronical disease or infections)’

Ginevra Farina, a student at the University (Alma Mater Studiorum) of Bologna, is wanting to make contact with any teams/practitioners who have storytelling/reading/bibliotherapy projects underway in their hospitals. She would like to arrange visits to any interested hospitals during her time in the UK.

Please share Ginevra’s request with colleagues in your hospital school or other interested parties. You can find out more about her research here.

Or contact Ginevra directly for more information: ginevra.farina@studio.unibo.it

14 November 2022


Il Porto dei Piccoli is a non-profit association created in 2005, with the aim of helping children and teenagers suffering from different illnesses and disabilities. It provides recreational and pedagogic support tailored to the needs of each beneficiary, in paediatric facilities, at home, and throughout Italy.

Il Porto dei piccoli are excited to share the news that it has started the first Child Play Specialist training in Italy, inspired by the UK model of the Play Specialist. The training course is based in the city of Genoa in collaboration with the Liguria region who are fully funding the training. The first ten students have recently started their internship in a hospital environment and Il Porto dei Piccoli is now planning for a second course, which they again hope to offer free of charge to the students.

Here is an article (in italian) that gives more details about the project.

The association have agreed to us sharing their course outline for the interest of HPS in the UK. You can download it here:

09 November 2022

Top 10 priorities for childhood cancer research revealed

01 September 2022


10 – 14 October this year marks Play in Hospital Week, brought to you by Starlight and National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS).

The theme for Play Week this year is ‘Play for resilience and good mental Health’.

World Mental Health Day on 10th October highlights the importance of play for everyone’s health. Children, young people, and families all benefit from play in healthcare, and as play practitioners taking some time to play yourself will help you too!

  • We will be sharing our activity pack with you soon, and we would love for you to share your preparation and celebration of Play Week on social media, using the hashtag #PIHW
  • Don’t forget to tag @starlight_uk and @nahps_official_

Once again, this year we are celebrating the Starlight Health Play Awards during Play Week,
We will be sharing the stories of our winners and runners up, keep an eye out as it could be one of your colleagues!

How to get involved in Play Week:

  • Share photos of what you are getting up to, to celebrate Play Week on social media using the hashtag #PIHW and tagging @starlight_uk and @nahps_official_ and speak to your comms team about letting local media know.
  • Apply for the special edition box, including paper version of the Starlight activity pack, (11th September). available at: https://starlightchildren.fra1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9H7RkJWZUubsODb Boxes are on a first come-first serve basis, so don’t delay.
  • Download the special edition Starlight activity pack which is coming your way.
  • Watch out for special courses and webinars, we will be sharing more information soon!

Best wishes,

Laura Walsh, Head of Play at Starlight
Irene O’Donnell, National Association of Health Play Specialists

01 September 2022

My Mindfulness Notebook


Click the image to download the notebook.

21 August 2022

Diwali Gifts

A mission to spread love and light to hospitals around the UK this Diwali and an offer for play leaders at UK hospitals the chance to secure Diwali gifts to support their Diwali activity during October.

Please view the leaflet for more information or to register interest in receiving these items.

16 August 2022

Play Survey

How does national and local policy promote the right to play for children in a hospital setting, and guide and support play delivery and practice?

My name is Karen Minton and I am a PhD student at The University of Wales in Swansea. I am undertaking research which considers the play experience of children in a hospital or health setting. As you play an important role in the management and oversight of hospital play I would like to invite you to participate in a brief survey which will help me understand your experience of the successes and challenges in delivering a hospital play experience to children and young people.
The survey should take no more than 10 to 30 minutes to complete and can be accessed at any time convenient to yourself.

To complete the survey, please visit this page.

22 July 2022

Profile Guidelines

The 2022 revision of the Profile Guidelines is now available together with a new Extension Request Form.

To familiarize yourself with these, please visit:
Registration > The Professional Development Profile

21 June 2022

PUBLIC REGISTER 01-01-2022 679
Re-reg. applications received (Jan-April 2022) 630: 93%
Late re-reg. applications approved (Jan-April 2022) 7
Voluntary lapse (retirement/career change/career break) 14
Involuntary lapse (no contact) 28
PUBLIC REGISTER 01-06-2022 637
Late re-reg. applications pending 16
Profiles approved at 1st submission 126
Profiles approved at 2nd submission 28
Re-submissions / Late submissions pending 24
Retired/Career Break 8
Involuntary lapse 10
Extensions granted (included above) 31
Confidentiality breaches 3

20 June 2022


Next year, 234 registrants will be required to submit their CPD Profile for audit as a condition of re-registration. If you are one of the 2023 audit sample, you will receive an email notification during the first weeks of January 2023. Your audit date is also posted on your User Page of the website so that you can be prepared. Please note the following:

The audit period covers the 3 years prior to submission of the Profile Form, so the next audit period covers the years 2020-2023:

  • Year 1: 01 April 2020 – 31 March 2021
  • Year 2: 01 April 2021 – 31 March 2022
  • Year 3: 01 April 2022 – 31 March 2023

If you submitted a CPD profile in 2020, a copy of that submission will have been saved in the Profile Assessment Record on your User Page. If you have not already done so, you will need to delete any content relating to your last submission from the actual Profile Form: you need to submit an entirely new set of CPD data each time you are audited.

Registrants are advised to plan ahead to avoid having to complete the entire Profile Form immediately prior to submission. It is intended that this form be updated annually and reviewed by your line manager at your annual appraisal or another suitable occasion during each year.

All questions and requests for clarification should be sent in advance to the registration coordinator at registration@hpset.org.uk.

14 June 2022


HPSET are working on a new feature of the website which will allow registrants to book mentor training and updates online, to download the training material and certificates, and to submit the Part 3 Reflection and Evaluation via their User Page.

There is a lot to do behind the scenes to be able to implement this development, but we are hoping to launch this new feature by the start of the next academic year in September 2022. All registrants will receive an email notification when it goes live.

In the meantime, you will find details of forthcoming Mentor Training sessions here and may reserve a place by emailing mentortraining@hpset.org.uk.

22 March 2022


The deadline for HPS registration for the year 2022-2023 is Thursday 31 MARCH 2022.

ALL registered HPS need to re-register by the deadline to avoid a lapse in registration and removal from the public register.

*Lapsed registrants may not mentor an FdA student: any ongoing placements would need to be suspended with immediate effect.
*Lapsed registrants would need to submit a CPD profile, covering the previous 3 years, before they can be considered for a return to the register.
*Lapsed registrants would need to pay a £25.00 surcharge on top of the annual fee, before they can be considered for a return to the register.
*Lapsed registrants may in breach of their contract of employment if it specifies HPSET registration as a condition of employment.

Please be reminded:
Re-registration is two-stage process and cannot be confirmed until both parts of the process have been completed

  1. Submission of the annual renewal form via your personal page of the website.
  2. Payment of the annual re-registration fee of £36.00.

ALL registrants need to complete both parts of the re-registration process, even if selected for audit, or granted an extension to their audit date.

It can take up to 7 days for fee payments to show up on our system, but payments made before 31 March will be accepted and recorded, even if received after that date. Proof of payment is not required unless specifically requested.

Please address any questions about the above to registration@hpset.org.uk.

14 March 2022

Health Play Specialist Level 5 Apprentice Assessor

Allsup and Dale are seeking to appoint a part time freelance End Point Assessor for the Health Play Specialist Level 5 Apprenticeship standard.

Ideally you will be working or have been recently working within the professional field of clinical Health and Wellbeing with young people and children.

Preferably with an understanding of the Health Play Specialist level 5 apprentice standard and assessment criteria although if suitable experienced and qualified within Health Play, training and development on the standard will be offered.

You must either hold or be working towards an independent assessor qualification or be willing to undergo the professional development to complete the assessor training. Which we will support, if necessary, on individual basis

Health Play Assessors must already be registered (HPSET) Health Play Specialist with a minimum of 2 years occupational experience.

Be a member of the relevant professional bodies and competent within the field of Health Play specialist.

Allsup and Dale offer a full induction and training package to support the assessor’s independent development as an assessor.

All the quality assurance and standardisation systems and support, including assessment templates, grading and assessment criteria and marking grids will be available to support the assessment activity.

We offer generous pay rates, flexible working, with a large percentage of the work completed at home and complete autonomy of your workload.

Comprehensive training and support through mentoring, coaching and personal development plans.

For further details please contact Lee@AllsupandDale.com or contact us through our Web site – www.allsupanddale.co.uk

16 December 2021

Survey – 7 Day Service Provision

This information survey has been put together by Kate Pye (NHS Improvement) to see who is providing weekend and out of core hours services. Your input would be appreciated. This is an independent survey not produced by NAHPS.

The survey closes 31st December.

Please follow this link below to answer 7 questions:

Thank you for your time

NAHPS Committee


24 November 2021


Registrants due to submit a CPD profile for audit in 2022 will need to provide CPD data for the past 3 years as follows:

Year 1: 01 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
Registrants who were first registered in 2019 may use examples of CPD from the final term of training.

