What is the Rehabilitation Council of India Act?
The Rehabilitation Council of India Act was meant to regulate the training of rehabilitation professionals in India, who work with persons with disabilities.
In 2000, the Act was amended to increase the scope to include monitoring of the training of rehabilitation professionals and to promote research in special education and rehabilitation.
Who is a rehabilitation professional as per this Act?
Rehabilitation professionals include:
- Audiologists and Speech Therapists
- Clinical Psychologists
- Hearing and Ear Mould Technicians
- Rehabilitation Engineers and Technicians
- Special Teachers for Educating and Training persons with disabilities
- Vocational Counsellors, Employment Officers and Placement Officers
- Multi-purpose Rehabilitation Therapists, Technicians
- Speech Pathologists
- Rehabilitation Psychologists
- Rehabilitation Social Workers
- Rehabilitation Practitioners in Mental Retardation
- Orientation and Mobility Specialists
- Community-Based Rehabilitation Professionals
- Rehabilitation Counsellors, Administrators
- Prosthetists and Orthotists
- Rehabilitation Workshop Managers
What constitutes the Rehabilitation Council of India?
The Rehabilitation Council of India is headed by a Chairperson with experience in the field of social work or rehabilitation as appointed by the Central Government.
It also has a wide membership of Central Government representatives of the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Finance, civil society representatives, the University Grants Commission, the Indian Council for Medical Research, members of Parliament, and the State Governments.
What are the functions of the Council?
- The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) approves of any university qualification pertaining to rehabilitation professionals. As and when any establishment makes a representation to the Central Government for recognition of any qualification, the Council shall be consulted on the matter.
- The RCI may also enter into negotiations with other countries for reciprocal recognition of the respective qualifications offered by them.
- The RCI can appoint inspectors and visitors to conduct inspections of the institutions and universities where training of rehabilitation professionals take place for the purpose of advising the Central Government on certification or ensuring the quality of the same.
- The RCI can withdraw recognition if they are of the opinion that the quality of education does not match up to standards.
- The RCI can prescribe minimum quality standards of education, as also the standards of professional conduct, etiquette and code of conduct for rehabilitation professionals.
Who requires an RCI Certification in India?
Service providers should be asked to provide RCI-approved degree qualifications if they are engaging in the following:
- If they hold office as a rehabilitation professional in any government or local authority maintained institution e.g. municipal hospitals, government rehabilitation centres etc
- If they practice as a rehabilitation professional anywhere in India
- If they are to certify any document as a rehabilitation professional (e.g. for school disability certification)
- If they are to provide evidence in a court of law pertaining to disability as an expert witness under the Indian Evidence Act.
Doing any of the above without this certification can lead to prosecution, fine and even imprisonment.
What if your child is availing of any rehabilitation service from a professional who does not have RCI qualifications?
The Act does not talk about prosecution of persons who use the services of persons who do not have RCI qualifications. However, you do so at your own risk as to the quality of the service you receive.
If you want to know if the professional you are working with has an RCI-recognized qualification, you can use this online tool.
Here are contact details for the Rehabilitation Council of India:
Rehabilitation Council of India
B-22, Qutab Institutional Area,
New Delhi – 110 016.
Tel : 91-11-26532816, 26534287, 26532384,26532408, 26511618
Fax : 91-11-26534291