Year 2: 01 April 2020 – 31 March 2021
Where CPD opportunities were compromised due to the impact of Covid-19, this should be explained in the ‘Current Practice’ section.
Please refer to the guidance on the Covid-19 page.

Year 3: 01 April 2021 – 31 March 2022

  • If a registrant has had an extended period of absence from work during the audit period (e.g., maternity leave, long-term sick leave, shielding), this should be explained in the ‘Current Practice’ section of the Profile Form for the relevant year and endorsed by the line manager in the ‘Manager’s Review’ section.

16 November 2021

SHPS – Your input is needed
Please follow this link to view and participate in the survey for Vision & Values of SHPS:
Vision & Values Survey

09 November 2021

Merger of HPSET and NAHPS – The Society of Health Play Specialists
Following the previous consultation, logo 1 and 4 had the same amount of votes. Therefore, a few tweaks and amendments to these 2 logos have created 2 final logo options.
Please visit this page to cast your vote for the preferred logo.
Voting closes Sunday 14 November.

01 October 2021


We are pleased to introduce two new step-by-step guides to Re-registration and the Audit Profile which can be found on the home page of the website.
This is the latest initiative in our attempt to facilitate registrants’ engagement with these registration requirements.
All registrants are invited to familiarise themselves with the new guides, along with the Re-registration FAQs and revised Profile Guidelines on the The Professional Development Profile page, in advance of re-registration in 2022.
Julia Whitaker
Registration Coordinator

Guide to Annual Re-registration Guide to Audit Profile

01 October 2021


Sammy Found a Treasure, is a new children’s book about bereavement and the power of love, written by Laura and Teresa Menéndez, and illustrated by Maru Guerrico.

“It tells the story of a young boy, Sammy, whose mum has died but left a very special present for him, which will help him in the process of healing his heart. Before she died, she gathered all her strength and wrote her name in Sammy’s heart. She loved him so much that her love became imprinted in him forever. This present will accompany him always and is so valuable that Sammy wants to share it with other children that, like him, have also lost a beloved one.”

The authors of the book have created a website with information on child bereavement, reading guides, activities, and resources, and includes a reading of the book: www.sammyfoundatreasure.com. Originally published in Spanish in Argentina (October 2020), Sammy Found a Treasure is now available in English (September 2021), for purchase in Ireland, the UK and Europe, through the website.

27 September 2021

Merger of HPSET and NAHPS – The Society of Health Play Specialists
We are delighted to share with you 4 design concepts for our soon to be merged Society. Please go to nahps.org.uk to cast your vote.
Voting closes Monday 4 October.

13 July 2021


Registrants are advised that HPSET’s Profile Guidelines have been modified following this year’s audit process.
The profile requirements remain unchanged, but some wording has been amended for the purpose of clarification. All registrants are encouraged to review the revised Guidelines, paying particular attention to the note regarding Confidentiality on page 1. (Available here)

Audit dates are available on each registrant’s website page and all those due to submit a Profile in 2022 will also receive a reminder at the start of next January.

23 June 2021


Play for Health Across the Lifespan: Stories from the Seven Ages of Play
By Julia Whitaker and Alison Tonkin

Click here to visit Routledge online store

HPSET’s registration coordinator, Julia Whitaker, and HPSET Trustee, Alison Tonkin, have published the latest in a series of books about the connections between play and health.

Play for Health Across the Lifespan uses a collection of case-stories to illustrate the impact of play and creativity on health and wellbeing throughout the lifecycle. While play at the start of life influences all future development, the authors show that play also has a role in improving prospects for health and wellbeing in adulthood and later life. With contributions from specialists in health* and education, community organizations and the creative and performing arts, this book will appeal to academics, students and practitioners who are interested in exploring the role of play in addressing contemporary challenges to our physical, mental and social health.

*The book includes case-stories from NAHPS NEC member and HPS, Jenny Oliver; Laura Walsh, Play Manager at GOSH; Liz Wilkinson, play therapist and former HPS at UCLH; as well as Julia Whitaker.

Julia writes, “Alison and I have loved working on this project with ‘play-mates’ from a diversity of backgrounds, from dance to horticulture, mindfulness to music, education to art therapy. As Health Play Specialists we know first-hand the transformative power of play … and it turns out that others are discovering it too! We are stronger together and our future lies in being part of one big social movement for play at every stage of life. Enjoy reading and sharing to keep the conversation going.”

Click to View Play for Health Across the Lifespan Flyer

10 June 2021


HPSET are pleased to announce the next dates for mentor training. Please visit the Mentorship Trianing page for more information and to reserve a place.

26 May 2021


HPSET are launching a new Practice Assessment Handbook (PAH) for students undertaking the Foundation Degree from 2021.
The mentor training has also been updated to match changes to the PAH.

Visit the Mentor Training page for more…

07 April 2021

GOSH – Charity’s State of Play report

Please find the latest report from GOSH here, and on our Research & Publications page.

Click to ViewGOSH Charity’s State of Play report

02 March 2021


All registrants are reminded that they need to re-register with HPSET before 31 March 2021 if they wish to remain on the Public Register of Health Play Specialists.
Re-registration is two-stage process and cannot be confirmed until both parts of the process have been completed:

  1. Submission of the annual renewal form via the personal page of the website.
  2. Payment of the annual re-registration fee.

This applies to all registrants, whether or not they have also been asked to present a profile for audit, including registrants who have requested an extension to their audit date.

20 February 2021

Re-registration & Audit Profile Notice

Dear Registrant,
HPSET recognises your profile represents hard work and commitment in a year of challenge and uncertainty. We recognise the high quality of many profiles we are currently receiving and the value that registration gives to your professional work.
We wish to reassure you that submitting your profile demonstrates your professionalism. Your registration is valued by your managers in setting. HPSET values your feedback and we continue to reflect on our processes. Our purpose is to ensure that your experience of accessing and using our website continues to be positive. As the annual calendar of profile submission is completed, we review our learning and make adjustments and improvements accordingly.

Our IT Consultant confirms that to our knowledge the systems on the website are working well this year. We trust you will find the following recommendations for submitting your profile timely and helpful:

  1. Read and continue to refer to the website Guidance and Advice for Registration/Re-registration
  2. Allow sufficient time for saved data to load when you submit, or when you re-open your profile. A profile section, or your completed profile, is a significant amount of information. Systems require adequate time to transfer and populate information. Some systems can experience a break in connection. Frustratingly you might feel your data has disappeared or has got lost. Evidence shows it is highly unlikely this is the case! Data continues to be saved and submissions are being received regularly.
  3. Remember the green progress bar near the top of the form shows your current position in the form, and is not telling you the data has been saved. Make sure you have saved your data as instructed.
  4. Having a saved, back-up word document with your text sections copied over means you have a record of your profile content. In the unusual circumstance that your work was not saved in your on-line profile, you have your work to hand, and can reload.
  5. Various applications may handle text formatting in different ways and some formatting styles may not be retained, or could appear differently in the rich text editor sections of the form. This should not affect plain text.

Finally, if you continue to experience issues with loading your profile information, contact the HPSET Registration Coordinator by email registration@hpset.org.uk. We will be pleased to work with you to address your query.

With kindest regards,
Joy Clapham
HPSET Vice Chair and Chief Registration Officer

14 January 2021


Registrants may sometimes wonder what happens to their £36.00 annual fee and may be surprised to learn that:

  • HPSET Board Trustees are all volunteers and only claim reasonable expenses for travel and accommodation if they have to stay overnight to attend a meeting or conference.
  • We attend regional network meetings, conferences and study days organised by the profession, such as the Spring Study Day in Edinburgh.
  • We deliver mentor training sessions and meet with new students and graduates to the profession. HPSET are working on writing a mentor training programme which can be accessed online. This will require an investment cost but will reduce some expenditure in the longer term.
  • We have invested in a safe and secure website to meet the Act of Parliament 2018 General Data Protection Act. We update the website frequently and pay for this service and the development and maintenance of the website.
  • This year, we have invested in Zoom technology to host meetings and training sessions and will continue to use this method post COVID-19 for some of our meetings and training sessions. This will reduce the cost of hiring meeting rooms and travel costs.
  • We have financial commitments for the cost of the Registration Co-ordinator and webmaster which are both essential roles.
  • The financial accounts need to be independently audited which has an associated cost.
  • The merger of HPSET and NAHPS will ensure we have one strong voice representing the profession but the merging of the two charities will incur a legal cost and an extra auditing of the financial books.
  • As we develop our workstreams to prepare an application for our profession to join the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) there will be increased costs.
    • We will need to meet with other professions that have successfully joined the PSA and learn from their experiences.
    • The application to join the PSA will cost £14, 242 (current cost) on top of meetings and travel.
    • The PSA annual review of the Public Register costs £10,000.
  • Membership of the PSA will protect the HPS job title and role: we will have the same protection rights as nurses, physiotherapists and other professions we work with. Considerable time, energy and commitment will be required by the new joint board to ensure we can meet all the requirements for membership of PSA. We will have to ensure we are financially viable and have funds available for any projects or tasks we need external advice or support to complete.
  • In all undertakings, great care is taken in the planning and authorisation of any spending from Trust funds (which requires two signatures).

I hope the above explains the vital importance of your annual fee of £36.00. Thank you for your contribution!

Tina Clegg
Chair of HPSET

07 January 2021


Registrants should note that Re-registration and Audit are two distinct processes.
All registered HPS need to re-register annually, even if they submitted a profile for audit last year.
One third of registrants are also required to submit a CPD profile for audit.
The 2021 audit sample have been notified by email that they need to submit a Profile Form (online) as well as renewing their registration before 31 March 2021.

07 January 2021

IMPORTANT! Audit 2021

Registrants who have been selected for audit in 2021 should submit a Profile Form which includes data for both Year 1 (2019-2020) and Year 2 (2020-2021).
All sections of the form should be completed for each year:

  • Practice History
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Practice-related Feedback
  • Reflections 1 and 2
  • Manager Review

Where CPD opportunities have been compromised by the Covid-19 situation, this should be stated under ‘Current Practice’. If this is the case, the registrant should include as much information as is available but will not be penalised if the CPD activities for Year 2 do not add-up to 15 hours, or if there are fewer than 2 examples of Practice-related Feedback.
Please refer to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates – HPSET for more information

14 December 2020


Registrants are reminded that they need to renew their professional registration between 5 January and 31 March 2021 if they wish their name to remain on the public register of Health Play Specialists for another 12 months. A notification email (reminder) will be issued after the re-registration window opens on 5 January.

Registrants who are listed for audit in 2021, should prepare their Profile Forms ready for submission during the same time period.

New re-registration FAQs are now available here.

03 December 2020

CPD Audit 2021 – Update

The Registration Standards Committee have allowed for some flexibility in the CPD requirements for the year 2020-2021 (See below). This is to accommodate practitioners who have been shielding/self-isolating/on sick leave and in recognition that training opportunities have been affected by COVID-19-restrictions.
However, registrants should not use this as an excuse to leave whole sections of the profile form empty, but should include as much information as possible.

If your personal circumstances mean that you have not engaged with any CPD during 2020-2021, or have not received any practice-related feedback, you need to explain this under ‘Current Practice’ in the relevant section of the form for Year 2.

19 October 2020

PLAY ENGLAND – The importance of playgrounds Webinar
Friday 23 October, 11-12.30pm

As half term approaches, and with the country entering tighter restrictions, Play England is delighted to host this webinar on the importance of the role of play areas for children.

The importance for children to play outside and with peers is being proven and recognised throughout the UK but the issues of managing to keep this access available are complex.

The webinar is suitable for everybody involved in running and maintaining playgrounds, including parks officers, local politicians, adventure playgrounds and school staff.

Chaired by Anita Grant, Chair of Trustees, Play England and CEO of Islington Play Association. With speakers including:

  • Professor David Ball is Professor of Risk Management and Director of the Centre for Decision Analysis & Risk Management at Middlesex University, UK, and has over 30 years experience in the fields of risk and public safety.
  • Dr Helen Dodd, from the University of Reading Department of Psychology, is part of the Reachwellgroup, established to address the lack of focus on the needs of children and young people in policy making during the pandemic.
  • Mark Hardy is the independent Chairman of the Association of Play Industries, the lead trade body in the play sector that works with manufacturers, installers, designers and distributers of play equipment.

The importance of playgrounds Webinar, Friday 23 October, 11-12.30pm

Click here to register

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop a note to info@playengland.net

07 October 2020

Starlight Report – The Impact of Children’s Play in Hospital

We would like to share with you Starlight’s most recent Impact of Play Report 2020 with you. I’m sure you will find it a very interesting read.

Area covered include:

  • Play can help children and young people have a more positive experience of hospital.
  • Play and distraction in hospital is essential for improving children’s wellbeing and reduces anxiety, fear and stress associated with being in hospital.
  • Play and distraction can reduce children’s feelings of pain associated with hospital treatment.
  • When you incorporate play and distraction into hospital treatment, it can sometimes reduce the need for sedation.
  • Play can help build resilience for children and young people in hospitals, which helps them to cope and be better engaged with treatment.
  • Play can help give children back a sense of control and autonomy when this has been lost through illness and hospitalisation.
  • Play can also strengthen family wellbeing and relationships.
  • Health professionals (particularly health play specialists) are integral in delivering effective play in hospitals, to not only support the child but also the wider family in creating a more positive hospital experience.
  • Impact of Covid-19 on play in hospitals.
  • How play in hospitals during the pandemic could be improved.

Read the report here

23 September 2020

PROFILE GUIDELINES – 2020 revision

Following a review of the 2020 CPD audit process, the Profile Guidelines have been revised to incorporate feedback from registrants and assessors.
The profile requirements are unchanged but some of the wording has been modified to aid understanding and clarify expectations.
The revised guidelines are now available to download here.

The Registration Standards Committee are aware that the disruption to paediatric services due to Covid-19 has affected training and CPD opportunities for all healthcare practitioners, including Health Play Specialists. The committee have therefore agreed an amendment to CPD profile requirements for the year 01 April 2020 – 31 March 2021.
Further details are available here

21 July 2020

Starlight Gaming Bundles

Starlight Children’s Foundation’s mission is to support children, young people and families to escape the routine and reality of serious illness. Together with Nintendo, they are offering health professional who work with children the opportunity to apply for a gaming bundle for their hospital/hospice. This kind offer and service is being offered free of charge!

What is Starlight offering?
A Starlight Gaming bundle will contain the following:

  • A Nintendo Switch console with standard accessories and game cartridge
  • A Nintendo 3DS console with standard accessories and game cartridge

The Nintendo Switch and 3DS have been designed with portability in mind and have both single and multiplayer options.

What measures have been put in place to keep children safe online?
For details on what measures Starlight have put in place to keep children safe online, please carefully read the supporting information below:

Click here to read the supporting information.

What else should I know before applying?

  • At this time, the gaming bundles may be limited to one per hospital
  • Applications will be accepted on a first come-first served basis
  • As there is a limit to the number of bundles we can distribute each month successful applicants may have to wait a few of months to receive their bundle
  • Should Starlight receive multiple applications from the same hospital/hospice, these will be kept on file in case we are able to fulfil these applications at a later date.
  • The bundle will become your responsibility. Starlight and Nintendo cannot take any responsibility for the bundle after initial dispatch.

How do I apply?
To apply for your bundle, please click ‘apply here’ below to be taken to the online application form:

Apply here

Starlight hope that the Starlight Gaming Bundle, brought to you as part of their ongoing partnership between Nintendo will help to brighten the lives of children in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK!
For further information, please contact Starlight on nintendobundle@starlight.org.uk.

08 July 2020

Make your voice heard!

HPSET have been contacted by a paediatrician and researcher from University College London who is exploring the question: ‘How to explain chronic illnesses to children?’

Dr Pérez-Duarte Mendiola is eager to obtain the opinions of Health Play Specialists and would like to undertake short interviews with members of our profession.
This is a valuable opportunity to share our unique expertise and experience and HPSET encourage registrants to participate in this research, which may be used as an example of CPD activity.

You may contact the researcher directly by email: paulina.mendiola.19@ucl.ac.uk

NB. Registrants are reminded of the importance of maintaining confidentiality (of patients, families, colleagues and themselves) in all interactions with external agencies.

07 July 2020

CPD Audit 2021

The disruption and reorganisation of paediatric services during the Covid-19 emergency has affected training and CPD opportunities for all healthcare practitioners, including Health Play Specialists.

HPSET’s Registration Standards committee have therefore agreed an amendment to CPD profile requirements for the year 2020 – 2021.

Current Practice
Registrants should record if their HPS practice has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis, including whether they have been social isolating/shielding or re-deployed to a different work area.

CPD Activity Examples
The requirement for 15 hours CPD per year has been suspended for this year only.

Registrants should still enter data for any CPD activities carried out during the year, if this is available, but will not be penalised if these amount to fewer than 15 hours.

Practice-related Feedback
The requirement for 2 examples of Practice-related Feedback has been suspended for this year only.

Registrants should still enter data for any Feedback received, if it is available, but will not be penalised if this is unavailable.

Registrants are still required to write two reflective accounts for the year 2020 – 2021 but these do not need to relate to a CPD activity or example of Practice-related Feedback if these are unavailable.

Alternatively, for this year only, the registrant may reflect on one or more of the following:

  • an example of relevant reading or research
  • mandatory training or other online course
  • an example of a novel or unfamiliar clinical experience or initiative
  • changes to working practice during the Covid-19 situation

Manager’s Review
If the line manager is unavailable to review/discuss the profile form, the registrant should still enter the manager’s details and give the reason why the review has not been possible.

All those due for audit in 2021, will receive an updated version of this information by email in September.

Please refer any further queries to the registration coordinator at registration@hpset.org.uk

03 July 2020

Suzanne Storer Award for Profile of the Year
Congratulations to Maddie Branduardi

We are please to announce that the winner of the HPSET Suzanne Storer Award for Profile of the Year 2020 is Maddalena Branduardi. Maddie is the Lead Play Specialist at The Portland Hospital and The Harley Street Clinic Children’s Hospital. Maddie has been awarded £100 to spend on a CPD activity and a place at the next NAHPS Conference.

213 audit profiles were sampled, 27 profiles were identified and recommended by the reviewers for the award. The reviewers then each shortlisted the top 10 profiles and the top 4 profiles were sent to a second independent panel who award the prize to Maddie.

I am in the process of requesting redacted examples from each of the 27 nominated profiles to be posted on the website as a guide for populating your audit profiles.

We will post guidance for CPD activities for 2020-2021 only next week on the website. Many of you have had to change roles and study days and conferences have been suspended or cancelled, you will not be able to fulfil the required CPD hours and participatory study elements.

Kind regards,
Tina Clegg

30 June 2020

HPSET – SSL security certificate

The HPSET website has an extended validation SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate installed to protect data entered into online forms by encryption so that it’s unreadable if intercepted. If, as may happen occasionally, there’s a temporary break in connection, most web browsers will issue a warning against submitting unencrypted data, and in some cases may actually prevent you from visiting a website for your protection.

The break in connection this morning has now been restored. Thank you for your patience.


Please note that the consultation period for the review of audit profiles has been extended to 18th June.

27 May 2020

Registration 2020

The 2020 re-registration process has been successfully completed. Thank you, to all the registrants who have completed the annual re-registration. HPSET introduced the new audit profiles this year. Everyone who submitted a profile has our thanks, the work undertaken by you all was exceptional, there is a mass of evidence on the quality of service you deliver and provide to the children and families you work with. The submissions have reflected the diversity of your roles and of CPD activities.

Covid 19 has had an impact on all of us, regardless of this I am pleased to share with you that we have the highest number of re-registrations on first call at 95%.

We will contact those who have not completed the process this year, as we are all working and living in different and challenging circumstances, if you are in this group please contact Julia at registation@hpset.org.uk and we will work with you so that you can complete your re-registrations.


Public register 01.01.20 675
Re-registered 30.04.20 640 (95% registered)
Lapsed 30.04.20 35
Public register 01.05.20 646 (including late applications)

AUDIT 2020

Total sample 213
Approved at 1st submission 139
Approved at 2nd submission 65
Total approved 202 (89% of audit sample for 2020)
Re-submissions pending 0
Outstanding 9


Confirmed (added to public register) 6
Deferred 2
Pending 16 (+2 resubmissions)

* 2 of the audit sample have re-registered but failed to submit profile (included in ‘Outstanding’ figure above).

Update on current progress and links to PSA

We are currently in the process of selecting the Suzanne Storer Profile of the Year Award. When a trustee reviews the profiles they nominate outstanding profiles for the award. This year we have 27 profiles nominated. The review team are looking at each profile and nominating the top 10 profiles, the nominations will be collated and from this list the top 4 profiles will be sent to a second independent panel who will award the prize.

I will write to each of the 27 nominated registrants and their line manager to inform you that your profile has been selected for consideration for the award. I will also request that with your permission, redacted sections of your profile can be posted online to demonstrate best practice. I would send each of you the section we would be requesting permission to publish.
At the same time, we are also reviewing the profile audit form, submitting process, feedback form and reviewers feedback. We are collating all the questions and concerns raised with us, by registrants. Reviewers have also added their feedback.

If you would like us to consider any additional points, “what went well” or “even better if” please send them to me at admin@hpset.org by the 11 June and I will include them in the review.

We are developing an action plan and will make any changes that will improve the current system, profile and guidelines to ensure that we provide a safe, fair and equitable process. I will feedback any changes to you and we will amend any information or the profile form.

One of the areas we will look at is the evidence required for the year 2020 on the profile. Many of you are working in different roles, different environments and CPD has been suspended unless it relates to Covid 19.

We are currently working on the Sections 4,5,6 & 7 of the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) which relate to registrations. We are developing Standard Operational Producers (SOP), Risk Assessment and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and collecting and collating evidence for each of the 30 sub- sections. Once these sections are populated, we will review them annually after we have completed the re-registrations process.

12 May 2020

Florence Nightingale Tribute

HPSET and all registered health play specialist wish to acknowledge Florence Nightingale’s birthday and celebrate with our nursing colleagues.

Our nurses today, demonstrate their skills, knowledge, care, compassion and courage as we work together during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

23 April 2020

The Power of Play – GOSH resources

The Play team at GOSH have launched their new campaign Power of Play designed to highlight the importance of play at this time.

It is intended to be an inclusive resource and includes links to resources from other organisations producing amazing work.

The resources will be continually added to over the coming weeks/months. Updates will be posted through the GOSH Charity social channels and Play team Instagram.

Please visit gosh.org/powerofplay to have a look and share.

09 April 2020


HPSET would like to thank all those who have successfully re-registered with HPSET for the year 2020-2021.
A total of 637 re-registrations have been confirmed since the end of March, representing a record re-registration rate for 2020 of 94%.
A confirmation email has now been sent to all those whose registration has been confirmed and the registrant pages have been updated.

The Registration Standards Committee would like to make a special mention of the 200 registrants who have submitted a CPD profile for audit since the start of the year using the new online Profile Form. Many of the profiles were of a very high standard and the committee appreciate everyone’s efforts to negotiate a new system.

We wish all our registrants, past and present, a safe passage through these challenging times.

Julia Whitaker
Registration Co-ordinator, HPSET


Payments have been received daily into the HPSET bank account, if you are still unable to make online payments into our account please contact your bank.

31 March 2020

Bank payments

HPSET is aware that some registrants are unable to make online payments due to a fault on the system. The advice when submitting a payment indicates that the name and number of the account are incorrect. We are actively investigating this problem.

If you are trying to make a bank payment and receive this message from your bank, please send an email to registration@hpset.org.uk with your name and registration number so that we will ensure that your registration is maintained during this period.

Thanks you for your patience.
Kind regards,

Tina Clegg


Registrants are reminded of the importance of adhering to data protection requirements in profile submissions. All potentially identifying information should be anonymised: this includes the names of patients, family members, professional colleagues and students. Pseudonyms should be avoided in favour of generic terms such as ‘the child’, ‘the nurse’ or ‘the ward’. Profiles which breach the confidentiality requirement will be returned to the registrant prior to assessment, with the risk of a delay to re-registration. Please refer to the Re-registration Guidelines and Code of Professional Conduct.

09 January 2020

New Course Available

Mentor training and mentor debrief
Nescot is pleased to work with HPSET to deliver another free training event at Nescot college on Wednesday 29th January 10.30 – 3.30.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor to a Nescot health play specialist student; hold current registration and have been qualified for two or more years, or if you have completed the mentor training and wish to attend a mentor update session and reflective practice event, please email Norma Jun-Tai – njuntai@nescot.ac.uk


All registrants are reminded that their registration with HPSET expires on 31 March 2020 and that they will need to renew their registration before that date if they wish to remain on the Public Register of Health Play Specialists for another year.

Re-registration notifications were sent by email to all HPS listed on the public register on 2 January.

The re-registration window opens on 5 January and the renewal process is outlined below. Registrants may renew their HPSET re-registration at any time between 5 January and 31 March 2020.

  1. Log in to your personal page of the HPSET website https://hpset.org.uk/ with your username or email address.
    • If you cannot remember your password, you may request a new one by selecting the ‘forgotten password’ option at the login screen.
  2. The new annual re-registration form will appear at the top of your personal page. Check all the boxes on the form and click ‘Submit Form’.
    • If you are unable to check all the boxes on the form, please contact the registration coordinator at: registration@hpset.org.uk
  3. The annual re-registration fee for 2020 is £36.00*. You must pay the re-registration fee by BACS transfer or Fast Payment, using your registration number as a reference.
  4. Your personal page will be updated when your re-registration has been approved and will show the message ‘Registration Active’. You will not receive any other confirmation of your re-registration.
    • Please do not contact the registration coordinator for confirmation unless your page has not been updated within 28 days of submission of the renewal form.

Lapsed Registration

Registrants who do not renew their registration by 31 March 2020, will automatically lapse, and their names will be removed from the Public Register of Health Play Specialists.

Lapsed registrants need to submit a CPD profile for audit before they can be considered for return to the register. Please contact the registration coordinator at registration@hpset.org.uk for the necessary documentation.

Can you help decide the most important outcomes to measure following a broken bone in childhood? The CORE-Kids study

We are conducting a study at the University of Nottingham to identify the most important outcomes to measure for research studies in childhood fractures and would be keen for your feedback and participation in an online Delphi survey in your capacity as a researcher conducting studies in this area. The survey has three rounds, and each will take 10-15mins.The CORE-Kids study is a project to find out what are the most important outcomes and features of recovery to measure in research about children with broken bones. The study is based at the University of Nottingham, UK and so far has found a list of outcomes from interviews with families and from previous research studies.

We now need help to assess each of the outcomes that have been identified to pick out the most important. We are looking for people to join our electronic survey with some expertise in looking after children who have had a broken bone. Specifically, we are looking for people who are one (or more) of the following:

  • Parents of children who have had a broken bone
  • Doctors who treat children with broken bones (e.g. orthopaedic surgeons, emergency physicians, general practitioners)
  • Paediatric nurses and therapists
  • Play workers
  • Teachers
  • Researchers who has been involved with studies for children with broken bones
  • Systematic reviewers who has been involved with reviews of studies for children with broken bones

The study involves completing three online forms (a Delphi survey) each of which can be finished in about 10 minutes. The first will be sent out in early October, the second in November and the third in January.

All participants who complete all three surveys will be provided with a certificate of research participation and will have the option to be acknowledged as an expert panellist on the scientific papers and presentations that result from this study.

If you would like to participate then please e-mail me, the study coordinator using ben.marson@nottingham.ac.uk or follow this link: https://forms.gle/abh8Z8PtXwfL6YRV7 and I will provide you with a link to the first study questionnaire and an access code. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch either through e-mail or telephone on +44 (0) 781 226 8883 (8am-5pm Monday to Friday)

Kind regards,

Ben Marson
CORE-Kids Coordinator and Orthopaedic Registrar
Trauma Outcomes Group
University of Nottingham




At the September meeting of HPSET’s Board of Trustees, a decision was made to increase re-registration fees.

From January 2020, the annual re-registration fee will be £36.00, a slight increase on previous years. Payment of the fee is a condition of re-registration and should be made to coincide with submission of the annual renewal form between January 5th and March 31st. There is corresponding increase in the late re-registration fee to £61.00.

Re-registration fees are non-refundable. Payment options are available on the Payment Options page.

All registered HPS are reminded to add registration@hpset.org.uk to their list of ‘Contacts’ or ‘Safe Senders’ to ensure that all emails from HPSET go straight to their Inbox.

PLEASE NOTE: It is a condition of registration with HPSET that the registrant’s user page shows their contact and employment details in full. This information must be maintained up-to-date throughout the year.


During the Summer months, HPSET have been busy working on the second phase of the new re-registration process, 3-yearly audit of CPD profiles, which launches in January 2020.

We are pleased to announce a new feature of the HPSET website, an Audit Profile sub-section to the registrant’s personal page. Here registrants will find details of when they are due to submit a CPD profile for audit, the new online Profile Form and information to facilitate profile submission.

From 20 September, registrants will be able to access the Audit Profile sub-section of the personal page by using the navigation buttons below the page title. The Profile Form is a ‘live’ record, meaning that it can be updated before and between submission dates, so that it is ready to submit when required.

The profile submission process is different for play specialists with active registration (listed on public register) and those whose registration has lapsed. Please refer to the relevant instructions below.

If you are a Registered HPS (listed on public register):

  • You must continue to renew your registration between 5 January and 31 March each year by submitting the online Annual Renewal Form which appears at the top of the personal page during that time interval.
  • Every 3 years, you will also need to submit an Audit Profile, using the online Profile Form found in the Audit Profile subsection of your personal page.
  • You will find your ‘audit date’ on your personal page, below your ‘re-registration date’, and will be reminded of this when you open the Audit Profile subsection of your page.
  • Those selected for audit in 2020, will only need to provide CPD data for one year (2019-2020).
  • Those selected for audit in 2021, will need to provide CPD data for two years (2019-2021).
  • From 2022, all registrants will need to provide CPD data for the preceding 3 years.
  • Full details are available in the Re-registration Guidelines

If you are a Lapsed registrant:

If your registration has lapsed and you wish to be considered for a return to the professional register, you will need to submit a Late Re-registration Application.

  • Contact the Registration Coordinator (registration@hpset.org.uk) to inform of your intention to apply for re-registration.
  • Complete and submit the Renewal Declaration form.
  • Pay the late re-registration fee of £55.00 (refer to the Payment Options page.)
  • Complete and submit the online Profile Form, providing data for the preceding 3 years.
  • Contact the Registration Coordinator (registration@hpset.org.uk) to advise of your profile submission, so that it can be allocated for assessment.
  • Full details are available in the Re-registration Guidelines.

HPSET recognises that new processes can be challenging for some people. We have chosen to make the new Profile Form available in advance of anyone having to submit a profile to allow time for everyone to familiarise themselves with the new system. Registrants are encouraged use this opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new Audit Profile subsection of the personal page and to read the Re-registration Guidelines. It may be helpful to organise a team meeting or staff development session to study the new process in collaboration with HPS colleagues.

Please address any queries regarding re-registration, including profile submission, to the Registration Coordinator at registration@hpset.org.uk.


HPSET would like to extend warm congratulations to the 2019 cohort of graduates with a Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism.

We have been able to add 40 names to the public register of Health Play Specialists, increasing the total number of registered Health Play Specialists in the UK to 677.

We wish you every happiness and success in your chosen career.

(Graduates who do not find their name on the public register are advised to contact the registration co-ordinator – registration@hpset.org.uk).

Fitness to Practice

Click to download Fitness to Practice Policy

Being ‘fit to practice’ requires a registered Health Play Specialist to have the knowledge, skills, health and character to do their job safely and effectively.

Fitness to Practice is not a punitive process: its aim is to support practitioners to gain the knowledge, skills, experience and insight required to meet registration standards. The rationale for a Fitness to Practice policy and process is the protection of the public and of registered practitioners.

HPSET’s Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Standards set-out the standards of practice and behaviour that Registered Health Play Specialists must adhere to in order to be registered with HPSET.

The re-registration process requires every registered Health Play Specialist to regularly demonstrate that they practise safely and that they adhere to the standards set out in the Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Standards.

If an allegation is made, and evidence provided, that a registered Health Play Specialist does not meet the expected standards of education, knowledge, skills and behaviour, HPSET will investigate whether they are fit to practice. As part of the investigation process, HPSET may contact employers, colleges, witnesses and the University of West London.

HPSET will investigate various allegations including:

  • misconduct
  • lack of competence
  • criminal behaviour

It may be necessary, in the interests of public safety and the reputation of the profession, for HPSET to suspend an individual from the register as an interim measure while a fitness to practice investigation is undertaken.

Following an investigation, HPSET may proceed to conduct a Fitness to Practice hearing.

The Fitness to Practice panel can make the following decisions:

  1. No case to answer.
  2. Restrictions to practice while skills and knowledge are demonstrated at the level required for registration.
  3. Suspension from the register for a set period of time, with detailed feedback on the requirements to be met to regain entry to the register.
  4. Permanent removal from the register.

If someone has concerns about the fitness to practice of a Registered Health Play Specialist, they should raise their concerns, in the first instance, with the employer, college or university to see if the concern can be resolved at a local level.

If the concern cannot be resolved locally, the matter should be referred in confidence to The Chair of Trustees of HPSET on the email registration@hpset.org.uk.

HPSET Audit Profile Assessment Criteria

Registrant profiles will be assessed by a member of HPSET Registration Standards Committee.It is advisable that Registrants refer to the HPSET Audit Profile Assessment Criteria document when populating their profile.

This is available on The Professional Development Profile page.

Removal from Register

Please be advised that, in line with other changes to HPSET registration and to comply with GDPR (2018), any qualified HPS whose registration lapsed prior to 2010 have had their details removed from the HPSET database – with the exception of anyone who has been in contact with the registration coordinator regarding Late Re-registration or a Return to Practice. For further information, please refer to this page

Information for Students

Year 2 FdA students are advised to read the information regarding HPSET Registration which can be found on the Registration menu.

Play and playfulness for public health and wellbeing
Edited by Alison Tonkin, Julia Whitaker

Alison Tonkin, Trustee and Julia Whittaker, Registration Co-ordinator have published a interesting and valuable resource.

Drawing on international research evidence, the book addresses some of the major public health concerns of the 21st century – obesity, inactivity, loneliness and mental health – advocating for creative solutions to social disparities in health and wellbeing. From attachment at the start of life to detachment at life’s ending, in the home and in the workplace, and across virtual and physical environments, play is presented as vital to the creation of a new ‘culture of health’.

We have loved this working on this project and are hugely excited and inspired by the interest it has generated. We extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has taken this journey with us: contributors, advisors, interviewees, play practitioners . . . and all those who have sustained us with their expressions of interest and encouragement.
We hope you will be able to get your hands on a copy of the book and thank you for writing a review, if you feel inclined to do so. Please do tweet, post, chat and continue spreading the word … that play is crucial to the health and wellbeing of all of us – and of the communities within which we live.

Play well!

Julia & Alison


You are advised that the closing date for the re-registration period 2019-2020 is 31 March 2019.
All registered HPS with a re-registration date of 31 March 2019 are required to re-register before this date. Your registration will automatically lapse if you have not re-registered by 31 March.

If you have not already done so, please log in to your personal page of the HPSET website at the top of the page to submit your re-registration application and to pay any fee due.
Full details are available here.
Re-registration cannot be confirmed until both the application form and the fee payment (if applicable) have been received by HPSET.

If you have forgotten or mislaid your login details, please be advised that your username is an 8 digit number representing your registration number followed by the first year of registration (e.g. 12342019). You may request a new password at the login screen by entering the email address which HPSET has on record for you.

Thank you to all those who have already submitted a re-registration application online: please check that the details on your personal page have been updated. If you receive the message ‘Registration Active’ you will know that your re-registration has been confirmed.

LATEST NEWS – January 2019

The New Year sees the delivery of key developments, the focus of HPSET work in 2018. Thank you for your patience and helpful feedback during the development phases.


We undertook an audit of all our processes so that HPSET is compliant with the new GDPR Legislation we have a duty to ensure that we manage your data as safely as possible. The new processes meet the legislation requirements and improve the standards of re-registration. We researched other professions and their re-registration standards and formats. We have based our new process on the Nursing & Midwifery Councils model and having sought their consent.

New annual application forms are ready to roll out for online submission via your personal page on the website. All fees will now be paid via BACS transfer only.

5th January 2019 sees the implementation of phase one of our re-registration process:

  • All registrants moving to the same new annual re-registration date of the 1st April.
  • All annual re-registration applications submitted online using your personal log in page.
  • Publication of a fees adjustment table, as we transition from two years to one yearly payment. No one will under or over pay.
  • Increase in annual fees of £30 a year (£2.50 per month)
  • All fees will be paid by BACS transfer.

Late or return to practice application will use the new three yearly audit profiles and pay a late fee.

Phase two will see the:

  • Introduction of online three yearly audit profile starting in 2020
  • All registrants will submit a profile every three years
  • Website development will be completed
  • Sample profiles and guidance notes published on the website
  • New audit profiles will be posted on your personal page, they will need updating on a regular basis.
  • The register will be randomly dived into three sections and your personal date for audit profile submission add to your personal page.
The Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Standards

The Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Standards have been reviewed. Extensive research has been undertaken and the Code and Standards and Professional Standards rewritten, they are published on the website and come into effect as part of the new re-registration process. They raise the standards and professional accountability of registrants and the profession.

Higher Apprenticeships

The trailblazer group has met on two occasions and the second stage of the application to move the Foundation Degree to a Higher Apprenticeship has been submitted. We have several more stages to write and submit, and anticipate that the work will be completed by early summer. If you are looking to undertake the course in September and are in employment, start to seek funding and approval from your employer now. Employers receive funding (in most cases) for employers on an apprenticeship programme.

New College in the North West

Leeds City College will be delivering the course from Spring 2019, details for application will follow. I can forward any enquiries to the college until we have all details.


We said goodbye and thank you to Meriel Tootell Chief Registration Officer and Christina Freeman. Joy Clapham, Vice Chair has taken over this role of Chief Registration Officer.

We have invited two new Trustees to the Board, both experienced practitioners, the formal process will take place at the next board meeting at the end of the month. I look forward to introducing them to you in the next new letter.

At the Board meeting we will be reviewing the 2018 action plans and planning the work of the Board in 2019.

Wishing you all a very happy, successful 2019,



From January 2019, re-registration with HPSET will become an annual process and applications will be made online. There will be a rolling audit programme, with every registered play specialist required to submit a Professional Development Profile (PDP) every 3 years.

To facilitate the transition to the new arrangement, all those listed on the Public Register have now been moved to the new annual re-registration date of 31 March 2019.

Registrants do not need to take any further action at the present time: if you log-in to your personal page of the website, you will see that your re-registration date has already been changed to 2019-03-31. You will receive further notification by email in January 2019 with details of how to re-register at that time.

If you last re-registered between April 2017 and September 2018, your HPSET account will be in credit and you will pay a reduced fee in 2019. If your re-registration date has been extended between October 2018 and March 2019, you will be asked to pay a slightly enhanced fee (equivalent to £2.50 per month) to cover the extra months of registration. The fee adjustments are shown on the attached fee schedule.

Please email the registration coordinator at registration@hpset.org.uk with any queries about the proposed changes and we will do our best to answer questions as they arise.

Public Register of Health Play Specialists

HPSET are in the process of creating a Public Register of Health Play Specialists. This will go live on October 1st and may be accessed from the HPSET website by following the link https://hpset.org.uk/public-register.

The purpose of the register is to make it easy for employers (line managers, HR departments) and service-users to check the registration status of present or potential HPS practitioners. This will enhance and promote the professional status of Healthcare Play Specialism both within the organisation and further afield.

All registered HPS will appear on the register, identified only by name and registration number. No other details will be available to view.

Whilst your registration remains in date, your name will remain on the register. However, if your registration should be allowed to lapse, your name will be temporarily removed until such a time as you have achieved a return to the register.

From January 2019, re-registration with HPSET will be an annual process and applications will be made online. There will be a rolling audit programme, with every registered play specialist required to submit a Professional Development Profile (PDP) every 3 years. You will be sent details at the start of the year advising you how to apply to re-register with the Trust. There will be a small increase in re-registration fee.

Please follow the link below for further information about the changes: https://hpset.org.uk/re-registration

You are advised to check the News section of the website for further updates. Please also ensure that registration@hpset.org.uk is recorded as a ‘Safe Sender’ on your email account, so that you do not miss any future direct communications from us.

We recognise that any change to current practice is challenging for all concerned. HPSET have been working hard over the summer months and have given a great deal of thought as to how to best achieve a smooth and fair transition to new protocols. We appreciate your patience during the changeover and welcome any feedback via admin@hpset.org.uk.

Registration and re-registration queries, including help with logging in to your personal page of the website, should continue to be addressed to Julia Whitaker, registration coordinator via registration@hpset.org.uk.


HPS Re-registration

  • From January 2019, HPSET are introducing a new annual re-registration protocol. All registered HPS will be required to re-register between 5th January and 31st March every year if they wish to remain on the professional register. The registration period will run for 12 months from 1st April.
  • Re-registration will be an online process, and all registered HPS will receive an email at the start of the year (provisionally 5th January) with details of how to submit a re-registration application.
  • There will be a three-year schedule of CPD audit. To achieve this, the register has been randomly divided into three sections and every registrant will be required to submit a Professional Development Profile (PDP) once every three years. The profile documentation has changed and will be available on the website from January 2019.
  • There is a slight increase to the re-registration fee which will be £30.00 per year from April 2019 – equivalent to just £2.50 per month. All payments will need to be made using the BACS system. Details will also be made available available on the website in the new year.

The payment schedule available on our Re-registration page shows how much you will have to pay in 2019 and 2020, taking into account any fees owing/already paid by 31 March 2019. To find-out how much you have to pay, you need to find your current re-registration date in the left-hand column of the table and trace across the row to find the amount due. (e.g. If you have a current re-registration date of August 2020, you will not need to pay again until 31 March 2020 when you will pay a reduced fee of £17.50)

Student Indexation

  • From September 2018, new HPS students will continue to pay a £100 indexation fee at the start of the two-year FdA course, which will cover their first period of registration from graduation to the following April.
  • Their first re-registration fee will become due on 31st March following qualification. (i.e. Students commencing September 2018 will need to re-register and pay their first annual fee before 31 March 2021.)

Changes to systems are challenging for all involved and HPSET appreciate your patience during the transition to the new re-registration process.

Statement in response to a question for an alternative course on the play specialist Facebook

Whilst this development appears interesting, I would offer a word of caution.

The new course could not use any of the current Foundation degree course content or the practice competencies as these are the academic and professional property of the University of West London & HPSET. Any new course that is developed would need to meet HPSET standards for graduates to be able to become registered practitioners.

The University of West London & HPSET with support from NAHPS are already working on a Higher Apprenticeship Award. The Foundation Degree Course is moving to this educational framework to take advantage of new funding stream. This is a complex process and one that has our full attention to deliver.

I would also remind you that Registration is important for the safeguarding of professional standards, quality service delivery and public safety. Professional registration is your entitlement and your responsibility.

As Chair of HPSET and in full support of NAHPS I can advise you that with a HPSET endorsed course and your professional registration number you are in the best position to apply for and maintain a job in the healthcare sector.

In addition, to safeguard employees and the general public healthcare managers are increasing including formal registration as an essential requirement for jobs.

To keep yourself informed you can access the HPSET website for current updates:

  • New course in the North of England
  • Progress on the development of apprenticeships
  • The latest on re-registration

You can also contact me via the admin@hpset.org.uk email address. I look forward to answering your questions.

Tina Clegg. Chair

April News Report

(For documents associated with this news report, please visit the Data Protection page of the website.)

HPSET & NAHPS recently sent a letter to the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) to set the case for admission of the profession to the mandatory registration organisation. HCPC replied explaining that admission to HCPC have been closed as an act of Parliament. HCPC advised that the Professions Standards Authority (PSA) hold a list of ‘accredited registers’ for those working in the NHS and independently. HPSET & NAHPS will research PSA options for the profession. A risk, cost and benefit analysis will be undertaken. When we completed this work we will provide feedback on this page and the through NAHPS website.

The Trustees at the Board meeting on the 23rd April ratified all the new GDPR policies and revised practices. Over the next few months, many changes will be introduced and I advise you and your colleagues to read the news page on this website on a regular basis.

Lynn Randall and I have led on this work stream and I would like to thank Lynn for the many hours of work we have undertaken to meet GDPR standards over the last three months.

The student indexation process has been changed to meet GDPR compliance, and to improve the service we provide to students and tutors. Those who enter the second year of the course in September are already indexed and therefore no changes are required. We recommend that you check your personal login details on the website and update any changes required. We will discuss the changes in process and new forms with the college tutors at a meeting they attend at The University of West London later this year.

All mandatory and most voluntary registered professions have a public register listing practitioners who meet the standards for re- registration. Over the summer we will introduce a public register on the website listing those who are registered play specialist with HPSET. The register will have your name and location for example Tina Clegg -East Midlands- Registered. This improves our professional status, managers and prospective employers can check your status. This process makes us GDPR compliant as we will then not share your details with others.

Re-registration:– We have developed new forms and registration process. We will start to implement many of the new ways of working over the coming months.

From April 2019 all registrants will move to annual re-registration. The annual form will be completed and submitted using your personal login page. There will be a fee of £30 per year, an increase of £3 per year. There will be advise and a fees table on the website as some registrants will have paid in advance of this date under the current registration process.

The webpage for submitting your annual registration and or profile will be open from January and close at Midnight on the 31st March each year. After this date you will be a late submission and need to complete a profile and pay a late fee payment.

Every registrant will submit a profile once every three years. The register will be divided into three sections and allocated to years 1-3. The profiles have a different format and we ask that you share the profile with your line manager and for them to sign one section. This will provided opportunities at your appraisal for reflecting thinking and writing and provide evidence on the quality of the work you are delivering.

The profile will be submitted online via your personal login page (you can update the form any time up to the point of submission) The profiles will be allocated automatically to the Trustees who mark profiles and we will have one month to mark and write the feedback on the profiles. We will then hold a quality review meeting chaired by Meriel Tootell. Chief Registration Standards Officer. This quality review meeting is currently held twice a year as we have monthly submissions of profiles. Feedback and registration status will then be loaded to your personal web page. This process will take two months. A date for will be published when the feedback to your personal page will be uploaded. Those who have met the standard for registration will have their details checked or if new to the register loaded onto the public register. If a deferral has been granted, then detailed feedback will be provided so that you know what needs to be added to the profile to meet the standards set for registration. A time limit for re-submission will be provided and then if not submitted or re-registration standards have still not been met your name will be removed from the public register until you have provided the evidence required.

When we launch the new forms and online submission we will provided details guidance and completed sample profiles.

It is important that you keep your personal page details up to date as we use this information to contact you.

We are continuing to work on the Higher Apprenticeship model of delivery and an update will be posted on a regular basis. Lee Pryor is leading on this work stream.

We are also working on new Mentor standards and training. The group is led by Emma Eardley.

The History of HPSET has been written by Judy Dibble and Janet Morris and we will publish this on the website to celebrate the 70 years of the NHS and play in healthcare.

I have presented at three conferences recently. The NAHPS Spring conference in Edinburgh with a theme on Autism, a very thought provoking and well organised conference. At Telford University at the AGAS conference for University Lecturers and career advisers on the role of the Healthcare Play Specialist. Derby Children’s Hospital held their 2nd conference, with hands on play time (I have missed playing) and excellent presentations from number of speakers including a HPS student and play specialists from the Derby team.

We have removed the Registration Coordinators telephone, please send emails:- registration@hpset.org.uk to Julia Whittaker and she will respond to you.

If you have any comments or questions on this briefing please email me:- admin@hpset.org.uk

Tina Clegg. Chair

March News Letter


The GDPR is an EU legislation which is being implemented, coming in to law as a legal requirement with effect from 25 May 2018. This legalisation will remain as a legal requirement post Brexit.

This regulation is about higher levels of safety and management of all personal data.

The regulations requires that we process all personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. An information audit is being undertaken in which we are reviewing what information we collect, why we collect that information, for what purpose, how we store it, for how long do we retain the information and how we dispose of it when no longer required. There are six legal definitions for the lawful collection of for data. HPSET is working under the consent criteria. As you will have given us clear consent for the processing as practitioners, mentors and re-registration.

HPSET is required as part of these regulations to share with you our privacy statement.

At the HPSET board meeting on 29 January 2018 GDPR was formally discussed and an action plan highlighting the areas to meet the regulations by 25 May 2018 was formally agreed. A data protection lead was appointed to the board. The areas that we are currently reviewing are:

  1. Information Audit
  2. Website security – purchase an encrypting software to protect all data
  3. Email security and future communication strategy between board members and registrants
  4. Retention of data policy
  5. Safe disposal of all old information, paper copies and database (Professional shredding and safe removal of the old register from computers pre-website.
  6. understand the journey that the data takes through the organisation, mitigating all risks.
  7. Retention of information policy – how we store data securely.

Over the next few months we will be reviewing and updating all our processes and policies. As part of this procedure we will post regular updates on the website. If you have any questions or concerns please email admin@hpset.org.uk .

Year Review

My second year in office as Chair has again been busy and very productive. I would like to thank the Board of Trustees, Joy Clapham (Vice Chair), Meriel Tootell (Chief Registration Officer), Richard Spicer (Treasurer), Alison Tonkin (Secretary) and Julia Whittaker (Registration Co-ordinator) for all embracing the changes we have made and for their support, questions and contributions.

A review of the Trust Board members and skills was completed and three new Trustees were recruited to the Board. They are two registered practitioners Aimee Coltman and Catherine Gardner and a governance lead Lynn Randall .

In my role as Chair, I recognise that planning, implementing, evaluating, publishing and celebrating the successes we achieved during the year are key components of the work we undertake. We have developed and delivered key mile stones on behalf of the profession. The core skill and function of a HPS practitioner (retired) influence my work today. Observation, planning, implementing, evaluation, celebration and refocusing on new or different action plans.

We started the year by reviewing and signing off action plans for the key work streams we identified in 2016.

2017 Actions Plans include:

Governance: Lead Lynn Randall working in partnership with Tina Clegg

  • Development and publication of a new Trustee handbook referencing the Charity Commission’s expectations and regulations of good practice to ensure that the Board is up to date, relevant and fit for purpose
  • Revising the recruitment and appointment process for new Trustees to ensure we continue to meet Charitable Commission requirements
  • In partnership with Meriel Tootell revise the compliant process

Professional Code of Conduct: Lead Aimee Coltman working with Joy Clapham, Lynn Randall and Tina Clegg

  • Research and development of a revised Professional Code of Conduct agreed in partnership with NAHPS. To be published in 2018 with the revised Professional Standards, these documents have been developed to be used in parallel and as one combined document that registrants will be required to sign. Researched demonstrated that the document required a different format and structure with more clarity for public safety.

Professional standards: Lead Tina Clegg working with Lynn Randall

  • Review, research and revise professional standards in partnership with NAHPS for publication 2018. Essential for the Higher Apprenticeship Awards

Higher Apprenticeship Awards: Tina Clegg working with Laila Paulsen-Becejac

  • Develop Higher Apprenticeship Awards qualification with minimum change to current course structure as a result of the Levey introduction and changes in Healthcare education funding. We will be working with the English, Scottish and Welsh Higher Apprenticeship Boards as they all have different requirements that we will need to meet. We will research the Norther Island Higher Apprenticeship awards. This work will progress in 2018
  • Work has not progressed on the graduate entry course and will not be completed in 2018. We have concentrated our energies and attention on the development of the higher apprenticeship course model

Colleges: Laila Paulsen-Becejac working with Tina Clegg

  • Named Trustees to work in partnership with colleges and to train mentors
  • A successful start has been achieved by NESCOT College for the delivery of the course, with two intakes of students in January and September 2017
  • Develop a new partnership relationship with the college replacing Bolton College. We were sorry to hear from Bolton College when they informed us that our working relationship with them will come to end when they merge with Bolton University. The University of West London and HPSET are working with another college to deliver the course in the region. When we have completed the business relationship development we will be launching the new college, planned for September 2018.

Mandatory Registration: Lead Tina Clegg working with the Board and NAHPS

  • To present the case for mandatory registration of the professional to the Health Care Professions Council.
  • To continue to develop plan ‘B’ if rejected by HCPC
  • To establish the formal partnership with HCPC and understand what work needs to be undertaken to meet registration requirements. All HPSET process and action plans are linked to the requirements of mandatory registration of the professional.

Mentor Training: Lead Emma Eardley working with Norma Jun-Tai, Catherine Gardener, Meriel Tootell, Frances Barbour, Lynn Randall, Aimee Coltman, Joy Clapham, Tina Clegg

  • Reviewing and developing mentor training to enhance mentor and student experience. To be published in 2018. We will set new standards for mentors, explore different delivery models and provide clear guidance for students and mentors.

History of HPSET: Judy Dibble and Janet Morris

  • Research, publish and write a history of HPSET. Photographs are currently being copied with publication in 2018

Presentations: Tina Clegg

  • NAHPS Spring Conference in Edinburgh
    A survey was undertaken in the Spring to provide the evidence required to scope a business case for the development of a course in Scotland and the results published at the NAHPS Spring Conference in Edinburgh and on our website. We are sorry to report that there is not a viable option to deliver a course in Scotland as there was a very low number of employers reporting that they planned to support employees to attend a course over the next three intake years.
  • Stanmore College
    Presentation on registration

Many of the current action plans are of significant importance and work will continue in 2018 to develop the plans and publish the outcomes. We will therefore not be developing many new workstreams in 2018 unless there is a change in legislation or urgent need to add new areas.

The plans for consideration and approval at Board are:

    • Governance plan
    • Data protection – new legislation
    • Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Standards
    • Higher Apprenticeship Awards
    • Development of a partnership working with a new college
    • Mandatory registration
    • Mentor training
    • History of HPSET

I look am looking forward to working with The Board of Trustees, registration co-ordinator, registered practitioners and students in 2018 representing the profession.

If you would like me or a Board member to join you at one of your team meetings or development days please contact me on the admin@hpset.org.uk email address and we will try to meet up with you.

Tina Clegg – Chair of the Board of Trustees



Sharing registration status with employers

The HPSET Board has received a number of enquiries from employers regarding the registration status of their current and future employees. The matter was discussed at the HPSET Board meeting on the 3 July 2017. Two outcomes were unanimously agreed, namely that:

      • Registration status would be shared with Line Managers and Human Resource departments on request after due confirmation of the authenticity of the person making the request.
      • In the interest of public safety, whenever the HPSET Board has concerns regarding the practice of an individual Registrant, the concern will be shared with the employer.

The use of data by HPSET is in accordance with the Data Protection Act and inline with our code of conduct.

HPSET continues to work towards an application for professional registration with the Health & Care Professions Council. The Board continues to reflect, review and develop processes and innovative approaches in all aspects of its work.

September sees the start of the new academic year and I welcome new students to the course and a hard and challenging two years of academic study and competency based practice to equip you all for the role of the Health Play Specialist.

Mentor training has taken place or is planned to take place at all of the colleges delivering the Foundation degree course.

Congratulations to all the 2017 graduates

I look forward to meeting you at the graduation ceremony later this year. I hope as many of you as can attend this day and the celebration and acknowledgement of your qualification.

The Suzanne Storer profile of the year award was presented to Bryony Hoy at the NAHPS annual conference in June.

You will find in the registration section examples of good reflective writing which may be of use to you when you are writing your profile. The best profile of 10% of re-registrants selected to send in a profile will win the 2018 Suzanne Storer profile of the year award. The Registration Group members are looking forward to reading and reviewing this years profiles.

A new Code of conduct is in the process of being developed. Research and writing the code has been undertaken. The code has been tested against different practice scenarios to test the application of the code for disciplinary action and as a guide for registered practitioners and students. Final sign off from NAHPS and HPSET Boards will be sought in the coming months.

I attended the Spring NAHPS conference and fed back the results of the survey undertaken to support the development of a course delivered in Scotland. The survey results showed that there were four play services which responded to the request for information and only one service planned to support the training of HPS staff over the next three intakes. Therefore it is not viable to develop and deliver a Scotland based course.

The study day was interesting and very well presented with outstanding contributions from HPS practitioners.

05 February 2017

Annual reportJanuary has been a busy month for the Board, we have published our Annual Report which I ask you to read. Thank you to Alison Tonkin for her work in writing and publishing the record of last years work.

The first session of the Board Meeting was the Annual General Meeting and all the Trustees agree to continue working on the Board and carry on with the offices they hold. This is important as continuity is essential as we undertake key work streams in 2017 and I thank the Board for the work they do on behalf of the profession.

In the second section of the day The Board reviewed the 2016 actions plans, all three plans were succefully achieved. We adopted the 2017 action plans for the key work streams and we have stretched ourselves with more plans this year. They can be reviewed here and we will update the plans through out the year.

We continue our strong working partnership with NAHPS and are starting to explore the opportunities for mandatory professional registration. This will take some time, it will involve many hours, days weeks and years of work, we will update you on progress, seek information, ask questions, we need you to work with us and can I please ask that your first tasks are to ensure you are registered practitioners, working towards registration and are a member of NAHPS.

Alison Tonkin in the third section of the day delivered a review of safeguarding and the role of the Board, the session will be added to the website along with poster produced by Stanmore students. We are seeking permission from the students to publish their work therefore there will be a delay in publishing this session.

Last year Norma Jun-Tai, NAHPS and HPSET Board member and I attended the NAHPS Spring Conference in Dundee. The conference delegate shared their frustration and concern regarding the lack of training opportunities in Scotland. I promised to organise a survey to gather evidence on the number of students in employment who would be funded and supported to attend a course and 200 hour students who would commit to study in Scotland so that a business case could be developed. I have had discussions with Laila Paulsen, University of West London and we will work together to develop the business case. The website has provided a platform for undertaking the survey without compromismg data protection and the sharing of your contact details between HPSET and NAHPS.

Scottish Healthcare Survey

The survey is now online (https://hpset.org.uk/surveys) and I would ask that you share the information with colleagues in other healthcare services so we can have as wide a representation of service needs and student numbers. This survey has now ended.

I will share the survey findings and actions as a result of the information gathered at the NAHPS Spring Conference in Edinburgh and online in my April report.

17 December 2016

HPSET are are very pleased to hear the positive comments we have received on the new website and that you like the easy to use format and the ability to view your own page on the register.

At our November Board meeting three new Trustees joined the Board. Aimee Coltman Registered Healthcare Play Specialist, Catherine Gardner Registered Healthcare Play Specialist and Lynn Randall Registered Nurse who undertakes a Governance Co-ordinator role. We said goodbye to Maureen O’Hagan MBE and thank her for her many years on the Board and her valuable contributions.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy and successful 2017.

14 December 2016

New Course Available

NescotNescot is pleased to work with the University of West London, in delivering the Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism.

University of West LondonThe course is designed for individuals wishing to study for a career as a registered Health Play Specialist.
This degree supports the development of professional competencies in the field of therapeutic play for children and young people in hospital and community healthcare settings.

Successful completion of the programme leads to registration with the Healthcare Play Specialist Education Trust (HPSET).

More details and course entry criteria are available to view via the download below.

Nescot Flyer

18 November 2016

11 November 2016


Welcome to the HPSET website.

Changing and developing the site has been an interesting and challenging task with Joy Clapham Vice Chair and I working together to develop the site with a new web designer Tom Merriman. We would like to thank Dr Lee Whitmore for voluntarily supporting the website for the last 12 years.

Thank you for your patience while the site has been down. We hope that you find the new website interesting and that it provides you with the information you require. We still have some sections under development.

For registrants and students we wanted to provide you with access to a secure log in page so that you can view your data on the register and update your personal details. You will receive an email from us shortly with your username and password. This will enable you to see at a glance when your next re-registration date is due so that you can plan and be ready for when Julia Whitaker Registration Co-ordinator contacts you. We hope that if your profile is called for you have the information you require to hand. To support this process, keep a track on your development and plans, provide a personal resource for when you apply for a new position or job we have also included an optional Continual Professional Development section.

The University of West London and a college are working together on developing a Foundation Degree Healthcare Play Specialism course near London. As soon as we have a signed contract and can name the college and start date it will be shared with you on this site and with those who have expressed interested in the course and we have their email contact details. We are looking forward to an early 2017 starts.

We have a Board meeting in November when three new Trustees will be introduced to the Board and a selection process will formally take place.

We also have a Registration meeting this month when we will sign off profiles and undertake a quality review process to ensure standards are met by the trustees who review the profiles. We will also plan the dates for re-registration submissions in 2017 and these will then be added to the registration section of the website.

If you have any comments or ideas that would enhance the HPSET website please contact me via the admin@hpset.org.uk email.

Tina Clegg